National League umpire Ed Montague was back on the field yesterday in Milwaukee and wasn't happy with Sandy Alderson, an executive in the commissioner's office who questioned whether he was ill the previous night.

Montague missed Friday's game between the Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals after consulting with a trainer, saying he was dehydrated.

"When the doctor prescribes Gatorade for a malady, you have to be skeptical," Alderson, executive vice president for baseball operations in the commissioner's office, said Friday night.

Alderson added that baseball normally reviews the situation when an umpire misses a game because of illness.

"Who is he to comment on something like that?" Montague said. "For him to question my integrity . . . I would put my integrity against his any day. My integrity has never been questioned. My attendance record is nearly perfect for 24 years.

"Last night . . . it was a bad night because I usually will work. Today was a blah day, but there was no way I wasn't coming to work after what he said."

Montague is a strong supporter of union head Richie Phillips. Montague's wife wrote a letter in July to the wife of AL umpire John Hirschbeck, saying the dissident leader was a "Judas."

METS CALL UP TWO: The Mets activated LHP John Franco and RHP Rick Reed from the 15-day disabled list yesterday. Franco, out since July 3 with a torn tendon in his left middle finger, has 19 saves in 20 opportunities. He is 0-2 with a 3.45 ERA. Reed is 10-4 with a 4.94 ERA in 21 starts, and has been out since straining his right middle finger on Aug. 8.