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Monday, September 12, 2011
Collins questions focus in Nats loss

By Adam Rubin

Terry Collins suggested the first-responder cap issue did take something out of the Mets’ concentration for a 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals on Monday night.

“I just think today we lost focus on some things,” Collins said. “The attention is away from the game right now, and that’s an issue with me, because you’ve got to focus on the game. What was the attention on today? You guys can answer that. What’s the attention been since we walked in the ballpark today? It’s not on who we’re playing. It’s not on who’s pitching. We all want to know which kind of hat we’re going to wear tonight. And that takes away from the game. That takes away from their preparation.

“They’re all being asked questions. They’re afraid to make an answer. They’re afraid to say the wrong thing. We’ve got to start focusing on what the game is, because when it’s all said and done, in the end, that’s the only thing that matters.”

Collins added postgame about a conversation with the players: “I just told them, ‘Go get some dinner. Go home and get some rest. Because we’ve got to get after it again tomorrow. That’s the way the big leagues is. And if you can’t handle that guys, you’re going to have a tough career here.’”

As for David Wright committing six errors in his past seven games, Collins said: “To be honest, outside of the homestand, he’s played great. He really has. On the road trip he played brilliantly at third base. Here he's gotten a couple of breaks where he hasn’t got the ball out of his glove cleanly and it’s caught the end of his glove and he’s dropped a couple. Tonight I think he just took his eye off the ball on that play at third (on a throw from Jose Reyes). I think he had an easy out, and now he’s worried about maybe the batter-runner. I know he took his eye off it.”

Collins noted Wright had a solid play, too, when he barehanded Wilson Ramos’ trickler to open the third and threw to first base.

“You saw that play he made on the swinging bunt,” Collins said. “I mean, my gosh, he’s still got everything it takes. He’s just going through one of those stages.”