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Terry Collins: Mets’ Focus Should Be On Baseball, Not 9/11 Cap Controversy

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(credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

(credit: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Blame this loss on the hats.

Mets manager Terry Collins did.

Stephen Lombardozzi made his first big league hit and RBI count, driving in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as the Washington Nationals beat New York 3-2 on Monday night.

For the second straight day, the Mets found themselves discussing Major League Baseball’s decision to deny their request to wear caps from emergency-service units during Sunday’s game, which marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. On Monday, Mets player representative Josh Thole said he’s hoping to change the policy for next season.

Collins thinks it’s one big distraction.

“What’s the attention been since we walked into 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,” Collins said. “It all takes away from their preparation. They’re all being asked questions that 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, that’s all that matters.”

David Wright, caught up in the cap controversy because he was seen in the dugout Sunday night wearing a cap honoring first responders, made his fourth error in three games to help the Nationals score an unearned run in the fifth. He dropped a throw from shortstop Jose Reyes while trying to apply a tag.

“Tonight, I think he just took his eye off the ball on that play at third,” Collins said. “He’s just going through one of those stages.”

Coleman: MLB Got This One Wrong

Ross Detwiler and R.A. Dickey (8-12) were locked in early, each giving up one hit through four innings that took just 52 minutes.

Jayson Werth had three hits and Rick Ankiel and Wilson Ramos drove in runs for Washington, winners of two straight. One more win and the Nationals (68-77) will match their total from last year, when they went 69-93.

The Mets rallied late for the third straight game only to come up short again. They have lost five of six.

“I gave up a couple of two-out hits. I think one of them was with two strikes and, a lot of times in a game like that, it’s going to come back to haunt you, and it did,” Dickey said.

Is the focus too much on Capgate? Sound off in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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