ARLINGTON -- Though Francisco Rodriguez spent much of Friday afternoon defending his comments in a recent published report, the Mets are hardly worried about their closer losing focus at a critical juncture of the season.
"I have no problems with Frankie having any distractions," manager Terry Collins said. "As I've said before, being in the position that he's at as a closer, those guys block out things. They're able to do it. It's a different mindset than other people."
Rodriguez said he was "irritated" by a Friday story in the New York Daily News that detailed his interest in becoming a setup man for Mariano Rivera with the Yankees, reiterating his preference to stay with the Mets.
"I did not read the story, but he told me about it," Collins said. "He did say he wanted to stay here."
Regardless, speculation will continue to swirl regarding Rodriguez, whose $17.5 million contract option for 2012 will vest if he finishes 55 games this season. Entering Friday's play, Rodriguez was on pace for 60 games finished, though any team looking to convert him into a setup man would have no trouble avoiding that option.