Collins crows about Byrdak's chicken role

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CHICAGO -- Terry Collins had what he hopes will be the final word on the Frank Francisco/chicken situation Monday night when he praised Tim Byrdak for turning what could have been a negative story into a somewhat amusing one.

After Francisco called the Yankees "chickens" leading into the Subway Series, Byrdak had a live chicken brought into the Mets' clubhouse. Eventually, the bird was donated to a farm.

"That's where Timmy comes in," Collins said. "Timmy came in to try and add some humor to it, to try to back off the damage that the statement made. It's all over the country now."

Collins, though, is glad the chicken situation is over. "I'm not even eating any for the next few days," he said.

Parnell to closeWith Francisco (left oblique strain) on the disabled list, Bobby Parnell will get the first chance as fill-in closer. It was a role in which he did not excel during a brief tryout in 2011.

"I think his confidence is much better," Collins said. "I think his experience of doing it already is going to help him this year. He's going to get that chance."

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Parnell began Monday night with a 1-1 record and 3.19 ERA in 36 appearances. "I have an idea what to expect," Parnell said. "Terry hasn't really told me anything. I'll be ready either way."

Trainer's room Jason Bay (concussion) began his rehab Monday with bicycle work. With Vinny Rottino being designated for assignment, the Mets are even more lefthanded and would like to add a righthanded bat. "We're hoping Jason answers that call," Collins said . . . Ike Davis, who didn't start the previous two games because of food poisoning, was in the lineup.

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