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Tuesday, May 6
Updated: May 7, 1:50 PM ET
Mets say they've put clubhouse haircut behind them

Associated Press

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets had a hairy situation Tuesday, holding a team meeting to deal with whether Rey Sanchez had his locks trimmed in the clubhouse during a game.

Sanchez denied the haircut, which was reported Monday by ESPN radio. But Mets officials and players, using so many similar phrases that they sounded like a barbershop quartet, repeatedly said the situation had been dealt with. No one else in the clubhouse would back Sanchez's denial.

"It did not happen," said the shortstop, who was booed at the start of Tuesday night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. "Why should I be embarrassed if I didn't do anything?"

Sanchez wouldn't say after Tuesday's 3-2 victory over the Dodgers whether it was difficult to keep his focus.

"It's over with. Nothing to be said," was his response.

ESPN radio reported that reliever Mike Stanton walked into the clubhouse and was surprised to find Sanchez getting shorn. Stanton wouldn't discuss what he did or did not see.

"This is now behind us," Stanton said. "Right, wrong or indifferent, we're moving on from here."

General manager Steve Phillips said he left any decision about discipline up to manager Art Howe, who wouldn't say whether Sanchez was penalized.

"It's taken care of," Howe said, repeatedly trying to end questions on the topic.

Asked why he called the meeting, Howe responded that he "just wanted to clear the air on this little situation that came up on the off day." He was sure the message he wanted to get through was heard by the players.

"Yes, I'm pretty good at it," he said.

Players thought too much was being made of the matter.

"Rey knows the rights and wrongs," Mo Vaughn said. "But we're not going to make a big issue of that as a team. We've got too many other things to worry about."

New York began the day 13-18, last in the NL East. Players said they need to focus on winning, not off-the-field distractions.

"If we're in first place, nobody cares," Vaughn said. "You could be getting a full body shave."

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