Who's chicken?

Or, more accurately, who cares who is viewed as a chicken?

Neither the Mets nor the Yankees felt bound to pour gasoline onto Frank Francisco's incendiary remarks in Friday's New York Post.

The Mets closer told the newspaper that he views the Yankees as "chicken." Francisco clarified his remarks prior to the start of the Subway Series Friday, saying that he believes the Yankees lobby for calls.


"It doesn't really mean anything. What means something is what you do on the field," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said during his pre-game press conference.

He then grew mischievous.

"[Public relations head Jason Zillo] informed me we had three chicken companies call today [and ask] to be sponsors of the Subway Series," Girardi said. "It might work out well for both teams."

Francisco is 1-3 with a 5.14 ERA and 17 saves this season. However his ERA in his last 10 outings is 1.88 and opponents are hitting just .188 against the Mets' closer in that span.

"Frankie is a grown man [and] if that is what he feels ..." Mets manager Terry Collins said before trailing off. "I know one thing. When I saw the front page, I said, 'Well, I hope he gets his chance.' It'll mean we have the lead and it'll be late in the game.

"I'll take my chances with that."

Dickey always prepared

Mets RHP R.A. Dickey is scheduled to pitch the series finale Sunday night against Yankees LHP C.C. Sabathia.

It is a matchup of one of the best pitchers in baseball against, arguably, the best starter in the sport this season.

Dickey is 11-1 with a 2.00 ERA this season. He has thrown consecutive one-hitters and has won six straight, yielding just two runs.

"When people can't explain things, they go one of three ways. They resent it, or they're curious about it or they enjoy it. For me, I want to enjoy the moment," Dickey said. "I think there's a misconception because I'm a knuckleballer I don't prepare, or I prepare less than I might if I were a conventional pitcher.

"Now, I do throw one pitch 85-to-95 percent of the time," Dickey said. "But as far as the preparation goes, I prepare no less now than I did as a conventional pitcher simply because I have to be prepared if my knuckleball isn't going well. It's probably more paramount that I'm prepared."

Key party

Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented Mets LHP Johan Santana with a key to the city in a pre-game ceremony. Santana was feted for throwing a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 1, the first in franchise history.

Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.

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