Terry Collins gave Jenrry Mejia's fisherman impersonation the hook.

On Friday night, after striking out the Nationals' Ian Desmond with runners on first and second to save the Mets' 4-3 victory, Mejia celebrated by standing in front of the mound and pretending to reel in Desmond as if he were a fish. So Collins met with Mejia before Saturday night's game and told him to "tone it down.''

Collins doesn't want to risk offending opponents with Mejia's postgame antics. "Our job here is not to embarrass anybody or embarrass the other team," he said.

That wasn't a problem Saturday night, as the Mets lost to the Nationals, 10-3.

When he was first asked about Mejia's new-look fisherman act on Friday night, Collins' reflexive response was to defend his closer's right to express himself. There was one problem: He hadn't actually seen Mejia's celebration.

Collins said he did what he always does after wins -- he shook the hand of bench coach Bob Geren, gathered his notes and made his way onto the field for the team's handshake line. He didn't notice Mejia's antics.

But after being asked about Mejia's act during his postgame news conference, Collins grew curious about what had happened. So he watched the video of the last out, and Collins said he thought it crossed the line.

"I'm writing it off as an error of enthusiasm by a young player," he said.

Mejia said his latest celebratory act was not meant to bother the Nationals but was an impromptu reaction to another save. Mimicking a fisherman, he said, wasn't planned. "I never tried to do that," he said. "It just came natural."

Mejia said he understands that some opponents might take offense to his gyrations and added that he doesn't want to put his teammates in jeopardy of getting plunked in retaliation.

"I don't want to do that again," Mejia said, referring to his fisherman act. "I say sorry if some guys take it wrong. I don't do it toward anybody. I do it just because it comes natural."

Mejia's save celebrations have been among the more outlandish in baseball this season. He typically waves his arms up and down and emphatically stomps his right foot.

Mejia said Collins told him he can go back to doing that, but the closer said he isn't sure what he'll do.

"I have a lot of energy," he said. "I want to be celebrating after I finish the game."

Collins remembers a day when major-leaguers showed very little emotion on the field. But he said he came to terms long ago with the look-at-me celebrations that now are a big part of the game.

"Today, people watch home runs, people react differently," Collins said. "Everyone has their own handshake and their own high-five . . . You just got to turn your head to some of it."

Celebrations are one thing, Collins said. But offending opponents in the process could lead them to retaliate by throwing at a Mets hitter. Collins wanted to speak with Mejia to put this to rest before anything of the sort escalated.

"It's certainly not directed at anybody or to be derogatory toward the other team at all," Collins said. "It's just the way the game is today and the excitement of the players.

"To be honest, a lot of people like it. A lot of fans like to see those things at the end of the game. But we need to tone it down because that's a good team over there.

"We don't need to wake them up."