Callaway and Vargas

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Mets Fine Callaway, Vargas After Confrontation With Reporter

June 24, 2019 - 5:02 pm
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CHICAGO (AP) — The New York Mets have fined manager Mickey Callaway and pitcher Jason Vargas for their expletive-filled confrontation with a reporter after a weekend loss at Wrigley Field.
 
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen made the announcement before the Mets played Monday night in Philadelphia. He did not disclose the amount of the fines.
 
Callaway cursed at Newsday beat reporter Tim Healey and Vargas had to be restrained from charging him in the clubhouse after a 5-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday. There was no physical contact.
 
Callaway called it a "misunderstanding,'' Vargas said it was "an unfortunate distraction'' and Van Wagenen said it was "regrettable on many levels.''
 
Van Wagnenen said Callaway's status as manager remains unchanged. The Mets are 37-41.
 
In a story published by Newsday on Sunday night, Healey said Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon called him "to apologize on behalf of the organization.''

"He stressed the fact that I should feel comfortable being able to do my job at the ballpark and that moving forward, there's no reason for me to feel uncomfortable," Healey said. "I appreciated that sentiment from him, absolutely."

The incident followed a tense postgame news conference, when reporters asked Callaway repeatedly about his decision to stick with reliever Seth Lugo during the eighth inning instead of going to closer Edwin Diaz. Lugo allowed a go-ahead, three-run homer to Javier Baez.

After the news conference, Callaway walked past Healey and other reporters in the clubhouse. Healey told Callaway he would "see you tomorrow," and Callaway responded by calling Healey an obscenity. Callaway walked away and then returned, cursing at Healey again and telling him to leave the clubhouse.

"I thought he was leaving for the day, so I said, 'See you tomorrow, Mickey,'" Healey said. "And then he said, 'Don't be a smart-ass.'

"I tried to tell him, I didn't mean anything by it," Healey added. "I was just saying, 'I'll see you tomorrow.' And then he said, 'Get this guy out of here,' and that got the attention of Jason Vargas."

Vargas stared down Healey and eventually tried to charge him. Players stepped in to restrain the veteran left-hander.

Healey left the clubhouse moments later. 

The team in an earlier statement said they "sincerely regret" the incident and that they do not condone this type of behavior from any employee.