Well, lets add, “Mets’ Mickey Callaway and Jason Vargas Went After A Reporter” to the ever growing list of headlines we never expect to read when it comes to the Mets. It seems we, as fans, are always surprised when something as dysfunctional as this happens with the organization, and to that I ask, why?
Let me set the scene for you here. After yesterday’s painful 5-3 loss to the Cubs, Mickey Callaway was pressed by Mets reporters from most media outlets, about why he chose not to use closer Edwin Diaz in the 8th inning to protect a one run lead and go for a 5 out save. Callaway told the media they would not use Diaz for 5 outs and that, even though the media keeps asking about it, his answer will stay the same. From an article in the New York Post came this gem of a follow up, “Asked if the plan that Diaz can’t be used for five outs or even four should be revisited, an irritated Callaway said, “No, just because you think so? Absolutely not.” We would like to hope that’s the end of Callaway challenging the New York media, but it’s the Mets, why would it be?
After the manager’s media availability, Newsday’s Tim Healey reportedly said “See you tomorrow Mickey” to which Callaway replied, “Don’t be a smart-ass, motherfucker,” and then proceeded to call Healey a motherfucker once more trying to get him out of the clubhouse before he could join the rest of the media and talk to Edwin Diaz. This is definitely not a good look for Mickey or the Mets, but wait, there’s more! Mickey Callaway finally has some fucking support! Jason Vargas then chimed in and told Healey, and yes, this is a direct quote, “I’ll knock you the fuck out, bro!” before taking a few steps towards Healey. Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Gomez had to step in between Vargas and Healey.
Here’s my thing, where the hell did Vargas decide he fit in during all this? Why would he want to punch a reporter who simply was trying to do his job? Why is he backing Mickey Callaway? There are so many questions I have and none of them were answered during today’s press conferences. Callaway was given multiple chances to publicly apologize to Tim Healey, he didn’t. Jason Vargas issued a statement calling it an “unfortunate distraction” and then walked away without taking any questions. The Mets have fined both Callaway and Vargas, they have issued a public statement saying the actions were unprofessional and all that formal PR crap. Callaway ultimately addressed the media at 6pm to explain that he had apologized to Healey and that his actions were wrong. Why meet with the media a second time? The damage was done when the public apology wasn’t issued during his normal 4pm presser. Where does the dysfunction end with this Mets franchise?
With three crucial series’ ahead of them against three rivals, this team needs to refocus, they need to get back on track and they need to hold each other and the coaching staff accountable. Despite blowing 17 saves this season, as well as committing 57 errors (the most in the NL), this team is not exactly out of any playoff picture just yet. If they continue to play this way though, it will be over very quickly. Diaz has thrown 12 pitches in 8 days, I’m pretty sure his arm is fresh and available for the next few days. Lugo got roughed up yesterday in Chicago, give him a day or two to rest, and he will bounce back. I wouldn’t push the panic button yet, but the glass lid covering the panic button is most definitely open.