Update: The Mets have released the following statement regarding today’s incident.
“The Mets sincerely regret the incident that took place with one of our beat writers following today’s game in the clubhouse. We do not condone this type of behavior from any employee. The organization has reached out and apologized to this reporter and will have further discussions internally with all parties involved.”
The New York Mets’ struggles and drama went beyond the baseball field today, as manager Mickey Callaway took exception to something Tim Healey of Newsday said and asked the public relations staff to remove him from the clubhouse.
Multiple reports from other writers in the clubhouse at the time, including New York Daily News’ Deesha Thosar, believe the incident stemmed from Healey saying goodbye, which Callaway for some reason took offense to.
Thosar recalls Healey saying “see you tomorrow, Mickey” to Callaway following the post game press conference.
Callaway responded, “Don’t be a smartass,” and walked away, but not before calling Healey a “motherf-----.”
Mickey Callaway and Jason Vargas snap at a reporter following loss to Cubs with Vargas threatening to knock out reporter before charging him:https://t.co/HaOGWp1SEd— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) June 23, 2019
Yahoo Sports’ Matt Ehalt added that Callaway was already in a bad mood after he was asked about a specific pitching plan. When asked if they need to reconsider their plan about using Edwin Diaz for five outs “after [a] day like today,” Callaway said, “No, just because you think so? Absolutely not. We have a very good plan, we know what we’re doing and we’re going to stick to it.” Ehalt was the one who posed this question to Callaway; not Healey.
Thosar mentions that Callaway soon walked back up to Healey and mocked the way he said “see you tomorrow,” while also continuing to release a string of curse words at him.
As Thosar explains, Callaway followed up his comments to Healey (who, at the time, was trying to explain he was not challenging the manager in any way with his initial comments) by saying, “Shut the f--- up, get out of my face. Get out of here.”
Not long after, Callaway asked the Mets’ PR staff to remove Healey from the clubhouse. Multiple reporters recall Callaway saying, “Get this motherf----- out of here; he’ll be here tomorrow.”
That brings an end to Callaway’s dramatic involvement in the incident, but the story doesn’t end here. As Thosar writes, soon Jason Vargas and Healey “were in a stare down. Vargas asked Healey why the reporter is looking at him, to which Healey replied, ‘It looked like you had something to say.’”
To this, Vargas responded, “I’ll knock you the f--- out, bro.” Within seconds later, Vargas was charging toward Healey, and Thosar notes “the two had to be separated by teammates Carlos Gomez and Noah Syndergaard, as well as a Mets official, among others.”
Healey left the clubhouse shortly after.
The baseball community took to Twitter to call out Callaway, demanding he be fired. After a very rough few months of baseball, Callaway’s unprofessionalism and craziness in today’s clubhouse altercation just provides more fury for the fans to display with the way the team is being run. However, Callaway still has a job, and while that may not be pleasing to many, it is worth noting that the Mets stuck with Callaway this long, so it is worth noting that even an off-the-field issue of this extremity likely won't trigger the end to the Callaway era in New York; that will likely come in at or near the end of the season.
On MLB Network, analyst Ken Rosenthal said, “No matter what the reporter did, this can’t happen. The problem is Mickey Callaway probably should have been fired a month ago. Ever since, this has been lingering over this team. Everybody is simply waiting.”
While Ehalt notes that many of Vargas’ teammates and Callaway’s players did not take part in the altercation, Thosar notes that as the players were packing up at the end of a long road trip, the incident could be heard from across the small clubhouse at Wrigley Field.
The Mets’ PR staff, who seem to have kept their calm throughout this whole situation and supposedly spoke with Healey to hear his side of the story, have not released any comment on the situation, with the exception of them saying that they will “something” to provide later this evening.
This story will be updated if more information is released.