Mickey Callaway, Jason Vargas curse out, threaten journalist

Mike Stobe/Getty Images
42 Comments

The Mets narrowly missed out on a series sweep of the Cubs, dropping Sunday’s game 5-3. Javier Báez hit a go-ahead three-run home run off of Seth Lugo, proving to be the game-winning hit. Closer Edwin Díaz never made it into the game.

After the game, manager Mickey Callaway spoke to the media and that’s when tempers began to flare. Callaway snapped at Matt Ehalt of Yahoo Sports, who asked why Díaz wasn’t utilized. Callaway responded, “Why? Because you think so?”

According to Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News, Newsday’s Tim Healey said, “See you tomorrow, Mickey,” after speaking to him in the clubhouse, which apparently went normal. Callaway thought Healey was being sarcastic, so he responded, “Don’t be a smartass,” then called Healey a “motherf—er.” Callaway then walked up to Healey and began swearing and mocking the way he talked.

Callaway demanded Healey leave the clubhouse. Healey explained he meant no offense. Following that, Vargas stared Healey down, saying, “I’ll knock you the f–k out, bro.” Teammates Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Gómez, among others, had to separate Vargas and Healey.

Things are not going so great in Mets land. After Sunday’s loss, the club is nine games out of first place, sitting in fourth with a 37-41 record. Callaway’s decision-making has frequently undergone scrutiny, enough that his job has been thought to be in jeopardy even as ownership has publicly given him votes of confidence. The frustration boiled over into a completely unnecessary confrontation with a reporter.

According to Tim Britton of The Athletic, the Mets plan to publicly address Sunday’s incident on Monday. The club is currently traveling from Chicago to Philadelphia to begin a four-game series. This is, obviously, not a great look for the Mets so they certainly wouldn’t have been able to escape Monday without being asked about it. It will be interesting to see how the Wilpons and GM Brodie Van Wagenen choose to handle the situation. Will they publicly back Callaway and Vargas or actually take a stand against such unprofessional behavior?

Update: The Mets have released a statement. Per Britton, the Mets said:

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 involved parties.”

Batting champion Luis Arraez beats Marlins in salary arbitration

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — AL batting champion Luis Arraez won his arbitration case and will get a $6.1 million salary from the Miami Marlins, who acquired the All-Star infielder from the Minnesota Twins last month.

Miami argued for $5 million during a hearing before John Stout, Mark Burstein and Scott Buchheit. Arraez received a raise from $2.2 million.

Marlins pitcher Jesus Luzardo went to a hearing and asked for a raise from $715,000 to $2.45 million, while Miami proposed $2.1 million. The case was heard by Stout, Melinda Gordon and Richard Bloch, who were expected to issue their decision.

Arraez hit .316 with eight homers, 49 RBIs and a .795 OPS last year for Minnesota, starting 61 games at first base, 34 at designated hitter and 31 at second. The 25-year-old was traded on Jan. 20 for starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and a pair of prospects: infielder Jose Salas and outfielder Byron Chourio.

Arraez is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

Luzardo, a 25-year-old left-hander, was 4-7 with a 3.32 ERA in 18 starts last year, striking out 120 and walking 35 in 100 1/3 innings. He is 13-18 with a 3.59 ERA in 45 starts and 16 relief appearances over four big league seasons.

Luzardo also is eligible for free agency after the 2026 season.

Seattle defeated Diego Castillo in the first salary arbitration decision this year, and the relief pitcher will get a raise to $2.95 million rather than his request of $3,225,000.

A decision is being held for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Twenty-two players remain scheduled for hearings, to take place through Feb. 17. Among them, utilityman Dylan Moore and the Seattle Mariners have a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.