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Mickey Callaway, Jason Vargas curse out, threaten journalist

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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.”

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

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The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.