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Mets fine Mickey Callaway, Jason Vargas for altercation with reporter

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On Sunday following a come-from-ahead 5-3 loss to the Cubs, Mets manager Mickey Callaway lost his temper, directing a series of profanities at beat writer Tim Healey of Newsday. Callaway repeatedly called for Healey to be thrown out of the clubhouse. As Healey attempted to leave, pitcher Jason Vargas stared him down and said, “I’ll knock you the f–k out, bro.” Several players and other Mets representatives had to separate Vargas from Healey.

We learned earlier that the Mets aren’t firing Callaway for his behavior. We have also just now learned that the Mets are not suspending Callaway or Vargas, but they will be fined, according to Tim Britton of The Athletic. Addressing the media prior to Monday’s series opener in Philadelphia, GM Brodie Van Wagenen said, “The altercation was disappointing. It was regrettable on many levels.” Van Wagenen does not expect Major League Baseball to levy any additional punishment for Callaway or Vargas, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com adds. Callaway got yet another vote of confidence from the GM as well.

Callaway didn’t offer an apology on Monday. He called Sunday’s altercation “a misunderstanding, obviously,” per DiComo. Mets COO Jeff Wilpon apologized to Healey yesterday. Callaway added, “I don’t need to tell my side. That doesn’t help me in any way.” He thinks his outburst shows that he’s a passionate competitor, per Newsday’s Laura Albanese.

Well, that could’ve gone better. It’s disappointing that Callaway didn’t publicly apologize to Healey. It’s disappointing that he didn’t bother to explain why he acted the way he did. It’s disappointing that he doesn’t seem contrite at all. It’s disappointing that Vargas didn’t apologize when he spoke to the media. In fact, prior to Van Wagenen and Callaway addressing the media, the players elected Jacob deGrom — who wasn’t in the clubhouse when the altercation occurred — to speak on behalf of the players. All deGrom said was, “Our main focus is turning the page.”

Zack Wheeler headed to IL due to shoulder fatigue

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Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to fatigue in his right shoulder, Newsday’s Tim Healey reports. The roster move is retroactive to July 12. Steven Matz will open up a two-game series in Minnesota, starting in Wheeler’s place on Tuesday.

As Healey notes, the soonest Wheeler can return is July 23, which would give him at most two starts ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Wheeler has frequently been brought up in trade conversations as he can become a free agent after the season and the 42-51 Mets have been freefalling.

Wheeler, 29, owns a 4.69 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 34 walks across 119 innings of work this season.