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.”

Padres clinch NL wild-card spot during 2-1 loss to White Sox

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres are going back to the playoffs for the first time in a full season since 2006, a spot that they clinched during the seventh inning of a 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.

The Padres were batting when the Miami Marlins beat the Milwaukee Brewers in 12 innings. The sellout crowd of 41,407 at Petco Park stood and cheered the sealed wild-card spot.

The Padres trailed 2-0 at the time but Kim Ha-seong homered a few minutes later.

The Padres had a chance to win in the ninth when they put two runners on with two outs against Liam Hendriks but pinch-hitter Jorge Alfaro, who has five walk-off plate appearances this year, grounded out.

Fireworks went off and the Padres players were given hats and shirts, but there was no wild on-field celebration. Manager Bob Melvin was drenched with a cooler of water and the players gathered near the mound for photos. They were cheered by what was left of the crowd as they headed to the clubhouse.

San Diego is one game ahead of Philadelphia for the second of three NL wild cards.

The Padres won a wild-card series against St. Louis after the pandemic-shortened 2020 season before being swept in the division series by the eventual World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

Before that, they hadn’t been to the playoffs since winning the NL West in 2005 and 2006.

It’s the seventh playoff berth in franchise history and the fourth since Petco Park opened in 2004. The Padres haven’t been to the World Series since 1998, when they were swept by the New York Yankees.

The Padres reached the playoffs this year without electrifying shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who was on the cusp of returning from a broken left wrist when he was suspended for 80 games by MLB on Aug. 12 for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Slugger Manny Machado has carried the Padres most of the season offensively and they added Juan Soto from Washington in a blockbuster deal on Aug. 2.

The Padres hired the veteran Melvin after last year’s brutal September collapse cost Jayce Tingler his job.

Lance Lynn (8-7) and Blake Snell 8-10) were locked in a scoreless duel Sunday when Elvis Andrus homered off the San Diego lefty with one out in the sixth, his 16th. His shot reached the top balcony of the brick warehouse in the left field corner at Petco Park.

The White Sox went ahead 2-0 on Adam Engel‘s two-out single in the seventh that brought in Andrew Vaughn, who had drawn a leadoff walk.

San Diego got on the scoreboard when Kim homered to left off Lynn with two outs in the seventh, his 11th.

Lynn allowed one run and five hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked one.

Snell allowed one run and three hits in six innings, struck out six and walked one.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Bailey Ober (2-3, 3.18 ERA) is scheduled to start Monday at home against the Minnesota Twins, who will counter with Johnny Cueto (7-10, 3.39).

Padres: RHP Joe Musgrove (10-7, 3.03) gets the start Monday night at home against the San Francisco Giants, who will go with Carlos Rodon (14-8, 2.88).