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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.”

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”