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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.”

Clayton Kershaw to make Opening Day start for Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw Opening Day
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.

The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.

Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.

Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.