PHILADELPHIA — Jason Vargas referred to as it a distraction. Mickey Callaway referred to as it a misunderstanding. A day after a tense confrontation involving a reporter within the workforce’s clubhouse on Sunday, each the pitcher and the supervisor projected extra defiance than remorse on Monday, with neither issuing a public apology — at the least not the primary time round.
The 2 had been making their first feedback for the reason that episode in Chicago during which Callaway lashed out at a reporter, Tim Healey of Newsday, after a 5-Three loss to the Cubs after which Vargas threatened Healey. Each Callaway and Vargas had been fined an undisclosed quantity by the workforce on Monday earlier than the beginning of a four-game highway sequence towards the Philadelphia Phillies.
“It was a misunderstanding, clearly,” Callaway stated in his preliminary session with reporters on Monday. “For issues like that to occur, it’s at all times a misunderstanding. I’m positive there was no mal-intent by both; it was simply one thing that occurred and it’s time to maneuver ahead.”
Two hours later, Callaway referred to as the reporters again right down to the clubhouse — a extremely uncommon incidence. He stated he had “acquired some suggestions” and wished to make one other assertion.
“It’s one thing that I’m not happy with,” Callaway stated the second time round. “I’m not happy with what I did to Tim. For that, I’m positively sorry.”
Vargas made only one assertion, which didn’t embody an apology. He spoke for 20 seconds and didn’t take questions.
“I feel everyone is conscious of the scenario that occurred yesterday,” Vargas stated. “I feel it’s unlucky for all events, an unlucky distraction. However tonight we’ve got the Phillies to play. The workforce addressed the scenario, the group made a press release and that’s actually all there’s to it.”
The Mets misplaced the sequence opener in Philadelphia, 13-7, as starter Steven Matz allowed seven runs over 4 and one-third innings and reliever Brooks Pounders surrendered 5 extra in a single and two-thirds innings. Stephen Nogosek completed the sport, giving up three hits and one run in two innings of labor. Wilson Ramos and Michael Conforto each had been Three for four for the Mets, who had 15 hits to the Phillies’ 19.
On Sunday, through the postgame information convention at Wrigley Discipline, reporters questioned Callaway’s choice to maintain reliever Seth Lugo within the sport for the eighth inning as an alternative of utilizing nearer Edwin Diaz. Lugo surrendered a three-run dwelling run, and Diaz didn’t seem regardless of having pitched solely as soon as within the earlier eight video games.
After the tense questioning wrapped up, the reporters headed to the principle a part of the clubhouse to attend for gamers. Callaway got here out of his workplace wearing avenue garments, on his strategy to the opposite aspect of the clubhouse for meals. As he handed by, Healey stated, “See you tomorrow,” and the supervisor turned and responded with an obscenity as he left the room, solely to return in a couple of minutes to direct one other expletive at Healey.
Vargas, who was altering at his locker close by, stared at Healey earlier than threatening to “knock you out proper right here” and taking just a few steps towards the reporter. Noah Syndergaard, Carlos Gomez and a member of the Mets’ media relations employees moved between the 2 to cease the confrontation.
Common Supervisor Brodie Van Wagenen stated on Monday that Callaway and Vargas “perceive the place their conduct may have and may have been totally different.”
The Mets issued a press release on Sunday evening saying that they “remorse the incident” and “don’t condone this sort of conduct from any worker.” In an article by a Newsday colleague, Healey stated that Jeff Wilpon, the workforce’s chief working officer, had referred to as him to apologize. Healey was among the many reporters in Philadelphia protecting Monday’s sequence opener.
The confrontation was a transparent boiling-over of tensions for a workforce pissed off by middling outcomes throughout a season during which it anticipated to compete for a division title. Sunday’s defeat was the Mets’ seventh loss of their final 11 video games, and so they entered Monday’s matchup at 37-41, 9 video games behind the Atlanta Braves, the Nationwide League East leaders.
Callaway has prided himself on with the ability to management his feelings all through his profession, however frustration overcame him on Sunday.
“I’m a tricky competitor,” he stated on Monday. “I don’t like shedding, that’s the underside line. No one in that room likes shedding.”
The episode renewed hypothesis about Callaway’s job safety, however Van Wagenen provided a measure of help on Monday.
“I feel he understands that from a management perspective, we are able to’t lose management, and that isn’t one thing that ought to occur and definitely not one thing that can occur once more,” stated Van Wagenen, who stated after a 1-5 highway journey in Could that Callaway would lead the workforce for the “foreseeable future.”
“My confidence stays the identical in Mickey’s means to do the job,” Van Wagenen stated on Monday.
The workforce additionally held a gathering to debate the scenario, and pitcher Jacob deGrom stated the principle focus had been on shifting ahead.
“Typically tensions run excessive, and we perceive that we’ve got a job to do so long as the media has a job to do,” he stated, including, “We don’t anticipate it occurring once more.”