The Mets’ General Manager, Brodie Van Wagenen, announced that the team will issue fines to both manager Mickey Callaway and left-handed pitcher Jason Vargas for their ‘role’ in yesterday’s clubhouse incident. Neither would be suspended, or face further consequences. The fine, reportedly, is for $10,000 apiece.
The incident in question involved beat reporter Tim Healey, who was verbally berated by Callaway and physically threatened by Vargas for asking questions in the clubhouse following the Mets 5-3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Healey shared his thoughts on the incident with his fellow Newsday writer David Lennon.
Though Van Wagenen called the event “disappointing” and “regrettable,” this seems like quite a non-reaction from the Mets. It is obviously a little bit simplistic to call a clubhouse a ‘normal’ work environment, but in most places of business, both Callaway and Vargas would have lost their jobs for their outbursts, especially Vargas. What this, essentially, says is that while it wasn’t cool for two grown men, paid multiples of what a beat reporter makes, to harass and threaten someone doing their job, that it really isn’t worth taking any serious action over. What is to stop other players/coaches in the future from having similar outbursts, if they know that there aren’t any lasting consequences for their actions?
For an organization that struggles with perception even during the best of times, the team’s reaction to this event is yet another moment to pause and reflect just how inept the Mets’ ownership is, and how there is seemingly no one to hold their feet to the fire over this, or anything. In a lifetime filled with many bad days to be a Mets fan, today joins the highest pantheon. The message the Wilpons give to the world is quite simple: we don’t care.