The confrontation with Tim Healey of Newsday occurred after the Mets blew a late lead in a 5-3 defeat to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Reporters asked repeatedly after the game about Callaways decision to stick with reliever Seth Lugo during the eighth inning instead of going to closer Edwin Diaz. Lugo allowed a go-ahead, three-run homer to Javier Baez.
After his standard postgame news conference, Callaway walked past Healey in the clubhouse. Healey told Callaway he would see you tomorrow, and Callaway responded by calling Healey a motherfucker. According to several reporters Callaway walked away and then returned, cursing at Healey again and telling Mets staff to get this motherfucker out of here. When Healey did not leave, Vargas, who did not play on Sunday, stared down the reporter and reportedly said: Ill knock you the fuck out, bro. Vargas was restrained by teammates Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Gomez. No blows were exchanged in the incident.
The Mets apologized to Healey in a statement hours later. Healey said the Mets chief operating officer, Jeff Wilpon, also called him later in the evening. He stressed the fact that I should feel comfortable being able to do my job at the ballpark and that moving forward, theres no reason for me to feel uncomfortable, Healey said. I appreciated that sentiment from him, absolutely.
The Mets were expected to challenge for the NL East but find themselves at 37-41, nine games out of first place and Callaways future as the clubs manager has been under question. They start a four-game series against Philadelphia on Monday.