"No Excuse" For Mets' Callaway, Vargas Threatening Reporter

Some reporters are "bear-pokers," David Samson says, but Tim Healey isn't one of them

Taz and the Moose
June 24, 2019 - 4:32 pm
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Mets manager Mickey Callaway and pitcher Jason Vargas got into it with Newsday reporter Tim Healey following their 5-3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley on Sunday, with Callaway reportedly calling Healey a derogatory term and Vargas threatening to assault him.

The Mets released a statement apologizing for Callaway and Vargas’ behavior.

“It’s just the frustration, the boiling point was reached inside the Mets clubhouse – and I’ve been there,” former Marlins executive David Samson said on Taz & The Moose. “You lose a bunch in a row, you realize your season is slipping away and the media is right there. You get 10 minutes after a game ends before the media comes in, and a lot of players hide in the shower or they hide in the food room or in the training rom. But the media has to wait and get its interviews done. It can be difficult, and I understand it. But obviously no excuse. You cannot lose your temper at a member of the media. It’s really not ever good to pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.”

The Mets, who fell victim to another bullpen meltdown Sunday, are 37-41 and trail the Braves (46-32) by nine games in the NL East. Callaway was apparently upset that Healey said “See you tomorrow” as Callaway exited the postgame interview.

Samson does not believe Healey meant anything by it.

“I’ve known Tim Healey a long time,” Samson said. “He actually comes from South Florida, and he covered the Marlins for a lot of years. There are some guys who are bear-pokers, and Tim is not one of them. He’s got a job to do, and he’s got to ask the manager why (Seth) Lugo is still pitching and why not go to (Edwin) Diaz with the season on the line, with potentially his job on the line. They’ve moved away the pitching coach and the bullpen coach, and obviously the manager is next because the GM is never going to fire himself. So next comes Callaway, and after Callaway comes Brodie.”

Brodie, of course, is Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

“I understand the frustration, but there was no bear-poking by Tim,” Samson said. “Tim only likes to see his name with the by after it. He certainly doesn’t like to be in the body of the article. He wants to write the article. I’m sure he’s mortified and embarrassed, and he also knows that he’s got to be around this team. He just got the Mets beat this year, so he’s just starting. He’s got to be thinking to himself, ‘I’ve got to change the narrative.’ The fact that a sports radio show as well listened to as yours is spending so much time with Tim Healey would simply mortify him.”

Click below to listen to Samson’s interview in its entirety.