2019 New York Mets

Killing the game.

Jim Rome
June 25, 2019 - 9:35 am
Brodie Van Wagenen

USA Today


Well, the New York Mets are at it again. Let me start this by saying that I have no interest in talking about the Mets every day. I mean, I could talk about that tire fire every day, but I really don’t want to. But they leave me no choice.

Yesterday, it was because manager Mickey Callaway was motherbleeping reporters in the clubhouse and because Jason Vargas, one of their veteran players, allegedly yelled at a reporter: “I’ll knock you the bleep out, bro.” And had to be restrained by two teammates.

I figured that would be my Mets take for the month. But it’s not. You know it’s a bad day when you lose to the Phillies 13-7 and it might be best moment of the day.

That’s because before the game, Callaway met with the media and was asked if he was sorry for his actions in mother-bleeping a reporter. Callaway handled that about as well as he handles his team, which is to say, terribly. So terribly that it included this:

Billy Martin punched a guy one time! And I have to be up here apologizing for this?!? It’s not like I killed someone.

You telling me that Connie Mack never f-bombed a reporter? I’m sure John McGraw probably challenged multiple reporters to duels and I’m up here apologizing for motherbleeping someone?

You know it’s a great apology press conference when it doesn’t actually include an apology. And when the team has to call the media in for a second time to try again. That’s the absolute best. And that’s exactly what happened. Shortly before the game last night, the media was called back in.

And this time he said that he did meet with the reporter, Tim Healey, and apologized.

"In my meeting with Tim, I apologized for my reaction. I regret it. I regret the distraction that it's caused to the team. ... It's something I'm not proud of. I'm not proud of the distraction. I'm not proud of what I did to Tim. For that, I'm definitely sorry.''

Nothing says “I’m sorry” and “I regret it” more than needing two shots to say “I’m sorry” and “I regret it.”

All he had to do was apologize and this would’ve been over. Instead, he cited Billy Martin punching a guy and just saying that he was competitive. And since he butchered that so badly, the team actually had to call another session.

While Callaway was lighting himself on fire. Jason Vargas, the guy who threatened a reporter and said, “I’ll knock you the bleep out, bro” absolutely owned his actions… EHHHHH!!! No, he did not.

“I think it’s unfortunate for all parties. An unfortunate distraction.” Way to own that., J.V.  That’s what I call leading from the front: being accountable and responsible for what you say and do. And what you say is I’LL KNOCK YOU THE BLEEP OUT, BRO.  AND WHAT YOU DO IS, RUN ACROSS THE ROOM TO SAY IT. 

And this isn’t even the most embarrassing thing about this team.

Because all of this overshadows the fact that Mickey Callaway, the manager, isn’t actually managing the team.

According to the New York Post, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is managing the team by text message from home.

“According to an industry source, it was the rookie GM who instructed Mickey Callaway to remove Jacob deGrom from a game in Arizona earlier this month in which the Mets ace sustained a hip cramp. After deGrom was removed from the game in the seventh inning, the bullpen imploded in a loss that added to the frustration of a 2-5 road trip.

The source said Van Wagenen, who was watching the game at home on TV, communicated with a member of the Mets support staff with an order to remove deGrom from the game. Callaway complied with the order, and deGrom was visibly upset as he departed the field, certain he could continue pitching.”

The Mets are freaking awesome. It just does not get any better than this. At least for me.  You tell me what’s better than. A manager motherbleeping reporters, and needing two tries to apologize for it while comparing himself to Billy Martin and saying that putting reporters to sleep is part of the game, and a general manager watching the games on television and texting about pitching changes. Only the Mets. I could put the Yankees on the clock for ten years and none of this would happen, much less all of it. But that’s how truly embarrassing the Mets are to themselves, their fans and all of major league baseball.

This story should be so much bigger, because it is so embarrassing and so absurd, but BVW is skating at the moment because Callaway can’t handle the basics of a press conference. Unless BVW is texting him and telling him to drop twelve-letter bombs on reporters.

Even better, according to the Post, the text that was sent by BVW regarding deGrom was “get him out of there.”

If that’s true, that’s the best. That’s what a fan would tweet, not what a GM would text.

And when BVW was asked by Mike Vaccaro about the report that he’s managing his manager, BVW’s response was: “This organization is about teamwork and collaboration and the ability to trust the manager on an everyday basis.”

Why don’t you throw a little blue cheese on that crappy word salad, BVW. Then again, when you think New York Mets, aren’t those the things you think of immediately: teamwork, collaboration and trusting the manager. Of course. All of that…and also motherbleeping reporters and threatening them.  

You guys are the best. I would say “never change” but I know I don’t have to. Because you can’t change and you won’t change. Because you all think you’re killing the game, even as you’re threatening to kill your beat reporters. Hey Mick. Hey Brodie. See you both tomorrow. I know will. And probably right here, top of the show.