Alex Cora defends Mickey Callaway for tirade against reporter

By Jesse Reed
Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway has taken a ton of heat since he and pitcher Jason Vargas clashed with a reporter following Sunday’s loss to the Chicago Cubs.

Newsday’s Tim Healey was the man Callaway verbally assaulted, and Mets pitcher Jason Vargas actually threatened to knock the reporter out immediately after Callaway cursed him out.

It’s been reported that the whole thing came about because Callaway was frustrated about repeatedly being asked why he didn’t replace relief pitcher Seth Lugo in the eighth inning, rather than letting closer Edwin Diaz finish the game out. As we know, Lugo gave up a home run to Javier Baez, and the Mets lost.

It’s not a secret that Callaway was frustrated by the line of questioning.

Things got out of hand afterward. Healy said “See you tomorrow, Mickey” and Callaway somehow thought that was an attack. That’s when the fracas got out of hand.

However, at least one person has his back.

Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora was asked to share his thoughts on the incident, and he defended Callaway.

“They asked the question nine times,” Cora said, per Chris Cotillo of “It was the same question nine times. He’s not going to change the answer. If he’s not going to use the reliever for five outs, after the third question… I get it. I know you have a job to do, but at the same time it’s not that easy. Especially right after the game.”

Ultimately, the Mets fined Callaway and Vargas, opting not to suspend either man. Furthermore, the Mets don’t believe that MLB will issue further discipline on the matter.

So maybe, in the end, the league doesn’t view the incident as problematic as the media, and many in the public do.