Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen announced the fines prior to the first game of a four-game series between the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. He called the confrontation between Callaway, Vargas and Newsday reporter Tim Healey "regrettable on many levels."
"I think frustrations were high," Van Wagenen said of Callaway. "And, I think that he understands that from a leadership position, that we can’t lose control and that he knows that that’s not something that should have happened, and it’s certainly not something that he intends to have happen again."
Callaway repeatedly called Healey a "motherf—er" after the reporter told the manager that he would "see you tomorrow" in the wake of the Mets 5-3 loss at Wrigley Field. Vargas told Healey that he would "knock you the f— out, bro" and approached the reporter before he was restrained by pitcher Noah Syndergaard and outfielder Carlos Gomez.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway, left, and pitcher Jason Vargas earlier this month. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
In a story published by Newsday Sunday night, Healey said Mets COO Jeff Wilpon had called him to apologize.
"He stressed the fact that I should feel comfortable being able to do my job at the ballpark and that moving forward, there’s no reason for me to feel uncomfortable," Healey told the paper. "I appreciated that sentiment from him, absolutely."
The Mets also issued a statement that read, in part: "The Mets sincerely regret the incident that took place with one of our beat writers following today's [Sunday's] game in the clubhouse. We do not condone this type of behavior from any employee."
"I think everybody deserves respect regardless of job title or role," Callaway said at his pregame news conference Monday, "and I hope people can understand that this is a tough game played by passionate competitors and I hope moving forward that we can all do our jobs honestly, critically, and understand that other people are involved."
Callaway initially declined to apologize publicly for the incident, saying: "I don’t need to tell my side. That doesn’t help me in any way. It was a misunderstanding, obviously. For things like that to happen, it’s always a misunderstanding … It's just something that happened and we have to move forward."
However, the Mets manager later called the media back into the clubhouse, where he informed them that he had apologized privately to Healey.
"I regret the distraction it's caused to the team," Callaway said. "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, so, for that, I'm definitely sorry."
Vargas said Monday that the issue was "an unfortunate distraction."
"Tonight, we’ve got the Phillies to play. The team’s addressed the situation, the organization’s made a statement and that’s really all there is to it," Vargas told reporters. "So, thanks for taking your time, and we’ll see you guys after the game."
The Mets entered play Monday with a record of 37-41, nine games back of the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves. According to Van Wagenen, Callaway's status as manager was unchanged.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.