Jason Vargas threatens to fight a reporter
The 2019 Mets were a fun team. Their second-half run into contention won back plenty of fans. Newcomers and rookies helped turn an otherwise bleak season around.
Well before these great moments, there was an incident in Chicago I’m not sure anyone expected would happen. Following a heartbreaking loss to the Chicago Cubs, manager Mickey Callaway got into a verbal altercation with Newsday’s Tim Healey. Starting pitcher Jason Vargas came to his skipper’s defense, going as far as to challenge Healey to a fight.
The New York media is tough. They’ll eat you alive if you stink at your job. They were never afraid to criticize Callaway and Vargas certainly received plenty of jeers for his horrible 2018 campaign.
The fallout from this incident put a brief black eye on the franchise. Callaway gave a half-hearted apology while Vargas was far less willing to admit fault. Vargas was fined by the Mets and eventually traded in July.
Of all the players on the Mets I would expect to challenge someone to a fight, Vargas was not near the top of the list.
I’ll give an honorable mention to Brodie Van Wagenen’s chair-throwing incident as well.
Tim Tebow makes it to AAA
Tim Tebow’s dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player isn’t over yet. As of the start of 2020, he has made it as far as Triple-A.
Of course, his path toward MLB is different from most. He’s a salesman by just taking the field. His numbers wouldn’t justify a yearly promotion, but the amount of tickets he sells in minor league cities everywhere has certainly helped convince the Mets to keep him around.
Tebow began his minor league career hitting .226 in 2017 at two Single-A levels. Despite the poor debut, he was promoted to Double-A in 2018.
To the surprise of many, he actually succeeded. Tebow slashed .273/.336/.399 for Binghamton. It was a remarkable improvement.
Things didn’t go so well for Tebow in 2019 in Triple-A. The talent finally seemed to outmatch him completely. He hit only .163/.240/.255. For the second straight year, he also suffered a season-ending injury.
Tell any Mets fan in 2015 that Tebow would have a spot on the organization’s Triple-A roster and they might suggest you get help from a professional.