Coutinho: Jason Vargas Pitches Well But Questions Abound About Incident in Chicago

PHILADELPHIA – After another horrific Mets loss in which the bullpen surrendered the lead we all went down to the Met locker room here in Philly and talked to Jason Vargas about his very respectable performance.

As the interview session went on, some questions surfaced on the incident in Chicago on Sunday. David Lennon , the terrific columnist at Newsday gave Vsrgas every opportunity to come clean about why his session with the media on Monday was so terse and quite frankly, was a tough session to swallow because he never answered any questions. Vargas seemed to infer that we have only heard one side of the story but resisted giving his side of it even though Lennon gave him every opportunity to do so.

Let me be crystal clear about this incident–I was not in Chicago so I am only going by what I’ve heard about it. But I will say this about Tim Healey–he is one of nicest people I’ve ever encountered on the Met beat and he says See You tomorrow in a pleasant way to everyone including me on numerous occasions. And nobody-and I mean nobody–ever deserves to be treated that way in any setting–let alone a baseball clubhouse.

The fact Vargas has laid out the possibility there is more to this than meets the eye is very strange and he has been given every chance to talk about that to all of us on numerous occasions. My feeling is that there is not much more to this than we have already seen and Vargas still owes Healey a public apology because he committed the act in a public venue. Pure and simple thats the reality of the situation.

But leaving the rumor out there that there is more to this will only exacerbate the issue. And Healey to his credit has not gone around talking about the incident which he has every right to do. He is doing that because he loves what he does for a living and this sport is in his heart and soul. I know that because I have spent time with him talking about this great game and always enjoy those conversations because of his passion for the game coupled with his great knowledge of the sport.

All we really need from Jason Vargas is an apology or at the very least regret that the incident took place. This situation needs closure and we don’t have it yet even though Vargas has been given every opportunity to do it.

I know Vargas was fined by the Mets for his role and there is every indication he is not trying to reverse that decision in any way so why not create the closure we all need. Then we can concentrate on baseball and talk about the things this team needs to do to reclaim their season. But I get the sense this incident we saw in Chicago will always lurk in the background and that is not good for anybody.

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