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Former Mets manager Mickey Callaway accused of 'unrelenting' lewd behavior toward women in media

Jason Owens
·4-min read
New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway looks out from the dugout during a baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
"He just preyed on women," one of Mickey Callaway's accusers said. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Los Angeles Angels pitching coach and former New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway stands accused of incessant, inappropriate sexual advances toward women in sports media.

Five women who have covered or worked with Callaway spoke with The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang, describing Callaway’s behavior as “completely unrelenting” and “gross.”

“He just preyed on women,” one accuser said. Callaway’s behavior was “the worst-kept secret in sports,” said another.

‘This isn’t an isolated thing’

The women who spoke with The Athletic chose to remain anonymous. They accuse Callaway of repeated unwanted advances including sending shirtless photos via text, requesting nude photos, making comments on their dress and appearance and sticking his crotch in one reporter’s face during a one-on-one interview.

“He would come up to me and massage my shoulders in the dugout when he thought no one was looking,” a New York reporter told The Athletic. “For a month, he would text me asking for nude pics. I started talking to people (who were in the media) and they said this isn’t an isolated thing.”

The report included an image of a text exchange showing Callaway allegedly suggesting to the reporter that she should sleep in the nude. It was one of several incidents documented in the report accusing Callaway of sending repeated invitations to “get drunk” or to meet in a non-professional setting.

Callaway’s response

Callaway, 45, managed the Mets from 2018-19. He joined the Angels last season after being fired in New York. He declined to address any of the specific allegations in a response to The Athletic.

“Rather than rush to respond to these general allegations of which I have just been made aware, I look forward to an opportunity to provide more specific responses,” Callaway wrote in an email. “Any relationship in which I was engaged has been consensual, and my conduct was in no way intended to be disrespectful to any women involved. I am married and my wife has been made aware of these general allegations.”

Mets, Angels, Indians respond

Angels spokeswoman Marie Garvey provided a statement shortly after The Athletic’s story was published Monday evening.

“The behavior being reported violates the Angels Organization's values and policies,” Garvey said, per The Los Angeles Times. “We take this very seriously and will conduct a full investigation with MLB.”

MLB told The Athletic that it “has never been notified of any allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior by Mickey Callaway.”

One accuser detailed allegations against Callaway that occurred while she covered the Cleveland Indians, where Callaway worked as pitching coach before joining the Mets. The Indians responded to the accusations Monday evening in a statement to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

“We were made aware for the first time tonight of the allegations in The Athletic regarding Mickey Callaway’s behavior towards women,” the statement reads. “We are currently reviewing the matter internally and in consultation with Major League Baseball to determine appropriate next steps.”

A Mets spokesman told The Athletic that the team had been made aware of an alleged incident involving Callaway in 2018, 10 months into his tenure as manager. The incident allegedly occurred prior to Callaway joining the team. The Mets investigated the allegation, and Callaway continued in his role as manager until he was fired at the end of the next season.

The Mets did not provide details about the allegation and declined to reveal if Callaway was disciplined after the investigation, per The Athletic.

New Mets owner Steve Cohen issued a brief statement late on Monday night.

“The conduct reported in The Athletic story today is completely unacceptable and would never be tolerated under my ownership,” Cohen said.

Team president Sandy Alderson followed suit with a promise to evaluate the organization’s hiring process across the board.

“I was appalled by the actions reported today of former manager Mickey Callaway,” Alderson said. “I was unaware of the conduct described in the story at the time of Mickey’s hire or at any time during my tenure as general manager. We have already begun a review of our hiring processes to ensure our vetting of new employees is more thorough and comprehensive.”

More turmoil involving Mets

The report on Callaway arrives less than two weeks after the Mets fired general manager Jared Porter when he was accused in an ESPN report of sending a photo of his erect penis to a female reporter while he worked for the Chicago Cubs. Like Callaway, Porter was accused of making repeated sexual overtures to a reporter who strictly sought a source-reporter relationship.

Mets president Sandy Alderson oversaw the hiring of both Callaway and Porter. New team owner Steve Cohen publicly addressed Porter’s firing. Cohen, a hedge fund manager who bought the team in September, has been dogged by repeated allegations of sexism and hostility toward women in gender discrimination complaints against his Point72 Asset Management firm.

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