February 2, 2021

"The Worst-Kept Secret In Sports": Five Reporters Detail "Unrelenting" Sexual Harassment By Mickey Callaway, Former Mets Manager and Current Angels Pitching Coach

Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang of The Athletic report that Mickey Callaway, the Angels pitching coach and former Mets manager,

aggressively pursued at least five women who work in sports media, sending three of them inappropriate photographs and asking one of them to send nude photos in return. He sent them unsolicited electronic messages and regularly commented on their appearance in a manner that made them uncomfortable. . . .

The five women, who spoke to The Athletic on the condition that they not be identified, said that the actions by the now 45-year-old Callaway spanned at least five years, multiple cities and three teams. Two of the women said they were warned about his behavior – from fellow media members and others who worked in baseball. An additional seven women who worked in various MLB markets said that, although they had not been approached by Callaway, they had been cautioned about him. . . .

The five women pursued by Callaway described a pattern in which he regularly contacted them via email, text messages or on social media, and often a combination of the three. His pursuit put them in a difficult position at work given what they perceived as a stark power imbalance. The women were forced to weigh the professional ramifications of rebuffing him. 

The Athletic's report details numerous incidents of harassment. (Less than two weeks ago, it was reported that former Mets GM Jared Porter sent "explicit, unsolicited" texts to a female reporter while employed by the Cubs. Porter was promptly fired.)

MLB stated it "has never been notified of any allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior by Mickey Callaway", which has to be an ass-covering lie, since one the women said Callaway's years of harassment were "the worst-kept secret in sports". Now that Callaway's on-going harassment has become news, MLB has to do something, so it is investigating. Hurrah!

A New York reporter: "Two or three times a week for a month he'd send me shirtless selfies", then follow up with a request: "Now you send me one of you." . . . "He would come up to me and massage my shoulders in the dugout when he thought no one was looking. 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." Two of his texts: "I bet you look yummy on tequila." and "Our sleep doctor in Cleveland said you should always sleep naked. . . . Have to let perfect skin breathe!"

Callaway sent more than a dozen emails to another New York-based reporter, including several requests to meet up late at night. He also gave her his address and commented on her physical appearance and clothing. "He was pressing me to go have drinks with him in exchange for news. . . . When he got fired [by the Mets], it was a lot of relief."

When Callaway was in Cleveland, at least three female reporters said "rumors about Callaway's misbehavior with women were rampant" and one woman was warned to stay away from him. One Cleveland reporter said Callaway commented on her boots, asked where she was from, tried to hang out with her, and sent her shirtless selfies.

Another reporter received a "Happy Valentine's Day!" text after not having had any in-person contact with Callaway for five months. She replied to another text, which he sent in April, and Callaway responded by sending her nine pictures and a video of himself shirtless on a tractor. During one interview, Callaway put his leg up onto a railing and thrust his crotch near her face. "I felt like I had to keep up this persona of friendliness and being polite to him." After she wrote a column critical of Callaway, she heard he wanted to speak to her about it. She "vividly remembers picking an outfit that exposed no skin – despite the summer heat – and pulling back her hair. 'I remember thinking I had to do this because this man is creepy.'"

When Callaway was hired by the Angels, multiple women based in Los Angeles, told The Athletic they had been warned about Callaway's behaviour.

One of the women wondered how it was possible that multiple teams had no idea of Callaway's behaviour. "How would that be possible? At this point, it's his reputation. If they are vetting him, even an ounce of his personal life should reveal this."

Mets president Sandy Alderson, who hired Callaway in 2017, stated he was "appalled" by the reports and said the team's vetting process was thorough, though he admitted he spoke to no women.

Other coverage: Daily News, Post, ESPN.


FenFan said...

Sick, SICK bastard -- it's shameful that this was allowed to happen AND that these women felt powerless to do anything less they lose THEIR jobs. Apparently, being "the worst-kept secret in sports" wasn't enough for teams and MLB to investigate this much, MUCH sooner.

laura k said...

This is so completely disgusting. Even worse is knowing that so many fans won't believe the women or will dismiss their complaints as whining, or worst of all, will say that's what happens when women enter a man's world. I wouldn't dare look at comments on any articles about this.