Major League Baseball is launching an immediate investigation into allegations that Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway, the former New York Mets manager, sent inappropriate text messages and pictures to female reporters and women in the sports media, a high-ranking official told USA TODAY Sports.
The person was granted anonymity because MLB has yet to publicly announce their investigation.
Callaway’s pursued at least five women while working with three different teams, according to a report by The Athletic.
It is the second time in two weeks that a high-ranking baseball official has been accused of sending inappropriate and lewd messages to a female reporter, with the Mets firing general manager Jared Porter two weeks ago.
Callaway, according to three of the women in The Athletic report, sent inappropriate photographs and requested that they send nude photos in return. He also sent unsolicited electronic messages and frequently commented on their appearance. One reporter said that Callaway thrust his crotch near her while being interviewed, and another said that he’d provide her inside information on the Mets if they got drunk together.
Callaway did not return a text message to USA TODAY Sports, but told 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. 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.”
Callaway was in Cleveland’s organization for eight years, five spent as their pitching coach, before spending two years as the Mets’ manager. He joined the Angels last year. The Mets said they were made aware of an incident in 2018 involving Callaway before he joined the organization, but he still retained his job. He was fired following the 2019 season.
“I was appalled by the actions reported today of former manager Mickey Callaway," Mets President Sandy Alderson said in a statement released by the team. "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.”
One New York-based female reporter told The Athletic that Callaway would send shirtless selfies two or three times a week, asking for pictures in return.
“He would come up to me and massage my shoulders in the dugout when he thought no one was looking,” the 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 reporter also revealed several other inappropriate text messages on her phone from Callaway:
“I bet you look yummy on tequila,” he said, with a smiley face.
“Our sleep doctor in Cleveland said you should always sleep naked. Healthier for your skin and rest so much better. Have to let perfect skin breathe!”
“At the bar – how many shots are you taking?”
“He was completely unrelenting,” she said.
One reporter said that Callaway frequently asked her to meet socially, with one email reading: “Let’s go get drunk, I will tell you what’s going on with the team.”
And another said that she received a Valentine’s Day message from him, including nine pictures, one of him shirtless on a Florida property he recently purchased.
The Angels issued a statement that reads: “The behavior being reported violates the Angels organization’s values and policies. We take this very seriously and will conduct a full investigation with MLB.”
The Indians, Callaway's longtime employer, also issued a statement, saying: "We were made aware for the first time tonight of the allegations in The Athletic regarding Mickey Callaway’s behavior towards women. We are currently reviewing the matter internally and in consultation with Major League Baseball to determine appropriate next steps. Our organization unequivocally does not condone this type of behavior. We seek to create an inclusive work environment where everyone, regardless of gender, can feel safe and comfortable to do their jobs."
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