Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that the league has placed former Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway on the ineligible list, a punishment that will continue at least through the 2022 season. The decision stems from a months-long investigation into his alleged lewd behavior toward five women.
Here's commissioner Rob Manfred's statement:
"My office has completed its investigation into allegations of sexual harassment by Mickey Callaway. Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Callaway violated MLB's policies, and that placement on the Ineligible List is warranted. We want to thank the many people who cooperated with our Department of Investigations (DOI) in their work, which spanned Mr. Callaway's positions with three different Clubs. The Clubs that employed Mr. Callaway each fully cooperated with DOI, including providing emails and assisting with identifying key witnesses. Harassment has no place within Major League Baseball, and we are committed to providing an appropriate work environment for all those involved in our game."
The Angels also issued a statement, announcing they had fired Callaway:
The accusations and accounts of Callaway's behavior were first published in February on The Athletic by Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang. You can read Ghiroli and Strang's story here; here's part of what they wrote:
"Mickey Callaway, the former New York Mets manager and current pitching coach for the Los Angeles Angels, 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. In one instance, he thrust his crotch near the face of a reporter as she interviewed him. In another, he told one of the women that if she got drunk with him he'd share information about the Mets."
Callaway was suspended by the Angels and MLB shortly after The Athletic's story was published and was not with the team this season.
In early March, more details emerged regarding Callaway's pattern of lewd behavior. More women came forward to say Callaway made them uncomfortable by sending them inappropriate messages, and on at least one occasion, a woman's husband contacted Cleveland's fan services department to complain Callaway had sent his wife "pornographic material."
David Samson broke down Callaway's punishment on Thursday's Nothing Personal with David Samson. Listen below:
Reports indicate Cleveland, which employed Callaway as pitching coach 2013-17, tried to sweep the allegations under the rug. Team president Chris Antonetti stated "there had never been any complaints against Mickey in his time with us, either to me or to our human resources department or other leaders," though others with the team have accused Antonetti of being evasive.
Prior to joining the Angels before the 2020 season, Callaway managed the New York Mets for two seasons. He was afforded that opportunity thanks to his success as the pitching coach of the Cleveland franchise.
Callaway also issued a statement on Wednesday:
"My family and I fully support MLB's strong stance against harassment and discrimination and are grateful to the Commissioner and his office for their thorough investigation. I apologize to the women who shared with investigators any interaction that made them feel uncomfortable. To be clear, I never intended to make anyone feel this way and didn't understand that these interactions might do that or violate MLB policies. However, those are my own blind spots, and I take responsibility for the consequences.
"In my 25 years in professional baseball I have never taken for granted the privilege of being even a small part of this great game of ours. To say I regret my past poor choices would be an understatement. I remain hopeful that I can return to baseball when eligible at the conclusion of next season, but for now, I plan to work on my own shortcomings and repairing any damage I have caused with my colleagues and, particularly, my family."
Callaway is the second notable baseball employee to be deemed ineligible in recent weeks for harassing women; Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar was given a similar punishment after an investigation into allegations made against him. Meanwhile, former Mets general manager Jared Porter was dismissed after ESPN reported on him sending more than 60 consecutive texts to a woman reporter, including a lewd image.
MLB has updated its policies on sexual harassment and workplace discrimination in its code of conduct following the Callaway and Porter allegations.