Mickey Callaway Suspended by Angels amid Allegations of Lewd Behavior

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2021

Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway speaks about his philosophies outside the clubhouse at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. After his difficult two-year tenure as the New York Mets' manager ended last fall, Callaway says he is energized by his return to a familiar role as he becomes a key assistant to new Angels manager Joe Maddon. (AP Photo/Greg Beacham)
Greg Beacham/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Angels suspended pitching coach Mickey Callaway in the wake of allegations of lewd behavior toward women in sports media.

"Late yesterday we were made aware of the allegations reported in The Athletic," the team said. "This morning we suspended Mickey Callaway, and will work closely with MLB to conduct a full investigation."

ESPN's Alden Gonzalez provided more context:

Alden Gonzalez @Alden_Gonzalez

Source: Mickey Callaway has denied any wrongdoing, which protects him from being fired without an investigation. MLB and the Angels are hoping to wrap up this investigation in relatively short order.

The Athletic's Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang spoke to five women (all of whom were referred to by pseudonyms) about Callaway's behavior, with one woman saying "it was the worst-kept secret in sports":

"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."

Callaway responded to the allegations in an email:

"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."

Angels spokesperson Marie Garvey issued a statement shortly after the report was published: "The behavior being reported violates the Angels Organization's values and policies. We take these allegations very seriously, and will conduct a full investigation with MLB."

Callaway managed the Mets in 2018 and 2019. Samantha, a New York-based reporter, told Ghiroli and Strang he sent her shirtless selfies on multiple occasions and asked her to reciprocate. The woman also said Callaway would massage her shoulders in the dugout.

Callaway continued to message Samantha upon joining the Angels, with Samantha calling him "completely unrelenting."

Another reporter from New York, Anne, said Callaway wanted to get drunk with her in exchange for information about what was happening with the Mets. She said he would also make unprofessional comments about her appearance when they crossed paths.

Lauren said she interviewed Callaway shortly after he took over as the Mets manager. During the course of the interview, he "put his leg up onto a railing to 'peacock her,' thrusting his crotch near her face."

Lauren followed up to say she "felt like I had to keep up this persona of friendliness and being polite to him" in order to fulfill the duties of her job.

The allegations against Callaway came less than a month after ESPN's Mina Kimes and Jeff Passan reported on now-former Mets general manager Jared Porter sending "explicit, unsolicited texts and images" to a female reporter in 2016. The franchise fired Porter one day after the report's publication.

Ghiroli and Strang noted Mets president Sandy Alderson was part of the process to hire both Callaway and Porter and that the Mets had investigated Callaway for an incident that happened before his hiring:

"The Mets, when contacted by The Athletic, said that in August 2018—about 10 months after Callaway joined the organization—the team learned of an incident that took place before it hired him. The team investigated that matter, a spokesperson said, but declined to reveal the nature of the incident, the outcome of that probe or whether Callaway was disciplined. Callaway continued managing the rest of the season."

Alderson said he "was unaware of the conduct described in the story at the time of Mickey's hire or at any time during my tenure as (GM)."

Tim Healey @timbhealey

Sandy Alderson: “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 (GM). We have already begun a review of our hiring processes to ensure our vetting of new employees is more thorough & comprehensive.” https://t.co/3b5cdN8wdK

The Angels hired Callaway as their pitching coach in October 2019, shortly after his dismissal from the Mets. Prior to his move to New York, the 45-year-old spent five seasons as Cleveland's pitching coach.

In The Athletic report, Samantha said "even an ounce" of vetting into Callaway's personal life by potential employers would have raised red flags about his behavior.