Mickey Callaway's Lewd Behavior Was Known by Cleveland and Mets, Say Employees

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 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

Mickey Callaway was reportedly well-known for his inappropriate behavior toward women long before five female sports media members accused him of aggressively pursuing them in a February report by Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang of The Athletic.

The current Los Angeles Angels pitching coach has been suspended pending an investigation, but former employees with Cleveland and the New York Mets say management of both teams was aware of his behavior.

"I laughed out loud when I saw the quote (in The Athletic’s original report) that said it was the worst-kept secret in baseball, because it was," a Cleveland employee told Ghiroli and Strang in a new report Tuesday. "It was the worst-kept secret in the organization."

A former Mets employee also said several people within the organization called him "Dick Pic Mick."

A former pitcher under Callaway also said his conduct was also "widely known" dating back to 2010, when he worked in the minor leagues.

Ghiroli and Strang's latest article contains allegations Callaway had a consensual affair with a married woman in 2017 that included him sending her lewd photos and at least one video. After finding out about the affair, the woman's husband contacted the Cleveland organization, with team president Chris Antonetti, manager Terry Francona and general manager Mike Chernoff all allegedly told of the complaints. 

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Antonetti previously said he never knew of Callaway's conduct while he was the club's pitching coach from 2013 to 2017. 

"When I read the article, that was the first time I became aware of the alleged behaviors," Antonetti said at the time.

"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," he added.

Nick Francona, the son of Terry Francona who also worked in the Mets front office from 2017-18, said Tuesday in a statement that his father lied to him while Cleveland's top brass withheld information about Callaway:

The Mets hired Callaway to be their manager in 2017 but have indicated they did not know of any allegations of misconduct. Team president Sandy Alderson said Monday the organization considered him a "hot commodity" and were simply "shortsighted" in the vetting process, per Joon Lee of ESPN.

"I think especially in retrospect, there probably should've been a broader assessment of his qualifications," Alderson said. "In terms of people we actually talked to, there were no reservations. I think the process should've been broader. We've learned that lesson and the process that we currently have is and will be broader than it was in 2018."

According to Ghiroli and Strang's latest article, the Mets were in fact told of his 2017 affair in an email from the husband that said Callaway sent his wife "unsolicited pornographic material."

New York's general counsel David Cohen, the human resources department and team security were all reportedly aware of the email.

Callaway served as Mets manager from 2018 to 2019 before being fired for his team's poor performance.