Nick Francona Says Father Terry 'Lied' to Him About Mickey Callaway's Behavior

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMarch 2, 2021

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, left, and pitching coach Mickey Callaway talk before practice starts at the Indians baseball spring training facility Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in Goodyear, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

The son of Terry Francona said the Cleveland manager "lied" when confronted regarding allegations of lewd behavior against former pitching coach Mickey Callaway.

Nick Francona said Tuesday he went to his father again following a new report from The Athletic's Brittany Ghiroli and Katie Strang.

"It is clear that he simply doesn't get it," the younger Francona said before adding Terry and other members of Cleveland's organization "are clearly in the wrong."

Ghiroli and Strang initially spoke to five women who recounted their interactions with Callaway. Three of the women received "inappropriate photographs" and one was asked to send nude photos in return. He also allegedly made suggestive comments about their appearance, and one woman said she was interviewing Callaway when he placed his leg on a railing, "thrusting his crotch near her face."

Cleveland said it would conduct an internal review following the story. President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti echoed the sentiment days later.

"When I read them, I was disturbed, I was distraught and saddened to read them," he told reporters. "It’s my responsibility as a leader of this organization to re-double our efforts to make sure that we have a safe and inclusive environment."

Antonetti went on to say officials within the franchise were unaware of Callaway's actions at the time.

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Ghiroli and Strang's newest report provided details that would seemingly contradict Antonetti's comments. One Cleveland employee said allegations of impropriety against Callaway were "the worst-kept secret in the organization."

In one case, a man whose wife was having an extramarital affair with Callaway eventually contacted Cleveland's fan services department to say the coach was sending "pornographic material" to his wife.

According to Ghiroli and Strang, the details of the call were communicated to Antonetti, Terry Francona and general manager Mike Chernoff. An attorney representing the team reached out to the woman to say Francona was willing to speak with her and her husband to discuss the matter.

Callaway worked his way up Cleveland's organization to become pitching coach for the 2013 MLB season. He remained in that position until accepting the New York Mets' managerial job in October 2017. 

At the time, Nick Francona was the assistant director of player development for the Mets.

Callaway currently serves as the Los Angeles Angels pitching coach. The Angels suspended him pending further investigation in February.