Cleveland president Chris Antonetti, repulsed by the allegations of lewd and inappropriate behavior by their former pitching coach, Mickey Callaway, said Thursday he plans to immediately augment measures to prevent it from happening again.
The organization, Antonetti said, will fully cooperate with Major League Baseball’s investigation into Callaway after an extensive report by The Athletic described text messages, photos and unsuitable behavior toward at least five women in the media.
“The behaviors described in that article have absolutely no place in any workplace,’’ Antonetti said Thursday in a zoom call, “and certainty not in our organization, either.
“When I read them, I was disturbed, I was distraught and saddened.’’
There were no reported incidents of misconduct by Callaway during his eight years in Cleveland’s organization, including four as their major league pitching coach, Antonetti said. Callaway became the New York Mets’ manager in 2018 for two years and was the Los Angeles Angels’ pitching coach last season.
Mickey Callaway has been suspended as Los Angeles Angels pitching coach (Photo: The Associated Press)
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“When I read the article,’’ Antonetti said, “that was the first time I became aware of the alleged behaviors. There were never any complaints with Mickey in his time to me or to our human resources department. … To the extent that anyone did see or observe any of those behaviors, they were never reported or never shared. Obviously, you can only do things we know about. Had we known the behaviors that were described in the article, we would have acted upon it, but we didn’t.’’
Callaway is accused of inappropriate behavior in Cleveland, as well as with the Mets and Angels, according to The Athletic. The fact that they only came to light this week in the article, Antonetti says, exposes a flaw in the process ensuring a safe workplace.
“We do have outlets that are in place for people to share when inappropriate behavior happens in the workplace,’’ Antonetti said, “both internally and through the Major League Baseball hotline. But it’s clear those aren’t sufficient because to the extent behaviors like this are happening, and they’re not getting shared, that’s not OK, because that is going to allow the behaviors to continue.
“It’s my responsibility as a leader of this organization that we redouble our efforts and make sure we have a safe and inclusive environment. And just as important when we don’t … we also have safe channels for them to share that so they can be handled appropriately.
“We know we have a lot of work to do to create that safe inclusive environment that we want to continue to build organizationally, but I’m committed to make sure that happens.’’
Antonetti said the organization has already begun forming a work group to study how to improve communication to ensure that no one is uncomfortable reporting unacceptable behavior toward them or that they observe.
“I have two daughters myself,’’ Antonetti said. “I think about the environment I want them to be part of when they join the work force or any place they are, not only do they need to be safe, but it really needs to be inclusive and equitable.
“I know we have work to do to create the environment I would want for my daughters, and that’s the same exact environment I would want for everyone across our organization.’’
Antonetti praised the courage of the two women who reported the story and says he hopes it will lead to others exposing mistreatment in the MLB workplace.
“I am encouraged that women in the industry and elsewhere are more empowered to share their experiences,’’ Antonetti said, “and hopeful their courage will lead to a better future for our industry.’’
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