The Indians Knew About Mickey Callaway’s Behavior. Why Didn’t They Do Anything About It?

A new report from The Athletic suggests Callaway's behavior was an open secret

Angels pitching coach mickey callaway
Pitching coach Mickey Callaway, during his time with the Cleveland Indians, stands on the field prior to Game 6 of the World Series on November 1, 2016.
Diamond Images/Getty Images

Back in early February when allegations about former Mets manager/current L.A. Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway’s sexual misconduct first came to light, Cleveland Indians President of Baseball Operations Chris Antonetti claimed that his organization was unaware of any complaints about Callaway during his tenure as the Indians’ pitching coach from 2013 to 2017. But a new report published by The Athletic on Tuesday indicates that’s simply not true.

At the time, Antonetti insisted that “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.” But according to The Athletic, the husband of a woman who was having a consensual extramarital affair with Callaway from 2015 to 2017 contacted the Indians multiple times to complain that Callaway sent his wife “unsolicited pornographic material,” and the team’s communications staff brought the complaints to the attention of Antonetti, Indians manager Terry Francona and general manager Mike Chernoff.

“[Antonetti’s] comments hit me the wrong way,” one former Indians employee told the publication. “I know that’s the way Chris has to do it and run things, but the amount of people in that organization who know about all that stuff, I don’t know how he can then face his staff.”

The new Athletic report also details how Callaway’s behavior was an open secret during his time with the Indians and the Mets, to the extent that he earned the nickname “Dick Pic Mick.” “It didn’t matter what you looked like, what size, whether you were White or Black, Asian or Hispanic, he’d be creepy towards you,” one woman said.

Callaway issued the following statement to The Athletic responding to the allegations: “While much of the reporting around my behavior has been inaccurate, the truth is that on multiple occasions I have been unfaithful to my wife, and for that I am deeply sorry. What I have never done is use my position to harass or pressure a woman. I am confident that I have never engaged in anything that was non-consensual. I feel truly blessed that my wife and children have stuck with me as the most personal and embarrassing details of my infidelities have been revealed. I will continue to work as hard as I can to repair the rift of trust that I have caused inside of my family.”

Francona insisted that no one in the Indians organization covered up for Callaway, telling reporters Tuesday, “Nobody’s ever deliberately covered up for anybody, I can tell you that.” But his son Nick Francona told a different story on social media, tweeting out a statement claiming his father knew about Callaway’s behavior and ignored it. “How many more women need to turn away from baseball or quit their jobs because people act like jerks? It’s sad that this is even necessary, but if it’s the cost of making things better, so be it.”

Of course, the younger Francona is right. Baseball obviously has a systemic sexual harassment problem it needs to address. As one woman who worked for the Indians told The Athletic, “I don’t think it’s necessarily a Cleveland issue but a baseball issue. As women, we feel like if we report something, we’ll be looked at like a tattletale or that if we talked, [the team] will figure out who reported it.”

This latest Callaway revelation is just more evidence that teams are willing to turn a blind eye to the predatory behavior of players and coaches — even when it hurts women in their own organizations — as long as the perpetrators can help them win. The fact that ol’ Dick Pic Mick is still employed by the Angels as of this writing speaks volumes about how serious Major League Baseball is about fixing its misogyny problem. How many more will have to speak out to get them to act?

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