Mets president Sandy Alderson says the team was shortsighted in its hiring process when vetting former manager Mickey Callaway, the now-suspended Angels pitching coach who has been accused of sexual misconduct by at least five women in a recent report by The Athletic.
"When we hired Mickey, Mickey was the hot commodity," Alderson said Monday. "There were a number of teams that were anxious to talk to him and possibly sign him to a contract. We felt very fortunate at the time to get him based on his reputation in the game. ... Now, was that shortsighted on our part and too narrow a focus? I think the answer is probably yes."
Alderson hired Callaway in October 2017, after he had served as Cleveland's pitching coach. Callaway spent two seasons as the Mets' manager before being fired and then landed the job as the Angels' pitching coach.
Last month, the Angels suspended Callaway following the report from The Athletic, which detailed accounts of Callaway sending inappropriate photographs and unsolicited messages to at least five women working in sports media over a five-year span.
The Angels said they will work closely with MLB to conduct a full investigation into Callaway's conduct. ESPN's Alden Gonzalez reported Callaway has denied any wrongdoing, which protects him from being fired without an investigation.
According to The Athletic, the Mets learned in August 2018 of an incident involving Callaway that took place before New York hired him. While the team reportedly investigated the matter, the Mets declined to reveal the nature of the incident or its outcome.
"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."
In a statement following the publication of The Athletic's report, new Mets owner Steve Cohen said: "The conduct reported in the Athletic story today is completely unacceptable and would never be tolerated under my ownership."
New York also fired general manager Jared Porter, who had been hired in December 2020, after ESPN reported on a string of explicit and unsolicited text messages sent to a woman in 2016.
Following Porter's dismissal, Alderson admitted that the team did not consult any women in the hiring of Porter.
“Suffice it to say, had we known about it in advance before Jared was hired, it would have been a disqualification," Alderson said at the time.
Alderson said on Monday that moving forward the team would be reaching out to people of varying backgrounds to try and get a broader sense of a candidate's reputation around the league.
"We just have to be mindful of each of these cases," he said. "We have to be broader in our understanding of who these people are and what their backgrounds may be."