Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is speaking out regarding allegations made in Tuesday’s article in The Athletic that the team had covered up issues related to former pitching coach Mickey Callaway.
Five women have accused Callaway of sexual misconduct, alleging that he asked women for photos and sent lewd photos back in return.
On Monday, New York Mets president Sandy Alderson admitted it was a mistake to hire Callaway as the team’s manager back in 2017 but said that Cleveland, where he had been pitching coach, had been anxious to hire Callaway away.
“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,” Alderson said Monday.
“Now, was that shortsighted on our part and too narrow a focus? I think the answer is probably yes.”
After being fired by the Mets prior to the allegations coming out, Callaway was hired as the pitching coach for the Los Angeles Angels, but he was soon removed from his position, pending an full investigation by Major League Baseball.
Now it has come out that the Indians may have known all too well about Callaway and his behavior. The Tuesday story in The Athletic said that the Indians’ front office spoke about Callaway’s behavior, though team president Chris Antonetti said on February 4th that the team never got any complaints about Callaway.
“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,” Antonetti said.
On Tuesday, Francona spoke to the media at the team’s headquarters and made a statement that likely won’t sit well with fans who want answers:
“Right now is just not the right time to respond to some of the questions I’m sure you have,” Francona said.
“I do hope at some point, we are able to, because I think we need to. Just know that we take this very, very seriously. I apologize, but that’s where it is today.”
“Nobody’s ever deliberately covered up for anybody, I can tell you that.”
— Tom Withers (@twithersAP) March 2, 2021
Francona’s son Nick also issued a statement regarding Callaway, a statement that doesn’t paint a very good picture for the Indians or for Terry Francona.
— Nick Francona (@NickFrancona) March 2, 2021
Terry did respond to the statement from his son and seemed very hurt by the ordeal.
“I love all my kids unconditionally,” Francona said.
“That’s a very difficult thing to see. To deal with it publicly is hurtful.”