Jed Hoyer ‘introspective’ on Cubs culture as Jared Porter probe continues

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Maddie Lee
·3 min read
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Hoyer ‘introspective’ on Cubs culture as Porter probe continues originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

When Cubs president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer left Chicago for Arizona late last week, the Cubs’ investigation into Jared Porter’s time with the club was still ongoing.

The Mets fired Porter as general manager last month after ESPN reported he had sent unsolicited texts and lewd photos to a female reporter in 2016, when he was the Cubs director of professional scouting. Porter acknowledged “his serious error in judgment,” according to Mets president Sandy Alderson.

In a Zoom press conference Monday, Hoyer didn’t have an update on when the investigation would end.

“I know that they interviewed a lot of people,” Hoyer said, “and they were continuing to do that. Hopefully, it'll wrap up quickly.”

The Cubs won a World Series the same year Porter sent 62 unanswered text messages, and eventually a photo of a bare penis, to a female foreign correspondent, according to ESPN. The Cubs had touted their culture on the way to a curse-breaking championship, but that culture evidently had serious blemishes.

“You have to be introspective and look within your organization and think about those things,” Hoyer said. “It just wasn't something we were aware of.”

MORE: Mets firing Porter is a start, but sports industry has work to do

Hoyer added that he was proud of the Cubs hiring more women in the past four years, a list that includes senior vice president of human resources Sara Schultz, vice president of marketing Lauren Fritts, dietitian Jordan Brown, massage therapist Caitlin Longoria, leading hitting lab tech Rachel Folden, and amateur scouting analyst Jasmine Horan. In 2020, the Cubs promoted Meghan Jones to assistant director of baseball operations administration and strategy, and Melissa Shields to vice president and controller.

“I do think that our culture has continued to strengthen with regard to having female employees,” Hoyer said, “but we have to continue.”

This summer, Hoyer plans to turn his attention to filling the Cubs’ open general manager position, and he promised a thorough vetting process.

“To be candid,” Hoyer said, “I think sometimes in the hiring process, you probably rely on a handful of bosses that a person has, to talk through. And maybe we don't talk to enough people or a broad enough range of people. And that's something that this incident, or these incidents, would call into question.”

Hoyer likened the Cubs’ approach moving forward to their process gathering intel on a first-round draft pick.

“We try to encourage our area scouts to talk to every single person around that high school or that college to try to get a sense of that person,” Hoyer said.

He emphasized the importance of talking to women that a future GM candidate has worked with, whether they be reporters or coworkers. The Mets’ screening of Porter had not included input from women, Alderson acknowledged last month.

A couple weeks later, The Athletic reported that five women had accused Mickey Calloway, former Mets manager and current Angels pitching coach, of lewd behavior. He denied wrongdoing, despite some of the women providing screenshots of their correspondence to The Athletic. The Angels suspended Calloway while conducting an investigation.

“Those incidents are disturbing,” Hoyer said. “There's no place for them in the game. And we have to make sure that we get to a place where it's not just an OK culture, but it's a culture where women can thrive.”

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