More Mets workplace allegations surface, according to new report

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Danny Abriano
·3 min read
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A general view outside Citi Field
A general view outside Citi Field

The Mets “toxic” workplace environment – as one former employee called it – reportedly went beyond the behavior of former manager Mickey Callaway and former minor league hitting coordinator Ryan Ellis, according to a new wide-ranging story from The Athletic published Friday morning.

The report, by Katie Strang and Bittany Ghiroli, details the alleged behavior of the team’s executive producer for content and marketing, Joe DeVito (who left the organization earlier this year) and the team’s chief marketing, content and communications officer, David Newman (who was brought back earlier this offseason).

Newman's first stint with the Mets was from 2005 to 2018.

Mets owner Steve Cohen has hired law firm WilmerHale to investigate the Mets' culture. Cohen in a statement to The Athletic:

“Several weeks ago, I retained WilmerHale to conduct a review of the organization’s culture. They will provide me with a report of what they find. I will listen carefully and then take any steps I believe are appropriate based on the findings.”

Mets president Sandy Alderson added:

"What I’d hope is the audit reflects our commitment to a safe and productive workplace for men, for women, for minorities, for everyone who is part of the Mets organization. I think the fact the Mets have taken this step … is a pretty serious indication of what we’re trying to do and to some extent, the progress that we’ve made.”

Sandy Alderson
Sandy Alderson

According to the report, DeVito — who left the organization in March — "made unwanted advances toward multiple women."

Also in the report, Newman is alleged to have "frequently made inappropriate remarks about women’s appearances, offering commentary on how they wore their hair, did their makeup and dressed and even what accessories were acceptable." Newman told the outlet he "didn't recall at all" making comments about women's appearances.

According to The Athletic, two women warned Alderson about Newman around the time he was rehired.

Responding to the new allegations, Alderson said:

“Let me try to make a point as strongly as I can, OK? Not every instance involving men, women in the workplace is a capital offense, OK? Every time something happens, it doesn’t mean somebody has to be fired.

"There are a lot of intermediate steps that can be taken and we’ve done that in a variety of different cases. And have included capital punishment as a consequence in some cases, but not every case rises to the level of execution. And that’s what honestly I think is happening with these articles (in The Athletic). People are getting executed, including women, by the way, for reasons that are unjustifiable.”

Feb 14, 2017; Talking Stick, AZ, USA; Jared Porter, Diamondbacks Senior Vice President and Assistant GM, watches pitchers on the mound during Spring Training at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 17, 2018. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY NETWORK
Feb 14, 2017; Talking Stick, AZ, USA; Jared Porter, Diamondbacks Senior Vice President and Assistant GM, watches pitchers on the mound during Spring Training at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick on February 17, 2018. Mandatory Credit: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY NETWORK

The latest report revolving around DeVito and Newman comes on the heels of allegations against Callaway and Ellis.

A Feb. 2 report in The Athletic detailed how over the span of at least five years and while with three different teams, including the Mets, Callaway — now suspended but still employed as the Los Angeles Angels' pitching coach — regularly commented on the appearance of women in sports media and sent three of them numerous unsolicited messages, including inappropriate photos of himself shirtless, and asked one of them to send him nude photos back.

On Feb. 17, The Athletic reported that the Mets recently fired Ellis after three women accused him of sexual harassment in 2018.

Per The Athletic, complaints of sexual harassment by Ellis had been brought to the Mets' human resources department by three women in the summer of 2018.

His firing did not come until "new information" was recently brought to light, according to the team, after then-Mets GM Jared Porter and Callaway were also accused of sexual harassment.

Porter, who was hired earlier this offseason, was fired in January after he admitted to sending unsolicited explicit text messages to a female reporter in 2016 while employed by the Arizona Diamondbacks.