Mickey Callaway placed on ineligible list

May 27th, 2021

Former manager and pitching coach Mickey Callaway has been placed on Major League Baseball’s restricted list for a period of two seasons and was dismissed by the Angels Wednesday, following an MLB investigation into sexual harassment allegations against him.

Placement on the ineligible list forbids Callaway from employment with an MLB or affiliated Minor League team. Callaway, 46, is eligible to apply for reinstatement after the 2022 season, at the earliest.

“Having reviewed all of the available evidence, I have concluded that Mr. Callaway violated MLB’s policies, and that placement on the ineligible list is warranted,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “We want to thank the many people who cooperated with our Department of Investigations [DOI] in their work, which spanned Mr. Callaway’s positions with three different clubs. The clubs that employed Mr. Callaway each fully cooperated with DOI, including providing emails and assisting with identifying key witnesses.

“Harassment has no place within Major League Baseball, and we are committed to providing an appropriate work environment for all those involved in our game.”

In February, The Athletic reported the first public allegations against Callaway when five women in the sports media industry anonymously accused him of making inappropriate advances toward them, including comments on their appearance, sending unsolicited shirtless photos of himself and, in one instance, requesting nude photos in return.

The allegations covered a five-year period during which Callaway worked as the pitching coach for Cleveland, manager of the Mets and pitching coach for the Angels.

Following The Athletic’s report, Callaway denied any wrongdoing and was suspended by the Angels, pending the results of the MLB investigation. Callaway served as Joe Maddon’s pitching coach for the shortened 2020 season. Matt Wise assumed the club’s pitching coach role on an interim basis in Callaway’s absence. The interim title was removed Wednesday.

“Effective immediately, we are ending Mickey Callaway’s employment with the Angels,” the team said in a statement released Wednesday. “We appreciate Major League Baseball’s diligent investigation and support their decision.”

Maddon said the Callaway developments will have ripple effects in the industry.

“Moving it forward, I'm sure not only us but other organizations, not only in baseball, but I think industries in general, are all looking at the hiring process a little bit differently right now,” Maddon told reporters. “So I'm sure we'll be moving along those same lines.”

In a statement released by a spokesperson, Callaway expressed hopefulness that he can one day return to baseball.

“My family and I fully support MLB’s strong stance against harassment and discrimination and are grateful to the Commissioner and his office for their thorough investigation,” Callaway said in the statement. “I apologize to the women who shared with investigators any interaction that made them feel uncomfortable. To be clear, I never intended to make anyone feel this way and didn’t understand that these interactions might do that or violate MLB policies. However, those are my own blind spots, and I take responsibility for the consequences.”

Not long ago, Callaway was viewed as a rising star in the coaching world. He was the pitching coach under Terry Francona from 2013-17, a period that saw Cleveland win two division titles, make three postseason appearances and win the 2016 American League pennant. The Mets hired Callaway as their manager prior to the 2018 season and won 11 of their first 12 games with him at the helm. But Callaway was fired after two seasons in which the club went a combined 163-161 and failed to reach the postseason.

Cleveland owner Paul Dolan issued a statement that the club has contracted an “external expert with extensive experience related to workplace culture and reporting practices” to improve the team’s handling of matters related to harassment in the workplace.

“While we were not provided with details of the report or of individual experiences or accounts, there was no finding against the Cleveland Indians related to the Callaway matter,” Dolan said in the statement. “At the same time, the information the Commissioner’s Office shared reinforces our own conclusion that we did not do enough as an organization to create an environment where people felt comfortable reporting the inappropriate conduct they experienced or witnessed.”

In a Zoom call with reporters, Cleveland team president Chris Antonetti expressed regret that the team did not previously do more to foster a workplace in which employees feel comfortable reporting instances of harassment to management.

“What keeps me up at night is thinking about the fact that these behaviors happened in our environment and these women experienced what they experienced and didn’t feel comfortable surfacing and reporting those,” Antonetti said. “That’s what bothers me. So I want to make sure we do everything we can to create a better environment moving forward.”

Callaway’s pitching career included parts of five seasons at the MLB level with the Rays, Angels and Rangers, resulting in a 6.27 ERA in 40 appearances.