CLEVELAND – Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti said Wednesday that he could not comment on his previous comments about Mickey Callaway’s conduct due to Major League Baseball’s ongoing investigation into sexual harassment allegations against the team’s former pitching coach.
Antonetti joined Terry Francona for the manager’s Zoom availability from training ground in Arizona, a day after a story from The Athletic said several former Indians employees had come forward in the past month to say the The team’s main office was aware of Callaway’s behavior.
The unidentified employees responded to Antonetti’s public comment on February 4 that he did not know about Callaway’s lewd actions until he read an earlier Athletic story.
At the time, Antonetti said that “there had never been any complaints against Mickey in his time with us, not to me or our human resources department or other leaders.
Antonetti was asked on Wednesday if he was keeping his previous comments.
“I really want to answer that,” he said. “At this point I can’t. The last time we spoke, the investigation hadn’t started yet, so I had more freedom with what I could share. With the investigation ongoing, the most important thing is that the investigation is able to maintain its integrity. , his thoroughness, his impartiality.
“And I don’t want to do anything that could jeopardize that investigation. Most importantly, we look forward to learning what that investigation reveals to make sure we address everything in its entirety and not piecemeal.”
On Tuesday, Francona said there was no deliberate attempt to cover up Callaway, who was with the Cleveland team from 2010 to 2017, serving as pitching coach for five years, before being hired as manager of the New York Mets.
Callaway has been suspended as pitching coach for the Los Angeles Angels, pending the outcome of the MLB investigation.
Antonetti said he should have been the one to convey the team’s message on Tuesday, not Francona. He reiterated that the team is “fully cooperating with the investigation.”
In the most recent story, the husband of a woman who had an extramarital affair with Callaway contacted the Cleveland team multiple times to complain about his behavior in 2017. Callaway told The Athletic that “any relationship in which I was engaged it has been consensual and my conduct was not intended to be disrespectful to any of the women involved. “
A Cleveland employee told The Athletic that Callaway’s behavior was “the organization’s worst kept secret.”
Antonetti, who has been with the Cleveland organization since 1999, said the team has already taken steps to “build an inclusive culture.”