The Mets’ sexual harassment problems appear to be getting worse.
Athletic reported Wednesday that three women who worked or had worked for the Mets reported disturbing exchanges between themselves and hitting performance coordinator Ryan Ellis in the summer of 2018 with Aubrey Wechsler, then the team’s employee relations manager.
An employee told Weschler that Ellis told him, “I look at your butt all the time. If only I could have 15 minutes alone with you. “
Ellis remained employed with the Mets until he was quietly fired following the firing of general manager Jared Porter in January after Porter admitted to sending inappropriate text messages to a reporter while working for the Cubs.
“On January 19 of this year, following the firing of Jared Porter, we received new information on the conduct of the disciplined employee in the period 2017-2018,” the Mets said in a statement to The Athletic.
“We immediately began a new investigation and fired the employee on January 22 for violating company policy and failing to meet the Mets’ standards of professionalism and personal conduct.”
It’s unclear what new information came in in January or why the team chose not to act more harshly on the earlier allegations. The initial investigation into Ellis came around the same time that the Mets were investigating an earlier allegation against Mickey Callaway, then the Mets’ manager.
The seriousness of the allegations against Callaway, now the Angels’ pitching coach, recently came to light in a separate report by The Athletic. Callaway is currently suspended as MLB and the Angels are investigating further.
Ellis spent most of his tenure with the Mets, which began in 2006, at the minor league level. He was promoted to the Major League Baseball staff last season when hitting coach Chili Davis opted out over COVID-19 concerns.
The first accuser, who kept a journal documenting the allegations, said Weschler, who still works for the team, told her he needed more evidence to back up his accusations. She reached out to the other two women she knew who had previously had issues with Ellis.
One woman, who had a brief sexual relationship with Ellis, said that he continued to send her unwanted messages after their relationship ended. The third accuser said Ellis would make sexually suggestive comments to her and other employees, and call her late at night and ask if her boyfriend was home.
According to the first accuser, the Mets contacted two weeks later and said the investigation had been completed.
“In July 2018, a complaint relating to inappropriate conduct by a Mets employee was brought to the attention of Mets management at that time,” the team told The Athletic. “The organization launched an investigation and, as a result, the employee was disciplined, placed on probation and ordered to counseling. We had not received any prior or subsequent complaints about this employee. “
The second accuser said she did not hear from the team until January, when the “new information” appeared.
“They were asking about the relationship part. They weren’t interested in bullying much. It was about being caught in a lie, ”the woman told The Athletic.