Fired Over Abuse of Female Reporter by Mets' General Manager
Reportedly, Jared Porter sent hundreds of unsolicited text messages to a reporter in 2016, including one with a nude picture.
On Tuesday, just hours after ESPN revealed that he had sent more than 60 unsolicited text messages and pictures, including one of a penis, to a female baseball reporter in 2016, the Mets fired their newly hired general manager, Jared Porter.
The swift decision was revealed on his Twitter account by the team's owner, Steven A. Cohen, and it came just over a month after Porter was hired by the Mets to help restore the team.
"This morning we have terminated Jared Porter," Cohen tweeted at 7:55 a.m. "I talked about the value of honesty in my initial press conference and I meant it. For this form of activity, there should be zero tolerance.
Porter did not respond immediately to a request for comment, but on Monday night, he admitted to ESPN that he had sent messages and photographs.
A statement about the firing was also released by Sandy Alderson, the president of the Mets.
"General Manager Jared Porter has been terminated by the New York Mets, effective immediately," Alderson said. "The actions of Jared, as reflected by events revealed last night, failed to meet the standards for professionalism and personal behavior of the Mets."
Before the announcement of the firing of Porter, the Mets and the Chicago Cubs, at the time of the recorded letter, Porter's employer said they would investigate the matter.
According to the paper, when he was the director of professional scouting for the Cubs, Porter and the woman met only once, at Yankee Stadium. The woman, who was not identified in the article, told ESPN that she thought she was starting a standard relationship with Porter as a reporter-source, but that Porter's tone quickly became unprofessional. Her efforts to ignore the messages did not deter him, and photos that were sexual in nature were included in some messages.
According to ESPN, the messages that ESPN received in 2017 but did not report on at the time because the woman feared Porter or her employer's reprisals at the time, stopped only when the woman, who is not from the United States and is allegedly not fluent in English, showed them to an interpreter and a player from her country. This is incredibly inappropriate, very rude, and going out of line, the interpreter and player helped the reporter write a response to Porter. Can you stop sending offensive images or msgs, please?
The report said Porter sent a few apologies and then stopped texting the woman.
Alderson released a statement after ESPN's initial report on Monday night in which he said Porter had confirmed the text messages to the team and apologised.
"I have spoken directly to Jared Porter about events that took place in 2016 that we were first made aware of tonight," Alderson said. "Jared acknowledged his serious error of judgment to me, took responsibility for his conduct, expressed remorse and apologized for his actions beforehand."
Alderson added, responding to the ESPN article, "The Mets take these matters seriously, expect professional and ethical behavior from all of our employees and certainly do not condone the behavior described in your story." "As we review the facts regarding this serious issue, we will follow up."
On Monday, Porter, 41, spoke to ESPN and told the outlet that the explicit photos were not of him but "kinda like images of joke-stock." He declined to further comment.
Last month, the Mets hired Porter to help Alderson revamp the organisation and help pick players for what they hope would be a drive for the championship. In the past decade, the Mets have made the playoffs only twice, but excitement about the future has been strong since the club was bought at the end of last season by Cohen, a billionaire with ambitious ambitions for the franchise.
Major League Baseball undertook a mandatory vetting process before the deal was completed, including an inquiry into allegations of sexual assault by three women at Point72 Asset Management, Cohen's hedge fund firm. Owners later voted for more than $2 billion to approve his purchase. Details of a harassment lawsuit lodged against Cohen last summer were published by The New York Times last month. The lawsuit, brought by a former employee, did not contain sexual assault allegations, but it provided an insight into the volatile temperament of Cohen and what some women have said is an overtly sexist and aggressive atmosphere at the hedge fund firm.
Most recently, Porter served as the Arizona Diamondbacks' senior vice president and assistant general manager. He was a front office member of four World Series championship teams when he was Chicago's pro scouting director and a special assistant, three with the Boston Red Sox and one with the Cubs in 2016.
Porter started his career as an intern with the Red Sox, climbing the ladder there for 12 years to become the pro scouting director of the team from 2012 to 2015, before he left to join the Cubs. He is known as an eye-for-talent partner with an understanding of data-based modeling for player acquisition and on-field play.
The Mets interviewed several other applicants for the position before hiring Porter, including Billy Owens, the Oakland Athletics assistant general manager; Michael Hill, the former Miami Marlins baseball operations president; and Zack Scott, the Red Sox assistant general manager. In order to replace Porter, the Mets should now turn back to one of them.