Owner Steve Cohen announced, Monday, that the New York Mets has fired General Manager Jared Porter after he reportedly confessed to sending lewd text messages to a reporter. “There should be no tolerance for this kind of behavior,” Cohen said in a tweet.
Porter sent uninvited text messages and photos to a reporter in 2016 when he was working for Chicago Cubs in their front office, ESPN reported Monday night. Porter sent dozens of texts to the woman, which ended with a “naked erect penis,” according to the report. ESPN said it obtained a copy of the text history.
New York hired the 41-year-old Porter last month. He agreed to a four-year contract after spending the past four seasons with Arizona Diamondbacks as Senior Vice President and Assistant General Manager.
The The team issued a statement Monday that Porter “failed to meet Mets’ standards of professionalism and personal behavior.”
The woman was not identified in the report. ESPN said it recently chose to apply on the condition of anonymity because it feared a backlash in its home country.
ESPN said the woman was a foreign reporter who moved to the United States to cover Major League Baseball. She met Porter in the elevator of Yankee Stadium in June 2016, and she said they spoke briefly about international baseball and exchanged business cards. She told ESPN that this was the only time they had spoken.
After a casual texting exchange, Porter began praising her looks, inviting her to meet with him in various cities and asking why she was ignoring him, ESPN says.
After he sent her a lewd photo, the woman shrugged off more than 60 messages from Porter before he sent the last raunchy photo, according to ESPN. The woman told ESPN that she intentionally tried to avoid him in two of the major league stadiums and that texts from Porter ultimately contributed to her decision to leave the journalism industry and return to her homeland.
ESPN reported that Porter sent an apologetic text message to the woman in 2016 after she saw the nude photo and wrote to him that his messages were “extremely indecent, very offensive, and out of line.”
ESPN said it contacted Porter on Monday night, and admitted he had texted the woman. Initially, he said he didn’t post any pictures of himself, but when he was informed in the exchanges that he had sent selfies and other pictures, he said “The more vivid the pictures are not from me. These are like, kind of like joke pictures,” ESPN reported.
ESPN said after being asked if the port intended to publish a story, Porter requested more time before rejecting more comments later.
It is another embarrassing development for Mets, who has made fans energized by acquiring short-lived superstar Francisco Lindor and several other high-profile players since Cohen bought the club from the Welbon and Katz families for $ 2.42 billion in early November.
In the latest season, under former general manager Brody Van Wagen, Mets hired former soccer player Carlos Beltran as manager only to sever ties with him two and a half months later when he got involved in an MLB investigation into an illegal tag theft by Houston while Beltran was a player at Astros. In 2017.
Beltrán was abandoned by Mets – without running a single game – a little over a year ago on January 16, 2020, after a period of 77 days. The ESPN report was published online 37 days after Porter was introduced as the GM of the Mets, a role he called his “dream job” but he definitely appears to be in serious danger now.
“Jared has proven himself at every level and in every position he has held, and has won the respect of his baseball peers,” Alderson said in a statement when Porter was hired.
Prior to his tenure at Diamondbacks, Porter worked under Theo Epstein with the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs, winning three world championships at Boston Front Office and one with the Cubs. ESPN said he was Cubs’ professional scout manager when he sent messages to the woman.
The woman was not fully aware of the English language and American culture. She received assistance from an interpreter in composing a letter to Porter asking him, “Please stop sending offensive pictures or messages.” ESPN stated that he had apologized via text message several times and said he would stop.
ESPN said it interviewed three other people who said they had seen or been told about the texts at the time.
ESPN reported that the woman eventually informed her superiors and was in contact in 2016 with a lawyer and Cubs employee from her home country. According to ESPN, she did not want to get to know the employee publicly because she feared punishment.
She said the Cubs employee told her Porter wanted to apologize in person, but she doesn’t want to see him. She said the employee pressured her repeatedly over whether she planned to file a lawsuit against Porter and months later she got angry when she saw the employee in spring training in 2017 and said she was still thinking about it, ESPN reported.
ESPN said the employee confirmed Monday that he had discussed the situation with Porter and the woman, but denied his anger. The woman has not taken legal action and told ESPN that she is not planning this.
“This story caught our attention tonight, and we are not aware of any reporting of this incident to the organization,” the Cub said in a statement sent to ESPN late Monday.
“If we had been notified, we would have taken swift action because the alleged behavior violates our code of conduct,” the club said. “While these two are no longer with the organization, we take sexual harassment issues seriously and plan to investigate the matter.”
Last winter, New York quickly switched from Beltran to quality-control coach Luis Rojas, who led the Mets to a record 26-34 during the 2020 season that shortened the pandemic. They finished a draw with Washington last in NL East and missed the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. Rojas is set to return this season.
Cohen reinstated Alderson, General Manager of MEETs from 2010 to 2018, as team leader and promptly fired Van Wagon and several of his top front office aides.
The team initially sought to hire a head of baseball operations but changed course when it was unable to obtain permission to meet several candidates on majors and at least one of them did not want to move to New York.
Instead, the 73-year-old Alderson took over baseball operations, and the idea was for Porter to grow in the role while reporting to Alderson.
“I think what we talked about the most is just a cultural shift,” Porter said when introducing General Motors last month. “Adding good people to the organization. Improving the organizational culture.”