Amid a detailed report from The Athletic outlining how Indians management must’ve known about the sexual harassment allegations the website brought to light against their former pitching coach Mickey Callaway, Cleveland manager Terry Francona’s son, Nick, has expressed his disappointment in his father and alluded to there being more indiscretions.
“I was disappointed to read the reporting in The Athletic this morning by Katie Strang and Britt Ghiroli,” Nick Fracona, who was the Mets’ assistant director of player development from 2017-18, wrote in a statement on Twitter Tuesday. “Unfortunately, I cannot say that I am surprised. When the news about Mickey Callaway’s behavior first came out earlier this year, I confronted my father, Chris Antonetti, and others with the Cleveland Indians.
“I wanted to know why they didn’t say anything to me when the Mets hired Mickey Callaway and they gave him a strong endorsement. My father lied to me and said he didn’t know. Additionally, I think he and his colleagues fail to understand what is acceptable behavior and what isn’t.”
Callaway, who was accused by multiple women of sending inappropriate photographs and/or requesting nude photos in return, is currently under investigation by MLB and has been suspended by the Angels, for whom he’s the pitching coach.
When Terry Francona was questioned about the Callaway situation Tuesday, he told reporters it was “just not the right time to respond,” though he did say “nobody’s ever deliberately covered up for anybody, I can tell you that.”
Regarding his son’s statement, the manager said, “I love all my children, unconditionally. As you can imagine, that’s a very difficult thing to see, so to deal with it publicly is hurtful.”
Nick Francona said he “confronted” his dad again Tuesday morning and that “it is clear that he simply doesn’t get it.”
“I am hesitant to get into the personal details of my family situation, but my father and I do not have a particularly close relationship, largely as a result of disagreements about his conduct, some of which has been reported over the years, and some of which has not,” wrote Nick Francona, who worked for the Angels as a major league player information coordinator from 2013 to 2014 before joining the Dodgers as an assistant director of player development.
Antonetti, the Indians’ team president, addressed the media recently in wake of The Athletic’s initial report, which included accounts from several women who said Callaway made consistent comments on their appearance and made them feel uncomfortable. Antonetti fiercely claimed he had no prior knowledge of Callaway’s indiscretions.
“There had never been any complaints against Mickey in his time with us, either to me or to our human resources department or other leaders,” he told reporters.
The Athletic reports that in 2017, a husband of a woman with whom Callaway had a consensual affair repeatedly made calls to the Indians and MLB to report that the former Mets manager sent “pornographic material” to his wife. The calls were brought to the attention of Antonetti, Francona and general manager Mike Chernoff, according to The Athletic.
“I have always tried to stand up for what I felt was right, even when it wasn’t easy,” wrote Nick Francona, who served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps from 2009 to 2013. “In this case, that means acknowledging that my own father and his colleagues are clearly in the wrong. Their behavior is unacceptable and, even worse, it’s hard to have faith in them to improve and learn when they seem more concerned about covering up wrongdoings than addressing them honestly.
“I don’t think this is a problem that is unique to the Cleveland Indians and I think there needs to be a reckoning across Major League Baseball. Unfortunately, the Commissioner’s office is part of the problem, not the solution. Until a truly independent outside party is brought in and there is transparency and accountability, these problems will continue to plague the sport.”