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Mets announce changes to vetting process of hiring after Jared Porter and Mickey Callaway incidents

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson during

New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson during a spring training workout Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Credit: Newsday/Alejandra Villa Loarca

JUPITER, Fla. — After misconduct scandals left a dark mark on the Mets’ offseason, they have tweaked the vetting process of potential new employees to try to avoid further issues, team president Sandy Alderson said Monday.

Alderson cited two changes: talking to more women and deepening background checks.

"We just have to be mindful that in each of these cases, we have to be broader in understanding who these people are and what their backgrounds may be," Alderson said.

He noted that the Mets haven’t done much hiring in recent weeks, which suggests these ideas are more hypothetical than real, at least so far. But they do have a plan.

(The Mets did announce Monday the hiring of Jeff Deline as executive vice president, chief revenue officer.)

"We’re being more intentional about communicating with women who may have had some contact [with the potential hire]," Alderson said. "Not necessarily fellow employees, but other third parties that might have come in contact.

"And the second thing is, we’re probably taking our background checks and so forth to a somewhat higher level, to the extent that we can. You know, there are going to be situations that hopefully we’ll be able to uncover as a result of reaching out to different constituencies, women and others, outside of a single organization."

A pair of major Alderson hires faced significant scrutiny this offseason after alleged misconduct aimed at female members of the media.

In January, the Mets fired general manager Jared Porter 37 days after he was hired after he admitted to sending dozens of unsolicited texts, some of them explicit, to a woman reporter in 2016.

Former Mets manager Mickey Callaway, hired by Alderson after the 2017 season, acted inappropriately in person and electronically with at least five female media members, according to a report from The Athletic. Callaway is suspended from his job as Angels pitching coach pending an MLB probe.

Speaking about Callaway specifically on Monday, Alderson said the Mets should have dug deeper.

"We felt very fortunate at the time to get him based on his reputation in the game," he said. "Was that shortsighted on our part? Was it too narrow a focus? I think the answer is probably yes. Certainly in retrospect, there probably should have been a broader assessment of his qualifications.

"In terms of the people we actually talked to, there were no reservations. As I said, I think the process should have been broader. We’ve learned that lesson. The process currently that we have is and will be broader than it was in 2018."

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