After the revelations in last night’s ESPN report about their new GM, the Mets really had no choice but to fire Jared Porter.
This morning, the new owner announced it:
We have terminated Jared Porter this morning . In my initial press conference I spoke about the importance of integrity and I meant it.There should be zero tolerance for this type of behavior.
— Steven Cohen (@StevenACohen2) January 19, 2021
This is the second time in as many years that the Mets have had to fire a key hire within months of that hiring (Carlos Beltran, Porter), but there are no yuks to be had here. What Porter did – harassing a female reporter by way of upwards of 60 unanswered texts, culminating in unsolicited sexual images – is not funny. It clearly impacted the reporter’s life and career in significantly negative ways, and it is the kind of thing that needs to be taken seriously.
To that end, I remain very concerned that this all happened while Porter was a high-ranking Cubs executive. It was apparently not formally reported to the team at the time, but there was another Cubs employee from her home country somehow involved in serving as a go-between, and that employee – per the ESPN report – seemed concerned in some way about a lawsuit.
Whatever the specifics – which need to be explored by the organization in a publicly-accountable way – there are bigger questions here about baseball culture, and Cubs culture. Porter was a guy lauded by top Cubs execs for years. He worked within overlapping circles for many, many years, even if he was “with” the Cubs for only about a year. Is it possible this was a situation where Porter was doing bad things and no one else knew? I guess. Is it also possible that there’s a bro’y, macho, whatever type culture in some front offices and organizations where this kind of thing could happen and nobody really says anything? Yes. Absolutely possible.
And that’s what I’m saying. You cannot deal with possible cultural rot in your organization unless you actually face it publicly. The Cubs need to do more here than just issue a statement to ESPN saying they’ll investigate. But that’s the starting point. Don’t we want the team(s) we love to stand for something a little more?