Mets general manager Jared Porter bombarded a foreign female baseball reporter working in the U.S. with inappropriate text messages in 2016 while working as the Cubs’ director of professional scouting, according to a Monday night report from ESPN.
Porter acknowledged sending the messages, including one of an exposed penis but told ESPN the explicit photos were “kinda like joke-stock images” and not his own genitals.
Mets president Sandy Alderson said in a statement that the club would investigate the matter. Porter, 41, was hired by the team last month as it established new front-office roles under owner Steve Cohen.
“I have spoken directly with Jared Porter regarding events that took place in 2016 of which we were made aware tonight for the first time,” Alderson told ESPN. “Jared has acknowledged to me his serious error in judgment, has taken responsibility for his conduct, has expressed remorse and has previously apologized for his actions.
“The Mets take these matters seriously, expect professional and ethical behavior from all of our employees, and certainly do not condone the conduct described in your story. We will follow up as we review the facts regarding this serious issue.”
Porter met the reporter in an elevator in 2016 and exchanged business cards with her. What the reporter expected to be a professional correspondence quickly became unsettling — he at one point sent her more than 60 unanswered messages, according to the report.
ESPN did not use the woman’s name “because she fears backlash in her home country.” She said she connected with a Cubs employee about the Porter matter at one point, but characterized that person as often combative and unhelpful.
The Cubs said they weren’t aware of the allegations against Porter until this week, suggesting the unnamed employee who spoke with the reporter did so on their own accord.
“Had we been notified, we would have taken swift action as the alleged behavior is in violation of our code of conduct,” the Cubs told ESPN. “While (Porter and the unnamed employee) are no longer with the organization, we take issues of sexual harassment seriously and plan to investigate the matter.”