The Mets recently fired hitting performance coordinator Ryan Ellis, three years after three women reported him to the team for sexual harassment.
The team told The Athletic, who broke the story, in a statement that the Mets fired him on Jan. 22 for “violating company policy and failure to meet the Mets’ standards for professionalism and personal conduct.”
Per The Athletic, complaints of sexual harassment by Ellis had been brought to the Mets’ human resources department by three women in the summer of 2018.
His firing did not come until “new information” was recently brought to light, according to the team, after then-Mets GM Jared Porter and former Mets manager Mickey Callaway were also accused of sexual harassment.
Ellis, 42, had been employed by the Mets since 2006.
The Mets told The Athletic in a statement:
“In July 2018, a complaint regarding inappropriate conduct by a Mets employee was brought to the attention of Mets management at that time. The organization initiated an investigation and, as a result, the employee was disciplined, put into a probationary status, and ordered into counseling. We had not received previous or subsequent complaints about this employee.”
The women, who worked for the Mets at the time or had previously been employed by them, accused Ellis of inappropriate sexual behavior toward them.
One woman who was in her early 20s reported Ellis to Aubrey Wechsler, who was the Mets’ employee relations manager at the time and is now the team’s director of employee engagement, asserting that Ellis told her “I stare at your ass all the time. If only I could have 15 minutes alone with you.”
The woman relayed the alleged statements from Ellis (which were in a journal she kept at the time), including him telling her he wanted “to put her up against a wall.”
A second woman, who was in her 30s, reported to Wechsler that she had previously had a brief sexual relationship with Ellis in 2017, which she ended. She stated that for months after the end of the relationship, she “received persistent, unwanted text messages from Ellis that were sexual in nature.”
A third woman, who was the first to report Ellis’ behavior, told The Athletic that she reported to her supervisor that Ellis “often made sexually suggestive comments to her and other low-level female employees and that he would call her late in the evening and ask if her boyfriend was home.”
The first woman who alerted the Mets to Ellis’ alleged behavior told The Athletic that Wechsler asked her for “‘proof’ of wrongdoing such as text messages or photos,” with Wechsler telling her that the case would be stronger if additional women came forward.
Ellis is the third Mets employee to be fired or disciplined for alleged sexual misconduct in the last month.
Porter was fired on Jan. 19 after he admitted to sending explicit text messages and pictures to a female reporter in 2016.
The woman — a foreign correspondent covering Major League Baseball, who has since left journalism — said that at one point she ignored more than 60 texts from Porter, who was director of professional scouting in Chicago at the time, before he finally sent a picture of an erect penis.
On Feb. 2, Callaway — now a pitching coach with the Los Angeles Angels — was suspended by the Angels pending an investigation after a report in The Athletic detailed accusations of his aggressive pursuits of five women in sports media, both in person and over text/email.
Mets team president Sandy Alderson recently sent an email to team employees regarding changes to the team’s protocols when it comes to reporting misconduct.
Per the Athletic, part of the email said:
“We are expanding our reporting to provide additional outlets for employees who wish to report behavior inconsistent with our policies and values. In addition to the HR Department and the Legal Department, employees can call an externally hosted hotline. If you choose the hotline, you can decide whether to identify yourself. It is critical that those who observe inappropriate behavior bring it to the Company’s attention. The information brought to our attention through any of these outlets will be taken seriously and will be investigated by the Company.”