- Mina Kimes
Senior Editor, ESPN
– Editor of ESPN magazine.
– With ESPN since 2014
– A former Bloomberg reporter
– Wrote for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Businessweek
– Spent five years at Fortune magazine
- Jeff Passan.
ESPN MLB Insider
Author’s Hands: The billion-dollar secret of the sport’s most precious commodity
New York Mets Managing Director Jared Porter sent explicit and unsolicited text and images to a reporter in 2016, resulting in a photo of a naked erect penis, according to a copy of the text obtained by ESPN.
The woman, a foreign correspondent who moved to the United States to cover a Major League Baseball game, said she had ignored more than 60 messages from Porter at one point before he sent the latest obscene photo. The relationship with the text began by chance before Porter, then director of professional scouting for the Chicago Cubs, began complimenting her on her appearance by inviting her to meetings in different cities and asking her why she ignored it. And the text messages show that she stopped responding to Porter after he sent her a picture of his pants with a bulge in the groin.
Porter wrote to her anyway, sent her dozens of messages, but she didn’t answer. The 11th. In August 2016, a day after Porter asked her to meet him at a Los Angeles hotel, he sent 17 photos to the woman. The first 15 photos are of the hotel and restaurants. The 16 was the same as the previous photo of the bulge of the pants. The 17th was a naked penis.
When Porter gained access to ESPN on Monday night, he confirmed the text messages with the woman. At first he said he didn’t send pictures. When he told me about the exchange, he sent me pictures of him and others, he told me the most obvious ones were not mine. It’s, like, humorous imagery.
After asking if ESPN planned to write an article, he asked for more time before commenting further.
The Mets fired Porter Tuesday morning, owner Steve Cohen said in a tweet: During my first press conference I talked about the importance of honesty and I meant it, Cohen tweeted. There should be zero tolerance for this kind of behavior.
In December 2017, ESPN received reports after being alerted to its existence by a baseball source. ESPN contacted the woman, interviewed her and was willing to report the allegations, but did not do so after the woman ended her career, saying she would be hurt if the story came out. ESPN has been in regular contact with this woman, who has since retired from journalism. In recent days, she has chosen to speak only anonymously because she fears a backlash in her home country.
My main motivation is to avoid this with anyone else, she told ESPN through a translator. He’s obviously in a much better position. I’d like to prevent that from happening again. The other thing is, I never realized he was really sorry.
I know there is a women’s liberation movement in the United States. But in [my country] it is still far behind, the woman said. Women are dragged through the mud when your name is associated with a sex scandal of any kind. It’s the women who are pointing the finger. I don’t want to relive the victimization process. I don’t want others to blame me.
Porter, 41, was born on the 13th. December was hired by Mets GM to run owner Steve Cohen’s new office. Porter apologized by text message to a woman in 2016 after she saw a nude photo and wrote that her messages were highly inappropriate, highly offensive and inappropriate.
In a statement to ESPN on Monday night, Mets President Sandy Alderson said the organization would review and follow up on the facts: I spoke directly to Jared Porter about the events of 2016 that we learned about tonight. Jared has admitted to me his serious error in judgment, accepted responsibility for his behavior, expressed regret and apologized for his actions earlier. The Mets take these issues seriously, expect professional and ethical behavior from all of their employees and certainly do not tolerate the behavior described in your story. We will investigate the facts of this serious matter.
Three other people interviewed by ESPN said they had seen the texts or had been made aware of them at the time. The stories show a portrait of a traveling executive, a reporter with limited English skills and American customs, and how a seemingly friendly joke ended with an obscene, unsolicited photo.
A woman met Porter in an elevator at Yankee Stadium on the 26th. June 2016. She said she spoke briefly – the only time she spoke, she told ESPN – about the prospects for international baseball and exchanged business cards.
Porter began texting her the afternoon they met and asked her to drink three times by the end of the day. The woman said she agreed to meet with Porter because she thought he was offering himself as a resource and expected her to discuss baseball. Porter asked by text if she had a boyfriend; the woman replied that she thought he was just being friendly at the time because she didn’t think someone she barely knew would be so pushy. That night, after she said she couldn’t meet him, and the next day, Porter sent an unsolicited selfie.
How? He asked.
She didn’t answer.
Had I had a better understanding – not just of the language, but of the culture – I certainly would have realized what was happening earlier, she told ESPN.
Jared Porter’s lyrics began casually, but soon evolved into self-serving and romantic overtures. Source : ESPN
Porter reportedly texted again the next day, and both men’s attempts to arrange a meeting failed. The 19th. In July 2016, he contacted her again and asked her where she was: Why don’t we go hang out? Porter asked if the woman remembered what she looked like and replied: You’re so beautiful. Do you have a boyfriend yet? He sent a selfie and said: That could be me!
The woman replied with a short text message, smiling, and added Let’s meet. Porter asked him to take a picture. Back home, the woman told ESPN that it’s very common for friends of the opposite sex to send each other photos. I haven’t given it much thought.
After sending a selfie, Porter replied: You’re incredible. Do you want some more?
She said yes, and explained it to ESPN: I thought it would be hard to say no. I hadn’t really thought about where this was going.
Porter sent three photos, the first of which shows a man lying on a bed with a bulge in his pants. The woman said she was initially confused.
Like what? Porter wrote.
She laughed again and wrote yes, although she told ESPN she didn’t understand the purpose of the photo on the bed. You’re not married? She asked.
After realizing the sexual nature of the bed photo, she decided to cut off communication, she says.
Porter sent between the 19th. The 10th of July and the 10th of July. August, on the eve of the latest Los Angeles unrest, 62 unanswered texts, including seven photos, including a nude photo.
His first unanswered text message, dating back 19 years. Juli says he’s not married. He followed it up:
Which photo do you prefer?
You want to know more…. See?
About five hours: Hello, sweetheart.
About 90 minutes later: Is this too much for you?
In about two hours: Where have you been?
Almost three hours later, at 2:03 in the morning, I’m bored.
A text sent to a woman included a picture of a man’s groin, to which Porter added a message: Am I boring you? Source : ESPN
The pattern of unsolicited and unanswered messages continued for weeks as the two men traveled separately across the country to watch baseball at various locations, with Porter sending photos of hotels. The day after the woman stopped replying to her messages, Porter wrote. Are you mad at me? Later that day, he sent three more photos. The first is a World Series ring he won during his 12 years with the Boston Red Sox, with whom he went from intern to professional scout director and won three championships. The other two were pictures of the bed, showing a man dressed in groin, to which he added a message: Am I boring you?
Porter sent seven other messages that day, one saying the Cubs had made a deal and another saying the Cubs had made a deal: You’re hard to reach.
At 2:44 the next morning, Porter sent a text message: I want to see you. Seven hours later he wrote: You want to see me? Three hours later, he said: I’m sorry. I’m sorry. 10:59 p.m. I thought we could have a little fun.
The 23rd. In July, on the fourth day in a row, Porter wrote without reply: I’m a good guy, you know. Later in the day he said these were the pictures that made you angry? That night he sent another selfie.
Porter continued to text the woman from time to time and asked her to call 8. August to : Are you okay? The next day, they were both at Wrigley Field. I think I just saw you, Porter. You’re so beautiful.
The woman told ESPN she panicked and hid from him.
A day later, Porter sent a text message: I’m in Los Angeles this weekend at the best hotel in America, see you there? The next day, the 11th. In August, Porter texted the woman at 5:35 p.m. and said you miss it. Seventeen photos followed, including one with a naked penis.
Porter’s lyrics peaked at the 11th. August 2016, when a woman received a photo of her naked penis that had been mutilated for publication. Source : ESPN
About two hours after sending the photos, Porter sent several more messages, the first five of which could be read:
Are you still here?
Are you mad at me?
The woman said she didn’t know how to respond.
Being alone in another country makes it difficult, she told ESPN. I didn’t know who I could trust or who I could rely on.
She showed a sexually explicit image to a player in her country and to a translator who helped write the response she sent to Porter: It is very inappropriate, very insulting and inappropriate. Stop sending offensive images or messages.
Porter responded with a series of messages: Oh, I’m sorry.
I’m really sorry.
Let me know if you need anything clever.
The next day he wrote again: I’m sorry. I’m sorry. A day later, he shared a photo from Dodger Stadium. That was the last message, according to the woman who sent Porter.
She considered alerting the Cubs, but was concerned about the potential consequences. That summer, she says, she had a serious sleep problem and was upset that she had made the wrong decision by coming to the United States. Eventually, she says, she told her bosses, who put her in touch with a lawyer and a Cubs employee in her home state.
A woman and a colleague met during the 2016 postseason in Chicago. The woman did not want to mention the employee’s name in public for fear of reprisals. A colleague said Porter wanted to apologize personally. She said she didn’t want to see him. A colleague, she says, encouraged her to take advantage of the situation. She said he repeatedly asked her if she intended to sue Porter.
During his interview on Monday, the employee confirmed that he knew Porter and the woman and that he had discussed the situation with both of them. When asked by ESPN if he had told the woman to take advantage of the situation, the employee replied that I had simply listened to both of them. I didn’t want to ruin anything. I didn’t want to be on the same side.
After the Cubs’ victory over the Cleveland Indians in their first World Series championship in 108 years, Porter left the organization to join the Arizona Diamondbacks as assistant general manager.
The woman said she had kept in touch with a Cubs employee and had seen him at spring training in 2017 when she was still considering a lawsuit. The employee got angry, she said, and they haven’t spoken since. The employee denied being angry, adding that I was essentially listening when I talked to her.
The woman declined to file a lawsuit, telling ESPN she had no intention of doing so.
Late Monday, the Cubs released a statement to ESPN saying: This story was brought to our attention tonight and we are not aware of this incident that was never reported by the organization.
Had we been informed, we would have acted quickly because the alleged conduct violates our code of conduct, the group said. Although both individuals are no longer with the organization, we take the issue of sexual harassment seriously and plan to investigate.
According to the woman, she turned down the opportunity to travel to Arizona during the 2017 season to cover the Diamondbacks because she was afraid to face Porter. She said she didn’t see him again until after the season, when he was in front of the batting cage at Diamondback Stadium. She said she immediately left the area and went into hiding.
While I was hiding, I was excited, she told ESPN in 2017. Why would I hide?
When the Mets were looking for a GM to work with team president Sandy Alderson, Porter made it to the finals, ahead of his former colleague and GM assistant Zach Scott with the Red Sox. Enlarge via the PA
Porter’s baseball success continues. His name was often mentioned in GM job postings. He interviewed for the Los Angeles Angels position this winter and was one of the finalists behind Perry Minassian. When the Mets were looking for a GM to work with – and perhaps replace – team president Alderson, Porter reached the finals and defeated his former Red Sox teammate and GM assistant Zach Scott, who later joined the Mets in the same role.
Since then, she has returned to her home country and completely withdrawn from journalism. She now works in the financial sector.
Although she explained that the fallout from Porter’s scripts wasn’t the only reason she left the industry, it got her thinking about her future – and the fact that staying in baseball wasn’t acceptable in the long run.
It would be wrong to say that such cases have not been reported to me in [my country], she said. It’s a male-dominated industry. But it was a turning point for me. I began to wonder: Why do I need to handle these situations professionally?
MLB insider Jeff Passan can be reached at [email protected]
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