Four Points Flushing. The Official Hotel of the Queens Baseball Convention and The

Friday, April 16, 2021

The Mets organization is in the crosshairs again for sexual harassment allegations.


In the Athletic today, there have been more allegations of sexual harassment within the Mets organization. This time it was Joe DeVito, the team’s  former executive producer for content and marketing and the other was the recently rehired David Newman, the team’s chief marketing, content and communications officer.

From the Athletic.

About Joe DeVito and his response. 

“We were all pawns in this toxic workplace,” said one former Mets employee, who has worked in baseball for more than a decade.

Said another who left the team and the industry altogether: “Sometimes (thinking about it) gives me a bit of PTSD.”

At least two women who worked with or around Joe DeVito, the team’s executive producer for content and marketing, spoke to team lawyers, describing incidents they believed were sexual harassment, The Athletichas learned. DeVito announced he was leaving the team on March 8.

“I won't dignify the allegations you are hearing with a response except to say I've always tried to be a gentleman with everyone with whom I work and with whom I'm involved with personally,” DeVito said in a statement to The Athletic.

About David Newman

In another case, a member of the Mets front office was rehired despite allegations of inappropriate comments to female employees during an earlier stint with the team.

Seven employees (both male and female) told The Athletic that David Newman, the team’s chief marketing, content and communications officer, made the comments during his first run with the team from 2005-2018. When he was slated to rejoin the club in November 2020, two female employees complained to Mets president Sandy Alderson about Newman’s previous conduct, but Alderson still hired him.

“It was deflating,” said one of the women who spoke to Alderson.

Current and former employees also criticized the club’s human resources department — the venue for staff members to raise their concerns. If Cohen is serious about getting to the root of what happened before he took control of the team, past and current employees say an examination of how complaints were handled is essential.

Read more here at The Athletic 

There is a second more in depth article on The Athletic also.

Two days later, in an email to some Mets employees that included the subject line “roster move,” DeVito wrote that “it’s time for me to take a step back and assess what next steps should be in my life, and in my career, moving forward.”

DeVito, 46, had been with the Mets for five years, during which time he steadily accrued more clout and responsibility within the organization, adding social media and marketing to his portfolio. Given his stature, and the timing (less than one month before Opening Day), his departure was a surprise to many. Unmentioned in the email was that earlier in March at least two women who worked with or around DeVito had spoken to team lawyers, describing incidents they believed were sexual harassment.

The Athletic goes on to talk about DeVito and David Newman

 There was DeVito, who made unwanted advances toward multiple women, including sending text messages to one employee such as: “I’ve barely hit on you. So that counts for something.” There was Ryan Ellis, a former hitting performance coordinator; three women previously complained he made aggressive sexual comments to them and sent persistent suggestive text messages. Seven employees (both male and female) told The Athletic that David Newman, the team’s chief marketing, content and communications officer (and DeVito’s boss), made inappropriate comments to female employees during his first stint with the team from 2005-2018. Upon learning that Newman was slated to rejoin the team in November 2020, two female employees warned Mets president Sandy Alderson about Newman and suggested Alderson examine Newman’s previous behavior.

The Mets human resources department was supposed to be a firewall against such behavior and a venue for employees who wanted to raise concerns. But more than a dozen people – both male and female – said one of the department’s top officials, Holly Lindvall, seemed to prioritize pleasing ownership, which made employees skeptical their complaints would be taken seriously. Allegations against Callaway, Ellis, Newman and others reached HR and/or the Mets’ legal department. Yet those three men and others remained in their posts.

And a little mire about David Newman

Newman, 59 and a native New Yorker, was hired in October 2005 from the United States Tennis Association, where he was managing director of marketing and communications. He ascended to the role of senior vice president of marketing and communications for the Mets, handling efforts to “build and enhance the club’s brand,” according to a summary of his position on his LinkedIn profile.

Lacking a traditional baseball background, Newman often fixated on other areas – such as a kids crossword puzzle in the team magazine or particular wording in game notes – and subordinates feared “even the tiniest thing would be wrong,” said one former employee. He had a rule prohibiting employees from chewing gum; one former employee said she’d swallow hers if she heard him approaching to avoid his ire.

Newman could be an effective advocate. He would push employees to seek a new job every two years, even if that meant leaving the organization, and would champion employees in their future endeavors, leveraging his connections for those he liked. One woman said she was told during the interview process: “He’s an asshole who is terrible to work for, but he can get you where you need to go.”Past and current employees say Newman frequently made inappropriate remarks about women’s appearances, offering commentary on how they wore their hair, did their makeup and dressed and even what accessories were acceptable.

He told one woman not to wear bright lipstick so as not to bring too much attention to her mouth, going so far as to tell the woman in front of others that her lips “looked too wet.” He criticized another female subordinate’s hair, lamenting to her co-workers that it was too unruly for the workplace, and he asked them why she couldn’t straighten it.

Read more here.

Oh yeah we got one more quote from Sandy Alderson via the Athletic.

Amidst the talk about looking ahead, the “constructive steps” that the Mets and MLB are implementing, Alderson expressed frustration that the organization continues to face a reckoning for past deeds.

“Is there ever a statute of limitations on coverage of some of this stuff?”










No comments: