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Jan. 19, 2021, 10:23 a.m. EST

New York Mets fire general manager after he sent explicit texts to female reporter

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By Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Mets general manager Jared Porter was fired Tuesday after sending graphic, uninvited text messages and images to a female reporter in 2016 when he was working for the Chicago Cubs in their front office.

Mets owner Steve Cohen said Porter was fired Tuesday morning.

“We have terminated Jared Porter this morning,” Cohen wrote on Twitter. “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.”

The accusations against Porter were reported by  ESPN  on Monday night.

Porter sent dozens of unanswered texts to the woman, including a picture of “an erect, naked penis,” according to the report. ESPN said it obtained a copy of the text history.

New York hired the 41-year-old Porter last month. He agreed to a four-year contract after spending the past four seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks as senior vice president and assistant general manager.

“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. 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,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said in a statement.

“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 (the ESPN) story. We will follow up as we review the facts regarding this serious issue.”

The woman was not identified in the report. ESPN said she recently chose to come forward only on condition of anonymity because she is afraid of backlash in her home country.

ESPN said the woman was a foreign correspondent who had moved to the United States to cover Major League Baseball. She met Porter in a Yankee Stadium elevator in June 2016, and she said they spoke briefly about international baseball and exchanged business cards. She told ESPN that was the only time they ever spoke.

After text exchanges that began casually, Porter started complimenting her looks, inviting her to meet him in different cities and asking why she was ignoring him, ESPN said.

After he sent her a lewd picture, the woman ignored more than 60 messages from Porter before he sent the last vulgar photo, according to ESPN. The woman told ESPN she intentionally tried to avoid him at a couple of big league ballparks and the texts from Porter ultimately contributed to her decision to leave the journalism industry and return to her home country.

Porter texted apologies to the woman in 2016 after she saw the naked picture and wrote to him that his messages were “extremely inappropriate, very offensive, and getting out of line,” ESPN reported.

ESPN said it contacted Porter on Monday evening, and he acknowledged texting with the woman. At first, he said he hadn’t sent any pictures of himself, but when informed the exchanges show he sent selfies and other pictures, he said “the more explicit ones are not of me. Those are like, kinda like joke-stock images,” ESPN reported.

After asking whether the outlet intended to run a story, Porter requested more time before later declining further comment, ESPN said.

It’s another embarrassing development for the Mets, who have energized fans by acquiring star shortstop Francisco Lindor and several other notable players since Cohen purchased the club from the Wilpon and Katz families for $2.42 billion in early November.

Last offseason, under previous GM Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets hired former slugger Carlos Beltrán as manager only to cut ties with him 2 1/2 months later when he was implicated in MLB’s investigation of illegal sign stealing by Houston while Beltrán was an Astros player in 2017.

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