MLB opens harassment hotline after Porter, Callaway scandals

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NEW YORK — Major League Baseball has created a hotline for people not employed by the league or teams to report harassment or discrimination after New York Mets general manager Jared Porter and Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Mickey Callaway were accused of sending lewd text messages to female reporters.

The league will also require anti-harassment and discrimination training for executives during spring training.

Porter was fired for cause Jan. 19 about nine hours after ESPN reported he sent sexually explicit, uninvited text messages and images to a female reporter in 2016 while he was working for the Chicago Cubs in their front office. Callaway was suspended and is under investigation by the Angels and MLB following allegations of inappropriate behavior toward several women who work in sports media.

MLB’s hotline will be operated by an outside third party, and complaints will be investigated either by the team involved or the commissioner’s office, depending on the nature of the allegation. The hotline is also open to league or team employees.

The hotline gives individuals the right to remain anonymous, although the entry in the league’s Code of Conduct says “the more information that is provided will aid in any investigation that is conducted.”

MLB’s Code of Conduct states that individuals experiencing harassment have “no requirement to confront an alleged wrongdoer; however, victims of inappropriate conduct may attempt to resolve issues or disagreements on their own if they choose.”

If those attempts are unsuccessful or individuals don’t feel comfortable addressing the situation directly, the Code of Conduct directs them to make MLB or the team aware, either through a supervisor, human resources or the legal departments.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).