You know when you hit send on an email you wish you had back? That’s what former Anaheim Angels draft pick Javy Rodriguez says happened here. Except worse. Much worse. As in “got him fired as a high school baseball coach at his alma mater” worse.
The former University of Miami (Florida) shortstop was removed from his coaching post at Gulliver Prep (Miami, Fla.) this week, more than 10 months after allegedly sending a sexually explicit video to his players before leading them to the state semifinals last season.
Here’s how Rodriguez explained that bizarre chain of events to the Miami Herald.
“I apologize to anybody I hurt. I made a mistake. But to say that I was sending inappropriate videos intentionally to my players, that never happened.
“It happened on Dec. 21, I got a text from a friend to look at a video that was going around. I get so many stupid texts and jokes sometimes and I didn’t know what it was. It was a text that had a girl undressing and it changed to something inappropriate. I thought I was sending the text to my other varsity coaches and I mistakenly sent it to the varsity team.
“I got a response immediately from one of my players and I immediately apologized to him and called together the rest of the team. I told them I made a mistake and I apologized.”
Rodriquez claimed his players never broached the subject again, so it came as a surprise when the school let him go five months after he took the Raiders to a fourth regional final in six seasons at the helm. “I had forgotten about it,” he told the paper.
Not that he should be surprised. Sending sexually explicit videos to coaches in a high school setting is a no-no, let alone players, regardless of whether this sort of behavior is commonplace in the minor-league locker rooms Rodriguez inhabited for three seasons.
Head of schools Frank Steel made that clear in a statement obtained by the Miami Herald.
“Coach Rodriguez’s departure follows an investigation we undertook after learning of a certain inappropriate electronic communication containing or linking to a brief, sexually explicit video that he sent to members of the varsity baseball team during the 2015 season.
“Our students’ well-being is paramount, and our day-to-day life at Gulliver is organized first and foremost around this principle. Clearly, such actions by any employee are not acceptable in our school community and will not be tolerated.”
A two-time All-American at the University of Miami, Rodriguez’s 66 stolen bases in 2001 set the school record. He led the Hurricanes to a pair of NCAA national championships and was inducted into UM’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. Rodriguez was also a four-time All-State selection at Gulliver Prep, according to the school’s website.
His team made national headlines last season when Gulliver’s Joe Dunand, the nephew of 14-time Major League Baseball All-Star Alex Rodriquez, hit nine home runs in four games during a tournament this past March. An N.C. State signee, Dunand is one of many Gulliver players to receive college baseball scholarships under their coach’s guidance.
Gulliver officials have reported the scandalous text message to police. Amazingly, this isn’t the first time a baseball coach at the school has left over a sexually explicit incident. Lazaro “Lazer” Collazo resigned in 2005 after allegedly exposing himself during a strange statement to players following a loss to crosstown rival Florida Christian.
Collazo was hired by Gulliver after being fired as a University of Miami assistant for NCAA recruiting violations in 2003. While no charges were filed in his incident at Gulliver, he was arrested in 2014 after Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch told prosecutors that Collazo and Alex Rodriguez’s cousin, Yuri Sucart, provided performance-enhancing drugs to high school athletes. At the very least, let’s hope Gulliver’s next hire can clean up its image.