Oakland Athletics strength and condition coach Michael Henriques has been suspended by the team.
The former minor league strength and condition coordinator — hired in 2010, before taking up his current role in 2011 — admitted to planting a hidden camera inside the weight room of the Oakland Coliseum. The decision was made in order to monitor players during their rehabilitation process while the team was on the road, according to reports from Yahoo! Sports.
A’s executive vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane told Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports that the team has hired an independent investigator to look into the matter:
“This was the misguided action of one employee. … While the employee’s intentions were good his judgment was very poor.”
Henriques set up the camera on July 24 when the team departed for nine-game, 11-day road trip. According to Brown, an unnamed player discovered the camera the following day and reported it to pitcher Sean Doolittle, the A’s players’ union representative, who took the camera to management.
A “furious” Beane reported it to the league.
Team management ordered Henriques’ return from the trip immediately. Prior to his leaving the team he apologized to the players, according to Brown.
Cameras are strictly prohibited in areas used by players, given violation of privacy issues. Such devices mush be collectively negotiated between Major League Baseball and the players’ union.
The independent investigation, which is being overseen by MLB’s Department of Investigations and the Players Association, is underway. The law firm is expected to present its findings to the team by Monday.
Until any further decision is made regarding Henriques’ employment with the team, which will not be determined until the investigation is complete, Josh Cuffe, the organization’s minor league strength and conditioning coordinator, will fill the daily duties, according to CSN Bay Area’s Joe Stiglich