White Sox’ Mike Clevinger rips radio station, warns of litigation after interview with accuser

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Two days after a press conference on the first day of White Sox spring training in which he addressed allegations of domestic abuse and a Major League Baseball investigation into his conduct, pitcher Mike Clevinger sharpened his tone in an interview with the Sun-Times.

It began with the 32-year-old right-hander being asked about Wednesday’s lengthy appearance on 670 The Score’s “Parkins & Spiegel” show by his accuser, Olivia Finestead, the mother of his 10-month-old daughter.

Finestead painted a sordid picture of Clevinger, accusing him of having “choked” her last June and taken her phone so she couldn’t call the police. She also described him as a drug abuser who drove a car while on acid with her — and his two other young children from another woman — as passengers, and as a serial cheater and abuser who is in need of “drug rehab and therapy.”

Finestead also said she filed a police report against Clevinger after learning he intended to seek full custody of their child.

And she took issue with Clevinger’s comments in his press conference, during which he denied having done anything wrong and complained of being mischaracterized “like I am one of those people.”

“For him to sit there and be like, ‘Oh, poor me on my first day [in camp]?’ Like, your poor baby. Your poor other kids,” she said. “He’s just so full of himself and such a narcissist that he will deny, lie and project every day. That’s just who he is.”

Clevinger fired back at The Score.

“It’s the world we’re living in,” he said. “Everyone wants the clicks. It doesn’t matter what the real truth is. Everyone will stop and look at the car crash, but no one’s going to stop and smell the flowers. That’s how the world is. But that was really trashy of them. That was some lowlife material right there.”

Clevinger warned of potential litigation against the station in response.

“My lawyers are paying attention,” he said. “My lawyers are getting in contact with them and they probably already sent a cease-and-desist for defamation. So [The Score] just got themselves involved in this, too, so good for them.”

Score operations director Mitch Rosen declined to comment.

On Wednesday — after Sox general manager Rick Hahn defended the team’s December signing of Clevinger, saying it was unaware of MLB’s investigation — Clevinger claimed not to have known the seven-month-long investigation was ongoing. Two days later, however, he said he has been cooperating with MLB throughout it.

“I trust the process,” he said. “I trust the commissioner’s office. I’ve turned over everything for seven months. I’ve had my phone [inspected] twice. I’m an open book. I think justice will be served.”

Meanwhile, the Sox are deservedly facing scrutiny and criticism for bringing in a player with a checkered past that includes violating COVID-19 protocols along with then-teammate Zach Plesac during a series in Chicago in 2020 when both were pitching for the Guardians. That indiscretion — which Clevinger reportedly attempted to hide from the team even after Plesac had been caught — earned him a trade from Cleveland.

Clevinger also has potentially troubling ties to pitcher Trevor Bauer, who was suspended by MLB in 2022 during a sexual-assault investigation and later released by the Dodgers. According to Finestead, Bauer “reported Mike’s drug abuse and anger issues a year and a half ago.”

For as long as Clevinger is being investigated, his presence on the Sox will be an elephant-in-the-room issue that won’t go away.

Meeting the media Wednesday “definitely was uncomfortable, an uncomfortable scenario,” Clevinger said.

“But I respect that you guys have a job to do,” he said, “and I just thought if I could show my face, then maybe some of you guys would start respecting me and looking for real facts and evidence before you start trying to destroy my life.”

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