Seattle Mariners CEO and crew president Kevin Mather apologized late Sunday evening for feedback made throughout a current on-line occasion the place he expressed opinions about organizational technique, personnel strikes and membership funds.
Mather’s feedback got here in a speech to the Bellevue, Washington, Breakfast Rotary Membership on Feb. 5 and have been posted on-line over the weekend.
“I need to apologize to each member of the Seattle Mariners group, particularly our gamers and to our followers. There isn’t any excuse for my conduct, and I take full duty for my horrible lapse in judgment,” Mather’s assertion stated. “My feedback have been my very own. They don’t replicate the views and technique of the Mariners baseball management who’re answerable for selections concerning the growth and standing of the gamers in any respect ranges of the group.”
Mather continued, saying he’d been on the telephone many of the day Sunday apologizing after the video was posted to YouTube and rapidly drew consideration on social media.
The Mariners are anticipated to launch a press release Monday.
“I’m dedicated to make amends for the issues I stated that have been personally hurtful and I’ll do no matter it takes to restore the harm I’ve induced to the Seattle Mariners group,” Mather stated.
The video posted by the Rotary group was 46 minutes lengthy and touched on areas of the Mariners’ organizational scenario going into the 2021 season — a lot of which Seattle’s entrance workplace would quite not be made public.
Mather addressed the crew’s payroll and watching the monetary backside line. He stated he believed high prospects Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert probably is not going to begin the season with the crew as a technique to manipulate their main league service time and maintain them beneath membership management longer.
Mather stated the membership tried to signal Kelenic to a long-term contract and was rebuffed in its efforts.
“Jarred Kelenic, we’ve been speaking about him for a yr and a half now, he can be in left area in April,” Mather stated. “He’s a 21-year-old participant who is kind of assured. We provided him a long-term deal — a six-year deal for substantial cash with choices to go farther. After pondering it for a number of days and speaking to the union, he has turned us down. And in his phrases, he’s going to wager on himself. He thinks after six years he’s going to be such a star participant that the seventh-, eighth-, ninth-year choices can be undervalued. He could be proper. We provided, and he turned us down.”
Mather additionally commented on one other high prospect, Julio Rodriguez.
“Julio Rodriguez has bought a character larger than all of you mixed,” Mather stated. “He’s loud. His English shouldn’t be great. All people says he’ll be right here in 2021. He gained’t be right here until 2022 or 2023. A improbable child.”
Mather stated longtime third baseman Kyle Seager could be a future Mariners Corridor of Famer but additionally was “overpaid.” Seager is within the closing yr of his contract with the Mariners and can be Seattle’s highest-paid participant at $18 million. His contract features a membership choice for 2022.
And Mather made disparaging feedback about former pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who just lately rejoined the crew as a particular task coach.
“Fantastic human being — his English was horrible. He wished to get again into the sport, he got here to us, we fairly frankly need him as our Asian scout/interpreter, what’s occurring with the Japanese league. He’s coming to spring coaching,” Mather stated. “And I’m going to say, I’m bored with paying his interpreter. When he was a participant, we’d pay Iwakuma ‘X,’ however we’d additionally should pay $75,000 a yr to have an interpreter with him. His English instantly bought higher. His English bought higher after we instructed him that.”
Mather has been with the Mariners since 1996. He was promoted to CEO and crew president in 2017.