Seattle Mariners CEO and workforce president Kevin Mather apologized late Sunday night time for feedback made throughout a latest 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 Club 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 mentioned. “My feedback have been my very own. They don’t replicate the views and technique of the Mariners baseball management who’re answerable for choices in regards to the improvement and standing of the gamers in any respect ranges of the group.”
Mather continued, saying he’d been on the telephone a lot 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 mentioned that have been personally hurtful and I’ll do no matter it takes to restore the harm I’ve brought about to the Seattle Mariners group,” Mather mentioned.
The video posted by the Rotary group was 46 minutes lengthy and touched on areas of the Mariners’ organizational state of affairs going into the 2021 season — a lot of which Seattle’s entrance workplace would slightly not be made public.
Mather addressed the workforce’s payroll and watching the monetary backside line. He mentioned he believed prime prospects Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert possible won’t begin the season with the workforce as a strategy to manipulate their main league service time and maintain them beneath membership management longer.
Mather mentioned the membership tried to signal Kelenic to a long-term contract and was rebuffed in its efforts.
“Jarred Kelenic, we have been speaking about him for a yr and a half now, he will likely be in left discipline in April,” Mather mentioned. “He’s a 21-year-old participant who is sort 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 will guess on himself. He thinks after six years he will be such a star participant that the seventh-, eighth-, ninth-year choices will likely be undervalued. He could be proper. We provided, and he turned us down.”
Mather additionally commented on one other prime prospect, Julio Rodriguez.
“Julio Rodriguez has received a persona greater than all of you mixed,” Mather mentioned. “He is loud. His English isn’t great. Everybody says he’ll be right here in 2021. He will not be right here until 2022 or 2023. A incredible child.”
Mather mentioned longtime third baseman Kyle Seager could be a future Mariners Hall of Famer but additionally was “overpaid.” Seager is within the remaining yr of his contract with the Mariners and will likely 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 workforce as a particular project coach.
“Wonderful 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 is going on on with the Japanese league. He’s coming to spring coaching,” Mather mentioned. “And I’m going to say, I’m bored with paying his interpreter. When he was a participant, we would pay Iwakuma ‘X,’ however we would additionally must pay $75,000 a yr to have an interpreter with him. His English immediately received higher. His English received higher once we informed him that.”
Mather has been with the Mariners since 1996. He was promoted to CEO and workforce president in 2017.
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