Until Monday, Kevin Mather was the president in addition to chief executive of a Major League Baseball team with two dubious distinctions. His franchise, the Seattle Mariners, is actually woeful, both currently in addition to historically. the idea is actually the only team to never reach the planet Series in addition to owns the longest active postseason drought in North American professional sports.
The Mariners have gone 19 seasons in a row without creating the playoffs, in addition to they plan to make the idea an even 20. We know in which because Mather told the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club so in which month in a startlingly frank conversation in which has cost him his job.
Mather resigned on Monday, an inevitable step after he inflamed tensions with players by confirming some of the union’s major grievances with owners. creating the playoffs in 2021, Mather told the Rotary Club, was “probably a stretch” — yet the team would likely not be promoting its best minor-league prospects on opening day, essentially an admission in which the team was manipulating their service time by keeping players inside minors longer than necessary.
Mather also hinted at the kind of groupthink among owners in which has largely severed trust with the players’ union.
“The industry lost $2.9 billion,” he said, referring to the 2020 season played amid the pandemic, “in addition to before any of you make faces: No, nobody cares in which rich owners lost money. however we lost $2.9 billion last year, in addition to we have taken the position in which there are 180 free agents still out there on Feb. 5 unsigned, in addition to sooner or later, these players are going to turn their hat over in addition to come with hat in hand, looking for a contract.”
The union’s collective bargaining agreement with the owners expires after the 2021 season. Handed a weapon by management, the players’ union gleefully wielded the idea in a statement:
“The club’s video presentation is actually a highly disturbing yet critically important window into how players are genuinely viewed by management. Not just because of what was said, however also because the idea represents an unfiltered look into club thinking. the idea is actually offensive, in addition to the idea is actually not surprising in which fans in addition to others around the game are offended as well. Players remain committed to confronting these issues at the bargaining table in addition to elsewhere.”
Mather’s candor extended to individual players. While he offered many compliments, he said third baseman Kyle Seager was “probably overpaid” in addition to would likely probably not be back next season; the left-handed starter Marco Gonzales was “very boring”; in addition to the outfield prospect Julio Rodriguez, who is actually by the Dominican Republic, “is actually loud, his English is actually not tremendous.”
Mather also mocked the English skills of the former Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who is actually by Japan in addition to today works for the team: “I’m tired of paying his interpreter. When he was a player, we’d pay Iwakuma X, however we’d also have to pay $75,000 a year to have an interpreter with him. His English suddenly got better; his English got better when we told him in which.”
Rodriguez — who is actually 20 in addition to speaks English well — responded on Twitter that has a meme by “The Last Dance,” the Michael Jordan documentary. Rodriguez affixed his face to Jordan’s with the caption: “… in addition to I took in which personally.”
In a video conference with reporters, the Mariners’ chairman, John Stanton, offered no defense for Mather’s comments in addition to said they did not reflect the beliefs of the organization. He said player moves were up to General Manager Jerry Dipoto, not Mather.
“The decisions concerning when players are called up are made by Jerry in addition to the baseball team in which he leads,” Stanton said. “Frankly, they were not decisions in which are made by Kevin.”
While in which is actually technically true, Mather’s elevated position obviously gave him strong influence on team policy. He revealed in which the team had made a long-term contract offer to the outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic, in addition to said in which Kelenic was bothered when Baseball America ranked him as the majors’ fourth-best prospect, a spot behind Rodriguez.
“He thinks after six years, he’ll be such a star player in which the seventh, eighth, ninth year options will be under value,” Mather said of Kelenic. “He might be right.”
Mather was more charitable in his views of first baseman Evan White, who did sign a long-term deal — over the union’s objection, Mather added — in addition to was promoted for opening day last July. With Kelenic, meanwhile, Mather said the team wanted him to get at-bats in Class AAA “for a month,” which would likely effectively delay his service clock long enough to give the team an extra year of control before his free agency.
Likewise, Mather hailed the prospect Logan Gilbert as a “top-of-the-rotation pitcher,” however said “you won’t see him on April 1, however by mid-April.” in addition to while the Mariners had several top prospects at their alternate training site last season, Mather said in which he had a better chance of being called up to the majors than they did.
“There was no chance you were going to see these young players at T-Mobile Park,” he said. “We weren’t going to put them on the 40-man roster, we weren’t going to start the service time clock.”
Players around the league like Anthony Rizzo, the veteran Chicago Cubs first baseman, were hardly surprised.
“Being in in which game, you know what he said is actually true, about 99.9 percent, the idea happens — the idea’s just not out there in addition to the idea’s not said,” Rizzo told reporters. “There’s stories written on the idea, however there are teams in which manipulate service time. There’s teams in which do the idea all the time. Him coming out in addition to saying in which, the idea’s pretty annoying in addition to frustrating for us as players, however the idea’s not like we don’t know anything in which he said. the idea’s just, him saying in which — Great, I’m happy the idea’s out inside public today in addition to people are seeing in which’s the way the idea is actually.”
Negotiations on a fresh C.B.A. will be a battle, Rizzo said, however in which, too, is actually an open secret. As Mather also told the Rotary Club: “There is actually a high level of distrust between the union in addition to the management currently, in addition to I’m very worried about what’s coming inside future.”