Yet another baseball executive stepped in a big ol’ pile yesterday.
Kevin Mather, president of the Seattle Mariners, is yet another rich dolt who doesn’t realize that anyone can run a recorder or take notes on any speech, including one that takes place in front of a rotary club on Zoom, where almost nothing good happens.
Mather projectile-diarrhea’d in just about every direction during his speech. He said the quiet part loud in revealing that the Mariners did just fine financially during the 2020 season, thanks to their TV deal, which is the situation for most teams. He complained about a franchise worth over a billion dollars having to pay a translator $75K a year, even though the Mariners’ two most popular players in their history were a Japanese outfielder and a Venezuelan pitcher.
Here’s what he said on this:
It frustrates me. For instance, we just rehired [Hisashi] Iwakuma, he was a pitcher with us for a number of years. Wonderful human being, his English was terrible. He wanted to get back into the game, he came to us. We quite frankly want him as our Asian scout, interpreter, what’s going on with the Japanese league.
He’s coming to spring training. And I’m going to say, I’m tired of paying his interpreter. When he was a player, we’d pay Iwakuma X, but 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 that.
You can watch Mather in action here:
Mather returned to the quiet-part-loud method by revealing that the Mariners had no intention of calling up any of their top prospects last year no matter how the roster might have been decimated by injuries or COVID protocols, so as not to start their contract clock. And he also revealed how the Ms and other teams can just wait out players on the free-agent market knowing they’ll eventually settle for less, which sure sounds a lot like collusion.
There was more, but we needn’t go on. The Mariners had to release a statement, the high of which was their claim that their team president’s opinions don’t match those of the organization. Which makes you think this is a very well-captained ship.
And Mather, of course, issued an apology.
Mather should have been tossed out on his ass when he was one of three execs named in sexual harassment complaints by female employees that all ended in settlements.
So in some way, this is probably what the Mariners deserve.
UPDATE: Kevin Mather has resigned.