In speech made public, Mariners CEO Kevin Mather addresses Jarred Kelenic, team finances and more

Ryan Divish, The Seattle Times on

Published in Baseball

PEORIA, Ariz. — Pick your adage — never let them see how the sausage is made, or never let them see behind the curtain — or any other oft-used phrase about oversharing private or sensitive information on decision-making processes.

Regardless of what you land upon, Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather didn’t follow them when he recently spoke to the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club via a video call.

His speech Feb. 5, which was uploaded to YouTube on Friday and made its way to Twitter on Sunday morning, offered information and opinions on a variety of topics the Mariners’ front office likely would not share publicly with the media or fan base. The video was removed by Sunday afternoon.

It’s not so much that Mather stuck his foot in his mouth during the session. It’s that he somehow kept making it worse without thinking to remove it.

Speaking to this group of Rotarians and answering questions after his initial opening statement, Mather offered background and sensitive information on subjects that confirmed reports, including:

— The team’s financial situation, reduced payroll and frugality in free agency.


— The decision not to call up prospects Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert last year due to service-time constraints.

— An offer of a contract extension to Kelenic and some mildly insulting remarks to a few players.

He also came off as obtuse, indifferent, callous and petty toward some current and former Mariners players, situations facing the team and Major League Baseball’s expected upcoming labor strife.

The number of people that will take offense to his comments, including those within the Mariners organization, likely grew Sunday with each replay of the video or social-media post of his quotes.


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