PEORIA, Ariz. — Less than 24 hours after offering an apology for his array of incendiary comments in a video call in early February, and promising to make things right with the Mariners’ organization, its players and its fans, Kevin Mather has resigned his position as the team’s Chief Executive Officer and president immediately.
The Mariners released a statement from team chairman and managing partner John Stanton that read:
“Like all of you, I was extremely disappointed when I learned of Kevin Mather’s recent comments.
“His comments were inappropriate and do not represent our organization’s feelings about our players, staff, and fans.
“There is no excuse for what was said, and I won’t try to make one. I offer my sincere apology on behalf of the club and my partners to our players and fans. We must be, and do, better.
“We have a lot of work to do to make amends, and that work is already underway.
“Kevin Mather has resigned his position effective immediately. I want to thank Kevin for his 25 years of service to our franchise.
“I will serve as acting President and CEO until a successor can be chosen.
“Everyone at the Seattle Mariners remains committed to our mission of winning on the field and serving our fans and communities off the field. We will demonstrate that commitment through our actions.”
The fallout from Kevin Mather’s incendiary comments continued Monday morning mostly in the world of social media, sports talk radio and news outlets. At the Mariners complex, which was closed to the media for the final day of this spring per MLB guidelines, players could be seen from distant fences, doing their routine work on the back practice fields.
The daily morning video conference for manager Scott Servais was pushed back from the normal 8 a.m. start time until after the day’s workout, ostensibly to avoid questions about what Mather said about several of the players in camp, including Mariners stalwart pitcher Marco Gonzales, longtime third baseman Kyle Seager, starting first baseman Evan White, top prospects Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez and Cal Raleigh.
The Mariners had planned to make a statement about Mather sometime Monday morning. But as the morning went into afternoon without a statement, sources indicated that Mariners chairman and principal owner John Stanton, the only person above Mather in the organization hierarchy, was still trying to decide Mather’s fate.
The Major League Baseball Players Association released a statement before the Mariners. Why? Because Mather’s comments about Kelenic and top pitching prospect Logan Gilbert and their eventual MLB debuts while referencing service time accrual raised obvious red flags. Also his comments about their free agent philosophy and trying force players into accepting far less were palpable.
The MLBPA statement read:
“The Club’s video presentation is a highly disturbing yet critically important window into how Players are genuinely viewed by management. Not just because of what was said, but also because it represents an unfiltered look into Club thinking.
“It is offensive, and it is not surprising that fans and others around the game are offended as well. Players remain committed to confronting these issues at the bargaining table and elsewhere.”
MLB will likely make a statement once the Mariners release their statement.©2021 The Seattle Times. Visit seattletimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.