Matt Calkins: It took Mariners CEO Kevin Mather just 45 minutes to alienate everybody connected to baseball in Seattle

Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times on

Published in Baseball

Right now I’m picturing a kid that, when he woke up Sunday morning, was stressing about his future. He’d always been at the bottom of his class and has walked into his fair share of sliding glass doors.

He knew his brain only had so much voltage and that job prospects would be scarce. Then he saw Mariners CEO Kevin Mather’s Q&A on YouTube.

Now he thinks he can run an MLB team.

Sunday, Mather starred in a film entitled “How to Lose a Fan base in 45 Minutes.” Or if we’re talking about his reputation among the Mariners’ players, front office and ownership group, it was a remake of “Apocalypse Now.”

Assuming he wasn’t under duress, or the influence, the longtime exec gave a master class on talking without thinking. The M’s two decades of incompetence now has a face — one that will soon be on dart boards across the Emerald City.

Earlier in the month, Mather spoke to the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club via a video call. Perhaps thinking Rotarians wouldn’t record him and post the chat online, he spoke with the candor of a barfly at last call.


Some of what he said was assumed to be true but inappropriate for public consumption. And some was just downright baffling.

Among Mather’s utterances …

— The Mariners had a “terrible year financially” but still “did better than most of the other professional sports teams” because of their lucrative TV deal, which allowed them to “punch well above our weight.”

— The team passed on calling up prospects Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert last year due to service-time constraints.


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