Chiney Ogwumike and Mike Golic Jr Discuss Kevin Mather’s resignation as president / CEO of the Mariners after comments he made at a Rotary club earlier this month (2:40 )

In a 45-minute conversation with a local Rotary club in early February, Seattle Mariners CEO Kevin Mather slammed a Japanese player for not learning English, belittled a US star Dominican Republic for his language skills and derided another best prospect while admitting to manipulating his service time He called the top pitcher on his team “very boring” and embellished the pitcher’s actions during an incident at a clubhouse, told another lie about a well-respected veteran and complained that the franchise’s best player over the past decade was “overpaid”

Each of these mistakes is insanely silly Together they exhibit pathological levels of arrogance, pride, and myopia He was one of 30 people tasked with running a Major League Baseball franchise before Mather resigns from his post Monday afternoon

It’s not just that Mather said what he did It’s that he thinks it in the first place And that he believed that a group of Rotarians represented the right audience to say his distorted version of the truth And that in his apology he viewed the episode as an “error in judgment”, as if bigotry is something you only try once when calling with strangers or telling false stories about the people who are at the heart of the business you are supposed to operate constitutes good management

The mistrust sown by his comments reverberated deep in player ranks on Sunday, sources told ESPN The range of feelings ranged from ‘angry’ to ‘sad’ to ‘what was he thinking [oath]?”

Apparently Mather drained his tank of candor during the Q&A, because his statement alternated between spurious remarks – he was trying to make his comments on baseball operations decisions his own when they clearly reflected priorities of the organization – and

Mather’s statement that he is “determined to make amends” and “will do everything in his power to repair the damage I have caused to the Seattle Mariners organization” sounded rather familiar to me. Perhaps this is because in 2018, after a Seattle Times report uncovered two female employee complaints against Mather, he said, “I am committed to making sure every Mariners employee stands up. feel comfortable and respected”

I wonder if Julio Rodriguez feels comfortable and respected He is 20 years old and one of baseball’s best prospects, a right fielder from the Dominican Republic When asked about him, Mather said: “He is strong, his English is not great “Two years ago the Mariners thought enough about Rodriguez’s English to post a video of him speaking on their YouTube channel His English sounds pretty good, and I can’t imagine it has worsened since then

I wonder if Jarred Kelenic feels comfortable and respected He is 21 and the Mariners’ other popular field prospect The organization thinks so much of Kelenic, Mather told Rotarians, that it has him offered a six-year contract with three club options Because Kelenic turned him down, he said, he will start 2021 in the minor leagues, although the Mariners plan to raise him in mid-April when they will make sure he stays under. controlling the team for an additional year Everyone knows that a fundamental element of comfort and respect is the manipulation of service time

I wonder if Marco Gonzales feels comfortable and respected. He’s the Mariners ace, a 29-year-old Mather considers “very boring” because he doesn’t throw very hard? Regardless, Mather was thrilled to tell a story about Gonzales “pushing [ex-teammate Mike Leake] into the locker” after Leake resisted team rules. The problem, a source familiar with the situation told ESPN, is that the story is wrong. While Gonzales faced Leake, he didn’t lay a hand on him

I wonder if Mitch Haniger feels comfortable and respected As was the case with most of Mather’s comments, they included compliments, and at first he spoke well of the 30-year-old who missed the last 1½ years due to injury After suggesting Haniger would be an All-Star this season, Mather said: “He has a little piece on his shoulder as we talk about our outlook and these young kids. He mentioned more than once: What about me? According to a source close to Haniger, he has not discussed his position regarding the prospects ahead

After dealing with depression and self-doubt for years, Drew Robinson attempted suicide in April 2020 Now, he tells Jeff Passan, he wants to use his experience to help others cope – and maybe to play baseball again too

I wonder if Kyle Seager feels comfortable and respected Since debuting in 2011, Seager has compiled 322 wins over substitution That’s more than Evan Longoria, Anthony Rizzo, Nelson Cruz, Justin Upton, Justin Turner, Michael Brantley and a host of others who have played in the previous 10 seasons Ahead of the 2015 season, Seager signed a seven-year, $ 100 million contract extension Over the past six years, according to FanGraphs, he produced $ 147 million in value But Mather means he’s overpaid

I especially wonder if Hisashi Iwakuma feels comfortable and respected In January, the Mariners brought back Iwakuma, who pitched very well for the team for six seasons after arriving from Japan, as a coach. on special assignment After explaining the hiring, Mather’s first words to Rotarians were: “A wonderful human being His English was terrible” Mather felt comfortable enough to express a grievance: “I am tired of paying his interpreter” He said. smiled and laughed while saying it

Iwakuma is 39 He made almost $ 50 million with the Mariners He doesn’t need this job He doesn’t need this organization He doesn’t need someone who will consider his desire to be understood as a weakness And he absolutely does not need to be judged by someone who has been promoted even after being subjected to complaints of sexual harassment for allegedly rubbing a back of a employee without permission and making inappropriate jokes about women in the office to another employee

This is how bad culture takes root Over a decade ago, two women reported Mather to human resources – a department he oversaw at the time They left with settlements, according to the Seattle Times, totaling over $ 500,000 He remained employee Mather then continued to ascend – chairman and eventually CEO It took a newspaper to expose his past wrongdoing

He did it himself this time. And if he blew himself off to look like someone who matters – he spoke confidently of an electronic strike zone implemented within two years – or s ‘he really is an important person no longer matters He was the CEO of an organization – and the kind of guy who tells stories where people from foreign countries where they might not have had the opportunity to learn English are the punchline.

In fact, Mather did so during the Rotary appeal as well. Speaking of the improvements Seattle has made to its Dominican academy and educational programs for players, he said the team will give to teens from Latin America a daily allowance of $ 30

“Surprise, surprise!” Mather said “They would be in trouble because they couldn’t speak the language, make change or even buy dinner”

Surprise, surprise Just like that Never consider what so many teenage baseball boys have to do: go to a foreign country, a country with as many potential dangers as the United States, and pack in a tiny apartment, five or six inflatable mattresses on the floor because the sport doesn’t pay its minor leaguers enough to have a place with your own room and try to learn to sail while spending the rest of the day figuring out how to hit 98 painted in the corner

It’s the easiest thing in the world to sit in a tower of privilege and despise others, to denigrate, to act with impunity because history has shown that one could without consequence That’s the lesson here It’s the takeaway I couldn’t help but think of another thing, however, after hearing Kevin Mather chatting for 45 minutes

Kevin Mather

World News – United States – Passan: Disastrous 45 minutes that sunk Mariners CEO Kevin Mather