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Elephant Rumblings: Mariners CEO Kevin Mather resigns after making insulting remarks about several players

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Chicago White Sox v Seattle Mariners
Who knew you could have pitcher derp face without actually pitching?
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

The latest baseball scandal is in, and this time it involves Seattle Mariners President and CEO Kevin Mather. A video released over the weekend showed nearly an hour of Mather doing a Q&A session with the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club, during which time he made a wide range of offensive statements that upset ... basically everybody.

Update: Mather resigned his position with the Mariners, per a statement by team chairman and managing partner John Stanton.

SB Nation Mariners site Lookout Landing posted a full transcript of Mather’s comments, which were insulting in all kinds of different ways to a list of players including Marco Gonzales, Mitch Haniger, Hisashi Iwakuma, Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, and Kyle Seager. Jeff Passan of ESPN offered this summary:

Over the course of a 45-minute chat to a local Rotary Club in early February, Seattle Mariners CEO Kevin Mather disparaged a Japanese player for not learning English, belittled a star prospect from the Dominican Republic for his language skills and derided another top prospect while admitting to manipulating his service time. He called his team’s best pitcher “very boring” and embellished the pitcher’s actions in a clubhouse incident, told another falsehood about a well-respected veteran and complained that the franchise’s best player over the past decade was “overpaid.”

Any one of these blunders is incalculably foolish. Together, they expose pathological levels of arrogance, hubris and myopia.

Mather eventually issued an apology, in which he attempted to distance the team from the the things he’d said — of particular importance since he more or less admitted to service-time manipulation of Kelenic.

Mariners fans are not happy. They’ve already had to endure two decades without a playoff berth, the longest active streak in the majors, so confidence in the team was low to begin with. To see their club’s top executive take a proverbial dump all over his players is just the latest heartbreak for a fan base whose SB Nation site logo was already a sad guy sitting alone on a bench.

Local NBCS inside reporter weighs in

Further analysis from Lookout Landing

One former teammate stuck up for Seager

Update: Stanton’s statement about Mather’s resignation, including a note that Stanton will take over as acting President & CEO.

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