Seattle Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather apologized Sunday night after his wide-ranging remarks to some rotary club earlier this month surfaced, including him calling the English-speaking capacities of two members of the company”dreadful” and”not enormous.”
Mather’s comments were made into a Bellevue, Washington, rotary club on Feb. 5 and were posted online over the weekend.
“I wish to apologize to every member of the Seattle Mariners business, especially our players and to our fans,” Mather said in a statement. “There is not any explanation for my behavior, and I take complete responsibility for my horrible lapse in judgment.”
He added:”I’ve been on the phone the majority of the day now apologizing to many people I’ve insulted, hurt, or disappointed in speaking at a new online event. I’m committed to make amends for what I mentioned that were personally hurtful and I will do whatever it takes to repair the damage I’ve caused to the Seattle Mariners organization.”
In his comments to the club, Mather talked about former Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who had been hired in January as a special assignment coach with the team, and his need for a translator along with his English skills.
“For instance, we just rehired (Hisashi) Iwakuma (as a special-assignment trainer ), he was a pitcher with us for a number of years. “He wanted to get back into the game, he came to us, we really honestly want him as our Asian scout/interpreter, what’s going on with the Japanese league. He is coming to spring training.
“And I will say, I’m tired of paying his interpreter. When he was a participant, we would cover Iwakuma’X’ but we’d also need to pay $75,000 annually to have an interpreter with him. His English suddenly got better. His English got better when we told him that.”
He’s loud. His English isn’t tremendous.”
Mather addressed the group’s citizenship and watching the financial bottom line. He said he thought leading prospects Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert probably won’t begin the season with the team as a means to control their major league service time and maintain them under club management longer.
Mather said the team tried to sign Kelenic into some long-term contract and has been rebuffed in its attempts.
Mather also stated longtime third baseman Kyle Seager are a near future Mariners Hall of Famer but also was”overpaid.” Seager is in the final season of his contract with the Mariners and will probably be Seattle’s highest-paid participant at $18 million. His contract includes a club option for 2022.
Mather has been with the group since 1996.