No one’s perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. Most mistakes that people make can be brushed off, learned from, and moved on from. In a lot of ways, baseball is a game of mistakes – going 0-for-4 on a day when one hit would’ve won the game or hanging the pitch that leads to a walk-off homer by the other team are near-daily occurrences. They happen, and players learn and move on from them.
What Kevin Mather did during the rotary club interview was no mistake. Not an accident. None of that. He meant what he said. And he should be fired for it. Frankly, he should’ve been fired over a decade ago when three women came forward about Mather sexually assaulting them in various ways.
As if thinly veiled racist comments about beloved Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma and top prospect Julio Rodríguez’s English, repeatedly calling Luis Torrens “Luis Torres”, admitting to manipulation of service time with top prospect Jarred Kelenic (who is already not happy with the team), and saying Kyle Seager was overpaid (spoiler: he’s not) wasn’t enough, Mather also took time to throw the Everett AquaSox, the Mariners’ High-A affiliate under the bus, saying their facilities weren’t adequate enough. As if that wasn’t enough, Mather bragged about not paying players enough. Especially Evan White, who signed a six-year, $24 million contracts with the Mariners last offseason.
Players begged Evan not to take it because he was being underpaid, but he accepted it because it set him up for life and potentially further if the option years are accepted. Mather also talked about giving players similar extensions and one player even went as far as to say he would accept it if he was offered. Not everyone is blessed with a lot of money in life.
*Writers Note: Mather has since apologized, albeit very poorly, since the writing of this article*
The words I type here will never be enough to console Mather’s victims. They aren’t enough words in the English language to express how I feel or how anyone feels about this. I don’t speak for anyone, but I feel hollow. Very hollow. How it affects the org now and later, etc. Who would want to play for Mather? There are a million questions and a fraction of that amount available in answers and unfortunately, we may never fully know the answers.
Firing Mather won’t fix everything, but it’s a good start. The Mariners must take further action. Not firing him would be the biggest mistake they make in a franchise history full of them.