February 23, 2021

Players (And Union) Appreciate Mather's Honesty; MLB Condemns Only A Portion Of His Comments, While Ignoring Most Of Them; Some MFY Players Not Thrilled About Immature Pitcher Returning From Domestic Violence Suspension

The Players Union issued a statement on the wide-ranging offensive comments made earlier this month by now-former Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather:

The Club's video presentation is a highly disturbing yet critically important window into how Players are genuinely viewed by management. Not just because of what was said, but also because it represents an unfiltered look into Club thinking. It is offensive, and it is not surprising, that fans and others around the game are offended as well. Players remain committed to confronting these issues at the bargaining table and elsewhere.

Josh Donaldson of the Twins likely spoke for many players when he thanked Mather for being so honest:

Gerrit Cole of the Yankees, a member of the executive subcommittee of the MLBPA, said that every player:
needs to wake up and read the news about the guy with the Mariners. Those conversations are being had in a lot of clubs, unfortunately. That's what a lot of clubs are acting on. . . . If you start to play with the beginning of the bell curve [of a players' career], so you maximize what it is and you're only doing it strictly to be more efficient business-wise, that's just frustrating. . . . I think it's bad faith. . . .

It's happening with a lot of clubs . . . They're not putting the best players on the field for people to see. This guy is talking about players making him money. The product is the people he's talking poorly about. . . . I don't know how to fix it. I just know I don't like it.
MLB released a statement addressing only a small portion of Mather's buffet table of offensiveness:
We condemn Kevin Mather's offensive and disrespectful comments about several players. We are proud of the international players who have made baseball better through their outstanding examples of courage and determination, and our global game is far better because of their contributions. His misguided remarks do not represent the values of our game and have no place in our sport.
As Craig Calaterra notes, MLB ignored Mather's comments "about service time manipulation, lowballing players with low service time, and making decisions about players options — and sharing it with the Bellevue Rotary Club and not the player — a year in advance. Probably because . . . MLB is greatly in favor of those things."

Also: "Mather was not forced to resign for the sentiments he voiced because those sentiments, by definition, represented the team's thinking. He was forced to resign because he shared the team's wildly unpopular anti-fan and anti-player sentiment out loud. It's always about the blowback, not about the transgression."

Mather ran afoul of the baseball version of "It's not the crime, it's the cover-up."

Now he wants to "make amends". Jeff Passan (ESPN) says that's impossible.
Any one of [Mather's] blunders is incalculably foolish. Together, they expose pathological levels of arrogance, hubris and myopia. . . .

It wasn't just that Mather said what he did. It's that he thinks it in the first place. And that he believed a group of Rotarians represented the right audience to tell his warped version of the truth. And that in an apology, he deemed the episode a "lapse in judgment" . . .

The mistrust sown by his comments reverberated deep in the player ranks Sunday, sources told ESPN. The gamut of feelings ranged from "angry" to "sad" to "what the [expletive] was he thinking?" . . .

Mather's statement that he is "committed to make amends" and will "do whatever it takes to repair the damage I have caused to the Seattle Mariners organization" sounded rather familiar. Perhaps it's because in 2018, after a Seattle Times report exposed two complaints from female employees against Mather, he said: "I am committed to ensuring that every Mariners employee feels comfortable and respected." . . .

It's the easiest thing in the world to sit in a tower of privilege and look down on others, to denigrate, to act with impunity because history showed you could without consequence. . . . [Also, Mather is] the last person who should be talking about others being bad at speaking English.
Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic:
The Mariners should have dismissed [Kevin Mather] the moment they acted upon what the Seattle Times reported in 2018 – that before Mather . . . was one of three club executives accused by women of inappropriate workplace conduct . . .

His cringeworthy musings, one more misguided than the next, are Exhibits A through Z in why many players and fans hold owners in contempt. If this is how ownership types really think, why should any of them be trusted? . . .

About the only thing Mather said worth applauding was, "No one cares if wealthy sports team owners lose money. Shut up and move on." The rest was a window into an imperious executive's soul. . . .

By the time the session was over, Mather had given the union 45 minutes of bulletin-board material, at a time when tensions between the players and owners are the highest they have been since the players were on strike in 1994-95. . . .
Mather Video

Yankee pitcher Zach Britton, an MLBPA representative, was asked about teammate Domingo Germán, who is returning from an 81-game domestic violence suspension:
Sometimes you don't get to control who your teammates are. That's the situation.
An idiot fan tweeted at Britton, telling the pitcher "you still don't know the circumstances of what took place, so just STFU and pitch". [How would this dolt know what Britton knows? Part of the incident happened at an event attended by numerous Yankees and other teammates were intimately involved with the other portion of the incident. There's a very good chance Britton knows exactly what happened.]

Britton replied: "Hah you think I don't know the circumstances? Get a clue bud. Was asked the question BTW, gave my answer. Don't care if you are sensitive to it."

Lindsey Adler (The Athletic) reports additional details of the incident:
In September 2019, Germ├ín and his girlfriend attended a charity gala held by then-teammate CC Sabathia. Many of Germ├ín’s 2019 teammates were also there with their families. Germ├ín slapped his girlfriend at the event, sources said, but the MLB investigation focused primarily on what happened at his home later that night.

According to multiple league sources, including a person with knowledge of the MLB investigation, Germán was intoxicated and became physically violent toward his girlfriend until she hid in a locked room. The victim is said to have contacted the wife of another Yankees player, and the couple drove to Germán's home late at night. The victim remained with the teammate's wife, while the player attempted to calm down Germán, who is said to have been angry and belligerent.

The incident was reported to MLB by a different member of the Yankees staff, whom Germán's girlfriend had told about it. The victim did not call law enforcement, so there is no police report from the night of the assault.

MLB quickly put Germán on administrative leave, pending an investigation. The league is said to have worked to help remove the victim from the situation, providing her with resources and connecting with her family. . . .
Last summer, while serving his suspension, Germán posted a series of messages on his Instagram Story, one of which announced, "I've left baseball. Thanks everyone." Yankees officials were unaware of any intention to retire. Germán later apologized for the post and said he was going to continue to play baseball.
On Wednesday . . . Germán posted a vague message on his Instagram Story that said, in Spanish, "Everything is definitely over. Thanks again for everything," an apparent reference to his relationship with his girlfriend, whose initials he included in the post. He then scrubbed his account before posting a black and white photo of himself with a caption that said "back to the playing field. Thanks God for everything."

More on Germain's Instagram strangeness and addressing his teammates.

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