Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Service are controlling the damage with players who were directly mentioned or mentioned by former team president and CEO Kevin Mater in an online video that led to his resignation.
The message to those affected over the last two days was: You have every right to be upset.
“We are very open with our players and we call on them to be the same. And if they want to get angry, they have to be, frankly. They have to be offended,” Dipoto said on Tuesday. “But at the same time, they are collectively focused on what we’re trying to do here as a team.”
The video, released over the weekend, shows Mater expressing his views on the club̵
Mater apologized on Sunday and then abruptly resigned the next day, but not before throwing a hand on the organization as it began training full-time in Arizona.
Both Dipoto and Serve are angry.
“I’m embarrassed that this is the way they look at us, because for those of you who have been around me or Scott or this team, this is not the way we are connected,” Dipoto said. “It is inconvenient to be categorized or to deal with the stigma we are now bound to and we have to remove it. It is ours to endure and now we have to be responsible for it and then find a way to develop beyond it.”
Mather’s most inflammatory comments were about the English skills of former All-Star pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma and top prospect Julio Rodriguez and provoked the strongest responses from Dipoto and Servais.
Servais mentioned his winter baseball experience in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela and the opening of the sailors’ season in Japan two years ago.
“It opens the eye. Really, you really appreciate what foreign players have to go through. Not just communication, but then trying to figure out how to play the game at the highest level,” Servais said. “So no one has a higher rating for him than I do, and that’s a topic I’m very sensitive to.”
Mater undermined baseball’s strategy by admitting that the team probably manipulated service time for the best prospects Jared Kellenick and Logan Gilbert. Mater also revealed information about the contract negotiations with Kelenik and the pitcher James Paxton and called the veteran Kyle Seeger “overpaid”.
Mather angered the MLB Players’ Association by saying that neither Kelenic nor Gilbert would be in the Premier League club on opening day as a way to maintain control of the club longer.
But Servais and Dipoto said decisions on the list had not been made and that plans for Kelenik and Gilbert had been outlined and communicated to both.
“All our players know what their path is, what their development plan looks like and we are very direct in the way we share it,” Dipoto said.
Servais said he met with several players directly mentioned by Mather.
“I would say that the temperature was very hot with a number of boys, who were certainly mentioned for a number of different reasons,” Serva said. “It wasn’t surprising at all. But I feel very good with this group and I’m proud of the way they’ve handled things so far. We can talk about it all day and our players will continue to handle things the way they do. . “