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Personnel Changes In Seattle


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Hmmm.

 

Definitely said a lot of things he didn't need to say.  As far as any of it being offensive, I'm not so sure of that; saying someone speaks bad/terrible/not good English is not offensive, if the person does, in fact, speak bad/terrible/not good English.  I have good English, pretty poor Spanish, and non-existent anything else; I would take absolutely no offense to anyone telling me my skills in a language other than English are not good, because they would be correct.  Was there any upside to saying this about a couple of his employees?  No, and therefore he shouldn't have said it, but it's not offensive.

 

Kyle Seagar will be 34 before the 2022 season starts, has not put up more than 3.5 WAR since 2016, and would need to be paid $15M for 2022.  If Kyle Seagar isn't fully aware that he needs to have a good year this year in order to get that option, or anything close to it from another team in free agency, then he has a bad agent or is in denial.

 

Everyone knows teams keep players down to maximize service time.  I'm not sure why we're shocked a team executive spoke to a policy that is almost universally employed--blame the Union for allowing that policy to exist in the first place, rather than something far more common sense like set amount of times after drafting/signing as an international FA which then triggers free agency.

 

He spoke about prospect timelines because every team has those.  The host's assertion that this means these players could OPS 2.000 and still not get a call-up until 2022 is ridiculous--the Mariner's president was simply speaking to the current timeline, much as the Twins aren't planning on Canterino being in the majors until 2022.  But if a couple people get hurt, and Canterino is shredding the minors, they'll call him up; same with the Mariners.

 

The video did not show the Mariner's president stating he thought the area he forces his employees to park in is unsafe, so I'm not sure if that actually happened.  If it did, and he does not provide security for his employees, then that's not a good move, and should be changed.  As for not letting his employees park nearby, that's fairly standard for most businesses; closer spots are reserved for customers.  As a Seattle resident, I can also attest to the fact that there is not a wealth of available parking by the stadium, because in the immediate vicinity is Elliott Bay, an event center, the NFL stadium, a number of office buildings, freeway off-ramps, a bus depot, mass transit lines, and rail-lines and a depot.  There's not a ton of space that could easily be converted into big parking ramps, so it's not surprising parking is so expensive--it's supply and demand.

 

That same concept holds for all the free agents, who despite what the host thinks, are not being paid less than what they're worth.  Worth is a subjective concept--I can say my labor is worth a million dollars, but if I can't find any employer who agrees, than I'm not actually worth a million dollars.  That's what's happening with the unsigned free agents right now--teams are telling them what they believe they're worth, and to this point they disagree.  What the Mariner's president was saying is that with time before the season starting to run out, those players will need to reduce their ask, or go without playing.  That's not collusion, any more than Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Apple, etc not paying me a million dollars a year is colluding against me.

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Hmmm.

 

Definitely said a lot of things he didn't need to say.  As far as any of it being offensive, I'm not so sure of that; saying someone speaks bad/terrible/not good English is not offensive, if the person does, in fact, speak bad/terrible/not good English.  I have good English, pretty poor Spanish, and non-existent anything else; I would take absolutely no offense to anyone telling me my skills in a language other than English are not good, because they would be correct.  Was there any upside to saying this about a couple of his employees?  No, and therefore he shouldn't have said it, but it's not offensive.

 

Kyle Seagar will be 34 before the 2022 season starts, has not put up more than 3.5 WAR since 2016, and would need to be paid $15M for 2022.  If Kyle Seagar isn't fully aware that he needs to have a good year this year in order to get that option, or anything close to it from another team in free agency, then he has a bad agent or is in denial.

 

Everyone knows teams keep players down to maximize service time.  I'm not sure why we're shocked a team executive spoke to a policy that is almost universally employed--blame the Union for allowing that policy to exist in the first place, rather than something far more common sense like set amount of times after drafting/signing as an international FA which then triggers free agency.

 

He spoke about prospect timelines because every team has those.  The host's assertion that this means these players could OPS 2.000 and still not get a call-up until 2022 is ridiculous--the Mariner's president was simply speaking to the current timeline, much as the Twins aren't planning on Canterino being in the majors until 2022.  But if a couple people get hurt, and Canterino is shredding the minors, they'll call him up; same with the Mariners.

 

The video did not show the Mariner's president stating he thought the area he forces his employees to park in is unsafe, so I'm not sure if that actually happened.  If it did, and he does not provide security for his employees, then that's not a good move, and should be changed.  As for not letting his employees park nearby, that's fairly standard for most businesses; closer spots are reserved for customers.  As a Seattle resident, I can also attest to the fact that there is not a wealth of available parking by the stadium, because in the immediate vicinity is Elliott Bay, an event center, the NFL stadium, a number of office buildings, freeway off-ramps, a bus depot, mass transit lines, and rail-lines and a depot.  There's not a ton of space that could easily be converted into big parking ramps, so it's not surprising parking is so expensive--it's supply and demand.

 

That same concept holds for all the free agents, who despite what the host thinks, are not being paid less than what they're worth.  Worth is a subjective concept--I can say my labor is worth a million dollars, but if I can't find any employer who agrees, than I'm not actually worth a million dollars.  That's what's happening with the unsigned free agents right now--teams are telling them what they believe they're worth, and to this point they disagree.  What the Mariner's president was saying is that with time before the season starting to run out, those players will need to reduce their ask, or go without playing.  That's not collusion, any more than Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix, Apple, etc not paying me a million dollars a year is colluding against me.

 

Maybe I am tone deal but reading the transcript I am not as outraged as I thought I would be.

 

He simply talked bluntly about the service time issues.  Are the Twins and pretty much all 30 clubs really any different in trying to gain the extra year.  Does he sound crude and heartless saying it sure but its not like the rest of the league are angels. Every team does pretty much the same thing.

 

His personal opinion is that Kyle Seager is not worth the money they are paying him and he sees this as his last year.  Could he have left that out, sure.  Should he have left that out, yes, but the context here is is that he also stated that Seager should be in the Mariners Hall Fame so how is that a complete dis on Seager?  He also stated Seager played great last year but yeah he personally feels it won't be worth it for the Mariners to pick up the option with all the young guys they have coming and the value per dollar they give the team.  Certainly not something he needed to say or that I would have said but he was being honest about how the team felt.

 

While I didn't understand the "Loud" comment at all and he didn't have to mention the "poor English" but it seemed to me he wanted to make the point that the money they are putting into their academies are allowing for teaching the players English and I assume how to handle money when they get to the states.  I don't particularly think he stated it as well as he could have but again given the context I didn't get the feeling he was trying to degrade those players as much as make the point that they were trying to help with language issues earlier.  I can see how this one can be perceived poorly and he should have stayed away from it because it was pretty much a lose, lose scenario for him but I did not detect malice in what he was saying.

 

While he made a fairly big deal of Kelenic not signing the contract they offered he admitted he might outperform it and he also said he hoped that the Mariners would be able to sign him after the years of control were up.  Given what he said earlier hurt him because he admitted how teams are handling service time to try and get the extra year so I can again see that it could come off cold but every team is doing this not just the Mariners.  Should the Cubs FO have been fired for how they treated Bryant?  How about the Twins and how they treated Buxton? They didn't say it out loud but they did it so what's the difference?

 

I think the main issue here is that he was just too truthful.  He said it like it is and we all got to see that stealing that extra year is basically evil and talking about someone's second language skills is only going to offend. Maybe the truth is things just aren't setup quite right for the players yet and has less to with what was said and more to do with the current business of baseball.

 

Again maybe I am misreading things or not completely understanding the gravity of what was said but while he was somewhat tone deaf to what he was saying I didn't get the feeling like he meant to harm anyone by telling the truth.

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Maybe I am tone deal but reading the transcript I am not as outraged as I thought I would be.

 

He simply talked bluntly about the service time issues.  Are the Twins and pretty much all 30 clubs really any different in trying to gain the extra year.  Does he sound crude and heartless saying it sure but its not like the rest of the league are angels. Every team does pretty much the same thing.

 

His personal opinion is that Kyle Seager is not worth the money they are paying him and he sees this as his last year.  Could he have left that out, sure.  Should he have left that out, yes, but the context here is is that he also stated that Seager should be in the Mariners Hall Fame so how is that a complete dis on Seager?  He also stated Seager played great last year but yeah he personally feels it won't be worth it for the Mariners to pick up the option with all the young guys they have coming and the value per dollar they give the team.  Certainly not something he needed to say or that I would have said but he was being honest about how the team felt.

 

While I didn't understand the "Loud" comment at all and he didn't have to mention the "poor English" but it seemed to me he wanted to make the point that the money they are putting into their academies are allowing for teaching the players English and I assume how to handle money when they get to the states.  I don't particularly think he stated it as well as he could have but again given the context I didn't get the feeling he was trying to degrade those players as much as make the point that they were trying to help with language issues earlier.  I can see how this one can be perceived poorly and he should have stayed away from it because it was pretty much a lose, lose scenario for him but I did not detect malice in what he was saying.

 

While he made a fairly big deal of Kelenic not signing the contract they offered he admitted he might outperform it and he also said he hoped that the Mariners would be able to sign him after the years of control were up.  Given what he said earlier hurt him because he admitted how teams are handling service time to try and get the extra year so I can again see that it could come off cold but every team is doing this not just the Mariners.  Should the Cubs FO have been fired for how they treated Bryant?  How about the Twins and how they treated Buxton? They didn't say it out loud but they did it so what's the difference?

 

I think the main issue here is that he was just too truthful.  He said it like it is and we all got to see that stealing that extra year is basically evil and talking about someone's second language skills is only going to offend. Maybe the truth is things just aren't setup quite right for the players yet and has less to with what was said and more to do with the current business of baseball.

 

Again maybe I am misreading things or not completely understanding the gravity of what was said but while he was somewhat tone deaf to what he was saying I didn't get the feeling like he meant to harm anyone by telling the truth.

 

It is the height of 2021 that he has already been forced to resign for this.  I couldn't agree more that it's ridiculous we're talking about people being upset at a guy for talking about widely-known truths.  The only thing I disagree with is the stealing a year thing--the CBA allows teams to get an extra year of team control by bringing a player up after the season has starts.  It would be idiotic for teams to not play within that rule.  If the players truly hate it, they have a great opportunity to fix it after this season when the labor deal they freely and willingly agreed to expires.

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It is the height of 2021 that he has already been forced to resign for this.  I couldn't agree more that it's ridiculous we're talking about people being upset at a guy for talking about widely-known truths.  The only thing I disagree with is the stealing a year thing--the CBA allows teams to get an extra year of team control by bringing a player up after the season has starts.  It would be idiotic for teams to not play within that rule.  If the players truly hate it, they have a great opportunity to fix it after this season when the labor deal they freely and willingly agreed to expires.

The stuff he is talking about - manipulating service time - is a violation of the CBA. That's why teams lie about it all the time. Bryant was held back to work on his defense at third, not to gain an extra year of control. That's a huge problem for Seattle. A member of their FO said these minor league guys weren't going to make the majors in 2020 for any reason. Why wouldn't every minor leaguer in the park file a grievance and demand some credited service time now? How could Seattle keep this guy after that? 

 

The quote I read on Rodriguez was "Julio Rodríguez has got a personality bigger than all of you combined. He is loud, his English is not tremendous." I didn't watch the youtube video but that's not good. That seems like a white guy complaining about a POC failing to speak/act in the way the white guy deems appropriate. I dunno. The fact that pretty much everyone thinks his comments on language were pretty boorish is pretty telling. 

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The stuff he is talking about - manipulating service time - is a violation of the CBA. That's why teams lie about it all the time. Bryant was held back to work on his defense at third, not to gain an extra year of control. That's a huge problem for Seattle. A member of their FO said these minor league guys weren't going to make the majors in 2020 for any reason. Why wouldn't every minor leaguer in the park file a grievance and demand some credited service time now? How could Seattle keep this guy after that? 

 

The quote I read on Rodriguez was "Julio Rodríguez has got a personality bigger than all of you combined. He is loud, his English is not tremendous." I didn't watch the youtube video but that's not good. That seems like a white guy complaining about a POC failing to speak/act in the way the white guy deems appropriate. I dunno. The fact that pretty much everyone thinks his comments on language were pretty boorish is pretty telling. 

 

I agree with you about the service time issue.  His statements totally violated it.  That statement was pretty indefensible.

 

I have to disagree with you on Bryant though.  If his defense was sooo bad what exactly were they able to fix in the month or two they sent him down that they hadn't fixed the two years prior?  It was a very wink, wink, he needs to work on defense that was so weak his agent filed a grievance.  Granted they couldn't prove what the Cubs intent was but it seemed pretty clear to everyone why that happened. So clear in fact that clubs stayed away from trading for him because they weren't sure how it would be ruled.

 

Buxton was pretty much the same.  They could have brought him back at the end of that season but they didn't because the service time was so close.  Again hard to prove intent but with all the various cases out there it seems pretty well known to everyone what is going on and why even if a FO says player X needs more work.

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The stuff he is talking about - manipulating service time - is a violation of the CBA. That's why teams lie about it all the time. Bryant was held back to work on his defense at third, not to gain an extra year of control. That's a huge problem for Seattle. A member of their FO said these minor league guys weren't going to make the majors in 2020 for any reason. Why wouldn't every minor leaguer in the park file a grievance and demand some credited service time now? How could Seattle keep this guy after that? 

 

The quote I read on Rodriguez was "Julio Rodríguez has got a personality bigger than all of you combined. He is loud, his English is not tremendous." I didn't watch the youtube video but that's not good. That seems like a white guy complaining about a POC failing to speak/act in the way the white guy deems appropriate. I dunno. The fact that pretty much everyone thinks his comments on language were pretty boorish is pretty telling. 

 

I'm not super well-versed in CBA legal minutia, so I'll defer to you on that (since IIRC, you are an actual law-talking guy--credit to Lionel Hutz!).  That being said, I do think it's silly that we have a system in which an action is rendered permissible or non-permissible based solely on public statements.  As Dman has said, everyone knows that when a hot-shot prospect doesn't break camp with a team, it's not because they think he's 12 minor league games away from being ready.

 

As for the language issue, I think the operative work in your statement is "seems".  You are interpreting his comments through a racial lens that may or may not have existed, and ascribing motive to Mather for which I've yet to see any proof (that is, outside of these two comments, which as far as anyone not familiar with the two players in question knows are absolutely truthful, have we any reason to suspect Mather harbors racist viewpoints?)  If he had said something along the lines of, "it takes extra work to integrate non-white players because they never speak even passable English", I'd agree that he's engaging in racist stereotypes, and some form of punishment is absolutely warranted.

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As for the language issue, I think the operative work in your statement is "seems".  You are interpreting his comments through a racial lens that may or may not have existed, and ascribing motive to Mather for which I've yet to see any proof (that is, outside of these two comments, which as far as anyone not familiar with the two players in question knows are absolutely truthful, have we any reason to suspect Mather harbors racist viewpoints?)  If he had said something along the lines of, "it takes extra work to integrate non-white players because they never speak even passable English", I'd agree that he's engaging in racist stereotypes, and some form of punishment is absolutely warranted.

Mather is a public-facing figure that employs hundreds of people of color, many of which speak a different language.

 

Part of his job description is to avoid calling into question his acceptance and/or relationships with those employees. He failed to do part of his job by, in short, being really stupid and careless with his mouth in a public forum.

 

I'm not outraged by Mather's comments, I just rolled my eyes at them, but I'm not going to cry foul for an executive resigning because he publicly said things that might anger his current employees or future employees and did it in such an incredibly stupid way. I don't know whether I'm more disappointed in his words or whether he's so stupid and comfortable with such language that he felt it was okay to say it all out loud to a bunch of strangers.

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Mather is a public-facing figure that employs hundreds of people of color, many of which speak a different language.

 

Part of his job description is to avoid calling into question his acceptance and/or relationships with those employees. He failed to do part of his job by, in short, being really stupid and careless with his mouth in a public forum.

 

I'm not outraged by Mather's comments, I just rolled my eyes at them, but I'm not going to cry foul for an executive resigning because he publicly said things that might anger his current employees or future employees and did it in such an incredibly stupid way. I don't know whether I'm more disappointed in his words or whether he's so stupid and comfortable with such language that he felt it was okay to say it all out loud to a bunch of strangers.

 

I think we're actually mostly in agreement here--the reason I called out being forced to resign is because much of the reporting I've seen around this story has included words like offensive.  To paraphrase Sean Bean as Odysseus in the movie Troy, "It is no insult to say someone who speaks terrible English speaks terrible English".  If a player is offended by the Team president saying that about them, and yet it's true, that seems like a problem with the player, and it is not the job of the President to engage in fantasy realities where players who do not currently speak serviceable English must have their feelings coddled.  If you don't want to be seen as someone who speaks terrible English, take some classes (just as an aside, if I were running an organization, I would require all my minor leaguers to learn English, unless English was their native language, in which case I would require them to learn Spanish).

 

Was it a good idea for Mather to air these views in public?  No, absolutely not.  There was no reason for him to say the things he said, and for that reason, I would have had no problem with the Mariners firing him--but because he was revealing the inner workings of the organization, not because he said or did anything offensive.  Mather resigning is either the Mariners allowing him to resign to avoid being fired, or it is because of the public posturing of his comments as offensive, which both you and I agree is not accurate.

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Whether one cares about the content of his comments or not, large companies tend to sort their data/information as either Public or Private and then the Private information tends to be restricted to employees on a need-to-know basis.

 

Some of this stuff can be very mundane and inconsequential, but breaching company policy has always been a fireable offense.

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This was a good article on the matter. I had missed it a few days ago.

https://www.espn.com/mlb/story/_/id/30945058/make-amends-seattle-mariners-ceo-kevin-mather-take-back-45-disastrous-minutes-disrespectful-words

 

"This is how bad culture takes root. More than a decade ago, two women reported Mather to human resources -- a department he oversaw at the time. They left with settlements, according to the Seattle Times, totaling more than $500,000. He remained employed. Mather then kept ascending -- to president and, eventually, CEO. It took a newspaper to expose his past misdeeds."

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