Are There More People In MLB Like The Mariners Kevin Mather?

Are There More People In MLB Like The Mariners Kevin Mather? | Sports Takes & News | TooAthletic.com

The Seattle Mariners saw Kevin Mather, their president and CEO, resign on Monday; and on the brink of the 2021 season, Major League Baseball is faced with the racist and unprofessional images his comments present about their sport. The simple question is this: Does Kevin Mather speak for all of Major League Baseball? Because if he does, the sport is in deeper trouble than anyone realized just a few weeks ago.

On February 5th, Kevin Mather spoke at an event about how the Seattle Mariners do their business.  Mather, who joined the club in 1996, has been the team’s president and CEO since 2017 and in his speech, discussed many topics. Among them were how the franchise planned to bury a highly ranked prospect in order to save his service time, how annoyed he was after hiring a translator for a Japanese-born player, and how one of the team’s Latin American prospects can’t speak English. 

As a lifelong baseball fan, I have to admit that the words spoken by Kevin Mather do not surprise me at all.  There have been many players who have discussed how “whiter” players from Japan are granted the privilege of having a translator, but the players from Latin American countries are not. And if anyone believes that any talented player is above being left in the minors for a few extra weeks in order for his team to gain an extra season of service time, look at what the Chicago Cubs did with Kris Bryant and how that proved to be the part of their degrading relationship.

Kevin Mather doesn’t speak for ALL of Major League Baseball owners and front office executives; but he does represent the mindset that MANY of them have. 

There are not too many non-white faces making decisions in baseball, as the backlash against those born outside American borders is not surprising. The fact of the matter is that baseball has always been a white man’s game, and as more black athletes turn away from the long road to the diamond for the NBA or NFL, only Latino ballplayers are left to carry the flag for those looking to use the former American Pastime to achieve the American Dream. 

It is sadly true, however, that only because Major League teams are able to sign foreign-born players outside the draft system that this is even still true.

In life, perception is more important than reality. In the case of Kevin Mather, however, perception is based upon reality, and it is clear the reality in Major League Baseball is that some people, even now nearly three quarters of a century after Jackie Robinson made his debut, still don’t like what “outsiders” are doing to the game. 

There are still too many in the media and front offices of this sport calling for bat flips to stop and the “flare” that many players from outside America’s borders have when they play, to end. Perhaps it is because these people have been looking at spreadsheets too long and view players as data points and not people.

Sadly, the “turn the page” approach to problems that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred has will deem this “issue” over now that Kevin Mather has resigned from the Seattle Mariners. For those who understand the depth of his comments, however, it is clear more often than not when one person like him leaves, there’s another with similar views ready to take his place.

It is impossible for me to believe that no one with the Mariners didn’t know how Mather felt about these issues; yet he was still allowed to rise up the ranks to the position he held until Monday. That’s all you need to know about Major League Baseball, since if Kevin Mather can hide in plain sight for 25 years, how many others like him are out there? Too many, which is why they are all safe, unless and until they are stupid enough to do what he did. Baseball is clearly not ready to learn from the mistakes of their past, and that’s why they are no longer America’s Pastime anymore. 

 


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Are There More People In MLB Like The Mariners Kevin Mather? | TooAthletic.com

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