When was the last time the Seattle Mariners made the playoffs? 2001. It's been two full decades since the Mariners put a respectable team out on the field. The craziest part about that 2001 Mariners team is they set an MLB record, 116 wins in the regular season. That record is still tied for the most wins in a regular season.
How does a team go from 116 wins to no playoff appearances in two decades? A combination of bad drafting and free agency signings will do that. We know a lot of baseball owners are cheap. I mean, look at the payrolls for some of these teams this year.
The fact that multiple NBA players get paid more than an entire MLB roster is ridiculous.
Seattle Mariners President/CEO, Kevin Mather was speaking to the Rotary Club about some of their plans for the upcoming season. I don't know what a Rotary Club is, but here's the full interview.
Let's start with his comments about service time manipulation. Service time is a way the MLB calculates how many years you've been in the show. Since the MLB is weird with players getting sent up and down from the minor leagues, service time determines when you can hit free agency and how much you get paid. A lot of teams like to mess with a player's service time. That way, they don't have to pay them and have control for a longer period of time. I think a player needs six years of service time to hit free agency. It's a messed-up way for billionaire owners to save a few bucks.
Another interesting comment he made was paying for translators. Since baseball is a big international sport, there's a lot of players that come from around the world. Since they don't speak good English, they need translators to speak with the media. Mather talks about not wanting to pay $75,000 for Hisashi Iwakuma's translator. Iwakuma, who's been a bright spot for the Mariners the last two decades made the All-Star team in 2013 and threw a no-hitter. He's now the Mariners' scout for Japanese prospects. It will be interesting to see how international prospects look at the Mariners now.
Iwakuma wasn't the only player Mather talked about regarding his English. He also talked about how prospect Julio Rodriguez's English wasn't tremendous. He also said he won't be ready until 2022-2023. Rodriguez took his thoughts to Twitter...
Lastly, I want to talk about his approach to free agency. He talks about how he waits for the market to die down so he can sign players for cheaper. This is what I'd get the most mad about if I were a Mariners fan. There's a reason why the Mariners haven't made the playoffs in the last two decades.
Mather also discussed how long time Mariner, Kyle Seager, is overpaid and this will be his last year with the club... His wife appears to be ready to go if that's the case.
I understand baseball is a business, but calling the longest tenured player on your team overpaid to a bunch of old dudes at the Rotary Club doesn't scream classy.
I can't imagine Mather holding his President/CEO title any longer. He's a minority owner so he might stick around, but that whole video shows you why the Mariners are a loser organization. What makes an organization great is investing in their players. Look at the Dodgers. If you don't spend money and give the players what they need, you will continue to be a 65 win team.
Good news for Mariners fans. Hopefully this leads to better days in the Pacific Northwest.
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