The disgraced Kevin Mather still might be president and CEO of the Mariners had it not been for one diehard fan.
On Saturday night, 36-year-old Eric Hess was searching for updates on Seattle’s spring training when he stumbled upon an obscure, 46-minute YouTube video of Mather speaking to the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club through Zoom on Feb. 5.
“I grew more and more horrified as the video,” which included Mather making insensitive remarks about players and employees, “went on,” Hess told the Seattle Times.
“I went over and talked my wife and I was like, ‘I think I found something. I’m the only person who has seen this video.’”
Hess shared the video to Twitter and Reddit, and it went viral on Sunday. Following backlash for his comments, Mather resigned on Monday.
Mather mocked the English skills of Mariners scout and former pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma, who is Japanese, and prospect Julio Rodriguez, who is Dominican.
Mather also said veteran Kyle Seager, the team’s starting third baseman since 2012, was “overpaid” entering the final season of a seven-year, $100 million contract. He also said the team planned to start top prospects Jarred Kelenic (a former Mets first-round draft pick) and Logan Gilbert in the minor leagues, a controversial tool used by many teams to manipulate major league service time and keep players under contract longer. That an executive admitted to the strategy could have major implications for CBA negotiations next winter.
“You know, I want the best for the team,” Hess said of Mather resigning. “I want to make sure that we’re a good outfit in and out.”
Mather spent 25 years with the Mariners, which at 19 years owns the longest active postseason drought in North American professional sports.
Between 2009-10, Mather was accused by three women of inappropriate workplace conduct, the Seattle Times reported. The women received financial settlements.