Seattle CEO's words stoke fire, frustration for players, PA

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2018, file photo, Seattle Mariners president Kevin Mather stands on the field before the team's baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Seattle. Mather apologized late Sunday night, Feb. 21, 2021, for comments made during a recent online event where he expressed opinions about organizational strategy, personnel moves and club finances. Mathers comments came in a speech to the Bellevue, Wash., Breakfast Rotary Club on Feb. 5 and were posted online over the weekend. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2018, file photo, Seattle Mariners president Kevin Mather stands on the field before the team's baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Seattle. Mather apologized late Sunday night, Feb. 21, 2021, for comments made during a recent online event where he expressed opinions about organizational strategy, personnel moves and club finances. Mathers comments came in a speech to the Bellevue, Wash., Breakfast Rotary Club on Feb. 5 and were posted online over the weekend. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File) (Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

As far as Anthony Rizzo is concerned, Kevin Mather simply said the quiet part out loud.

Mather, the CEO and president of the Seattle Mariners, resigned Monday after video surfaced of a speech he gave to a Rotary Club this month in which he made insensitive comments about several current and former players.

He also spoke bluntly on a point of contention between teams and players when he said Seattle would likely keep top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Logan Gilbert in the minors at the start of the season to delay their right to file for free agency.

The players' association has long complained about the practice. Cubs star Kris Bryant filed and lost a grievance against Chicago alleging the club intentionally manipulated his service time when it kept him in Triple-A for two weeks prior to his major league debut in 2015. Had Bryant been promoted one day earlier, he would have been eligible for free agency a year sooner.

Bryant and the union lost their grievance because it couldn't prove the Cubs acted in bad faith.

“Being in this game, you know what (Mather) said is true to about 99.9%. It happens. It’s just not out there and it’s just not said," said Rizzo, Bryant's teammate with the Cubs. “There’s stories written on it. There’s teams that manipulate service time. There’s teams that do it all the time. ... I’m happy it’s out there in the public now and people are seeing that this is the way it is.”

Detroit Tigers outfielder Robbie Grossman was direct in his reaction Monday.

“That's a tough situation," he said. "Hopefully the union will look into it.”