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Friday, January 24, 2014

Mariners promote Mather to team president

And Kevin Mather as the president. (F Frank Bank)

The Seattle Mariners promoted Kevin Mather to team president and chief operating officer on Friday, replacing Chuck Armstrong, who is retiring at the end of the month.

Mather had been serving as executive vice president of finance and ballpark operations. He has been with the team since July 1996 and had held that position since 1999. Mather oversaw Seattle’s financial and ticket services, retail operations, technology and daily operations of Safeco Field, among other duties.

Armstrong, 71, had been Seattle’s team president for 28 of the previous 30 seasons. Armstrong announced he was retiring in late November citing a desire to spend more time around friends and family.

‘‘His experience in the game of baseball has prepared him well for this position,’’ Mariners Chairman Howard Lincoln said. ‘‘He is highly thought of around Major League Baseball and in this community. He will work closely with me to make sure Jack Zduriencik has the resources he needs to build winning teams. Jack remains the leader of the baseball side of our organization.’‘

The 51-year-old Mather worked for the Minnesota Twins before joining the Mariners. He is a native of Madison, Wis., and a 1984 graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

‘‘Our fans, first and foremost, are our focus, and we understand what they want most - a championship team,’’ Mather said in a statement. ‘‘I am looking forward to supporting Jack Zduriencik, as he continues to lead the baseball operation and builds the Mariners both for 2014 and for future seasons. At the same time, our commitment to this community and this region will remain a top priority. This is a tremendous opportunity, and I’m excited about the Mariners future.’‘

Repoz Posted: January 24, 2014 at 04:35 PM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mariners

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   1. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4645992)
I wish they'd found a baseball guy to put in this position, but that's not the Mariners' MO. They're perfectly happy making money and finishing .500 or worse.

There's a new head of Root, which is the TV entity that carries M's game in the PNW. One hopes that means there will be M's games on the tube again in Central Oregon. Root had a pissing match with Bend Broadband and you can't watch the Mariners on the most popular cable provider in the county. It's a real pain in the ass.
   2. Bote Man Posted: January 24, 2014 at 08:14 PM (#4646017)
Leave it to Bieber.
   3. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 24, 2014 at 08:40 PM (#4646024)
Gee wiz
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 08:58 PM (#4646028)

I wish they'd found a baseball guy to put in this position, but that's not the Mariners' MO.

Is there any evidence baseball guys do better? The Rays do okay with a business guy. The Royals in their hey day had a guy Ewing Kauffman brought over from his drug company. Randy Levine of the Yanks is an attorney. Larry Lucchino is an attorney.
   5. Tripon Posted: January 24, 2014 at 09:08 PM (#4646031)
Howard Lincoln used to help run Nintendo of America. That guy is a ballbuster.
   6. God Posted: January 25, 2014 at 01:53 AM (#4646102)
What teams do have baseball people in this spot? The Dodgers with Kasten and the Braves with Schuerholz... who else?
   7. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 25, 2014 at 02:15 AM (#4646104)
Theo Epstein is listed as President, Baseball Operations which isn't necessarily the same thing. When I think of team president I think of a guy overseeing the entire operation of the team but not directly involved with day to day baseball operations (which are the GM's responsibility). They may have input when the discussion is something like "Should we give Robinson Cano a billion dollars" but the business side is what they're really responsible for. That varies by team obviously, from what we've heard about the Mariners it seems like Armstrong and Lincoln spent a fair amount of time with their noses in baseball ops business. It doesn't seem like the president being a baseball guy should really be that important; in the specific case of the Mariners I think it's even less of an issue since Lincoln is still there and seems fairly active in running the team.
   8. kthejoker Posted: January 25, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4646218)
Nolan Ryan did pretty good during his run with the Rangers. Rizzo of course was a minor leaguer and scout, he seems to be doing alright in Washington. And Kenny Williams, of course.
   9. The Ghost screws up everything with hubris Posted: January 25, 2014 at 12:54 PM (#4646224)
Howard Lincoln is still the chairman and CEO, so we Mariners fans aren't expecting much out of this. It looks like one more indication that Lincoln is still calling the shots and the team is being positioned for sale.
   10. BDC Posted: January 25, 2014 at 02:08 PM (#4646238)
The nomenclature of a division of "baseball operations" within a company that's a baseball team has always seemed weird to me. I understand the rationale, since teams have numerous business functions that have nothing to do with deciding who to promote from Tulsa or whatever, but it still sounds redundant.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 25, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4646247)
Mather had been serving as executive vice president of finance and ballpark operations. He has been with the team since July 1996 and had held that position since 1999.

This is what strikes me. An organization that has been largely putrid for the last 10 years, can't think of any better idea that to promote someone who has been there the whole time.

You'd think some new blood would be called for.
   12. The Ghost screws up everything with hubris Posted: January 25, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4646259)
You'd think some new blood would be called for.

Oh no, all they need is this guy - another Howard Lincoln yes-man.

More thought (and hope) that they might be sold in the foreseeable future:

Nontendo isn't doing so hot, and the chairman who bought the Mariners is gone.

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