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03/06/2021   Seattle PI Mariners

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Seattle Mariners top prospect Jarred Kelenic will be sidelined due to a strained adductor muscle in his left knee.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said an MRI on Saturday revealed the injury. No timeline was given for the outfielder's return.

“While disappointed that Jarred will be sidelined, we are relieved that the long-term outlook is positive,” Dipoto said. “We all look forward to seeing him back on the field in the near future.”

Kelenic appeared to be injured during his first at-bat on Friday against the Chicago White Sox. Kelenic reached on an error, but appeared bothered after reaching first base. Kelenic remained in the game and was replaced an inning later.

The 21-year-old Kelenic, who hit Seattle’s first home run of spring training earlier this week against the Cubs, has been the center of attention during spring training.

Kelenic’s arrival in the majors was part of comments made by former team president and CEO Kevin Mather that indicated Seattle was considering manipulating Kelenic’s service time.

Kelenic and his agent lashed out at the Mariners in comments made to USA Today following Mather’s resignation last month. After homering earlier this week Kelenic said he’s using those words as motivation.

“I’m a competitor,” Kelenic said. “I’m a very driven person as it is. Having said that, you know, something like this comes up and I think you can look at it one of two ways: One, you can sit and pout about it, or you can use it as motivation and let it drive me even more. That’s kind of where I’m at. Each and every day I’m letting this drive me.”

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02/23/2021   Seattle PI Mariners

Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais are doing damage control with players who were directly mentioned or referenced by former team CEO Kevin Mather in an online video that led to his resignation.

The message over the past two days to those affected has been: you have every right to be upset.

“We are very open with our players and urge them to be the same. And if they want to be angry, they should be, frankly. They should be insulted,” Dipoto said Tuesday. “But at the same time, they are collectively driven toward what we’re trying to do here as a team.”

The video posted over the weekend showed Mather expressing his views of the club’s organizational strategy and making controversial remarks about players during a recent online event. He took insensitive shots at a former All-Star from Japan and a top prospect from the Dominican Republic for their English skills. He also admitted the team may be manipulating service time for some of its young players.

Mather apologized Sunday and then abruptly resigned the next day, but not before casting a pall over the organization as it began full squad workouts in Arizona.

Dipoto and Servais are both angry.

“I’m embarrassed that this is the way we’re viewed because for those of you who’ve been around me or Scott or this team, this is not how we’re wired,” Dipoto said. “It’s embarrassing to be categorized or deal with the stigma that we are now pinned with, and we have to shed it. It’s ours to bear and we now have to be accountable to that, and then find a way to grow beyond it.”

Seattle pitcher Marco Gonzales said Tuesday after the first full team workout that players are upset about the comments and annoyed by the distraction when they'd rather have the attention...

02/22/2021   Seattle PI Mariners

In one 45-minute conversation, Kevin Mather undermined the Seattle Mariners far beyond being the organization with the longest playoff drought in baseball.

He took insensitive shots at a former All-Star from Japan and a top prospect from the Dominican Republic for their English skills. He admitted to the team possibly manipulating service time for some of its top prospects.

All this from a top executive who once was accused of harassing a female employee and kept his job despite a settlement.

The latest transgression by Mather ended up costing him his position as president and CEO of the Mariners. Mather resigned on Monday after video surfaced over the weekend of him expressing his views of the club’s organizational strategy and making insensitive remarks about players during a recent online event.

Mariners Chairman John Stanton announced the decision and said Mather resigned before a decision had to be made whether he’d be fired.

But the choice seemed predetermined as the firestorm over Mather’s comments raged since they were first posted to Twitter on Sunday — which is how Stanton first learned of their existence. There’s been no determination whether Mather will receive a severance or what will happen to his small ownership stake in the franchise.

“There were a number of comments made by Kevin that, as I’ve said, didn’t reflect the Mariners, don’t reflect what I believe, what our ownership believes, and were inappropriate,” Stanton said. “Those comments included some of the things that have been referenced with respect to our players, and in particular the importance of diversity and inclusion in our organization.”

Mather, with the team since 1996 and promoted to CEO and team president in 2017, apologized late Sunday after his comments from Feb. 5 made to the Bellevue, Washington,...