Drayer: Mariners’ Dipoto, Servais share updates on how team is operating
Both Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto and manager Scott Servais made appearances Thursday on 710 ESPN Seattle, with Dipoto joining Danny and Gallant from his home in Seattle and Servais calling into Tom, Jake and Stacy from Colorado.
Both talked about the communications systems the Mariners have in place for both the players and staff, with players routinely being checked on by coaches and medical staff, and everyone else meeting regularly on Zoom and Microsoft Teams as they attempt to stay in contact and move the organization forward in whatever manner they can. In terms of relaxing or using free time, Servais pointed out that those accustomed to the baseball grind are finding themselves in very foreign territory right now.
“It becomes a part of your lifestyle. It is an adjustment, I miss it dearly,” he said. “It’s one message I have given to all of our players, through talking to them or text messages – we can never take this for granted.”
A sign perhaps that nobody in the game is taking anything for granted: the agreement reached between MLB and the MLBPA. We don’t know when baseball will come back, but we do know that all sides are in agreement on the major issue to both sustain the game while unable to play and the priorities once they can take the field.
“Everyone involved from the league to the clubs to the players did the right thing,” said Dipoto. “That’s what happened with this deal. While we are going through this, the players will have a lesser paycheck coming in but they will have a paycheck coming in. I think that’s a really strong show of support by the league that it didn’t have to be that way, but it is. That’s step No. 1.
“I am excited to see that especially at a time when we are going into a season that is a negotiating season for a new bargaining agreement. We are off to a really good start between the league and players in trying to determine what is right and finding ways to settle in an area that makes sense for everybody.”
With the agreement behind them, what lies ahead remains uncertain. At some point – nobody knows when – baseball will return. The adjustments that need to be made are adjustments that those who have been kept away from the game should have little problem making, according to Dipoto.
“When we come back we will play a season, whatever that season looks like,” he said. “It will be a competitive season that will end in a playoff scenario and that’s exciting. We will still have baseball the same way we have always had baseball. It will just be a shorter season to look at. We are continuing to play it day-by-day with the situation we are in worldwide. We are dealing with something everyone has to deal with. We are doing the best we can with it. I don’t know what the length of schedule will look like but I do know we have done the right thing.”
Regardless of length of season, when baseball starts up again the goal for the Mariners will be the same: get the young players experience.
“We want these guys to get out there and figure out what they can and can’t do at the major league level,” said Servais. “It really hasn’t changed our thought process at all. It excites me probably more than I was this offseason now that I have seen these players and strides they have taken, understanding that there are going to be a few bumps in the road. Eventually we will get back and we have a lot to play for.”
It will be more than wins and losses or experience for young players.
“Everybody understands the importance of these games in our communities,” said Servais. “When you are going through a crisis like this, I think people need something to latch onto, something to distract them. Sports has a way of doing that.”
When the time is right, baseball will be given the opportunity to be a distraction. Now the focus is doing things the right way and supporting the heroes on the front lines.
“I really have a ton of gratitude for all of the health care workers, the supply chain specialists, the grocery workers, the sanitary workers, all the people who are doing everything they can to make us safe, lower the curve and get us back to our normal life as soon as possible,” said Servais. “And the fans really appreciate it. I know they want us to play, they want to get out there and follow the Mariners again. It will happen.
“We got this, Seattle. We will see you out there and we will be playing again. Every single one of us is looking forward to that.”
You can find the interviews in the players embedded below.