Andy McKay, Mariners director of player development, also denied Martins's accusations of racism towards him, saying "they are completely false."
The investigation by Major League Baseball is still ongoing. The lawsuit filed by attorneys representing Dr. Lorena Martin has been filed. And the accusations of racism toward the members of the Mariners front office remain.
But regardless of the outcome of MLB’s findings or the ruling in the civil case, the effects of this entire situation remain and aren’t likely to dissipate any time soon.
On Thursday at the Mariners’ pre-spring training luncheon at T-Mobile Park, two of the men named in Martin’s complaints of such behavior addressed the accusations for the first time publicly.
General manager Jerry Dipoto hired Martin to serve as the team’s high performance director — a position he created. It was his decision to fire her with cause just one year into her three-year contract. And he accepted responsibility for the controversy it had devolved into for the organization. But he maintained his innocence of her charges.
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“All of it,” he said of how much responsibility he takes for the situation. “I hired her. At the end of the day, my belief is that justice will prevail. There is an ongoing investigation that I’m not going to get into. I’ve been at this now for 30 years. I know a lot of people in this game. I’m not sexist, nor am I a racist. The accusations that have been made are untrue. I believe that will wash out as this unfolds. But I can only speak for myself. The responsibility for the development of the program and hiring Dr. Martin to come here was on me and I take full responsibility for it. I’m embarrassed at how this has unfolded.”
Dipoto won’t fill Martin’s job. But he was adamant that the concept of high performance development will continue.
“We are not going to stop the programs,” he said. “The programs and the logic — they make all the sense in the world. And in many ways what we’ve been able to develop at the minor league levels from the high performance and a data gathering perspective has been wildly successful. I think this is a chance for us to grow forward. We all make mistakes and this is one of them for me. It’s learning from and moving on in a productive way. Hopefully this is that moment.”
Andy McKay, the Mariners’ director of player development, has helped oversee some of those programs in the team’s minor league system. Like Dipoto and manager Scott Servais, who already denied Martin’s accusations at the winter meetings, McKay also had allegations of racism toward Latin American players leveled against him. He refuted the accusations and didn’t think it would affect him in his work responsibilities.
“It’s a difficult situation, obviously,” he said. “It’s one that requires thought and it requires reflection. But in terms of the people I work with on a daily basis the support has been unanimous and 100 percent positive. The accusations are serious, but they are completely false. I never said anything like that. I’ve never thought that. I’ve never felt it. It didn’t happen.
“Fortunately, I think I have a track record with people I’ve worked with, not just here, but in Colorado and in Sacramento that this is not just very believable. I’m not planning on addressing it. I haven’t addressed it. This is the first time I’ve addressed it. And I’m grateful for the Mariners. They’ve supported me. Major League Baseball is doing an investigation that is very thorough and very complete. And at the end of it, I’ll feel very good about where my name will stand.”
Part of McKay’s work centers around working with Latino players and coaches and at the Mariners’ academy in the Dominican Republic. He hasn’t had any conversations with Latino players or coaches about the situation or what happened.
“Honestly, I haven’t had one conversation,” he said. “I’ve literally had hundreds of text messages. In terms of the players, I don’t feel like I need to address it. I haven’t sensed a need to address it. Again, I know who I am. I know what I believe. I know what I did not say. I think the overwhelming number of people who are around me feel the exact same way. I would have no issues bringing it up and addressing it with somebody if they felt it would help or if they felt uncomfortable or if I sensed they were uncomfortable. I would be proactive and bring it up. But it just hasn’t occurred to this point because it’s false and never happened.”