SEATTLE — New Mariners President Catie Griggs acknowledged her position in the sports landscape and tried to temper immediate changes in the organization she will now lead.
"It's all about coming in and doing a good job regardless of who you are or what you look like. It's a privilege and one I take very seriously in terms of setting a standard for representation in terms of showing people they can do things," said Griggs in an interview with KING 5 shortly after her introduction.
Griggs, as team president, is now the highest-ranking woman in Major League Baseball.
She is also an outsider of sorts in Seattle. Her only ties to the region come from her sister, who has lived here for years. Otherwise, she has a varied sports business background that includes stops at Turner Sports and, most recently, with Major League Soccer's Atlanta United. It was likely a selling point for the search committee tasked with replacing disgraced, former team President Kevin Mather, who rose through the ranks of the franchise.
Her hire represents a clean break and a chance to start anew. Griggs said she plans on focusing on the fans first, but workplace environment is part of the equation.
"When I look at diversity, equity, inclusion I'm looking at it through the lens of business," she said. "It is good business to surround yourself with people who look and think differently than you do."
The Ivy League grad will be on the same level as Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto and will report directly to Mariners Owner John Stanton, who said that lots of baseball lifers applied for the role.
"We had over a 100 candidates," he said, adding, "We certainly had a lot of people self-identify with backgrounds in baseball."
Stanton, who received his fair share of criticism in the wake of Mather's departure, added that Griggs could be a change agent.
"Culture is incredibly important to any organization," he said. "If an organization only grows from within there is a tendency to not realize and recognize that things have changed in other organizations. We don't have a monopoly on good ideas and bringing in someone like Catie we broaden the lens, we broaden the aperture."
Griggs officially starts on the job next month.