The Arizona Diamondbacks have reportedly suspended play by play man Daron Sutton, though the reasons remain unclear.
ESPN's Jerry Crasnick is reporting that Sutton has been suspended for insubordination, due to a pattern of disobeying management over a period of several years. One report has the straw that broke the camel's back being Sutton's refusal to adhere to a new dress code for on-air talent... which seems a little bizarre considering that Sutton and brodcast partner Mark Grace have dressed as Stormtroopers on a broadcast. That's not to mention the fact that Grace and Sutton's interim replacement Greg Schulte were wearing Diamondbacks-branded polos last night, which Sutton had consistently worn in past games.
Another report from the Arizona Republic is seemingly confirming that the suspension is because of a personnel matter, while Sutton's comment about the situation indicated that it was a personal matter. The official word from the Diamondbacks indicates that Sutton is not on the Diamondbacks' current road trip, which runs through the weekend and takes them to Atlanta and Milwaukee. The team merely says, "Daron will be taking some time off" with absolutely no reason given as to why.
There are a couple of ironic notes to this story that add another wrinkle to things. Sutton's father, baseball Hall of Famer Don Sutton, is a radio broadcaster for the Braves, where the Diamondbacks have begun their road trip this week. The younger Sutton is also scheduled to be the play by play announcer for Saturday's Diamondbacks-Brewers game, which will be televised on Fox. A suspended broadcaster announcing that club's game for a national network sure seems like a weirdly unprecedented situation. Also, the Twitter account for Arizona's broadcast booth (which is run by Sutton) hasn't tweeted since Friday, which is extremely odd for an account that normally tweets several times a game.
Say what you want to about Sutton's broadcasting abilities (I personally find him entertaining and informative, though Grace drives me up the wall), but this whole situation is very cryptic and strange. There isn't a ton of information going around as to why Sutton was suspended, and with the embarrassing lack of information coming from the team, all we're really left with is more questions than answers.
Dosen't this also mean that all of the broadcasters who worked for The MTN and didn't work for a 2nd network will be out of a job too??
@CUbsfan I believe every one of the Mtn's announcers worked with a second network as well. Even if they didn't, it means they are free agents, and ESPN+ is always looking for announcers to do regional broadcasts. Since each team will also need announcers for their third tier TV rights, it means a lot more announcers may be needed than what Mtn has available. Mtn had 3 football teams and what could amount to 5 basketball teams.
@DanielOrmsby @CUbsfanDaniel okay cool because i know that Erin Bajackson,Dave Bollwinkel, Todd Christenson,Joe Cravens,Mike Evans,Marty Fletcher,Teri Goldberg,Mark Knudson, Sammy Linebaugh,Andrea Lloyd, Larry Mangino, Amanda Mazey, Beau Morgan,,
Ted Sundquist,Natalie Vickers and Ann Shatz will be out of a job now!
@CUbsfan Are you saying only those last 3 will be without a job, or are you saying that entire list is? I know Dave Bollwinkel has called basketball games for WAC Sports Network these past two seasons, and Sammy Linebaugh has done some reports for BYUtv while at Mtn. Christensen is likely going to be brought up to form a 2nd broadcast team for MWC games on CBSSN, or BYUtv may scoop him up since he is a BYU alum (would probably be for pregame & postgame spots alongside Alema harrington since Fowler and Sheide do analysis and Dave McCann does all the football play-by-play). Sundquist will probably be hired to do Air Force third tier games (my guess is Root gets them). I don't know about the ladies, because outside of ESPN, BYUtv, Root NW, FSN (Big 12 and Pac-12), and CBSSN, there aren't a lot of women's basketball games on TV unless teams form their own broadcast groups (like 99% of the women's games on Fox College Sports are). However any of them could be hired to do the ESPN+ games (much like Steve Cleveland was hired by ESPN+ to do the ESPN+ games at Utah State even though he works for BYUtv) or to fill those third-tier rights should local stations pick them up.
While Mtn was a great idea, it should be noted that it was lies and deception behind the scenes that ultimately led to Mtn's downfall. Most people will never read the original announcement on Mtn, but originally it was supposed to be a national network that carried MWC sports to the nation and local carriers (like KSL & KJZZ in SLC) would be able to pick up their teams games for local carriage. When Comcast came into play and offered to help form the network, taking half the burden from CBS Sports Net, they did away with that local carriage clause. Now they also added x games a season to air on NBC Sports Net (at the time Versus), but hurting the local fans should have never been allowed, and hurting the national fans was that much worse. The only team that was able to reestablish that clause later on was San Diego State with SDSU Mtn and CBSSN games airing simulcast on 4SD. Mtn was never available in San Diego, Las Vegas, or the Metroplex for SDSU, TCU, and UNLV outside of DirecTV, which didn't add it until its third year. Mtn also decided they had to hold onto all third tier rights instead of returning them to local teams. Some, like New Mexico vs. New Mexico State, were able to get around this by having AggieVision do the game every year, but you essentially stopped at least 8-10 basketball games a year from being broadcast with that clause of not returning third tier rights to the local teams. Mtn was a good idea with the original proposal, but you should have allowed the teams what they wanted and needed. If you did, then BYU, Utah, TCU, Boise State, and San Diego State might still be in the conference, and you might still be in existence Mtn. Farewell Mtn, but you won't be missed.
At the very least, CBS Sports Network would only have to repeat a game five times instead of ten times.
Seriously, I hope the Alliance plan works out for them. There may be 16 or 18 members by the time it's all done. That should mean enough content so that they can schedule better.