A tumultous year for Arizona Diamondbacks announcers has taken another turn, and the latest chapter involves TV color commentator Mark Grace taking an indefinite leave of absence. The initial reports have Grace taking the time off due to seeking "personal assistance."
You probably remember back in June when Grace's play by play partner Daron Sutton was suspended indefinitely by the Diamondbacks due to insubordination, stemming from his preference to wear a suit in the broadcast booth. There was no announced timetable for Sutton's return, and as we reach the end of August, you have to think he's not coming back this year with the Diamondbacks, if ever. He was replaced by long-time Arizona radio play-by-play announcer Greg Schulte.
Grace's color duties in the D-Backs booth will be filled by team legend Luis Gonzalez on Friday and Saturday, and broadcasting legend Joe Garagiola on Sunday. In an interesting note, I've heard on Twitter from Diamondbacks fans that Grace wasn't on the team's last road trip (which I confirmed by looking at MLB.TV archives from last week), but did call the team's four game series at home against the Marlins that concluded with a doubleheader on Wednesday.
Grace was charged with a DUI last summer. It's unknown what the current situation is facing Grace, but hopefully he gets the assistance he needs and is able to return to the booth.
UPDATE: Grace's leave of absence is tied to a second DUI after an arrest on Thursday night, in addition to Grace driving on a suspended license from his first DUI and driving without an interlock device, which was required after that first DUI.