SBD/October 5, 2012/Media

D'Backs Confirm Sutton, Grace Will Not Return To TV Booth; Will Stone Leave White Sox?

The team cited "philosophical
differences" with Sutton (l)
D'Backs President & CEO Derrick Hall on Thursday said that TV announcers Daron Sutton and Mark Grace "will not return" to the broadcast booth next season, according to Nick Piecoro of the ARIZONA REPUBLIC. Sutton was "suspended after calling the June 20 game" against the Mariners, while Grace in August "received his second DUI in 15 months." Hall said that the D'Backs "had told Grace after the first DUI that they could not keep him if it happened again." He added Grace's contract was set to expire after the season. Meanwhile, Hall for the first time spoke of the "philosophical differences" the team had with Sutton following his June suspension. Hall noted it was a combination of things "that have happened over the years." He added that Sutton "was not too negative on the air nor did he have any run-ins with the law." Piecoro notes Sutton is "under contract for another four years with a deal that was negotiated at the end of the 2011 season." Hall said that he "has not had conversations with Sutton or his agent about a settlement." He added that Sutton’s contract "precludes him from working for another team," but he noted the team “would consider” allowing Sutton to talk with other clubs. Hall said that the D'Backs are "searching for replacements, and that he hopes to have new broadcasters in place within the next three weeks." A source said that the D'Backs are "planning to contact Chicago Cubs television analyst Bob Brenly, who was the team’s manager during the 2001 championship season" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 10/5). FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com's Jack Magruder reported D'Backs radio announcer Greg Schulte "will return to the radio booth after filling in for Sutton following his suspension." Schulte has been with the D'Backs "since their inception" in '98. Hall said that the team "will consider in-house replacements for Grace" (FOXSPORTSARIZONA.com, 10/4).

A STONE'S THROW AWAY: In Chicago, Mark Gonzalez cited a source as saying that the D'Backs have White Sox TV analyst Steve Stone "on a very short list of candidates." Stone is "under contract with the Sox, but he is immensely popular" in Arizona. It is possible Stone could "receive permission to get out of his contract if he receives a lucrative offer elsewhere" (CHICAGOTRIBUNE.com, 10/4). Stone Thursday said he was "pretty sure" he would return to the White Sox' booth next year, but added, "You never know what next year is going to hold." Stone: "You have to enjoy what you’re doing and you have to realize the time is getting away from you.” He added, “I love what I do. I have loved what I’ve done. ... I work for perhaps the best owner in all of sports, and that’s Jerry Reinsdorf.” Stone: “I want baseball and broadcasting to be a part of my life as long as possible. I have a contract with the Chicago White Sox. They’ve been wonderful to me and I fully expect that nothing is really going to change” (“The McNeil & Spiegel Show,” WSCR-AM, 10/4).

GET ON THE MIC, MIKE: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Yankees TV play-by-play announcer Michael Kay this season "often confused big league baseball for a fantasy league kind that apparently is played only in his head." Kay during the broadcast of Monday's Red Sox-Yankees game said, "It’s also an interesting debate -- and we don’t want to get your minds spinning -- but do you even want to finish with the best record? You have to sit around and wonder where you’re going." Mushnick: "That's 'an interesting debate'? For whom?" (N.Y. POST, 10/5).
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