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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Lyons' Failure to Communicate
2006-10-17 09:35
by Jon Weisman

The most telling aspect of the Steve Lyons "I'm still lookin' for my wallet" controversy was not that his words might have been racially offensive, but that hardly anyone could make sense of what he was saying at all. It's almost as if Dunder-Mifflin's Michael Scott were providing the color commentary.

That's what makes the Dodgers' decision to rehire Lyons for their local broadcasts (Animal House double-secret-probation style) so peculiar.

Over the weekend, after initially struggling to parse Lyons' remarks during the A's-Tigers game, I began to feel that all the accusations of racism in his comments were a dual smokescreen for a desire by Fox to fire Lyons 1) for general inanity (it was Lyons, for example, who infamously theorized that home runs are rally killers) and 2) to provide evidence that the network is tough on racism.

King Kaufman of Salon probably had the best wrapup of the tempest, pointing out among many salient observations that "anyone listening would have to twist themselves in knots to not hear Lyons' joke for what it was, a clumsy, unfunny attempt to needle Piniella, not an ethnic slur." Like Kaufman, I tend to be oversensitive, if anything, to these matters, and like Kaufman, I can't believe that even considering Lyons' previous ramblings, this was essentially the last word.

Lyons' line wasn't even the most questionable thing I heard on a baseball broadcast over the weekend. During the Cardinals-Mets game Sunday, radio commentator Dave Campbell observed, "(Anthony) Reyes is from Downey, California. I suspect with his Hispanic heritage, he is probably bilingual." I can only wish that everyone with a given heritage could speak a second language – what communications skills we would have.

Perhaps, though no cultural organization jumped on Lyons' remark right away, it was inevitable that one would, and Fox was just deciding to be proactive in firing Lyons. Anyway, what's done is done. I don't think the racist tag will stick with Lyons, mostly because few people seem to be buying into the charge. At the same time, it doesn't appear Lyons, who at his best was merely inoffensive but rarely insightful, will be missed.

In fact, he really won't be missed in Los Angeles, because he'll still be around.

How is it that Lyons is not good enough to work for Fox but good enough to work for the same team that employs Vin Scully? I have two guesses. One is that the Dodger organization just likes the guy, personally, and didn't want to pile on. So the Dodgers protect themselves by putting Lyons through sensitivity training and on probation, and move on to other matters, the same way The Office would.

The other possibility is that the Dodgers consider the candidates to replace Lyons to be simply more of the same – ex-players who consider their personal experiences and beliefs to be so compelling that they no longer really study the game, but simply regurgitate the gospel they have been taught. Strangely, it's what baseball teams seem to be looking for in a broadcaster. It's not as if some of that gospel isn't true, but at a certain point, we've heard it all before.

There isn't enough interest in finding someone with something new to say. Forget about wallets. The problem symbolized by Lyons is that better voices aren't being schooled or that they aren't being heard.

Comments (156)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-10-17 09:45:25
1.   Mark T.R. Donohue
I find myself oddly disappointed that Vernon Wells still has 10 good years of playing ahead of him. During the first week of the playoffs he was the most articulate and informed guy behind a desk.
2006-10-17 10:03:28
2.   Bluebleeder87
for the record this hispanic fan of baseball didn't like FOX firing Steve Lyons
2006-10-17 10:07:54
3.   Bob Timmermann
Based on my ethnic background, I can say:

Ich kann nicht Deutsches sprechen

Ja ne moći govoriti Hrvatski

Sorry, couldn't find an online Gaelic translation site.

2006-10-17 10:11:08
4.   Steamer
I find Lyons entertaining and think the firing was an overreaction. I think the Dodgers handled it better than FOX.

Agree with post 1. I had the same reaction to Wells, but I wonder if you would be disappointed if those 10 years (or say, the next 3) were in a Dodger uniform?

2006-10-17 10:15:32
5.   Jacob L
As somewhat of a side issue, I just don't get any coherent sense of what the Dodgers are going for in their broadcast. I guess the additions of Steiner and Lyons two years ago gave them more of a "network" feel with guys who are known nationally, but then they continue to employ Rick Monday, who must have the Scott Erickson on somebody.

Also, has there ever been a more bland post-season guest annoncer than Luis Gonzalez? In a booth with Buck and McCarver, which leaves a lot of room to say something insightful, he literally is adding nothing.

2006-10-17 10:19:53
6.   still bevens
After watching the MNF game last night with Joe Theisman and that doofus from pardom the interruption, Im fine with all these guys. Those dudes make Rex Hudler look like Vin Scully.
2006-10-17 10:21:06
7.   Bluebleeder87
is Wells on ESPN or FOX?
2006-10-17 10:21:14
8.   Mark T.R. Donohue
4 As Baseball Toaster's token Rockies fan, I would be happier with Wells in the booth than on the field, because I know my team sure can't afford 'im.
2006-10-17 10:22:20
9.   DodgerHobbit
My wife remembered him the first time she saw him on television out here as a guy that used to come to her school assemblies in rural Connecticut (town of less than 2,000) as a motivational speaker. I don't remember if it was for middle school or high school, I'm going to have to ask her later.

Make whatever jokes you can out of that.

FWIW I don't think he's a racist...he's the guy in the office that feels he has to tell you a joke everytime he meets up with you, is politically incorrect (not necessarily a bad thing), and is annoying to the point that you dread going to the supply room for fear of meeting him on the way. He is probably a nice guy, but I wouldn't want to find out.

2006-10-17 10:25:16
10.   Blaine
I would love the idea of finding a young, articulate guy and have him sit with Vinny for the next few years and just listen and learn. I think that if the Dodger fans had someone that they could view as their own they would grab on to him and would accept him as the voice of the Dodgers for the next generation. It would be rather like Scully passing the torch to the next generation as Red Barber passed it to him when he was the young guy.
2006-10-17 10:27:51
11.   Blaine
Are their any young voices here in So Cal? I heard a snippet from an Avengers game and I believe the announcer was a local young guy. He sounded articulate and well spoken.

I would rather see them develop a young guy from the minors than to pick up veterans off of the scrap heap.

2006-10-17 10:27:59
12.   rbj
Well, you can't go around firing guys for general inanity. Think how long the unemployment line would be.

One big problem I have with sports broadcasting these days is the constant talking. There are times when less is more. Sure for radio you need to paint the scene, but tv already gives you that.

2006-10-17 10:28:05
13.   scareduck
The problem symbolized by Lyons is that better voices aren't being schooled or that they aren't being heard.

It's worse than that. They can't discern comptetent from incompetent, or else why isn't Ross Porter still calling games on the radio?

2006-10-17 10:31:46
14.   Jon Weisman
I just updated my post slightly. I realized that everything about Lyons makes sense if you see it through the prism of "The Office." I wish I could rewrite my whole post, but no time for that.
2006-10-17 10:32:38
15.   Daniel Zappala
Why can't the Dodgers just hire Russ Langer?
2006-10-17 10:33:17
16.   FirstMohican
I watched Lyons go at it when it happened and I immediately got the feeling that he made his comments in response to Pinella speaking spanish. I felt like Lyons was jokingly implying that because Pinella spoke spanish his wallet was gone, and that he didn't want to sit next to him. (I don't care about the "hablaing espagnol" - that's stupid and unfunny.) It's pretty sad that the first thing Lyons thought of when he heard spanish was to make a joke about missing his wallet.

I definitely understand why Fox let him go. He had just apologized for the seeing apparatus jokes and the audience is gonna get tired of hearing "I'm sorry". That said, I'm not against the Dodgers keeping him. I doubt his comments stemmed from some deep dislike of spanish speakers, so it's not like the guy is a terrible guy.

The point about him good enough to work with Vin but not with Fox does seem insulting depending on your interpretation. I think Fox was just done having him for the playoffs, and it also could've been partly "the last straw".

All that said, if the Dodgers let him go because of, you know, all the other reasons he should go, I'd be fine with that too.

2006-10-17 10:33:48
17.   Jon Weisman
15 - Because he's a play-by-play analyst, not a color commentator - and for whatever reason, they have come to want that two-man booth.
2006-10-17 10:34:53
18.   27indigo
11 As a former aspiring sportscaster, I can assure you the vast majority of the young guys in the business have no interest whatsoever in developing eloquence and grace in their deliveries.

Then again, considering most of us grew up with SportsCenter and "BOOYAH" and "SAY HELLO TO MY LIL FRIEND" and so on, I get the feeling you'll be hearing far more Chris Berman/Steve Lyons/ESPN-type guys than you'll ever care for.

2006-10-17 10:37:03
19.   FirstMohican
14 - Your comparison to Michael is perfect. The guy's a bonehead, but it's not like he's hateful.


First thing I thought of: "Kevin, you are accused of making sexually suggestive remarks to Angela that made her feel uncomfortable. Solution: Angela, you are to make sexually suggestive remarks to Kevin that make him feel uncomfortable."

2006-10-17 10:44:13
20.   KG16
10, 11 - didn't they use to do a thing during Think Blue Week where a fan got to call an inning of a game?

Even though it's got a reality tv feel to it, maybe that might be a way to find a new voice - I'm not looking forward to the days of Dodger baseball without Vin. It's like the Lakers without Chick, just. not. the same.

2006-10-17 10:46:07
21.   Daniel Zappala
17 That's a shame, because he could be fantastic, doing the whole game himself. I personally prefer to listen to just one person, like I'm used to with Scully.
2006-10-17 10:46:34
22.   bryanf
"Strangely, it's what baseball teams seem to be looking for in a broadcaster."

Amen to that. Vin is a dying breed. This post-season made me realize that there are basically no good announcers left in baseball outside of Vinny.

2006-10-17 10:49:08
23.   Jon Weisman
16 "does seem insulting" - do you mean, insulting to Vin?
2006-10-17 10:52:22
24.   Bluebleeder87

Cerritos College has some young guys doing Dodger games i thought they sounded o.k.

2006-10-17 10:52:49
25.   Kyle S
The ironic thing is that Lyons was probably making fun of himself in this case, not another race.

When Piniella compared finding a wallet to Scutaro's hot streak, Lyons, I believe, was refering to how he has never gotten hot at the plate with "I'm still looking for my wallet."

2006-10-17 10:58:15
26.   FirstMohican
23 - I can understand how someone might react like this: "How is it that Lyons is not good enough to work for Fox but good enough to work for the same team that employs Vin Scully?" Similarly I also understand that not everyone reacted like I did to Lyons' comments.

Regardless I feel Fox made the right decision, and I'm personally not insulted if the Dodgers retain Lyons as I don't think Lyons harbors any hatred for spanish speakers (Well, not any more insulted than I already am for having someone like Lyons announcing in the first place. But that's generally ignored because I figure, hey, I get to listen to Vin the majority of the time.)

2006-10-17 11:00:14
27.   D4P
So the Dodgers protect themselves by putting Lyons through sensitivity training and on probation, and move on to other matters, the same way The Office would

Please refrain from such disempowering, insensitive analogies. Some of us don't watch "The Office"...

2006-10-17 11:01:58
28.   FirstMohican
25 - I can see that... but Lyons said something like he didn't know what Lou was saying, but he didn't feel comfortable sitting next to him.
2006-10-17 11:02:56
29.   Jon Weisman
27 - I empower you with the desire to become empowered.
2006-10-17 11:03:22
30.   adraymond
"Some of us"

Don't imply that others belong to your bizarre cult.

2006-10-17 11:07:14
31.   caseybarker
If I may say so without getting run, I think Jon Miller does a fine job, especially if you compare him with the other play-by-play guys throughout the league.
2006-10-17 11:08:18
32.   Jon Weisman
31 - I like Miller.
2006-10-17 11:08:34
33.   Greg S
Since the Lyons incident, I've been trying to decide if I like the guy. I've come to the decision that I acutally kind of do.
He's clearly not very bright but he's energetic and fun. He'd be a horrible play by play guy but he adds just what his tile says, color. He's stupid and knows it and has fun with it which beats the heck out of Tim McCarver who is stupid, has nothing meaningful to say but is positive that the opposite is true and so everything he says sounds like it's been underscored on the teleprompter.
2006-10-17 11:09:27
34.   Kayaker7
18 Ha ha, the satirical commercial with Joe Buck cashing in on a gong-banging catch phrase, "Slamma lamma ding-dong" would be funnier if it weren't so true.
2006-10-17 11:09:56
35.   caseybarker
Plus, Lyons is an OSU Beaver!
2006-10-17 11:12:14
36.   D4P
Lyons is an OSU Beaver!

I was trying to verify the memory in my mind that Steve went to North Eugene High School. Can anyone confirm or deny that...?

2006-10-17 11:14:30
37.   bigcpa
I would like to see someone attempt a saber-friendly web radio play-by-play of a baseball game. Say for educational purposes like college radio. Imagine an entire broadcast without batter vs pitcher splits. Better yet someone calling attention to bad moves and bad players without fear of losing a buddy behind the batting cage. I think there's an audience for this. Investors contact me directly.
2006-10-17 11:15:35
38.   caseybarker
Baseball-cube says he went to Beaverton high school.
2006-10-17 11:16:45
39.   Greg S
Not very hard to picture Steve Lyons in high school is it.
2006-10-17 11:17:48
40.   caseybarker
37 My sister and I were just talking yesterday about how every ball player is either excellent or above-average according to analysts on radio or TV.
2006-10-17 11:19:09
41.   Robert Daeley
Hey, there's a really talented radio announcer with the Inland Empire 66ers (our new single-A affiliate):

He's had the added benefit of being compared to a young Vin Scully.

2006-10-17 11:19:50
42.   D4P
Thanks, guess my memory failed me.

"You've failed me for the last time, memory..."

2006-10-17 11:21:44
43.   bigcpa
40 Right and Vinny thinks guys like Cory Sullivan are just a joy to watch.

Add Pat Burrell to the list of available .900 OPS guys who strike out too much. Accd to Pat Gillick Burrell "has had a really difficult time protecting Howard." I can't believe this stuff. Imagine the 2006 Dodgers complaining about a 29 HR, .388 OBP guy.

2006-10-17 11:22:33
44.   Xeifrank
I am not crazy about Lyons, and could really care less if he was fired as a Dodger announcer "based on his merit". I think he has said a few dumb things, and in this PC world (which I am no big fan of) he really should've known better than to make the Shawn Green comment and vision impaired comment. I am not sure his Lou Pinella comment was that bad at all. I haven't sat down with Mr Lyons, so I am not sure what exactly he was trying to say... but it didn't come off as a "fireable offense" to me. I would think Mr Lyons would have some legal recourse were he to be fired for "racially insensitive" comments, that were not actually racially insensitive. I mean, who is to judge what is racially insensitive and what isn't? There is alot of information we in the public just don't have. What is Fox's racial sensitivity policy? They must have one. What are their procedures for firing someone for this offense? They must have one. For minor offenses, companies usually have warnings, probations, sensitivity training etc... If he was already on probation (which may have been the case?) then it's possible that a minor incident could've pushed him off the edge of the plank. There's alot we just don't know. What we do know is that Mr Lyons A) Lost his employment (or part of it), B) His professional reputation took a major hit. I think the Dodgers are doing the reasonable thing. I am not sure Fox did.
vr, Xei
2006-10-17 11:25:31
45.   caseybarker
42 Not likely ;)
2006-10-17 11:25:45
46.   Kayaker7
37 I'm not sure that it would be much of an improvement. I used to be all-SABR happy, then I realized that even the SABR people are woefully poor at predicting future events in baseball.

Dr. Dean Edell, addressing the efficacy of alternative medicine, said that one of three things happen when you try a remedy for an ailment. 1. You get better. 2. You get worse. 3. Nothing changes. Exactly the same thing that would happen if you did nothing. Most adherents of alterative medicine tend to focus on #1, and rationalize the other two outcomes.

That is exactly what baseball fans on both sides of the SABR divide do. I've pretty much thrown up my hands and said, forget it. No one can accurately predict the outcome of baseball games, because the luck element is too great.

I know, I know, sports are unpredictable, and that is the appeal. But baseball is ALMOST to the point that it can be considered completely random. I'm beginning to consider become a "play-offs only" baseball fan again. Then I can watch it for the same appeal that one has in watching a craps game.

2006-10-17 11:34:14
47.   Bob Timmermann



I don't know what the "SABR divide" is. Is there a place where you cross it? Is it marked on maps?

You know who you find at a SABR conventions. You find a lot of people who like baseball. A lot. In any form. And very few of them have any notion that they know how to play the game better than anyone else.

SABR is not some monolithic organization that worships Bill James like North Koreans worship Kim Jong Il. It's usually a bunch of overweight, middle-aged guys trying to justify why they need a vintage Portland Beavers jersey.

2006-10-17 11:35:03
48.   bigcpa
46 Sabermetrics is not the science of predicting future events in baseball- although things like PECOTA take a stab at it. It's far more about understanding what's happened in the past. So you can either digest the dogfood analysis that the sports media dishes out (excluding Jon's SI column of course) or seek out the saber stuff.

BTW- Diamond Mind correctly picked all 6 division winners this year, so once in a while the nerds get it right.

2006-10-17 11:35:20
49.   caseybarker
Sounds fun...
2006-10-17 11:36:57
50.   D4P
The world of baseball, like most of the rest of the world, is better thought of as "probabalistic" than "deterministic." It is seldom that we can say "If X, then Y." The best we can usually do is to say "If X, then the likelihood of Y increases (or decreases)."

The fact that we can't perfectly predict outcomes does not mean that our predictions are no better than those yielded by (e.g.) flipping a coin. In fact, we can often do much better than that. But it is true that we can rarely (if ever) eliminate the effects of "chance" (or omitted variables).

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-17 11:38:07
51.   FirstMohican
Re: "I think the Dodgers are doing the reasonable thing. I am not sure Fox did."

Essentially the guy is getting a suspension. He will miss the rest of the postseason and come back next year.

You might be right, that if this one his first offense ever, he might've come back on the air with an apology. But in reality it wasn't. There could've been more (and we know there was at least one more postseason gaffe w/ the blind man).

"I'm sorry for saying I don't want to sit next to spanish speakers. I'm also still sorry for harping on the seeing device and for acting like I knew what level of involvement in the Jewish faith warranted sitting out baseball for Yom Kippur, and finally for pulling my pants down on the field when I was a player." I think Fox was over dealing with it and I don't blame them.

2006-10-17 11:42:59
52.   Kayaker7
47 I think many would acknowledge that there are two main camps in baseball. One that spouts off tribal knowledge that has been repeated countless times (ala Lyons), and those who favor a quantitative approach. Just because you don't adhere strictly to either one, does not mean that such division doesn't exist.

48 I would say that an analytical method with no predictive value is worthless. That is what it's all about. How well is that new prospect going to hit? Who are you going to draft?

2006-10-17 11:45:07
53.   Kayaker7
As Lao Tsu once aspired to do, I just want to regain that innocent smile of an infant, when watching a baseball game. I'm angry at the baseball gods...and I lost that smile along the way... :-(
2006-10-17 11:50:52
54.   bigcpa
52 What specifically turned you off to analytical methods? The Dodgers 88 win total this year was fairly predictable. Mark Hendrickson and Brett Tomko's implosions were predictable. Lugo's NL power outage was predictable. Come back to the faith! Don't leave us.
2006-10-17 11:53:44
55.   Bob Timmermann
I think you're missing the point that what I object to is using the words "SABR" and "sabermetric" interchangeably. They ARE NOT SYNONYMOUS! They have NEVER BEEN SYNONYMOUS. And making them synonymous creates a stereotype that is, in my mind, far worse, than anything Steve Lyons has said.

The word "Sabermetrics" does have its root in "SABR", but that's it.

Beware of back formations!

2006-10-17 11:56:52
56.   dsfan
Premise: The quality of baseball broadcasting is falling, even as the amount of baseball information available has grown, even as the caliber of TV graphics and TV visuals have risen exponentially, even as a much large pool of broadcast talent has become available over recent decades, even as J-schools and other experts have developed sophisticated ways to train broadcasters.

Explanation: I have none.

Another view: My premise is wrong. After all, it's only an opinion.

Maybe I'm just a fuddy-duddy, but I much preferred, and still prefer, listening to the old-timers such as Harwell, Enberg, Brennaman (Marty) and Jon Miller (better on radio than as Morgan's ESPN sidekick).
(Scully should be exempted from the debate because he's so good it's just unfair. God whispers in his ear.)
Hearing archive clips of Red Barber, I suspect I would have preffered him as well to today's species of broadcaster. Same with Curty Gowdy.

I am tempted to enlarge the scope of this commentary by saying it's an American habit to drain the life and color out of something by making it a commodity --- not sure of commodisizing is a word....but I won't go there.

2006-10-17 11:57:46
57.   caseybarker
The past is the best predictor of the present. Understanding what happened in the past is, therefore, a neccessary undertaking.
2006-10-17 11:58:01
58.   Jon Weisman
52 - I find a great deal of value in better understanding things that have happened. While I think analysis gives you a better chance of making a correct prediction, I don't think that's the only function it has, or necessarily the primary one. And that goes for both stats and observation.
2006-10-17 11:59:04
59.   Bob Timmermann
Commoditize is a word.
2006-10-17 12:00:15
60.   BlueMamma
i think steve lyons should have been fired a long time ago for making fun of charlie steiner on air for knowing the next day's pitching matchups. steiner was talking about tomorrow's pitching probables, and lyons said "you know the pitchers in advance? don't you get out at all? is this all you do all day?" and steiner said "well, i'm a baseball announcer, you know. it's my job."
2006-10-17 12:00:59
61.   Kayaker7
54 Well...I'm not turning my back on analytical methods. I'm certain that it is the best way to parse baseball events...but I just don't think it is very reliable. I get the feeling, that if someday, we reach a state of being able to perfectly analyze baseball (and we may never get there), it will spit out something like, "The Dodgers have a 62% chance of winning the division, with a margin of error of +-30%." The randomness of baseball will render even the most perfect analytical methods useless.
2006-10-17 12:01:19
62.   Bob Timmermann
Look at the home page for SABR. My god it's full of ... not much content.

But there certain are any numbers or people espousing a certain type of baseball.

2006-10-17 12:01:45
63.   Daniel Zappala
56 I suspect that the major factor is the commercialization of sports and sports broadcasting. To appeal to a wide audience, it is often necessary to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Witness the explosion of reality TV. Most people unfortunately respond to "BOOYAH" more than they do to a careful analysis of what happened during the game.
2006-10-17 12:03:11
64.   Daniel Zappala
Bob, I think that's the only time I've seen you use caps and bold in the same message. I think you feel deeply about this issue.
2006-10-17 12:04:50
65.   Bob Timmermann
Just a little.
2006-10-17 12:06:11
66.   Kayaker7
59 I prefer the British, "Commoditise."

Sorry about the SABR thing...and sorry about the overdue book. ;-)

2006-10-17 12:08:22
67.   D4P
sorry about the overdue book

No need to apologize. How do you think Bob pays for his Priuses and trips to Japan...?

2006-10-17 12:09:16
68.   Bob Timmermann
It's all right.

Commoditi(s/z)e is a fairly new word according to the OED.

commoditise, commoditize.

trans. To turn into or treat as a (mere) commodity.
1979 Amer. Jrnl. Sociol. 85 569 When deep gestures of exchange enter the market sector and are bought and sold as an aspect of labor power, feelings are commoditized. 1983 P. WEXLER Critical Social Psychol. 15 Social psychologists are trying to undi in thought the demands of their cultural task. That current task is to commoditize and legitimate social ignorance as science. 1994 Daily Tel. 3 Oct. 26/7 Their employment is either falling where their wages are artificially held up or being commoditised, where people are being used at low wages for low-productivity tasks. 2001 Time 10 Dec. 70/2 Says..[the] president of Global Change Associates, a consultancy that has studied Enron, 'They tried to commoditize everything.'

2006-10-17 12:11:09
69.   3upn3down
Not to be confused either with Sabre which is either a European backsword usually but not always having a curved, single-edged blade and a quite large hand guard, covering the knuckles, or the electronic booking system invented by American Airlines in the late 70s for the purpose of booking airline fares by travel agencies electronically, which was spun off as a public entity in 2000.
2006-10-17 12:15:22
70.   bigcpa
61 If you figure predicting team outcomes is really predicting 35-40 individual outcomes with consideration of 18 opposing teams and their roster composition, then yes it's extremely imprecise. But if you read we just signed Joe Randa to a 2 year deal, don't you want some context to evaluate that? How would that detract from your enjoyment of the game?
2006-10-17 12:16:59
71.   CanuckDodger
I kind of cringed when I read the "If Lyons isn't good enough to work for Fox..." line in Jon's piece. Whether Lyons was "good enough" was not an issue in his firing. He was fired for -- depending on how you look at it -- either racial insensitivity or lack of political correctness, and since I don't think Lyons was guilty of either of those things I believe it is perfectly reasonable that the Dodgers made the decision they did. That is, the Dodgers flat out rejected Fox's interpretation of what Lyons said, and they were correct to do so.
2006-10-17 12:18:28
72.   Fallout
Re: Lyons

I thought that xaphor comments a couple of days ago were right on. #77

But, instead Fox is telling us that what Lyons said had racial implications and the Dodgers are forcing him to take diversity training to keep his job with them. Talk about being pigeonholed and railroaded.

If Fox didn't want him around anymore, have some guts and just fire him. But, to make this a racial episode is an unseemly way to get rid of someone.

Things are getting so hypersensitive that saying you prefer NY pizza over Italian pizza is being insensitive to Italians.

2006-10-17 12:24:54
73.   scareduck
62 - My dog, it's full of rats.

-- The Dyslexic's 2001

2006-10-17 12:28:54
74.   Bob Timmermann
My choler got in the way of my typing.
2006-10-17 12:32:16
75.   Jon Weisman
71 - I understand what you're saying, and maybe my writing was clumsy. My point is that while it's fine that the Dodgers rejected Fox's handling of the event, there are other reasons to try to do better than Lyons, not the least of which is that Lyons' talking is clumsy, however racially innocent it might be.
2006-10-17 12:51:37
76.   KG16
56 - I'll posit this hypothesis for the decline in play-by-play skills... many of the older play-by-play guys got their start in radio (Vin Scully, the elder Buck, Harry Carey, even Ronald Reagan), the forum required better story telling because the listener could not see what was happening.

With the advent of television, and in particular, all of the improvements that have been made over the years (multiple camera angles, replay, super slomo replay, etc) the viewer could now see the story unfold and the play-by-play man had the "freedom" to talk about other things. This had led to the loss of quality broadcasters.

2006-10-17 12:52:58
77.   FirstMohican
Is there anyone else that thinks what Lyons said warranted getting fired?
2006-10-17 12:53:01
78.   KG16
69 - a sabre is also a hockey player from Buffalo, NY.
2006-10-17 12:59:57
79.   Kayaker7
78 And, Bob is a Trekker, not a Trekkie.
2006-10-17 13:00:18
80.   Sushirabbit
76 It's like the broadcasters are now Voyeurs instead of your surrogate senses. Not only that, but the interjection of the Voyuer's perspective (Booyah! etc) seems to be prefered in the mainstream networks.
2006-10-17 13:07:58
81.   underdog
Why does this remind me of:

"My hovercraft is full of eels. I will not buy this record, it is scratched!" - From the Hungarian-English dictionary for use when in a tobacconist's, as seen in Monty Python.

I don't think what Lyons said warranted getting fired - I think Fox was looking for a reason, and also that he'd had a few other slips as well as "out there" stream of consciousness jokes that made no sense to anyone other than him and perhaps a few people on acid somewhere. I don't hate the guy, but think he's a bit of a buffoon when I'd prefer someone articulate and knowledgable. But as others here have surmised, it may be hard to find - those types are generally few and far between these days, but I'm sure there's someone out there better than him as a color guy. Or just go to having one guy in the booth at all times. I can't say I'd miss Rick Monday's commentary all that much, either.

2006-10-17 13:13:21
82.   Strike4
An employee risks loss of internal support and even termination by forcing his boss to have to defend him and explain away his statements. Ultimately, this firing was about ratings and Fox felt Lyons was hurting rather than helping. Apparently, the Dodgers don't agree at this time.

I kind of liked Lyons' tendency to not take things too seriously. Unfortunately for him, he may have over-learned his original insight about baseball broadcasting. After his pants episode, here was Lyons' view: "We've got this pitcher, Melido Perez, who earlier this month pitched a no-hitter, and I'll guarantee you he didn't do two live television shots afterwards. I pull my pants down, and I do seven. Something's pretty skewed toward the zany in this game."

2006-10-17 13:16:07
83.   dsfan
That makes a lot of sense.
2006-10-17 13:18:44
84.   Telemachos
78 And a high-end compositing system at ILM. :)
2006-10-17 13:21:27
85.   Jon Weisman
77 - One thing I'm wondering is how much having seen it live vs. reading about it influences opinions.
2006-10-17 13:21:44
86.   Terry A
I'm not sure academic training for broadcasting is actually helping this situation. People are learning how to lose their accents and apply pancake, but it doesn't seem they're learning to think or prepare in advance. Show up, blurt something out, whatever -- as long as you look/sound good.
2006-10-17 13:23:14
87.   gibsonhobbs88
72 - You are so right on. IMHO, Fox continued the knee-jerk over-reactions to non-PC comments or actions ever since the famous Super Bowl-Janet Jackson incident.
The extreme right wing conservatives that run Fox over-reacted. I've listened to Lyons enough to hear him self-deprecate himself more than he does other ballplayers. I think the Dodgers and not Fox did the right thing.
2006-10-17 13:29:38
88.   Xeifrank
82. If indeed he was fired over ratings only, then I would think he would have a pretty good lawsuit against Fox for publicly stating that he was fired for racially insensitive comments. Like Lyons or not, his reputation has been pretty much ruined. I think the two are intertwined, and perhaps that is what you meant. vr, Xei
2006-10-17 13:32:14
89.   D4P
The extreme right wing conservatives that run Fox over-reacted

I've heard much worse said on many of Fox's very own sitcoms...

2006-10-17 13:34:12
90.   Marty
sorry about the overdue book

Well, let me tell you something, funny boy. Y'know that little stamp, the one that says "LOs Angeles Public Library"? Well that may not mean anything to you, but that means a lot to me. One whole hell of a lot. Sure, go ahead, laugh if you want to. I've seen your type before: Flashy, making the scene, flaunting invention. Yeah, I know what you're hinking. What's this guy making such a big stink about old library books? Well, let me give you a hint, junior. Maybe we can live without libraries, people like you and me. Maybe. Sure, we're too old to change the world, but what about that kid, sitting down, opening a book, right now, in a branch at the local library and finding drawings of pee-pees and wee-wees on the Cat in the Hat and the Five Chinese Brothers? Doesn't HE deserve better? Look. If you think this is about overdue fines and missing books, you'd better think again. This is about that kid's right to read a book without getting his mind warped! Or: maybe that turns you on, Kayaker7; maybe that's how y'get your kicks. You and your good-time buddies. Well I got a flash for ya, joy-boy: Party time is over.

2006-10-17 13:34:46
91.   Linkmeister
Personally I'd like to see Al Leiter do color commentary. I remember his work from a couple of years ago in the playoffs, and I was struck by how much insight he added.

Lyons adds goofiness to a broadcast and that's about all, as far as I'm concerned. I was out of the room when he and Piniella had that exchange, so I only know about it from the media. I dunno whether it was racist, non-PC, or just dumb. I'm inclined toward the third explanation, just on his past performance.

2006-10-17 13:38:16
92.   D4P
Heh heh. Seinfeld...?
2006-10-17 13:39:17
93.   Xeifrank
Nice little article in the local paper about Sparky Anderson and his reaction to the success of the Tigers this year. In a thread dedicated to a guy who has very little class, Sparky is overflowing with it. Intersting enough, he says he predicted a Detroit/St Louis World Series before the season started. One other interesting thing is that Sparky Anderson was mentioned to be the only manager to win a World Series in both the AL and NL. Oddly enough, both LaRussa and Leyland have the opportunity to do so this year! A Detroit/St Louis W.S., would gaurantee that one or the other would join Sparky's company. vr, Xei
2006-10-17 13:42:06
94.   caseybarker
77 In my experience, people have been quick to misjudge what others have said. And it's not like what Steve Lyons says is going to affect any of us anyway.
2006-10-17 13:44:11
95.   Fallout
87 gibsonhobbs88

To me, the right wing may have had a majority say in the J Jackson event, but it's the left wing progressives who are so touchy about politically correct speech.

2006-10-17 13:45:09
96.   Steve
And it's not like what Steve Lyons says is going to affect any of us anyway.

So that twitching is temporary?

2006-10-17 13:46:17
97.   D4P
It probably makes more sense to say that all people (regardless of political persuasion) are offended by (or sensitive to) some kinds of speech and not others.
2006-10-17 13:50:44
98.   gibsonhobbs88
95 - But it is Big Fox that decided to fire Lyons, therefore my comments apply. Plus, you watch any of the Fox News talking heads, it's like going back in time to the McCarthy 50's. I know left wing progressives are also not without blame, but in this case, Big Fox held the cards and made their decision.
2006-10-17 13:52:35
99.   caseybarker
...keep drinking the kool-aid.
2006-10-17 13:58:38
100.   Marty
92 Keerect
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-10-17 14:00:28
101.   Steve
Fact 1: Republicans watch Fox News
Fact 2: Steve Lyons doesn't salute the flag

Inexorable Conclusion: The neo-cons did in Steve Lyons.

2006-10-17 14:02:03
102.   Robert Daeley
Lyons is totally funny. I think he's like the grownup version of the hyper class clown who says stuff before thinking it through. Sometimes this results in what amounts to insensitivity, but whatever the case is with "walletgate," he's a crackup in a world where people can take stuff way too seriously.

And he calls people on their crap, too -- during one of the previous games (IIRC) in the series, Lou Piniella says something to the effect of "I only want to be with a winnning team" in reference to where he would wind up managing. Lyons says (half-joking, half-sarcastic), "Then why did you go to Tampa Bay?"

2006-10-17 14:03:03
103.   50 years a Dodger Fan
From Jon's post: The other possibility is that the Dodgers consider the candidates to replace Lyons to be simply more of the same – ex-players who consider their personal experiences and beliefs to be so compelling that they no longer really study the game, but simply regurgitate the gospel they have been taught. Strangely, it's what baseball teams seem to be looking for in a broadcaster.

Big surprise; that's what they look for in managers too.

2006-10-17 14:03:04
104.   bhsportsguy
90 All I know is that the particular episode un question was on the other night and that sequence had me laughing out loud. To me, it mignt be the best scene ever on the show and certainly the best featuring only Jerry and a guest star.
2006-10-17 14:05:24
105.   Kayaker7
90 LOL...what is that from?

True story: I was just reading a bit last night from my favorite tennis book, a collections of articles and vignettes from famous matches of the past, and profiles of famous old-time tennis stars like Pancho Gonzales, Bill Tilden, and Rene Lacoste...and I was red-faced to discover that I borrowed it from an El Paso Public Library decades ago, and never returned it. What happened was that, I forgot to return it, and by the time I discovered my booboo, I was probably up to the price of the book in fines. A lot of money for a kid without a regular allowance. So, I just kept it, all the while fearing that the library cops would come knocking on my door in the middle of the night.

2006-10-17 14:06:32
106.   gibsonhobbs88
102 - Exactly. I remember cracking up when I heard him call Pinella on that issue. I almost fell out of my chair. I do think he talks first and then thinks later sometime, but I find some of his goofy comments entertaining, more so than the moribund McCarver. McCarver is great if you want to catch that 1/2 catnap in the middle of the game.:)
2006-10-17 14:07:12
107.   Fallout
96 Steve
So that twitching is temporary?

I don't know. Do you still watch Keith Olbermann?

2006-10-17 14:09:28
108.   gibsonhobbs88
106 - I meant 1/2 hour catnap. At least Lyons has the cajones to call Pinella on making a contradictory statement.
2006-10-17 14:11:00
109.   Kayaker7
108 Now I know what El Cajon means. ;-)
2006-10-17 14:12:39
110.   caseybarker
That is funny. Can you imagine if Steve Lyons got a political/news show ala. Kieth Olbermann. They're probably equally qualified.
2006-10-17 14:12:59
111.   Xeifrank
Probably a couple of posts are getting close to violating Jon's #5 rule. Just a heads up.
vr, Xei
2006-10-17 14:14:30
112.   Robert Daeley
108 Which is also why having Tony Kornheiser calling Joe Theisman on his crap is the only thing keeping me watching Monday Night Football with the sound on. ;)
2006-10-17 14:18:06
113.   caseybarker
Jon violated his own rule with the post :) If not #5 than #3 for inviting #5.
2006-10-17 14:23:09
114.   das411
91 - Amen! I for one would love to see Big Al covering a Mets/Tigers WS.

97 - Guys, do I see...A WITCH!!!!

2006-10-17 14:27:52
115.   twerp
Food for thought, FWIW, whatever applies:

2006-10-17 14:42:58
116.   Kayaker7
Where are Jon's rules enumerated?
2006-10-17 14:43:32
117.   franklin
102, 108
I think you've tapped into the truth of Steve Lyons' appeal to ratings conscious sports business managers and the most likely reason that he still has a job. ... 'Tune into your next Dodger broadcast and see Steve Lyons put his foot in his mouth while he calls it like he sees it.' No news is bad news, the show must go on, and [ insert cliche here ].

And as someone who listens mostly to baseball games on radio (I am the TV-less iconoclast), KG16 in 76 nailed the likely reason for the decline in broadcasters' skills. There is nothing like radio to strip an announcer down to his raw ability to narrate events and convey drama that evokes an emotion from the audience.

I cringe in the 4th when Vin says "...and now onto Rick and Charley".

2006-10-17 14:44:10
118.   Kayaker7
116 Nevermind. I found them.
2006-10-17 14:49:41
119.   D4P
I'm kind of annoyed that Jon's "Thank You for Not" list exists. Oh wait...
2006-10-17 14:54:17
120.   Jon Weisman
119 - That's okay. I'm kind of annoyed, too :)
2006-10-17 14:56:37
121.   Rocc
Hey, if you were making as much as most those national sports analysts were making...wouldn't you be worried if your wallet was missing?

How are dodger fans doing today?

2006-10-17 14:58:13
122.   Rocc
For next year's Dodger games, they should bring in the broadcast with Led Zeppelin's "Communication Breakdown". As in the words of Jim Rome, that'd be EPIC!
2006-10-17 15:27:06
123.   Bob Timmermann
Overdue charges for a book stop once you hit the replacement price of the item, which is usually $50. Occasionally, you might check out a book that has a higher price set on it.

If you have a lot of books out, you could get set to a collection agency.

Overall, the library wants the book back more than it wants your money.

2006-10-17 15:44:03
124.   twerp
Tampa Bay recently resigned Seo. Link:

Excerpt: "He (Seo) allowed two runs or fewer in 9 of his 17 starts with the Rays, while receiving just 2.86 runs of support per outing, lowest in the American League over that period."

From another DRay release:

"The Rays liked Seo's competitiveness and witnessed his fastball improving from the mid-80-mph range to low 90s after making a few adjustments to his delivery. Seo should be one of the Rays' five starters in 2007."

Seo may never be anything great. But a few days ago there was some talk here about what kind of job Honeycutt did.

My question: if the DRays helped Seo pick up 5 mph or more by making adjustments, were not those same adjustments available to Dodger coaches, specifically Honeycutt?

Seo turned in 6 quality starts over his last 10 for TB, giving up no more than 2 ER in any of those. Pretty decent for a 4/5 starter, and against an apparently superior American League at that ....

Nobody gets 'em all right. But figuring Seo out might have altered terms of one Dodger/Ray trade, maybe meant it didn't happen.

2006-10-17 16:06:04
125.   gibsonhobbs88
124 - Another example of Honeycutt's lack of expertise and cred to be a pitching coach. The Mets and the D-rays get the good Seo and Honeycutt throws the bad Seo into the lurch for the Dodgers. His mis-handling of Lowe and so Seo should be a red flag to the management that Honey does not make the "cut".
2006-10-17 16:06:48
126.   twerp
Rocc, if you're still around, thought you might as well get some chuckles while here...

A DT commenter--don't recall who--after the Hendrickson trade said something like this:

"So let me get this straight. So far we've traded for Gas Can Carter, Baez, and a power forward.

"Quick, somebody check Colletti's bank account and see if there are large cash infusions from Florida."

One of the more memorable DT comments, at least for me.

Recently in Crawford trade banter there was "Tampa Bay will wind up with Vin Scully and the naming rights to Dodger stadium." Once again don't recall who.

2006-10-17 16:10:08
127.   Kayaker7
123 Can I still return the book, 25 years later?
2006-10-17 16:10:59
128.   still bevens
Wasn't the Dodgers bullpen coach formerly of the Mets and wasn't he instrumental in bringing Seo over in the Duaner trade? This might be a failure of two people instead of one.
2006-10-17 16:11:48
129.   caseybarker
Yes, and Bob might give you an atomic wedgie.
2006-10-17 16:16:03
130.   Kayaker7
129 As long as it is less than a kiloton, I can handle it.
2006-10-17 16:16:05
131.   Bob Timmermann

I doubt the library has a record of your fine anymore. Or that you have a card. I'm sure the library became automated in that time.

Library book theft does have a statute of limitations. It's not like you committed a war crime.

2006-10-17 16:23:35
132.   Robert Daeley
127 131 Still, there is a certain poetic charm to returning it after all this time.
2006-10-17 16:29:17
133.   Kayaker7
131 More importantly, will it hurt by FICO score?
2006-10-17 16:29:17
134.   Bob Timmermann
There may be poetic charm in returning the book, but unless it's a really nice book and in great condition, it may just end up being sold on the used book table for a quarter.
2006-10-17 16:30:02
135.   Jon Weisman
125 - mishandling of Lowe?
2006-10-17 16:30:08
136.   Kayaker7
134 You're probably right. I've bought a lot of used books from Amazon and that were former library books.
2006-10-17 16:31:17
137.   Robert Daeley
134 True. Maybe donate it to a local charity or school?
2006-10-17 16:34:15
138.   Kayaker7
134 Why do perfectly good books get sold for a pittance? To make room for the next Grisham novel?
2006-10-17 16:38:27
139.   Claire Malone-Evans
I would love the pairing of Don Sutton and Steve Garvey on some of the Dodger road telecasts.
2006-10-17 16:39:39
140.   Marty
138 For a second I thought you were calling Grisham novels perfectly good books. The Client is the only book I've actually thrown against a wall in disgust.
2006-10-17 16:40:44
141.   Andrew Shimmin
I don't really understand the speculation that FOX was trying to ditch Lyons one day before he would have been done, anyway. He wasn't going to be on the WS broadcast team, right? How much could they possibly have been paying him that killing him one game early was worth doing?

A nefarious explanation I could get behind, if not particularly believe, is that it was a ratings stunt. Nobody's watching the games, they wanted some free advertising. Like I said, though, pretty far-fetched.

I watched the thing live but wasn't paying particularly close attention and didn't think anything of that particular thread of witless banter. The thing I don't understand is, he was fired before the fight about what he said was at all public, so far as I'm aware. There weren't any news stories about the horrible thing Lyons said until after he was canned. So, how did he get canned? Was Fox trying to get out in front of a story that wouldn't have existed, but for their action? Did anybody call for Lyons capa before he had it detated?

2006-10-17 16:42:43
142.   Andrew Shimmin
138- If you don't like it, don't knock it,
Somebody else might wanna rock it.
If you don't need it, don't waste it,
Somebody else might wanna taste it.

Spare change library books must be 10% of my book stash. They're the greatest thing ever, save for Walmart and The Office.

2006-10-17 16:43:58
143.   Bob Timmermann
Libraries do not have infinite amounts of space. You can't keep everything forever.
2006-10-17 16:43:58
144.   Kayaker7
140 Well, if a Grisham book is in good condition, i.e. intact spine, no dogeared pages, etc., it would qualify as a perfectly good book, I suppose. ;-)
2006-10-17 16:46:55
145.   Kayaker7
143 You mean the book sales are not to pay for trips to Japan? Uso...
2006-10-17 16:50:21
146.   50 years a Dodger Fan
I could be wrong but I believe it was in the Times this morning, they estimated his salary (or salaries) at $500K and Fox paid about three-quarters of it. I'll limit my comments to only saying I don't think he'll be going on welfare soon.
2006-10-17 16:55:32
147.   franklin
143 Hmm, I see an interesting parallel. Bob, is there a sabermetric-like system for evaluating the performance of your library lineup? Salinger still batting clean-up with Hemingway on the DL and Grisham about to be DFA'ed. Is it all based on the check-out stats or does the library management staff have sentimental favorites that they keep around past their prime? Get Michael Lewis on the horn for Moneybook...
2006-10-17 16:55:51
148.   Andrew Shimmin
146- I'm not worried about Lyons' ability to feed his family; I was trying to think from the Fox perspective. There's got to be some chance that you take a hit for firing him. $125K is not a lot of money for the network. Why would it be worth doing? It's like Bill Gates car jacking me. You could argue that he be richer for having my broken down heap of a thirty year old car, but, that wouldn't make a lot of sense. Which is one of several reasons he hasn't, yet, carjacked me.

But I remain ever vigilant.

2006-10-17 16:57:37
149.   Bluebleeder87

i still feel pretty bad for the guy, does he get retirement money from MLB?

2006-10-17 17:06:50
150.   Jon Weisman
NLCS chat thread open up top.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-10-17 17:43:06
151.   mountainmover
From ESPN:

New Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella called the firing of Fox baseball broadcaster Steve Lyons "an unfortunate thing" and said he thought his TV colleague was just kidding when he made a racially insensitive comment.

"There isn't a racist bone in his body. Not one," Piniella said Tuesday. "I've known the guy personally. He was kidding with me, nothing more and nothing less. It was an unfortunate thing."

Lyons said that Piniella was "hablaing" in "Espanol" -- butchering the conjugation for the word "to speak" -- and added, "I still can't find my wallet."

2006-10-17 18:20:30
152.   Nolan
Beyond Scully, there are virtually no baseball announcers who I consider to be even mildly interesting or even mildly tolerable. That said, Lyons has got to be the worst of them all. Let's not sugarcoat this: he's stupid. That is, he's not a smart guy. And, he's not funny. Nor does he really understand baseball.

Why is he employed by the Dodgers? Is anyone in the press asking this question?

2006-10-18 07:18:56
153.   Rocc

124- Most Rays fans are "meh" with Seo, basically calling the trade of starters a practical "wash". Hendo, as a Ray, didn't get much run support and didn't get as badly pounded as a starter that has a fastball topping out in the high-80s with no control usually would.

He signed a very team friendly contract, though more than expected by Rays fans who questioned how one's salary could jump from 350 K to 1.2 MIL over a season where the pitcher somewhat horribly. Most of us see this signing as being similar to that of last offseason's 750 K signing of Lance Carter. Basically, many of us see him being traded somewhere between Winter Meetings and Spring Training.

125. Rays fans would gladly return the "fixed" Seo to the Dodgers, for a small fee...:)

126. The bad thing, for the Dodgers, is that you didn't even get a good PF. Many Rays fans have twisted Hendrickson's "Lurch" nickname and have called him "Timberlurch". I've seen, though I can't remember the site, spoofed Justin Timberlake's "Sexyback" song, replacing it as Mark Timberlurch's "Sexybalk". It was an instant classic for Rays fans.

Knowing Andy, he'd probably ask for the entire farm system in addition to Scully and Dodger Stadium naming rights for Crawford. Wonder if Colletti would pull the trigger on that deal.

On a serious note, I'd like to ask Dodger fans or anyone that is familiar, what the Dodgers plan on doing with Vero Beach's stadium once the Dodgers finish the building of their planned Arizona ST site. With the way that the Rays have added so much depth in such little time in the farm system from trades/drafts/international scouting, I'm wondering if we could put a 2nd rookie league team(maybe in the GCL or another rookie league) in there. Too much of great stadium to be just torn down.

2006-10-18 10:24:02
154.   Midwest Blue
I'm a day late to the party and I don't know if anyone will check back on this post, but I'd like to give my opinion on the Lyons firing. For the record, I am in total agreement with FirstMohican. Lyons comments can be construed as linking spanish-speakers with wallet stealing.

It may not be as obvious to those who are not Latino. I am of Latino descent and I could tell right away (both in reading about it and in watching the YouTube replay) what the problem was with his comments.

I don't believe he should have been fired if this had been an isolated incident. Fined or suspended, but not fired. But as many have noted, he has a history of being insensitive and we just don't need more announcers like that on the air.

2006-10-18 11:39:49
155.   popup
152 Dan Shulman's play by play on ESPN radio is very good and Jon Miller and Dave Flemming on radio for the Giants are excellent. I also like Ken Korach with the A's and Dave Niehaus with the Mariners. Niehaus is especially good when he is in the booth solo doing play by play.

I think you are right though that the general level if baseball broadcasting is deplorable. Lyons, Joe Morgan, Steiner and Monday, the entire Padre broadcasting crew, and countless others that I could mention should be out of the broadcast booth and be working in sports talk radio.

Someone earlier in this thread wanted a saber broadcaster. A saber Joe Morgan would be just as obnoxious as the Joe Morgan who broadcasts for ESPN. I am beyond tired of broadcasters who bludgeon me with their opinions and their witless chatter.

Pardon the pun, but I really think Lyons was a sacraficial lamb. If FOX is serious about improving things in the broadcast booth they should hire announcers who care about baseball. Unfortunately I don't think the FOX executives have enough confidence in baseball to broadcast the game without creating a three ring circus in their production of the game. I think they are wrong.

Too bad it is not the Dodgers playing the Tigers in the World Series this year. Vin and Ernie Harwell would be a great duo to broadcast the games. Vin and Ernie are not the future of baseball broadcasting, but those two 80 year olds would be a quantum leap inprovement over what FOX will bring us for the upcoming World Series.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-10-19 11:24:54
156.   aloofman
106 - Believe it or not, I think McCarver DOES have some insight. He just doesn't articulate it well during a broadcast. (And his attempts at humor always fall flat, but that's another issue.) His book, "Baseball for Brain Surgeons" has a lot of great stuff about watching a baseball game. Too much, really. It just doesn't always come through during a broadcast between his banter with Buck, dumb jokes, Cardinals career nostalgia, and Jeter love.

For example, the other night there was a play where a runner got thrown at third and McCarver insisted it was a good choice by the runner. He was right. A baserunner's aggressive play will be rewarded if it takes a perfect play by the fielders to get him out. Since that doesn't happen often, his team will come out ahead in the long run. Just because it didn't work out that time, doesn't mean it was a bad idea. But McCarver's explanation of it sounded kind of lame and didn't really get that point across very well.

141 - This is a bit of a puzzling thing, that Lyons was publicly fired days before his contract ended anyway. It's possible that it was a stunt, because considering the barely-comprehensible nature of it, it might not have gotten much notice without the firing. (I was watching during the comment and my reaction was, "What the hell is he talking about?") Would there have been much of a problem if Lyons had showed up to broadcast the next game? I'm not sure there would have been.

Another theory: someone close to the broadcast booth (Piniella, the director, producer, etc.) was personally offended by it and gave Fox sports a "him or me" ultimatum.

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