Five years after the Arizona Diamondbacks fired him from the Fox Sports Arizona broadcast booth, former first baseman Mark Grace will once again be part of the club’s game telecasts.
Grace won’t be returning to the booth for D-Backs broadcasts, however. He’ll be an analyst for the network’s pre- and post-game “D-Backs Live” studio shows, paired with hosts Todd Walsh and Jody Jackson, along with fellow analyst Brandon Webb. Grace’s first telecast set for Arizona’s final spring training game on March 31. Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly are the D-Back’s current game announcers.
For the past two years, Grace had been the D-Backs’ assistant hitting coach. Prior to that, he coached hitters with Arizona’s short-season Class A affiliate in Hillsboro, Oregon during the 2014 season.
Before joining the Arizona coaching staff under manager Chip Hale’s two-year tenure, Grace was the color analyst for the D-Backs’ game telecasts, paired with play-by-play broadcasters Thom Brennaman and Daron Sutton. He was in the Fox Sports Arizona booth for nine seasons, but was fired by the team after a second DUI arrest in August 2012. It was the second such arrest for Grace in a 15-month span.
Reaction to Grace rejoining the Fox Sports Arizona broadcast team appears to be generally positive. After all, he was clearly in the team’s good graces by being part of the major league coaching staff during the past two seasons. AZ Central’s Jeremy Cluff monitored social media and took responses on the site’s Facebook page, and the consensus seemed to be that Grace was a popular presence on the D-Backs’ broadcasts who deserved another chance.
Grace played three seasons for the Diamondbacks from 2001 to 2003, following 13 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, and was a member of a World Series championship team in his first year with Arizona. He batted .268 with 25 home runs, 55 doubles and 142 RBI during those three seasons.
Correction: An earlier version of this article wrongly stated that Grace had been fired by Fox Sports Arizona, but he was actually dismissed by the Arizona Diamondbacks. The team hires its game broadcasters, while FS Arizona determines who works the studio shows.