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.