On Sunday, Daron Sutton (pictured on the left above) was let go by the Los Angeles Angels, four months after the team hired him as one of their play by play broadcasters. His departure was somewhat clouded in mystery, with Sutton himself announcing the decision to reporters.
This week, Sutton talked to The Athletic about his dismissal from the team, and revealed that he thinks Angels ownership pushed for the change. He also noted that he wasn’t disciplined at all during his brief time with the franchise.
Sutton said he believed it was an Angels decision, and suspected it came from the top of the organization.
“I know it wasn’t on the baseball side. We always communicate with [manager] Joe [Maddon]. It’s a pretty small organization,” Sutton said. “And very few people, I think, in that organization, have the power to influence something like this besides the highest level.
“So it’s my assumption that it was leadership at the highest level, in ownership.”
Sutton said he never met with owner Arte Moreno during his brief stint with the team. He said he wasn’t given a reason for why he was fired, but assumed that his work “wasn’t exactly what they wanted.”
Sutton said the decision came “completely without incident,” noting he hadn’t faced any discipline in his tenure with the Angels.
Former Marlins broadcaster Rich Waltz, who has also called college basketball, college football, and MLB games on a national level, will replace Sutton as the backup to Matt Vasgersian in the Bally Sports West booth.
Angels announce that Rich Waltz will be the new Angels Bally Sports broadcaster beginning on Friday. He replaces Daron Sutton, who was fired by the team last week.
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) July 14, 2021
I didn’t mind Sutton in the booth, but judging from comments on social media, I’m in the minority there. Replacing Victor Rojas in the booth was always going to be difficult for the Angels, and the franchise is going back to the well for a fill-in when Matt Vasgersian has national work. But if Sutton is correct and the team’s ownership really did push for a change in the broadcast booth, it’s reasonable to think that Arte Moreno and company might have a somewhat strange list of priorities.