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Braves Seek Sutton For Booth

According to a report out of Atlanta, the Braves are interested in hiring broadcaster Don Sutton as a part of their new radio broadcast team. Just one hold-up: Sutton is currently under contract with MASN, and has spent the last two years as the color man with the Washington Nationals. A MASN spokesman declined comment this afternoon; I'll have more here as things play out, though.

Sutton, of course, has deep roots as a broadcaster in Atlanta. After finishing his Hall of Fame pitching career, Sutton spent 18 years as a Braves broadcaster with Turner Sports. He was hired by the Nats before the 2007 season, and has worked alongside Bob Carpenter on the TV side.

According to the AJC report, the Braves had hoped to introduce their new radio team at a press conference Thursday, but have been stymied in getting Sutton out of his contract. Technically, Sutton is an employee of MASN, though the Nats organization (especially president Stan Kasten) advocated for his hiring two years back. The Braves, meanwhile, are trying to fill a booth vacated by legends. Pete Van Wieren retired at season's end after 33 years on the job, and his partner Skip Caray passed away in August.

By Chico Harlan  |  January 21, 2009; 4:16 PM ET
 
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Comments

Don's great, but he should be allowed to pick here. Wherever he would rather be for the long run, that's where he should be. I hope it's DC.

Posted by: fischy | January 21, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Let him go. I want Tom Paciorek back in the booth with Carpy.

Posted by: 6thandD | January 21, 2009 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Let the Braves have Sutton, but only on the condition that they take Carpenter too.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 21, 2009 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Pardon my ignorance but did Frank Howard ever do any color commentary?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 21, 2009 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Paciorek & Carpenter? That makes going to the radio 100% of the time considerably easier.

Posted by: Brian_ | January 21, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

"They better release single-game tix to the Sox games scheduled in June."

Methinks that Red Sox single game tickets this year will be the prize that Opening Day tickets were last year. They may well all be snapped up by season ticket holders like myself in the presale, unless the team holds some back for the general public. And I for one hope they don't. The opportunity to buy all the seats to the Red Sox games and sell them at a profit on StubHub would be a nice side benefit to us season ticket holders who have renewed our packages. I know that one friend of mine who is a Red Sox fan has already offered to bankroll me in the purchase of all the Red Sox game tickets they'll let me buy, because he knows that we'd be able to resell them with no problem. I may well take him up on that offer, and I'm sure I won't be the only season ticket holder who would buy up every single one of those tickets if they'll let us.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 21, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

I was going to post the exact same thing, but you beat me to it!

***************************
Let the Braves have Sutton, but only on the condition that they take Carpenter too.

Posted by: nunof1 | January 21, 2009 4:24 PM

Posted by: BGinVA | January 21, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Wait, wasn't Sutton sort of pushed out of Atlanta? What changed to make him desirable there again?

Posted by: petey5 | January 21, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Just hazarding a wild guess here Petey, but it might have something to do with Caray's death and Van Wieren's retirement.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 21, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Tom Paciorek?? Are you certifiable? If I ever hear that Ray Romano/Cookie Monster imitation of his 50 years from now, it'll be 50 years too soon. Paciorek was nuts, was WAY too much of a homer, and spoke WAY too much for a color guy. Ron Darling didn't lend enough to the broadcasts - was too laid back, IMO. I really like Sutton, as a nice balance. And at least he KNOWS baseball, and lends very good insights to the nuances of the game, especially the pitching aspect.

Personally, I think the Braves have some serious audacity to schedule a press conference and then realize - oh, wait, our guy actually WORKS SOMEWHERE ELSE! And for that alone, I hope Sutton screws them - not just because I like him and want him to stay in DC. But, much like football coaches, I guess it should be up to him where he wants to be.

Posted by: TheBorg | January 21, 2009 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Not really the place for it, but did you see that Keith Law ranked the Nats as having the second worst farm system in the majors? Just a year after they were supposedly 9th best according to BA. Sweet.

Posted by: Nacer09 | January 21, 2009 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Nats fan Keith Law has us ranked as the second-worst farm system in the majors. Perhaps this should not be a surprise coming from him but it still hurts.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 21, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Three new posts, nothing about improving the team in any of them, the Law thing (granted he's a idiot) and it's pretty much a normal day here.

I'm going to join the 'Fire Jim Bowden' crowd and just repeat that mantra as knee jerk reaction to everything untl he's gone...

Posted by: soundbloke | January 21, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Please don't let Ray Knight take over for Sutton if he leaves - I like the guy, but he never shuts up!

Posted by: BGinVA | January 21, 2009 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Bringing Paciorek back is a strategic move to improve the ratings among White Sox fans who will be spenidng four years or more in DC. Let's go all the way and bring in Ken Harrelson.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 21, 2009 5:45 PM | Report abuse

@nacer, BobL:

No suprise there; Law has had some sort of issue with the Nationals since they came to DC (Montreal being the 1st Canadien club, former Torono exec, something else, I dunno). I'm honestly suprised when he either says or posts something positive about the club.

On the Sutton-to-ATL rumour - Good luck, godspeed, don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out. I used to treat the MASN broadcasts the same way many people do the Redskins' telecasts - mute the TV & listen to the radio feed.

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

If MASN wants a new "color" guy for Nats broadcasts, what about Mike Bascik? He's got history with the team, seemed like a pretty personable guy in his "15 minutes of fame", and might not be as big of a p***k to the fans as Sutton could be.

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Please get sutton out of here he's only here because of his conection with stan the man.

Posted by: Baseball95der26 | January 21, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

@sound (& others):
This one got caught by a new post - more food for thought.
---------------
Just to add fuel to the Lerner's = CHEEP file, the Washington Nationals are one of two teams to 1) have multiple players eligible for arbitration in 2009, and 2) fail to sign any of them prior to the exchange of numbers. The other qualifying team = the Cincinnati Reds.

I admit to being a Lerner / Kasten "plan" backer for the last two years, but this is just penny-smart but pound-foolish behaviour. Every day, a little more of the fans' trust & goodwill goes by the wayside.

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 5:33 PM

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Screech is cheep.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 21, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Let them have him. His commentary stinks and so does his attitude. I would love to have Knight and Carpenter calling the games. They are great together.

Posted by: brothbart | January 21, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Knight? And I thought things could not get worse.

Posted by: Brian_ | January 21, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

@BobL:

No, Screech was probably expensive - what he is is unnecessary, as is Clint to the overall ballpark "experience" at Nationals Park.

Better to have Frank Howard / 'the Racing Presidents' greet or wander the stands to glad-hand or photo-op with fans than the current formula.

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

I am totally for having Tommy P. back, forget the haters. Don Sutton was OK, but I would even have Sutton/Paciorek if Carpenter would go!

Posted by: kevincostello | January 21, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Define 'bottoming out' ... having to choose between Tom Paciorek and Ray Knight

Posted by: Brian_ | January 21, 2009 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Oh, wait!! Sutton for Booth! Is he a second baseman? Might Booth be a 5th starter? Either way is good enough for me.

Posted by: kevincostello | January 21, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

Bob L., I must cry fowl at the Screech is creep comment.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 21, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

@Brian_:

Phil Wood?

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I meant to type "cheep." Freudian typo, anyone?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 21, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Wood might work. He has the DC history down pat. Not sure how he would mesh with Carpenter. If my choice is between Knight and Wood, I take Wood a thousand times out of a hundred

Posted by: Brian_ | January 21, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Bob L., I must cry fowl at the Screech is creep comment.

I meant to type "cheep." Freudian typo, anyone?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 21, 2009 6:34 PM
---------------

Sure, you did.
"Students, vat ve see here is der obsession mit der chicken (eagle, whetever) unt der egg, exposing itzself in a longing desire to go back to the womb, ja?"

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

@Brian_:

Meshing with Carpenter isn't a big thing; You just need a good producer to know when to 'kill' Carpenter's mike & let Phil "run with it" between batters.

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

@BinM - If only they had used that more often in 2007-08.

Posted by: Brian_ | January 21, 2009 6:51 PM | Report abuse

>I am totally for having Tommy P. back, forget the haters. Don Sutton was OK, but I would even have Sutton/Paciorek if Carpenter would go!

Oh Wim-pee I will gladly re-pay you Wed-nes-day for a ham-burger to-day you funnyman announcer freakazoid

The key to Wim-pee is that he makes Carpenter actually play the straight man. They used to crack me up. Carpy with a bore like Sutton just comes off as weird and fishing for euphemisms. With Wim-pee it's a whole different story.

Posted by: Brue | January 21, 2009 6:54 PM | Report abuse

@Brian_:

They couldn't - 1) they had Sutton in the booth, and 2) the producers that Angelos / MASN assigned to the Nationals' games were clueless.

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

@Brue:

Now I totally convinced you are in league with "the dark side". First Ramirez, now Paciorek? Are you directly realted to Lord Palpatine, or just seduced by his power?

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

We are the Nats Who Say "Cheep!"

We want a shrubbery!

Homer Bush, perhaps?

A Plan! A Plan!

Posted by: BobLHead | January 21, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

@BobL:

No, something smaller, not too gaudy.

CHEEP!CHEEP!CHEEP!CHEEP!...

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

@Brue:

Now I totally convinced you are in league with "the dark side". First Ramirez, now Paciorek? Are you directly realted to Lord Palpatine, or just seduced by his power?

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 6:58 PM
-------------------

Or, could it be that Brue is one of the true "dark one's" (Boras's) minions, let loose omongst us to wreak havok & corrupt the innocent to his dark & nefarious ways?

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

>Now I totally convinced you are in league with "the dark side". First Ramirez, now Paciorek? Are you directly realted to Lord Palpatine, or just seduced by his power?

Cirino De Bergerac. Vincent Price in a lighter, more comical role.

Man I wish Boras was my agent. I'd would have been making what I'm making now -- years ago.

Posted by: Brue | January 21, 2009 7:29 PM | Report abuse

@Brue:

Glad you caught the humour; some others might not have.

Posted by: BinM | January 21, 2009 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Stan says "Nationals season-ticket packages are the best way to make sure you catch all the important 2009 games. Only season-ticket holders are guaranteed a first chance at tickets for the exciting Interleague series against the Boston Red Sox."*

The _important_ 2009 games. Does a team that loses 100 games HAVE any important games?

PS Rumor has it the Red Sox play nine games a year 45 miles up the road, every year. So how special can they be? Or is the attraction a throwback to those classic Sox-Nats contests of the 60s? Jim Lonborg, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you, ou, ou, ou ...

* only slightly more believable than The PlanTM. Which is only SLIGHTLY more believable than the fact that Jim Bowden is actually employed by a "major league" team. Guess he works for cheep ...

Posted by: gbooksdc | January 21, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

"The _important_ 2009 games. Does a team that loses 100 games HAVE any important games?"

I dunno. Any game where a season ticket holder can buy up as many single game seats as they want, knowing for certain that they'll be able to resell them to the Washington branch of Red Sox Nation at a considerable profit, covering a big chunk of the cost of their season ticket package while they're at it, sure seems like an important game to me.

Stan Kasten is no fool. He knows that many or even most of the tickets to those games are going to be resold. I for one appreciate that it appears he wants the team's loyal season ticket holders to be the ones profiting from that. And if that helps him to sell a few more season ticket packages than he otherwise would, what's wrong with that?

Posted by: nunof1 | January 21, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Fick for color commentator!

Posted by: tomfoc31 | January 21, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

This is the best "hot stove" news of the winter. Bye-Bye Don, take your jeri-curls and your boring insight back to whence it came. If you can find a gig for Mr Blow-Dry aka Bob Carpenter too please be our guest.

This town needs some local young media guys in the booth that can grow with the team. There out there but no one seems to want to give-em a chance. Hey, Barry Svurluga are ya busy this summer?

Posted by: TippyCanoe | January 21, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Losing Sutton would be no big deal. There were many times the past two years after Sutton's bloviating on some minutae, I found myself channeling Rocket J. Squirrel by saying to myself "Thank you, Mr. Know-It-All" before listening to the rest of the game on radio. The only thing worse would be if MASN hired Tim McCarver to work with Carpenter so we would be subjected to more Tales of the Cardinals Dugout.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 21, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse

Hope they allow Sutton to go. He is a complete bore. I'm with some of the others who favor Tom Paciorek or Ray Knight. Both of them worked much better with Carpenter and, particularly in Paciorek's case, were more entertaining.

Posted by: AshburnVA | January 21, 2009 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Tom Paciorek won't be back, but I've got to admit I really enjoyed him -- goofy, repetitive, but fun. Sutton is a qualified, knowledgeable, informative stiff. If we can't have good ratings, let's at least have some fun. Robert Fick is available. Bacsik could be fun. Ray Knight would be the most likely choice, and he doesn't totally suck. Tim Raines would be a nice Expo tie in. Paul LoDuca pulled together a couple of interesting games last year filling in for Sutton. If you have to go with a MASN contract, bring Buck Martinez over. He had no tie in with the Orioles anyway. Barry Larkin would have been great, but he signed with MLB Network. Whoever they get needs to have a little fun.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 21, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

As Monty Burns might say, excellent...

---

Fick for color commentator!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 21, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Also, excellent analysis, Professor BinM (but which came first, Screech or the egg?).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 21, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

How bout 43, heard he just retired yesterday.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | January 21, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

i continue to advocate* that the nats hire jon miller away from SF to do our radio. aside from vin scully, he's the best in the business. he would do great with sutton, who is knowledgeable and occasionally even wry. knight's just too bombastic, carpenter too bland.

*(not 'advocate for' because there is no such thing as 'advocating against.' the english for that is 'opposing.' so 'advocate' by itself is, by definition, the positive form.)

Posted by: natty-bumppo | January 21, 2009 11:13 PM | Report abuse

Nick Johnson for color commentator.
He knows the team, he knows the game, and we know (sadly) he'll be injured and free from 1st Base duties by May 1st.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | January 21, 2009 11:37 PM | Report abuse

please god let sutton go...ambivalent about carp, and there are plenty of color guys (careful how you say that) out there who are great. oh hell just fire carp and simulcast dave and charlie's radio call over the video feed

Posted by: formerlylove | January 22, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

*Well said, Natty B.
First in war, first in peace, and best editing gremlins in baseball.

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 22, 2009 1:01 AM | Report abuse

But I was wondering for a couple of paragraphs, "Sutton for Booth? Who's Booth, and why would the Nats trade for an announcer?" Must be a salary dump, was all I could figure. Get some young pipes up here and let them grow with the team...

Posted by: CEvansJr | January 22, 2009 1:03 AM | Report abuse

How about firing Carpenter - for good this time - and using what we already have? Sloane and Jaegler as either a simulcast or rotating into the TV booth along with another colour commentator? Phil Wood, Hondo - someone with a local connection.

Posted by: MarcJMilzman | January 22, 2009 7:01 AM | Report abuse

To be honest I really do not care who the color commentator is. I would much rather be discussing who the Nats are bringing in to improve the team. But each day it is the same - nothing. For all those who are happy just to have baseball in DC or are encouraging us to be patient, how are you going to feel this year when you see Willy Mo, Corey Patterson and Ryan Langerhans patrolling the outfield with Belliard at first, Anderson at second, Gonzalez at short and Orr at third. I really believe we will see something like that at some point during the year as we hurdle toward another 100 loss season. Bowden will be his ever optimistic self working the phones 24/7 to obtain some AAAA level player.

Posted by: mjames0 | January 22, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

It would be a good move for Sutton ... he has the hair for radio.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 22, 2009 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Trying to think of the most enjoyable radio/televsion announcers I have heard. IN no particular order: Vin Scully (Dodgers), Harry Carry (Cubs), Jack Buck Sr. (Cardinals and CBS), Ernie Harwell (Tigers), Jon Miller (Orioles and ESPN), Red Barber (mostly on NPR), Skip Carray (Braves), Chuck Thompson (Orioles), Milo Hamilton (Braves, Astros), Ron Santo (Cubs), Ralph Kiner (Mets). I'm sure there are others who would make an all-time top ten, but these were all good ones. I like the old guy in Philadelphia too.

Posted by: natbisquit | January 22, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

WaPo.com sports editor Jon DeNunzio - a friend of NJ, I should add - will be having a discussion at 11 am to discuss the Post's sports coverage. I figured some of you would be interested.

Boswell at 1 pm. Maybe someone can ask him if he's reconsidering his season tickets now that the Nats are offering low low prices.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 22, 2009 8:16 AM | Report abuse

First criteria for the next color man in the booth, be sure to get someone who has no fear of heights. Perhaps an ex player with a pilots license.

Posted by: cokedispatch | January 22, 2009 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Phil Wood would be the obvious best choice, except that he is not smooth enough to do in game commentary. Also, he would probably be vetoed by Angelos, assuming that the toad has that power.

I'd love to see Frank Howard, if we really need a former player (never quite understood that). He has been involved with the game, generally in F/O positions, but has been tied to the AL for too long.

BTW, the B/A podcast lists the Nats as the 21st Farm system, mainly because of the regression of guys that they had much more highly rated last year. They basically list about 5 - 7 teams in the very top tier, the next 20 as a pack with the bottom 4 (Arizona, etc) as a major disaster. Bad news is that FL & ATL are in the first group.

Posted by: Catcher50 | January 22, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

It would not bother me to see the arrogant Sutton leave. Reports had it that he was responsible for the MASN not renewing Carpenter's contract after the 2007 season.

Posted by: bupbups | January 22, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Does it matter if Sutton stays or goes? If only 9,000 people tune in each night, does it really matter who the color guy is?

I'm more worried about who's playing first.

Posted by: MBUSA | January 22, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Why do I get the feeling that any broadcaster who remains with the Nats for more than a couple of years will turn into Bob Uecker's character from Major League?

Posted by: jctichen | January 22, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

No worries, jctichen, that would take years; no, decades… I mean, generations of losing baseball:

http://www.serioussportsnewsnetwork.com/2008/04/brewers-mediocre-play-leading-uecker-to-drink-again.html

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 22, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I learned to take Sutton, and he was pretty nice to me when I met him roaming the stands of RFK in '07, but I'd not be sorry to see him go. He made the Freudean slip of calling the Nats "the Braves" too much for my liking. He really wants to be with the Braves, godspeed to him.

I wouldn't mind Tom P or Knight taking over. But please God no Phil Wood. He's an Orioles fan disguised as a Nationals expert. The Nationals play second best to the Orioles on the Angelos network too often, putting Phil Wood on the daily telecasts would only make that worse. Bring in a National League guy or a guy without any ties to Baltimore, please.

Posted by: raymitten | January 22, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Phil Wood, an ORIOLE FAN disguised as a Nats expert??? Where have you been for the past 40 years? Please.

Posted by: MarcJMilzman | January 22, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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