Sutton's absence from D-backs booth has fans scratching their heads
The D-backs broadcaster, apparently suspended by the team due to "insubordination", has not called a game since last week, and may not do so for a while -- if ever again.
Insubordination is an interesting word, one that is defined by Dictionary.com as "the quality or condition of being insubordinate, or of being disobedient to authority."
I'm curious as to what exactly Sutton did, because if the ESPN article is correct, this suspension was the culmination of a long series of transgressions, possibly ranging from criticizing ownership, flirting with the Dodgers, being too big a fan of Deadspin.com (as if that's possible), not adhering to a dress code and, well, basic buffoonery. (OK, I added the last one myself)
With no concrete reason to point to, fans have been left to their own devices. It has led to the ridiculous, such as a constantly-changing Bleacher Report article, as well as the humorous, which can be found in the Twitter hashtag "#DaronSuttonTheories".
The truth is, we don't know what the real issue is or why Sutton is no longer calling games; all we know is the team decided to silence its voice of the last five-plus years in the middle of a season with no "oh, yeah, you had to do it" moment behind the move.
What's strange is that of all the ownership groups in the Valley, the D-backs seem to have one of the best. Derrick Hall is as good as it gets at the president position, and Ken Kendrick -- while maybe needing to be muzzled a times -- for the most part seems to stay out of the way and let the people he hired do the things they were hired to do.
Yet, this decision - with no statement other than the one by Senior VP of Communications Josh Rawitch, which was "We've made an adjustment to the broadcast lineup and Daron is going to be taking some time off" -- is very un- Diamondbacks like.
It is not a fan-friendly move and has not been made with any sense of transparency. No doubt the truth -- or some version of it -- will come out shortly, and the masses will either accept the decision or they won't.
Really, they won't have much of a choice.
Sutton may return, or he may have called his final game for the Diamondbacks. No matter what, though, we should hope that he was not reprimanded for anything to do with being a little critical of the team.
Because while the team's broadcasters must remember who they work for, their job is also to educate the fans and keep them abreast of what's going on. Simply sitting behind a microphone and being a cheerleader -- minus the pom-poms -- does no good for anyone.
Hopefully the Diamondbacks understand that while they have every right to expect their employees to convey a specific message, it's important to treat the fans with respect.
Bad is bad, good is good, and everything in between is just that. No one wants to be fed a rosy picture when things are going poorly, and at the same time who wants to be dragged down with negativity when life is good? Tell it like it is; there's not much need for more than that. After all, we watch because we love baseball and are Diamondbacks fans, not because of anything the broadcasters say or do.
Daron Sutton is a polarizing broadcaster, as his style is entertaining to some and similar to nails on a chalkboard to others. People will tune into the broadcasts whether he's calling the games or not, and they'll remain Diamondbacks fans no matter who is in the booth and regardless of what they're saying.
Because at the end of the day it's all about the product on the field, not how it's being described on the television. And fans, as a whole, should want it to be described accurately and honestly.
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