I’m not a Daron Sutton fan, though his absence has me a
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
Insubordination is an interesting word, one that is
defined by Dictionary.com as “the quality or
condition of being insubordinate, or of being disobedient
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-
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.