Sunday, March 27, 2011

"Arizona Diamondback Announcer Darren Sutton"

Happy Weekend folks!

I'd like to take a respite from criticizing our national political leaders and, being a curmudgeon at heart, opt instead to criticize our local Arizona Diamondbacks TV game broadcaster, Darren Sutton.

I would first like to say that I hold no ill will at all against Mr. Sutton.  He looks like the kind of guy that you'd like to sit down and have a beer with.  He also seems to have a kind heart and good intentions.  However, his broadcast of baseball games borders on horrible and often the irritation level is so great that I have to turn down the sound on my TV and watch in silence.

My first pet-peeve with Mr. Sutton is his manner of speaking; his tone and texture is professorial which is about as out of place at a baseball game as possible.  I can see him even now, furrowed brow in place, and commenting in the most "end-of-the-world" terms, the tragedy of player injury or team performance.  Hey, Darren!  It's a baseball game!  There are 162 of them during the regular season!  Don't take us, and especially, yourself so damn seriously.  Lighten up on the formal speech; run some contractions out there, say "don't" and not "do-not" and be one of the guys "we'd wanna talk baseball with". 

But, Mr. Sutton, your professorial tone is not your biggest sin; the thing that makes me shut that volume down in a heartbeat is when you begin yelling at the top of your voice over a home-run or a slightly better than normal fielding play.  Okay, Darren, if your team is in a play-off game at the end of the season, if your team just rallied from ten runs down and staged a miraculous comeback, feel free to get excited about it...but not to the point where the folks hiking in the bottom of the Grand Canyon can hear you.

Finally, when Derrick Hall, or one of the other minority Diamondback owners, chooses to grace you with their presence in the broadcast booth, please dial the "fawning" back to appropriate levels.  Ole Derrick ain't gonna fire you if ask a semi-tough question like "do you feel bad that you're still paying contract money to players who retired ten years ago?".

And Darren, please tell Mark Grace how much I admired him as a player and enjoy his "everyman" approach to "color-man" duties.  You would do well to emulate ole Mark, as he injects player insight and humor to his game comments.  However, Darren, I will buy you a beer or two if you would tell Mark to lay off two really tired sayings that have become grating to the rest of us:  tell him to retire the terms "gas" on a 88 mile per hour fastball (save that for anything coming in at 94mph and over)and "car" when describing play slowdown or interruption.

So, Darren, the Diamondbacks are something like 8-18 in spring training play and seem bound for another near 100 loss season.  That's okay.  We baseball fans will come up with our own resolution to poor performance; i.e. team re-building, bad luck, etc.  But Darren, don't try to inject artificial "excitement" into a mundane team performance by yelling at the top of your voice for a meaningless homer or a fielding play that players are paid a million bucks a year to complete.

Play Ball!

15 comments:

Bill said...

I couldn't agree more. Sutton is not "listenable". If he would just call the game and shut the hell up with the miscellaneous baloney, we would all be better off.

Compare what he says during an average game versus somebody like Vin Scully or the late Dave Niehaus. So much of his anecdotal stuff is either crap, or as you note, is pure "homer" nonsense.

And Mark Grace is a joke. Terrible. Redundant, no insights. Brenly is a million times better as the color man for the Cubs.

I regularly turn off the sound. I can't listen to them. Sutton is far worse than Grace. Could we please get someone else?

JustCommonSense said...

Amen, Bill. I've tuned into a few early game broadcasts; don't think he read this...or doesn't care. The furrowed brow and excessive yelling is still prominent. Vinnie is the best...always knew that "less is more". Scully paints a picture for the radio listener prettier than a Van Gogh painting. I could actually "see" the game through the radio when I listen to Vin Scully.

Steve said...

You guys are calling it wrong. Sutt keeps the TV audience alive and awake. With Gracie, they make a good tandem. Sutt was absent the last two nights; he must be on vacation. I wouldn't worry too long since you guys don't like him; he'll be leaving for L.A. in a few years.

JustCommonSense said...

The game should always speak for itself. No amount of cheerleading and raucous yelling (as Sutton does) can make a game any more exciting. And Sutton, with that professorial tone is even less fitting for a baseball broadcast. Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

I agree fully. I'm watching the game tonight through mlb.tv. I'm an Indians fan. These guys are so bad I had to look up who it was.

JustCommonSense said...

Thanks for your comments. I was watching on Saturday night and Sutton screamed like a banshee when Kelly Johnson made a routine catch in shallow center, just behind second base. Really bad.

Anonymous said...

To my knowledge he never made the majors and he still has not !! I agree with most that he is not suited for this spot. I also feel that Grace, a very good major league player just talks and talks. He repeats himself over and over !! DOES HE REALIZE THAT WE ARE ALL WATCHING THE SAME GAME AND DO NOT NEED A PLAY BY PLAY RECITAL. I turn the radio on and that announcer is great BUT the radio gives one the play before the TV due to the delay in the transmission of the play. Pls bring back Brenley or even Joe.

JustCommonSense said...

Thanks for your comments. They are right on! By the way, the other night Sutton screamed like a banshee when the shortstop made just a routine play. Really tired of Sutton's overhype and the screaming really gets to me.

Unknown said...

I could not DISAGREE more!

JustCommonSense said...

Thanks for visiting, Daron.

Anonymous said...

You all need to turn off your tv's then, if You got these problems with the on air team of Daron and Gracie. They make the game enjoyable and colorful. Let's face it,160 plus games a year Needs some help to keep you awake, especially for the last couple of years before Kirk Gibson and Kevin Towers came on board. Looks like Sutton might be on the way out because of all things his preference to look professional while working on air. There may be other reasons too ,I don't know but, I'm not surprised by the front office decision to remove him because they're the same people that hired that previous manager before Gibson, nice job DBacks.

JustCommonSense said...

Anon: Ever hear of a guy named Vin Scully? He calls a beautiful game and doesn't yap you to death about inane silliness. Grace is okay when cuts down on the "gas" and "car" remarks but Sutton is a pompous ass who is too formal in his speech. I suspect there was more to his troubles with the Diamondbacks than just a dress code.

One more note: When he does wear a suit, his dress shirt is too loose around his neck, his tie is askew and his suits fit badly on a dough boy body.

Anonymous said...

Thom Brennamen (spelling?) And Bob Brenly...best team ever!

Anonymous said...

complain complain lets play ball and put fun in the ball games

Anonymous said...

My wife and I are avid Dback fans and watch most of their games.
I don't understand the critisizem of Sutton and Grace, maybe alittle jealousy from wantabe jocks?
We will be glad when they both get back to work and no one takes these jerks who critisize seriously.