[January 15th] -- MASN has their guy. After nearly a month since his name was first floated as being Tom Paciorek's replacement in the TV booth, the word is now offical. It's Sutton
. Now, I've been reading the Nationals' message boards and from what I can tell, Sutton wasn't ... um .. how do I say it .... their first choice. Indispersed between the "Steve Stone is much better" comments were an inordinate amount of "bad hair" jokes.
And - of course - they were justified.
Look, I had no qualms about Tom Paciorek remaining in the broadcast booth. I lived in Seattle when he had is only good years in the major leagues. He was a kidder then, he was a kidder in the booth last year. The schtick got a little old at times, but overall I appreciated his work.
Don Sutton is the antithesis of Paciorek. If the two were singers, Pa
would be Leo Sayer and Sutton Dean Martin (if you're not old, I don't expect you to get the analogy). Sutton has a dulcet demeanor that relaxes some while putting others to sleep. He was the perfect foil for Skip Caray's nasalosity (if that wasn't a word, it is now). Having been a Braves' fan during that primordial period between the Senators and Nationals, I have heard Sutton broadcast nearly a thousand games, and I like him. I think he'll be a good foil for Bob Carpenter.
Do I have some issues with the guy? Sure, but they came after the Braves stopped being my team. I'll never forget that first game that the Braves played at RFK. Both Sutton and Pete Van Wieren gently turned their noses up at both RFK and the Nationals. Sutton was used to winning, and working out of a top-notch ballpark. The Nationals, and their stadium, offered neither. His arrogance and disdain were obvious.
I have a couple of q
uestions regarding this move. Why did he choose the Nationals? Regardless of his detractors, Sutton is a brand-name broadcaster, someone who brings notoriety with him. I'm sure that o
ther teams tried to sign him once TBS jettisoned Braves Baseball. Second, not since the late 1980's has Sutton had to broadcast a loser, allowing him that flowing demeanor of confidence that made him seem convincing while peddling berber for "Carpets of Dalton." Will he be able to accept being part of a loser here in Washington, at least for a few years?
The Nationals, or MASN, or whoever it was, made a wise choice from many wise choices. Steve Stone would have done just as well. I think the team saw a little too much of John Wetteland in Paciorek, and were going for a more professional environment.
And that's fair.
Note: This is post #2 for January 15th. Post #1 is below.