DETROIT (AP) -- Fox baseball broadcaster Steve Lyons has been fired for making a racially insensitive comment directed at colleague Lou Piniella's Hispanic heritage on the air during Game 3 of the American League championship series.
In the second inning of Friday's game between Detroit and Oakland, Piniella talked about the success light-hitting A's infielder Marco Scutaro had in the first round of the playoffs. Piniella said that slugger Frank Thomas and Eric Chavez needed to contribute, comparing Scutaro's production to finding a "wallet on Friday" and hoping it happened again the next week.
Later, Piniella said the A's needed Thomas to get "en fuego" -- hot in Spanish -- because he was currently "frio" -- or cold. After Brennaman praised Piniella for being bilingual, Lyons spoke up.
Lyons said that Piniella was "hablaing Espanol" -- butchering the conjugation for the word "to speak" -- and added, "I still can't find my wallet."
"I don't understand him, and I don't want to sit too close to him now," Lyons continued.
Ok, I hate Steve Lyons as much as the next guy. But as a Hispanic myself, I personally don't think these comments merited a FIRING! A suspension? Probably. But to just cut the guy loose is surprising to say the least. I personally don't see these comments as THAT offensive and I don't even think any Hispanics noticed, much less got offended.
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On ESPN.com it said they had already suspended Lyons in '04 for making an insensitive remark about Shawn Green. (Actually, it was something about Green's being Jewish and not playing on Yom Kippur in the middle of a pennant race.)
"You know what you need? Some new quotes in your sig. Yeah, I said it." -- DJFrostyFreeze
Originally posted by piemanWell, he's listed as being born in Tampa, so I thought that might make him an American citizen.
It does; therefore he is. It's possible to be born in the U.S. but be of hispanic heritage (or Asian or European or whatever).
FWIW, I think his parents are from Spain, but I'm not positive on that.
Regardless, this seems like a huge overreaction. I didn't read race into those comments at all. Besides, if you put Lyons in the booth, then you know what you're going to get (Fox Attitude!). The thing he said about the virtually blind person watching the game was far more offensive than this.
And, Gugs, truer words have never been spoken.
"Teach children that they have great potential because they are human." -Warrior
Lyons deserved to be fired for being a sub-par commentator anyway, so I guess it all worked out.
Scene: Mark DeRosa's brain. The year is 2005. Part of Mark DeRosa's brain: Come on, another position change? One day it's second base, the next day right field, now it's third? Why, I oughta go into Buck's office and throw his talking fish on the floor! Other part of Mark DeRosa's brain: Hold on, other part of the brain. We're making $500,000 this year. Last year we made $725,000. All for playing a damn kids' game. This is, as they say in Brainland, a no-"us"-er. We're not going to complain. Part of Mark DeRosa's brain: You're right, dude. Let's go back to looking at this crazy porn Teixeira gave us!
Those comments read to me like the whole basis of his joke was that because Piniella was using a couple of Spanish words he was going to steal his wallet, especially the line "I don't understand him, and I don't want to sit too close to him now." I know I could get flamed for this, but even though it could be said I have no right to feel this way since I'm not Latino and that I may be a little oversensitive, I found that pretty offensive even if it was just meant as a light-hearted joke.
Also, regardless of whether you think it's "just a joke" or whatever, somebody working a high-profile gig like that should really know better given the current political climate. Lyons is an idiot. And regardless, as others pointed out, he was a pretty crappy broadcaster anyway.
Originally posted by GugsAnytime a Fox color commentator gets fired and it's not Tim McCarver, a grave injustice has been done.
Originally posted by dwatersI guess Carlos Mencia will never get a job with Fox Sports.
And thank God for that. I don't find anything he does all that offensive, I just think he's a hack and have yet to find anything he does even remotely funny.
Pretty harmless one time comment but this isn't new for Lyons. He's made fun of hispanics, he's made fun of homosexuals and he's made fun of the Jewish in the past. Earlier in the playoffs he was also making fun of a guy who was wearing a device to help him see because he was nearly blind. Some of the other Fox announcers might deserve to be fired for not being very good but at least they aren't racists pricks.
Having finally heard all (or at least most) of this exchange for myself, I'm baffled. I'm usually one of the first to pick up on insensitive remarks towards particular groups, but Lyons was making no such comments. His wallet quip, while not even slightly funny, had absolutely nothing to do with his "habla'ing" quip. I think this is more or less completely ridiculous that he got fired over this. This didn't merit even a suspension.
All I can guess is that whatever previous history he had with being suspended and/or making insensitive remarks had a cumulative effect, and THAT'S why he was let go. Otherwise, this firing is just plain dumb.
EDIT: FWIW, Lyons says that he had dinner with Piniella and some other Fox people after the game and Piniella told him that if he ended up in Chicago, he'd love to have Lyons as the Cubs' commentator. So.. yeah.
That's assuming that Anaheim self-destructs, gugs... and they way they've been play--oh, right, 1995. Ah well, we all know the Sox aren't gonna make it either, they don't have all that much in the rotation beyond Pedro and Lowe.