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Fox fires baseball announcer Steve Lyons for racially insensitive comments

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Fox fires baseball announcer Steve Lyons for racially insensitive comments

Old 10-14-06, 04:45 PM
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Fox fires baseball announcer Steve Lyons for racially insensitive comments

DETROIT 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.

The network confirmed Saturday that Lyons was dismissed after Friday's comments. He has been replaced for the remainder of the series by Los Angeles Angels announcer Jose Mota.

"Steve Lyons has been relieved of his Fox Sports duties for making comments on air that the company found inappropriate," network spokesman Dan Bell said.

Lyons had been working in the booth for the ALCS alongside Thom Brennaman and Piniella, the No. 2 broadcast team for Fox this postseason.

A call to Lyons' cellphone was not immediately returned Saturday.

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.


Fox executives told Lyons after the game he had been fired.

Piniella, approached before Saturday's Game 4, declined to comment on the situation except to say: "No, he's not here today."

This was not a first-time offense for Lyons, nicknamed "Psycho" during his nine-year big league career as a utilityman that ended in 1993 with the Boston Red Sox.

Hired when Fox began broadcasting baseball in 1996, Lyons was suspended without pay in late September 2004 after his remarks about Shawn Green of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Green is Jewish and elected not to play one of the two games at San Francisco that took place during the Yom Kippur holiday.

The network apologized for Lyons' remarks at the time.

Earlier in the playoffs, while working the Mets-Dodgers NLDS, Lyons unwittingly made fun of a nearly blind fan who was wearing special glasses to see the game.

"He's got a digital camera stuck to his face," Lyons said.

He also once pulled down his pants on the field during his playing days.

Lyons, 46, was a career .252 hitter with 19 home runs and 196 RBI for Boston, the Chicago White Sox, Atlanta and Montreal. He was a first-round draft pick
by the Red Sox, 19th overall, in 1981.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseb...tm?POE=SPOISVA



Too bad being a terrible announcer isnt a fireable offense at Fox. Steve Lyons certainly wasnt their worst.
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Old 10-14-06, 05:01 PM
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stupid overreaction by Fox. I didn't even know Piniella was Hispanic but those remarks are benign and not enough close to being racial insensitive. LAME move on Fox's part. There must be more behind the reason for the firing.
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Old 10-14-06, 05:06 PM
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I wish Lyons would have taken Piniella with him.
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Old 10-14-06, 05:16 PM
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This sucks hard. Lyons was one of their best and most entertaining announcers they had. Why can't McCarver call someone a racial slur just one fucking time?
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Old 10-14-06, 05:19 PM
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at Fox replacing him with Jose Mota, a Hispanic.
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Old 10-14-06, 05:20 PM
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WTF? This country has become really pathetically PC. If he would've said "fuck all those beaner players" or something, I can understand it. Joking around, in an obvious attempt to be funny by butchering the language is funny.
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Old 10-14-06, 05:57 PM
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Steve "Psycho Don Rickles" Lyons -
Ignorant: yes
Racist: no
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Old 10-14-06, 06:05 PM
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Give me a fucking break. I wish Joe Buck would drop an N-bomb.
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Old 10-14-06, 06:18 PM
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I'm sure he'll get picked up by someone. He's a great color guy.
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Old 10-14-06, 06:39 PM
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I'm glad the rest of you are as confused about this as I was. I didn't understand where the "racist" part of his comments came in. Sounds like FOX will be facing a big settlement out of this one.
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Old 10-14-06, 07:00 PM
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Holy fuck. Is this the story? Is this the real reason? Does the actual audio somehow come across worse or something? Fox takes a lot of criticism and deservedly so, but I thought of all the networks they'd be above such pandering bullshit.

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Old 10-14-06, 07:02 PM
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Can't we get rid of Joe Morgan instead? God he gets on my nerves.
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Old 10-14-06, 07:04 PM
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If they fired him for making bad jokes it would make sense.
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Old 10-14-06, 07:05 PM
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They said something like it on the game today. Piniella said something in Spanish, and the other guy said something about "habla espanol." Then Piniella said something like "you have to when you're from Tampa." Neither of them seemed offended.

I don't get it either.
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Old 10-14-06, 07:10 PM
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WTF is this? When I heard this live, it was in obvious reference to Pinella's comments earlier about finding a wallet on Friday and expecting to find one again on Sunday and Monday. Wow. Just Wow.
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Old 10-14-06, 07:18 PM
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McCarver has made a living off of his impression of a mentally challenged person, yet nothing ever happens.
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Old 10-14-06, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Mad Dawg
McCarver has made a living off of his impression of a mentally challenged person, yet nothing ever happens.
Dammit...Stole my f-in joke.
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Old 10-14-06, 07:34 PM
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That sucks. I always liked Lyons.
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Old 10-14-06, 07:39 PM
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Very weak sauce. This is the problem with political correctness. I won't argue its not necessary, but every time I see it used its a complete over reaction. Lyons should have been able to publicly explain the situation and appologize and there is no way he loses his job for this.
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Old 10-14-06, 08:10 PM
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Any person of 4th grade intelligence watching the game knew it was in reference to the joke Piniella made a half inning earlier. Who knew that by making it to the 5th grade back in 1982, I was actually eliminating myself as a candidate to be a higher up at Fox Sports.
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Old 10-14-06, 08:18 PM
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I won't argue its not necessary
I got your back. I'll argue it's not necessary. A nation of fucking pussies. Now all we need is some viewers to sue Lyons, Fox, and MLB for emotional distress.

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Old 10-14-06, 08:22 PM
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Old 10-14-06, 08:26 PM
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maybe Fox will hire Carlos Mencia
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Old 10-14-06, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by das Monkey
A nation of fucking pussies. Now all we need is some viewers to sue Lyons, Fox, and MLB for emotional distress.
Why are viewers being blamed for this? It seems like Lyons may have already been on thin ice and Fox wasted no time firing him. I haven't seen any indication that there was a public outcry over his remarks.
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Old 10-14-06, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MechanicalMan
Why are viewers being blamed for this? It seems like Lyons may have already been on thin ice and Fox wasted no time firing him. I haven't seen any indication that there was a public outcry over his remarks.
Hadn't thougt about that. They were really quick on the trigger to fire him. This may have been an excuse they were waiting for. Did anyone watching the game actually complain about the comment?
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