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What else is there to say. Well a lot on this board...

Fox fires Lyons after insensitive comment

Broadcaster made remark about Piniella's Hispanic heritage

By Janie McCauley

The Associated Press

Originally published October 14, 2006, 6:58 PM EDT

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 game. He has been replaced for the remainder of the series by Los Angeles Angels announcer Jose Mota.

Piniella had made an analogy involving the luck of finding a wallet, then briefly used a couple of Spanish phrases during Friday's broadcast.

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.

Lyons claimed he was kidding.

"If I offended anybody, I'm truly sorry," Lyons said in a phone interview. "But my comment about Lou taking my wallet was a joke and in no way racially motivated."

Lyons flew Saturday to Los Angeles, where he hoped to meet with Fox chairman David Hill. Lyons had been working in the booth for the ALCS alongside Thom Brennaman and Piniella, the No. 2 broadcast team for Fox this postseason.

"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.

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.

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 RBIs for Boston, the Chicago White Sox, Atlanta and Montreal. He was a first-round draft pick by the Red Sox, 19th overall, in 1981.

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I would love that and Joe Buck says it to it will twice as nice I cant tsanbd them both, they should just wear Cardinals uniforms tommorowop becuase they are obviusly biased in their announcing in the NLCS

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I would love that and Joe Buck says it to it will twice as nice I cant tsanbd them both, they should just wear Cardinals uniforms tommorowop becuase they are obviusly biased in their announcing in the NLCS

Just convinces me that fans just have a 99% chance of NOT liking national announcers.

I love Joe Buck, but I usually can't stand him doing national games. I feel like he goes too far to be unbiased and roots for the other time. When the Cards are winning it gets better, one because I'm less snippy, and two, because I think national announcers always have a bias for the winning team.

I don't feel like McCarver ever really roots for the Cards. Not sure he roots for anyone actually. He just says what everyone already knows, lol.

Point is, like I said, I think most people just don't like national announcers. They get bias complaints from both sides constantly.

Don't worry, I'm not telling you to stop complaining though, because I know I won't.

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Since Joe Buck broadcasts the Cardinal regular season games his bias towards St. Louis would be "understandable," if he exhibits any. I think STL FANATIC got it right though. When Mr. Buck (or anyone else, for that matter) does a national broadcast they can't be biased. Their apparent "bias" for the winning team is their attempt at being excited for any success either team may have during the game. I like Joe Buck. I think he does a fine job announcing for baseball games. It's just the nature of the job and the nature of fans.

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Since Joe Buck broadcasts the Cardinal regular season games his bias towards St. Louis would be "understandable," if he exhibits any. I think STL FANATIC got it right though. When Mr. Buck (or anyone else, for that matter) does a national broadcast they can't be biased. Their apparent "bias" for the winning team is their attempt at being excited for any success either team may have during the game. I like Joe Buck. I think he does a fine job announcing for baseball games. It's just the nature of the job and the nature of fans.

Just for the record, Buck does just the occassional Cardinal game during the season. He is not one of their normal play by play announcers.

Not trying to say he's not a Cards fan, he most definatley is. Just, he hasn't done regular play by play for them for a good few years now.

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Since Joe Buck broadcasts the Cardinal regular season games his bias towards St. Louis would be "understandable," if he exhibits any. I think STL FANATIC got it right though. When Mr. Buck (or anyone else, for that matter) does a national broadcast they can't be biased. Their apparent "bias" for the winning team is their attempt at being excited for any success either team may have during the game. I like Joe Buck. I think he does a fine job announcing for baseball games. It's just the nature of the job and the nature of fans.

True, But I do remember when Vin Scully was doing NBC games during the 80's that he was biased even when the Dodgers was on NBC.

If only Steve had said something stupid during the Dodgers game last year.

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Buck and McCarver's obvious St Louis bias was never more blatent then it was during the 2002 NLCS. You can tell how pi$$ed off Buck was once Lofton got the single off Kline to end the series.

Same thing this year if the Mets some how rally with Oliver Perez (sigh) :down:

They wont be happy

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That Piniella stole his wallet becuase hes hispanic love that freedom of speach we have.

Just remember, Tank, it's Fox that did this. Clip and save.

The ridiculous thing about this is that Lyons was simply referencing something Piniella had said previously. And somehow, by repeating it, that makes Lyons a bigot. Thant's akin to calling me racist and banning me from the boards for saying "I gave gregjigga a bite of my peanut butter sandwich the other day."

Also, Lou Piniella sucks in the booth.

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It's interesting. FOX fired him right after the game. According to the article, Lyons has had a history of such remarks, which led me to believe that it was something internal. I'm not sure if Lou had any reaction to what Lyons said. If he did raise a concern, then that may be why Lyons was fired.

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