Saturday, October 14, 2006

Lyons Gets Canned

As detailed here on the blog, in real time, Steve Lyons made some absurd comments on the air yesterday ... comments which have forced Fox to give him the boot.

Now, obviously, Fox could have fired Lyons simply for sucking, since he is one of the worst analysts on any network, in any sport, but from the statements provided, it seems obvious that the bizarre "wallet stealing" remarks made during the second inning of Game Three were his undoing.

You can scroll down for my best efforts at recreating the conversation, but basically, Lou Pinella said something in Spanish and Lyons responded by saying that he was worried about "sitting next to" Pinella and that he feared for the safety of his wallet. Pinella had used "finding a wallet on the ground" as an analogy for Oakland's good fortune in getting solid offensive production from number eight hitter Marco Scutaro, but that was at least five minutes before Lyons went back to discussing wallets.

Lyons claims that he was "just joking" (which my Mom told me was never an excuse for insensitive comments way back when I was like eight years old) and claimed that his remarks weren't racially-based, but it is hard to see how one could draw that conclusion. Pinella said something in Spanish, Thom Brenneman celebrated Sweet Lou's bilingual diversity, and then Lyons fretted about Billfold Security. It seems pretty obvious that however obscure and misguided the comment, it certainly centered on some sort of ethnic punchline.

Leave it to Lyons to tell a racial joke that is so confusing, people weren't even sure it was racist until he got fired.

The air waves are now a better place. Now ... any chance we can show Joe Buck and Thom Brenneman the door next?


Joshua Xanadu said...

Nope. Neither yesterday's comments or the jewish comments were at all racist, and I'm a minority person myself very sensitive toward ACTUAL racism. To claim Lyons was racist is to discredit items that are REALLY racist.

The one with Pinella was not a dig at Hispanics, but at Pinella himself, as Pinella made a comment that he seemed to often look for wallets, an unusual analogy. It was a joke, one which Pinella laughed at. The joke was directed at Pinella. It would be the same if Thom Brennaman said some crazy analogy about wallets

Regarding Shawn Green, it probably wasn't something he should have said, but the 'money' aspect is not to imply that Jews are greedy. It's a nonchalant remark like, hey, too bad he didn't get some more spending money as a kid.

I support Steve Lyons here.

Adam Hoff said...

Fair point. I suppose it could have all been wallet related. But don't you see ... the confusing wallet joke, the Green comment ... these incidents are happening because Lyons says dumb things. All the time. Whether they were intended to be racist or ethnically charged isn't really the point when they can be taken that way. Bright people usually don't make idiotic jokes that cause mayhem.

I suppose you can't fire someone in the middle of an LCS merely for being stupid, so they had to call it racism, but either way, Lyons is just a horrific analyst. His replacement today (I want to say Jose Mota?) didn't bring much to the table, but Lyons' absence was a thing of beauty.

To go back to the actual controversial statement, it may very well be that Lyons was honing in on the wallet comment (as I allowed for in the initial post, although doubted given the time lapse), but the fact that said it RIGHT after Pinella started speaking Spanish just opened the floodgates. As for Pinella's laugh, that was the most awkward, forced laugh I've ever heard. I've laughed for other people's benefit before - we all have - and it certainly seems that was what Sweet Lou was doing. Brenneman, for the first time in his broadcasting career, was speechless, and Pinella was just filling the dead air.

P.S. Scott Spiezio should be fired for that soul patch.

P.P.S. Shawn Green appears to be playing outfield for the first time in his light. He's like the "please God, don't hit it to me" guy from Adam Sandler's comedy CD. What a mess.

CT said...

How 'bout some grace on Lyons' comments. He's a jock trying to make a living in the real world. Being an idiot is excusable; sucking as an on-air personality is not.

McCarver sucks, and Buck and McCarver suck together. I'm sick of the nightly Cards' lovefest. Brennamen has a stupid laugh and over-dramatizes EVERYTHING. Pinella sucks. Hey, at least Harry Caray had an excuse: he was drunk! In fact, it is amazing how good the games sounds with the mute on.