The Los Angeles Angels made a rare mid-season decision regarding their broadcast team, announcing that back-up play-by-play announcer Daron Sutton would not return during the second half of the season. Sutton served as the alternate for primary play-by-play announcer Matt Vasgersian, who must miss some games due to commitments with other networks.
While the move came as a surprise to Angels fans — who had mixed reviews on Sutton’s performance anyways — it was even more of a surprise to Sutton. He received little to no warning about that move, admitting that he still is unsure why they decided to let him go in the first place.
Sutton gave his thoughts as to where he feels the decision might have come from, saying that it was clearly above most people’s pay grades, according to Sam Blum of The Athletic:
“I know it wasn’t on the baseball side. We always communicate with [manager] Joe [Maddon]. It’s a pretty small organization,” Sutton said. “And very few people, I think, in that organization, have the power to influence something like this besides the highest level.
“So it’s my assumption that it was leadership at the highest level, in ownership.”
It’s fascinating that Sutton’s first thought is that Angels owner Arte Moreno must have played a significant role in his being let go, especially because he also admitted the two had never met during his short stint in Anaheim. Sutton also spoke about what he feels he brings to a broadcast booth.
“I would put my work up with anyone’s around the game, at any level, all the way up to the highest level of network.” Sutton said. “… If it’s within what God wants for me, and there is an opportunity that presents itself, then absolutely.”
“I really do want to feel like I am there representing the people that are watching,” Sutton said. “Not someone who’s at a cocktail party, a little stuffy. I do really want to feel that way. And I think in communicating with those that are really passionate about the time, they thanked me for my time.”
While Sutton definitely appears disappointed in the Angels’ decision, hopefully there are no bad feelings between him and those still in the organization. When the second half of the season starts, the Angels will have a new voice representing them when Vasgersian is away.
Rich Waltz to replace Sutton
Beginning Friday, former Miami Marlins broadcaster Rich Waltz is set to replace Sutton as the standby for Vasgersian, the Angels announced. Waltz was the play-by-play voice of the Marlins for 13 years and recently has done work for MLB Network and Turner Sports.