Don’s Out

Atlanta Braves : News : Atlanta Braves News

Don Sutton won’t be with TBS next season. The linked story by Mark “Peanut” Bowman is basically a reworded press release — barely reworded at that.

I’ve thought for some time that Don would probably move to Fox in 2007 and this is just the first step in that.

108 thoughts on “Don’s Out”

  1. I think that there will be a fair amount (relative to the minimal coverage ahead) of games on TBS in 2007. My understanding is that the will be progressively less Braves games on the Superstation, but I have been too lazy to try to find what the number is at the bottom. For those of us who spend parts of our year in places in the U.S. where Turner Sports is unavailable, the last few years have been incredibly frustrating.

    I might add that if I do get to see the Braves in 2007 and 2008 I will miss Don Sutton. He offered more insight than most into pitching and by this point he knew the Braves. To my mind, this is another step backward.

  2. I’ve said it before: I like Don, especially in the Big 3 glory days of Smoltz, Maddux & Glavine.

    Don knows pitching & explains it well without overdramatizing or overanalyzing everything. Like Skip & Pete, he lets the game breathe & interjects when necessary. Unlike many other announcers, he realizes the game isn’t about him. His war stories have resonance because he didn’t pound them into your head each broadcast.

    I’ll never forget once when I was in Philly for a Braves-Phils weekend of games back in, say, 1997. (Does anybody remember the Saturday night game where Andruw hit one into the CF upper deck at the Vet? Wow.) I was staying near the old stadium & had to run down to the store to pick a few items before heading over for the Sunday afternoon game. The Phils pre-game was on 1210 AM with the late Richie Ashburn & Sutton was his guest.

    It was the most entertaining sports radio I’d heard in a while. Ashburn & Sutton reminisced the way that only old ballplayers can. They were comparing ballplayers, eras, that sort of thing, with funny anecdotes all over the place. In fact, I pulled the car over to listen because I didn’t want to miss anything. (Of course, that turned out to be the last time I heard Ashburn—he died later that season.)

    I’ll miss Don & I’m not exactly loving the booth regime change either.

  3. To quote Wesley Snipes from Demolition Man, “I must’ve done something right in a previous life. Can’t imagine what that could’ve been.” So long, Don.

    Now, once we get rid of Torborg, we’re really in business.

  4. I liked Don too. His insights about pitching will be missed (by me, at least). If he ends up on Faux I’ll be less likely to hit mute when watching a game. Anyone else get the feeling that Smoltz will be heading to the booth when his career is done?

    But really, it’s the minimization of Skip that has driven me crazy the last couple of years. I know he’s kinda frail these days but that guy should be on every Braves broadcast, period.

  5. UGH
    I hate this so much
    The Braves I grew up with are gone and not in the good sense of “everything must move on” but in a horribly termintated way instead if that makes any sense

  6. Here’s what I was thinking of. 2008 is when they’ll all but stop showing braves games, with no more than 13. Still 70 games on TBS next season.

  7. I have the feeling that the new baseball agreement Turner has may be the first step towards evolving into a MLB network similar to the NFL network.

  8. Chip is going to be the main announcer starting in 2008 when they just do the Sunday games and the postseason. My guess is that Skip will hang around to do those TBS Braves games that only the six states around Georgia will be able to get. I don’t know if Joe will stay around to do those with him. More likely it’ll be Pete since he’s actually employed by the Braves.

    Sad day, beginning of the end of an era (there’s been a lot of these days recently. I’ll be really sad when Smoltz retires…)

  9. From DOB:

    Beyond that, I’m told that Pete Van Wieren might be doing radio only. Pete’s under contract with the Braves, not TBS. There was outcry among fans a couple years back when Pete and Skip Caray were taken off TBS and assigned to radio only _ so much outcry that both were back on TV by midseason….

    (The rest of the blog is really good, with interesting final stats about many of the players.)

  10. I always thought Don was the best pitching analyst around, a hell of a lot better than Jeff Brantley on Baseball Tonight. I guess Time Warner wants to make sure that no Braves fan ever has a kind thought about the company again.

  11. This is stupid. The streak is over. Much of our good, experienced coaching staff is leaving us, Sutton is leaving us, in a few years the Braves will lose having a national audience and downgrade to just a regional audience (although that one we have seen coming), its like they want us to kiss the past 15 years goodbye.

  12. I’ll miss Don more for sentimental reasons than commentary reasons.

    I disagree with ububba about Don interjecting stories about himself — every broadcast contains at least one Gene Mauch or Don Drysdale story. I don’t really have a problem with that, though, since he was actually good in his involvement with the game (unlike Jeff Torborg or Steve Phillips, for example). And his radio play-by-play skills are among the worst I’ve ever heard.

    That said, it is quite sad to see the team that was so successful for a decade and a half being slowly dismantled in every area.

  13. That’s exactly the problem. The team is slowly being dismantled in every area. Are there any coaches left for the 1999 team that made the World Series? The front office overwent some big changes during the season. We’re losing the national TV coverage we’ve had for years to become regional (and I, unfortunately, am not in that region). Times are changing, and it is kind of hard to swallow.

  14. I don’t want to sound too negative, but things do change. As Braves fans we have had a decade and a half of unprecedented success. The team has had many different faces along the way, but the team identity has felt the same all along. I think the core of this team is going to change drastically over the next 2 seasons. I’m not saying we will be bad, I actually think we will be just fine, but lets face it, spring 2008 could have no Bobby, JS, Andruw, Smoltz, and maybe even Chipper.
    I became a Braves fan around 1988-89 when we moved to Richmond and started going to R-Braves games. We as fans have also been lucky enough to have our own national network to watch our team with our announcers during this great run. It seems only fitting that the end of the TBS era coincides with the end of the streak.
    Unless you are fortunate enough to be in the south east, us fans will have to follow the Braves like other baseball fans have had to do.
    We will get to know the next Braves by reading the paper, on the web, and being lucky enough to catch a game of the week.
    I will always love the Braves and always felt that TBS made them a step above the rest of the league. They will always be a step above to me, but some of the specialness has worn off.
    As we lose our national network at the same time as the face of the team changes I am looking forward to this new era almost as if I am a new fan again. Now we can put the streak, the big three, 1995 all in our memory banks and anticipate the future with Mccann, Frenchy, and Adam. I just hope we come up with a new big three before the last big one retires.

  15. I’m going to miss Don too. i hope he’s still covering games somewhere be it FSN South or whatever.

  16. Anyone think Woody Williams woul be a nice addition to our staff. He’s usually pretty solid. I believe he’s a FA after this year

    Smoltz, Huddy, Hampton, Williams, James plan B…Davies, Lerew, Ramirez (prob. traded)

  17. FA pitchers next year, I believe this is correct.

    Jason Schmidt
    Ted Lilly
    Barry Zito
    Mike Mussina
    Gil Meche
    Roger Clemens
    Byung-Hyun Kim
    Andy Pettitte
    Vicente Padilla
    Cory Lidle
    Carlos Silva
    Greg Maddux
    Jeff Weaver
    Woody Williams
    Jamie Moyer
    Jason Johnson
    Aaron Sele
    Brian Moehler
    Randy Wolf
    Jason Johnson
    Mark Mulder
    Jamey Wright
    Shawn Chacon
    Miguel Batista
    Sidney Ponson
    Rodrigo Lopez
    Chan Ho Park
    John Thomson
    Pedro Astascio

    could be wrong on some of these, anyone of worth to us?

  18. Stu,

    When I say Don didn’t make the broadcast about himself, I didn’t mean that he couldn’t tell a personal story as it related to the game or the situation. He does that and, to me, it’s fine & even enjoyable.

    I meant that Don didn’t simply use the game as an excuse to talk about himself, generally at the expense of the game at hand. Of course, I’m subjected the ultrabombastic John Sterling up here, which is an exercise in patience and perseverance perhaps only understood by Job. Compared to Sterling, Don is like Red Barber.

  19. Speaking of Vicente Padilla…ever notice how he looks like the hispanic Larry Bowa? I mean, they look virtually identical. Not good for Vicente. It genuinely freaked me out when they were together on the Phillies. That may have also been due to Padilla’s ability to completely dominate us.


    Yeah, things change. That doesn’t make it fun when stuff like this happens, though, and it’s cathartic to reminisce with other folks on here.

  20. I think some of the above pitchers have options that will be picked up, so not all will be available

  21. ububba,

    Gotcha. Do you agree that he’s not very good at play-by-play when his audience doesn’t have a picture to watch?

  22. The really sad part is that Braves radio coverage can no longer be picked up across the nation. When the broadcasts were on WSB, you could hear the night games all over the East and Midwest because WSB was a clear channel station. The current radio outlets for Braves games are local. So, it looks like XM satellite radio and the Extra Innings cable package from now on for Braves fans outside of the South.

  23. Maybe they will move Sutton to Fox and kill Torborg. Rathburn and Sutton wouldn’t be terrible, because they would have Sutton.

    I bet he goes back to LA and hangs out with Charlie Stiener as they try to push Vin Skully out.

  24. Completely off-topic:

    Smitty, did you notice my comparison of 2006 UGA to 2005 UT yesterday? The similarities are amazing.

  25. I did Stu. They have three quarterbacks they are trying to play, that won’t work. The only thing they have going for them is Richt is smart where Randy Sanders is…well…Randy Sanders.

  26. Heh, that is a Don Classic, Robert.

    Richt may be smart (he’s certainly more generally useful than Randy Sanders, but then again, who isn’t?)…but he’s not a very good playcaller.

  27. Stu,

    I’ve lived in New York since 1990, so I don’t listen to the Braves on radio that often. When I do, it’s on & I don’t much remember Don from Pete from Joe—I always remember Skip. So I’m not the best person to critique Don’s radio performance. But I’ll take your word for it.

    Re: UGA
    I’m hoping the Dawgs are more like the post-Prothro Tide last year (the D pulls out some wins while the O “finds itself”) than the ’05 UT trainwreck. Before the season, I said 9-3. That still doesn’t look unreasonable to me.

  28. Well, like I said yesterday, UGA has a lot more discipline, so I hardly expect a total, UT-like collapse. (Besides, they’ve already equaled UT’s win total from last year…and they don’t have a Notre Dame on their non-conference schedule) However, their problems appear to be the same as UT’s last year and I don’t expect them to be able to beat really good teams.

    9-3 may well be within reason; if that happens, it should be considered a great success, given the offensive struggles. They’re hardly a top-10 team this year.

  29. Antonio Simms, free safety, is leaving UGA. I think he’s a soph. Dont know much about him, he’s been suspended for conduct violations I think…

  30. Does anyone know what our FA money is going to look like for next year?

    With that said I would like Jason Schmidt.(probaly to expensive)

    Greg Maddux would be a nice pick up.

    Rodrigo Lopez maybe.(I like him, don’t know why, i just think he can be a good pitcher)

    Shit, why not try and get mulder, maybe with his best friend,Hudson will start to pitch like he used to…what the hell, bring in Zito too. I hear he’s pretty good.

  31. from

    Atlanta Braves

    Turner Sports: signed long-term extension to telecast Atlanta Braves baseball games nationally on TBS thru 2012 season on 11/17/05- + as part of the agreement, Turner will continue to air approximately 125 Major League Baseball games on TBS and Turner South- + agreement guarantees a minimum of 45 games on national carrier TBS through the life of the contract

    The Braves receive $13M annually from their radio rights deal

  32. Did anyone see the show on Hometown Heroes last week in which Don Sutton was interviewed without his permanent. His hair was short and it really looked freaky.

  33. well then..

    Aybar shows promise: Although he may still need to enhance his baserunning skills, Willy Aybar’s production in September proved the Braves may have made the right move when they obtained him for Wilson Betemit on July 30.

    Aybar hit .343 and posted a .410 on-base percentage during the season’s final month. In addition, he proved to be a solid defender at third base. With Chipper Jones’ injury woes, the 23-year-old utility infielder should prove to be a valuable backup.

    As their roster currently stands, it appears Martin Prado will enter the 2007 season as the starting second baseman. But Aybar is also capable of playing that position.

  34. I think Detroit is tired of hearing about letting Smoltz leave, no way they get rid of either one of those young arms

  35. Tigers 4, $teroids 3.

    The thought of the Yankees and the Mets losing in the first round is too good. Too bad it won’t happen.

  36. Potential George Steinbrenner t-shirt:

    “I spent 200 million and all I got was a lousy first-round exit.”

  37. late topic, anyone think Haynesworth suspension was too long or not long enough. Gurode is not pressing charges against him. I think he should be out for the rest of the season w/ out pay. Also, should have charges pressed against him. There’s no place for what he did

  38. Haynesworth just tried to beat up on his old teammates. After a fight one day, he came back to practice w/ a pole. Fulmer has to stop him. Why wasnt he kicked off immediately. He’s getting to many chances if you ask me

  39. Well I need to make an up to date post

    1: I hope that Prado is not our starting 2b next year

    2: Haynesworth should have been suspended for at least 8 games

    3: Really bad news for those of us who don’t live in the Southeast

    Beginning in 2008 and running through 2013, TBS’ national baseball coverage will consist soley of 26 Sunday afternoon broadcasts that could include matchups between any Major League Baseball teams.

    WTBS, the channel’s local Atlanta feed, will carry at least 45 games per season from 2008-2013. These games also could be carried on TBS in the club’s six-state home territory, which includes Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee.

    Basically if you don’t live in one of those six states you are screwed out of watching 45 Braves games. I became a fan in 1984, because my Pop and I would watch Braves games on TBS, and its too bad that future youngsters won’t have the same chance.

  40. since we cant talk about Crawford here anymore, should we start talking about Roberts and the guy who plays for the Cubs?

  41. Next year’s Interleague schedule will include visits from the Red Sox (June 18-20) and the Tigers (June 22-24). The Braves will travel to play the Twins (June 12-14) and the Indians (June 15-17). It will be their first trip to Jacobs Field since the 1995 World Series

    Im sure the Mets will play the Royals, Tampa Bay, Seattle, and Baltimore

  42. Crawford is not officially off limits yet. However, Juan Pierre is off limits, because he sucks. He sucks, and then he sucks some more, and when he’s done with that and wants a change, he sucks. Juan Pierre is Ryan Langerhans with a press agent.

  43. I almost killed Don Sutton in Cinncinnati in 2001:
    My wife and daughters acompanied me to a Braves game at old Riverfront. There’s a fantastic enclosed bridge for pedestrians that leads across Pete Rose Way to downtown. I wore my Maddux jersey and my then teenage daughters were tolerating me. It was two hours to game time and many professional people were heading for the park.
    Among them was a guy packing a big briefcase, sweating as he rushed to he park. That perm was too familiar to miss.
    “Don Sutton!” I yelled, like the dumb Hoosier I am and forty people jumped straight up into the air. Don and I both blushed.
    He smiled and I wished him a good game. For the next four years I had to endure tales about the day I saw “God” and being asked if “God” was doing TV or radio each time I watched a game. They really shrieked during the broadcast he showed us how to put alcohol down the seam of your uniform pants so you can, uh,get a better grip on the ball.
    Don, gonna miss you.

  44. Career .305 hitter/.350 OBP with lotsa speed & SBs, but no power & no arm. He ain’t worth $5M.

    My favorite story was after the Marlins beat the Yanks in the WS, Steinbrenner became enamored with Pierre and, according to reports, Cashman had to talk him out of attempting to acquire him.

    How great is Albert Pujols?

  45. Alex Rodriguez is Juan Pierre with frosted tips. This, from ESPN’s Tigers-Yanx game 2 writeup:

    “A-Rod, booed loudly after his final two at-bats, hasn’t driven in a run in his last 10 postseason games and is 5-for-40 (.125) in his last 11. He’s 1-for-8 with four strikeouts in this series.”

  46. I was at Game 1 of the Yanks-Tigers game. When Jeter hit the homer in the 8th to go 5-for-5 and make the score, 8-4, the place went bonkers. I turned to one of my pals & said, “The only person in the joint hating this is A-Rod.”

  47. I just did something really dumb. I actually clicked on a forum discussing the Sutton move on the AJC website. I know many of those posters don’t seem to know what they’re talking about, but I couldn’t believe the Skip bashing. Most of the posts I read basically wondered why Don is gone and Skip is still there. I was floored. I love Skip Carey and will be sad when he retires (and will be mad if he leaves the Braves before he retires).

  48. An example of an AJC post:


  49. Am I the only one not dealing very well with this post-season, sans the Braves? They were in the post-season for half of my life. My best friend is a Mets fan and though he’s a great guy, I can’t find it in myself to be happy for him (not the Mets, for him). Even though I knew they weren’t going to make months ago, it still hits me every few days and it feels so surreal.

    And I can’t even think about TBS dropping their broadcasts. I’m officially screwed then.

  50. has a play-by-play page of the Mets-Dodgers game, and right now it’s showing Betemit up to bat. The sad thing is he’s in his Braves’ hat :-( It was kindof strange seeing a “Brave” up to bat when I’m still getting over the fact that I won’t see them play for another 6 months.

    And, what’s the Dodgers’ problem? The Mets’ pitching is a mess, so why can’t LA score?

  51. Prado is next year’s starting second baseman?
    Mark bowman said that in his newest blog on the braves website.

  52. From AJC Blog about chipper…

    “I’d love to see Chipper in a Red Sox uniform if he’s not in a Braves’ one. Make a trade for Lowell and either Crisp or Hansen, and a minor pitching prospect. That would work for me.”

    “It”s time for John Scoholtz.bobby cox to exit the braves. trade A.J.giles,terry p. i belive Orr is ready to play.” Orr ready to play..huh??

    I feel my IQ dropping as I read these comments at AJC….

  53. Last one I promise…

    “Chipper needs to be GONE!! A player making the money he makes needs to learn how to “suck it up” and play hurt. Instead, Chipper’s content to sit on his lazy duff and draw his paycheck!! Andrew and Francouer and McCann play hurt everyday! Trade Chipper, get rid of his enormous salary, and spend that money on someone who WANTS TO PLAY!!!”


  54. Ok…i’m going to go on a little rant…mostly because Chipper is my favorite player and has been since I watched my first baseball game and this guy’s comment puts me in a bad mood, don’t know why, just does.

    “Chipper’s content on sitting on his lazy duff”

    Ok first of all, what the hell is a duff….is he attempting start another trend for ass, isn’t “lovely lady lumps” enough man?? Hmm..I just googled “duff” and all I got was a buch of Hilary Duff fan sites…no, that can’t be right, chipper is sitting on Hilary Duff…surely E! news would have mentioned this!!!!

    “draw his paychecks”

    Oh, great…now the braves have to learn how to draw….Frenchy already has alot on his plate this off-season, with the possible wedding, and the whole not swinging at every pitch he sees he has to find time to take an art class…damn.


    Ok….ANDRUW has been with the team for 10 years now…it’s not “Andrew” it’s ANDRUW…..U…not E…

    “Trade Chipper”

    WTF for….he was great this year(I know he only played in 110 games) .324 26 HR 86 RBI’s .409 OBP and a .596 SLG….who’s gonna replace that..hmm…Orr, Aybar, Prado, Pena Jr…doubt it.

    Ok that is the end of this little rant…no more AJC blogs for me…

  55. Jay10–Thanks for the posts, but I would not give the AJC blog any more of your time.

    I never got to meet Don Sutton, but I do remember a telecast in 1990. Jimmy Kremers was batting and Sutton complimented him on his ability as a catcher and then said it was clear that as a hitter he was “overmatched”. Not a minute later Kremers hit a HR, leading Sutton to exclaim “so he is not overmatched!” It proved to be the only HR Kremers ever hit and after 1990 he never saw another day in Majors. Happily enough, the Braves were able to trade Kremers to Montreal for Otis Nixon.

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