D-backs announce change in television booth

PHOENIX – Daron Sutton and Mark Grace will not return as the Diamondbacks’ television
broadcast team next season.

The D-backs severed their on-air relationship with Sutton because of “philosophical differences,” team president/CEO Derrick Hall said Thursday.

Grace’s Aug. 23 arrest for driving under the influence is the reason he will not be retained, Hall said. It was Grace’s second offense in 15 months.

“We’re looking to have a clean start,” Hall said. “When it came to Daron, it came down to philosophical differences in broadcasting. It’s no knock on him. Both he and Grace were a good team. I thank them for everything they have done. It’s just time to move in a different direction.”

Grace was pulled over by police in Scottsdale for having an expired registration, and he was found to be driving with a suspended license. In addition, the car he was driving was not equipped with a court-mandated interlock device.
“We had told him before that if it happened again, we would not have him return to the booth,” Hall said. “He knew that. We feel terrible for Mark and what he is going through. We’re here for him, but he knew this was going to be a consequence.”

Hall said the search for a new team would begin immediately, and he hopes it can be concluded in two to three weeks.

Greg Schulte will return to the radio booth after filling in for Sutton following his suspension for undisclosed reasons June 21. Schulte has been with the D-backs since their inception in 1998.

The D-backs will consider in-house replacements for Grace, Hall said.

Sutton has four years remaining on a contract extension he received following the 2011 season. The contract prohibits him from taking a job with another major league team, and he is still employed by the D-backs, Hall said.

A contract settlement has not been discussed, but the D-backs would listen if they were approached, Hall said. 

“We want him to work,” Hall said.

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