Press release follows:
HALL-OF-FAMER DON SUTTON TO PROVIDE COLOR COMMENTARY ON NATIONALS TELECASTS BEGINNING IN 2007
The Washington Nationals and the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network announced Monday that Hall-of-Fame pitcher Don Sutton will be the new color analyst for Washington Nationals telecasts in 2007. He will join play-by-play broadcaster Bob Carpenter in the booth for over 150 regular season Nationals games carried over the team's regional sports network, MASN.
The four-time All Star spent the majority of his playing days with the Los Angeles Dodgers. His career highlights include 324 wins and 3,574 career strikeouts - one of only nine major league pitchers to achieve such a feat.
"Don's Hall-of-Fame credentials coupled with a special ability to communicate the inner workings of the game in an easy-going manner will greatly enhance the viewing experience for our MASN audience," said Nationals President Stan Kasten. "His presence will also benefit our players, coaching staff and front office as we build and develop our future around young pitching."
Sutton retired from baseball in 1988 and made a successful transition to the broadcast booth. Working with the Atlanta Braves on TBS, Sutton provided play-by-play commentary until last season.
"Coming to Washington was an easy choice for me," said Sutton. "This is the beginning of what is going to be an exciting era in Washington baseball history and MASN puts on a first-class broadcast. The only catch was the list of conditions from my 10-year old daughter, who wants to meet Gilbert Arenas, play catch with Nick Johnson and wear her hat like Chad Cordero. I'm still working on them!
"In all seriousness, I am looking forward to being in Washington , to working with the Nationals and to being part of MASN," Sutton continued.
Fans will be able to hear Sutton and veteran play-by-play man Bob Carpenter call regular season games starting on Monday, April 2 as the Nationals host the Florida Marlins in the club's home opener. MASN will also televise selected Spring Training games beginning in March.
"Don Sutton is a baseball Hall-of-Famer, destined to be a broadcasting hall of famer, who brings tremendous experience, knowledge of the game and perspective to the MASN telecast," said MASN spokesman Todd Webster. "Of all the new enhancements MASN is planning for 2007, none will be more entertaining than having Don Sutton in the Nationals' broadcast booth."
The Mid-Atlantic Sports Network is the region's first team-owned regional sports network. MASN is the television home of the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles, and will telecast more than 320 Major League Baseball games annually starting in 2007.
MASN's television territory stretches from Harrisburg , PA to Charlotte , NC and covers all or parts of six states and the District of Columbia.
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Quick thought: As the press release notes, Sutton performed play-by-play duties regularly with the Braves, who employed rather fluid play-by-play and analyst roles. In addition, the Braves rotated radio and television units. While neither feature seems likely for the Nats in the near term, such considerations are worth keeping in mind for the future.