Miami lost Tommy Hutton on Monday night after informing him he would not have his contract renewed. Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald first reported Hutton would not return, and the decision could have been tied to several Marlins complaining about Hutton’s commentary, according to 940 WINZ’s Andy Slater.
Slater was told by one source “players would go back and forth between the dugout and the clubhouse just to hear what Tommy was saying.” Hutton often did not criticize the performances of individual players. However, if, for instance, a Marlin failed to advance a runner with a bunt or committed an error on a routine play, Hutton would acknowledge the player might not have done his job.
It did not appear Hutton criticized position players more often than pitchers. If Hutton felt the need to respond to an in-game situation, he did so.
Slater was told by another source players consistently approached Miami’s PR staff and Owner Jeffrey Loria about some of Hutton’s comments made on the telecast. It seemed Hutton had a good relationship with not only Rich Waltz, but also most Marlins players. For players to complain about his commentary, then, is notable.
Waltz and Hutton teamed up to broadcast Marlins games on FOX Sports Florida, the network that typically shows at least 150 games every season. During games, the pair would be communicating with its audience watching the game on T.V. Players on Miami’s roster were playing in the game. While they could have been informed of comments made by family members and friends, it might be challenging to justify their opinion of Hutton since they were playing in the games and not always watching them. Comments can easily be taken out of context.
Loria was also reportedly not pleased when Hutton would extensively speak about players on other teams or mention issues with Marlins Park. Most baseball games last around three hours. Blowout or not, athletes on the other team should be recognized. And Hutton is probably not the only person who spoke about the spaciousness of Marlins Park. Opposing team’s broadcast crews likely did it just as often.
While there might be some truth to the rumors, they are just that. Regardless, Hutton is out of a job and the Marlins will be seeking their third color commentator since their inaugural season.
Hutton probably will not have much trouble finding another job. But the Marlins could have difficulty finding a replacement.