Tommy Hutton, one of the most well-respected and beloved analysts in all of sports, was mysteriously fired by the Miami Marlins and Fox Sports Florida yesterday when they agreed not to renew his contract for the coming season after 19 years with the club.
Hutton says he learned of his termination talking to Fox Sports Florida exec Brett Opdyke at a Starbucks.
“Brett drove up to my area and it all came down at a Starbucks, sitting outside and it took about 15 minutes,” Hutton said on the Dan Le Batard Show on 790 The Ticket Tuesday. “We were gonna talk about contract… had a few things to go over in my mind and all of a sudden he dropped that on me that it was mutually agreed upon they weren’t going to renew my contract. After I recovered from shock, I tried to get some answers and I couldn’t get any answers. I went on my way and actually played golf.”
What’s Hutton’s best guess as to why he was let go?
“I honestly can’t give you an answer,” Hutton said. “They told me it was not budged-related. I know I’m getting up there in salary. I’ve earned that, I think, over my 34 years of broadcasting. I was told it wasn’t that.”
Hutton says he was told it also wasn’t anything he said or did on air, and is a bit troubled the team and network didn’t tell him sooner.
“My feeling, too,” he said when told the timing was harsh. “I felt you know what, what did they find out about me two months into the offseason that they didn’t know a week after the season when they could’ve told me then and possibly reached out to other clubs and other situations and looked for some employment. I don’t know what took so long.”
I guess the Marlins are gonna Marlins until they have no fans left.
Update: The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson is reporting the Marlins “believed Hutton was too negative,” with one example being owner Jeffrey Loria, the man who destroyed baseball in South Florida, not wanting Hutton to be critical of “the ballpark’s dimensions.”
Hutton said there have been only three incidents in recent years in which a Marlins employee expressed discomfort with something he said. Hutton relayed all three — and nothing he said seemed out of line or inappropriate — but he was willing to discuss only one of the three on the record.
That one involved former Marlins catcher John Buck. When Buck flied out to the deepest part of Marlins Park to end a game, Hutton shouted “in any other park!” — meaning the ball would have been a home run in a stadium with more hitter-friendly dimensions.
He said a Marlins vice president called him after the game and said that owner Jeffrey Loria prefer he not mention the ballpark’s dimensions.
“Did I complain about the park being too big? Yeah,” Hutton said, noting the dimensions are being changed this off-season. “But if that was the reason, they knew that the day after the season. I didn’t say anything negative the last six weeks.”
Jeffrey Loria is THE WORST, just like his franchise.