Lyons' den is where pro-baseball-player-turned-announcer will be watching the rest of the baseball playoffs. Why? Partly because he sometimes puts his foot in his mouth. Mostly because of political correctness. During game 3 of the American League Championship Series, Lyons responded to comments made by Hispanic co-announcer Lou Piniella in a way that MIGHT be taken as mocking his Hispanic heritage and was promptly fired by Fox. It would be confusing if I attempted to reconstruct the conversation here but the gist is this; Piniella made comments about a player who was not known for great hitting ability but had done well in the play-offs. He said it was "like finding a wallet on Friday and hoping to find another one the next week". Follow me here--this is the comment made by the Hispanic guy. Later he made several observations in Spanish about different players. The third announcer in the booth praised his bilingual abilities and then Lyons said Piniella was "hablaing Espanol'". He went on to insinuate that Piniella had taken his wallet. Now, granted Lyons did not conjugate his Spanish verbs very well and he took a good natured poke at his co-worker. But should he be immediately fired?
Here is my position. Fox is free to hire and fire anybody they wish. So if they feel they were not represented properly by Lyons they should not have to answer to anybody about firing him. However, I have serious concerns about whoever at Fox is making these decisions. If you listen to announcers in any sport you will find various levels of honest criticism of players, coaches, fans, and entire sports organizations. This is what they are paid to do. Generally, they are wise enough not to harshly criticize players on either side because they need fans of both teams (and others) to generate revenue. Some are more brave than others about making fun of players and fans. Lyons is one of those. Consider this question; is it better for an announcer to make fun of players who can not hear the comment and respond or to make fun of each other in order to entertain viewers/listeners? Howard Cosell made millions doing just this. Let's break it down further; Piniella makes fun of players and chides some in Spanish--no harm done. Lyons makes a joke about Piniella's analogy and speaking in Spanish--fired on the spot.
You better learn Spanish, folks. Your replacement already has.