Sutton named Nationals' color analyst

Sutton named Nationals' TV color analyst

WASHINGTON -- Hall of Famer Don Sutton was named the Nationals' color analyst for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network on Monday. He will join play-by-play broadcaster Bob Carpenter in the booth for more than 150 regular-season games. Sutton's deal, which was not disclosed, was finalized last week.

Sutton becomes the second Hall of Famer to work for MASN. Jim Palmer announces Orioles games for the network. Sutton's first broadcast is tentatively scheduled for March 3, when the Nationals play the Orioles at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla.

According to MASN's executive producer Chris Glass, Sutton is scheduled to work on the network's magazine show and be a regular guest on several radio shows, including the Anita Marks and John Riggins shows, which are simulcast on MASN. Sutton will also make public appearances on behalf of MASN and the Nationals. Glass didn't rule out Sutton giving advice to some members of the Nationals' pitching staff.

One of the best pitchers in baseball history, Sutton won 324 games from 1966-88. He is best remembered for his 15-plus years with the Dodgers.

"To Don's credit, he did not want to do this halfway. Don wanted to commit all the way. Don wants to be heavily involved," Glass said. "We are [ecstatic] to have him aboard. He is a great color analyst. I watched him for years. Having spoken to him throughout this long process, we really got to connect with Don and he is so looking forward to doing this. It's a win-win-win for all three of us."

The Nationals have been looking for an analyst since early November, when MASN told former outfielder Tom Paciorek that his contract would not be renewed. The club wanted someone who was a former pitcher or catcher.

"I certainly hope to represent the good job MASN has already done, but I also want to be a class representative for the Washington Nationals and all they hope to accomplish. I want to enjoy the ride," Sutton said.

Sutton is a person who is familiar with Nationals president Stan Kasten. The two worked together for more than a decade, with Sutton as a play-by-play announcer for Braves games, and Kasten as the team president. Sutton saw the Braves win 14 consecutive division titles, five pennants and one World Series championship.

"I had a great working relationship with Stan and I got to see first-hand the job that he did down in Atlanta," Sutton said. "[Bench coach] Pat Corrales is going to be there. I consider Bob Boone, the assistant general manager, my best friend in baseball. There are a lot of friends, so it's not like I'm going into a strange environment and having to make friends."

When Sutton started broadcasting Braves games in 1989, the Braves were one of the worst teams in baseball and he saw Kasten and his staff build the team into championship contenders. Sutton believes Kasten will work the same magic with the Nationals.

"I think there are a lot of similar circumstances -- the franchise in a rebuilding mode and people at the top who want to do it right, and a manager that is easy to get excited about," Sutton said. "I told one of my friends in Washington the other day, 'I've seen this movie played somewhere else and it has a happy ending.'"

Sutton already has a good feel for the Nationals. He said the team already has a good nucleus on defense, thanks to Ryan Zimmerman, Brian Schneider, Nick Johnson and Nook Logan. But pitching will determine how far the team will go, according Sutton.

"The Nationals already have a leg up on defense," Sutton said. "But at the top of the Braves Minor League system back then, they had some pretty talented arms waiting to explode on the scene. That's probably the unanswered question right now [about the Nationals] when you try to parallel those two franchises."

In other news: MASN is putting together a baseball show before and after Nationals games. It's expected to be similar to ESPN's "Baseball Tonight." The network is planning to have a main host, co-host and a sideline reporter who will cover the team at home and on the road. Glass also said that Manny Acta's postgame press conference will be televised on MASN.

Chad Cordero, Alex Escobar, Austin Kearns, Felipe Lopez, John Patterson and Chris Snelling filed for arbitration Friday.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.