ESPN drives Sutcliffe to drink

From the Newsroom

SAN DIEGO, CA — A visit to the local broadcast booth from ESPN analyst Rick Sutcliffe turned into what appeared to be drunken rambling on Wednesday night, leading to a publicity bonanza for the Padres’ TV outlet Thursday. Sutcliffe, who had apparently been tossing back a few at Petco Park with Oscar-nominated chum Bill Murray, hit the broadcast booth late in the game, and began talking about George Clooney and broadcaster Matt Vasgersian’s career prospects (apparently they aren’t dismal) before his microphone was cut off.

On Thursday Channel 4 San Diego GM Craig Nichols issued a statement discussing the incident, but oddly, not apologizing for allowing Sutcliffe to take the air. “He used remarkably poor judgment,” Nichols said, apparently in reference to Sutcliffe and not the producer who smelled the alcohol but still provided a live mic. “I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed for the Channel 4 team, and I’m embarrassed for the viewers. They’re trying to watch the latest win. This is all I’m talking about today. The focus should have been on that win.

“Under any other circumstance, I think any other broadcast booth in the world would have invited him in,” Nichols said, despite the fact that his broadcast booth did invite Sutcliffe in. Rumor has since erupted that the station plans to be embarrassed in the future by Paris Hilton, David Wells and Russell Crowe.

Published May 11, 2006

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