Steve Lyons (baseball)

Infobox MLB retired
bgcolor1=silver
bgcolor2=black
textcolor1=BLACK
textcolor2=white
name=Steve Lyons
position=Outfielder, Third Baseman
bats=Left
throws=Right
birthdate=birth date and age|1960|6|3
debutdate=April 15
debutyear=1985
debutteam=Boston Red Sox
finaldate=October 3
finalyear=1993
finalteam=Boston Red Sox
stat1label=Batting average
stat1value=.252
stat2label=Hits
stat2value=545
stat3label=RBI
stat3value=196
teams=
*Boston Red Sox (by|1985-by|1986, by|1991, by|1992-by|1993)
*Chicago White Sox (by|1986-by|1990)
*Atlanta Braves (by|1992)
*Montreal Expos (by|1992)
highlights=

Stephen John Lyons (born June 3, 1960) is a former Major League Baseball player and a television sportscaster. He is of French and Irish descent and currently resides in Hermosa Beach, CA.

He was initially an outfielder and third baseman, but found a niche as a utility player. He played 9 seasons in the majors, from by|1985 to by|1993, during which he was released a number of times. After his retirement, he became a television baseball commentator.

Early life

Lyons was born in Tacoma, Washington, and grew up in Eugene and Beaverton, Oregon. He graduated from Beaverton High School in 1978, and attended Oregon State on a partial baseball scholarship. After his junior year, Lyons was a first round draft pick (19th overall) by the Boston Red Sox in by|1981.

Professional career

Steve is considered by many to be one of the absolute best athletes to ever emerge from the state of Oregon.Fact|date=August 2008

Lyons made his major league debut in April by|1985 at age 24.

He was traded to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Tom Seaver in June by|1986. After 5 seasons with the White Sox, he returned to the Red Sox in by|1991. In by|1992, his playing time diminished as he shuffled from the Atlanta Braves to the Montreal Expos and back to the Red Sox for a third time. In by|1993 Lyons was with the Chicago Cubs during spring training, and was picked up once again by the Red Sox in May. This was his final season as a player.

Lyons has the rare distinction of having played at all 9 positions on the field at the major league level, although in a spring training game. However, his fielding percentage at every position at which he played more than 6 games lifetime was lower than the league average, and his range was similarly limited. After he made 25 errors in 128 games at third base in by|1988, no team ever played him more than 28 games at the position in a season.

He also appeared as a designated hitter and pinch hitter. He appeared twice as a pitcher in relief, giving up 4 hits, 4 walks, and 1 run in 3 innings (for a 3.00 ERA).

His career batting totals included a .252 batting average, 19 home runs, and 196 RBI.

Eccentricities

Lyons' colorful personality earned him the nickname "Psycho." He was known for such eccentricities as playing tic-tac-toe and hangman with his spikes in the infield dirt during games.

His most remembered incident occurred at Tiger Stadium in Detroit on a Monday night in by|1990. In a televised game played on July 16, he created a stir that was replayed countless times. After sliding headfirst into first base to beat out a bunt hit, Lyons dropped his baseball pants to empty the dirt out and brush off his shirttail. After a few seconds (and a reaction from the crowd of over 14,000), he realized what he had just done and quickly pulled them up, humorously embarrassed. Although wearing sliding shorts under his White Sox uniform, this incident earned him another nickname, "Moon Man" Lyons. At the end of the inning, women in the stands waved dollar bills at him as he came to the dugout.

And the jokes began. cquote|No one, had ever dropped his drawers on the field. Not Wally Moon. Not Blue Moon Odom. Not even Heinie Manush. wrote one columnist. Within 24 hours of the "exposure," he received more exposure than he'd gotten his entire career: seven live television and approximately 20 radio interviews.

Lyons himself once stated:

Broadcasting career

After his retirement from the playing field, Lyons became a color commentator for Fox Sports' MLB coverage in by|1996, working first in a studio pregame show (with Chip Caray and Keith Olbermann) and later on game coverage (usually with Thom Brennaman). He called several Division Series and League Championship Series telecasts for the network.

Lyons was fired by Fox Sports on October 14, by|2006 for making ethnically insensitive comments during his broadcast of a 2006 postseason game.

He remains the road game color commentator for the Los Angeles Dodgers on FSN Prime Ticket and KCAL.

Controversial remarks while broadcasting

Lyons has been known to make racially questionable comments on multiple occasions, for example implying that it was okay if a Japanese journalist's camera was smashed by Hideki Irabu, because as an Asian the journalist must have half a dozen spares.

Lyons maligned outfielder Shawn Green, who is Jewish, for sitting out a game on Yom Kippur in by|2004, saying: cquote|He’s not even a practicing Jew. He didn’t marry a Jewish girl. And from what I understand, he never had a bar mitzvah, which is unfortunate because he doesn’t get the money. Lyons was suspended briefly without pay after his remarks, and the network apologized for Lyons' comments, though Lyons never made an on-air apology. [ [http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:vAMyfh7O4NEJ:www.cantstopthebleeding.com/%3Fm%3D200501+%22steve+lyons%22+green+yom+kippur+blind&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=4] ]

In August by|2006, while working an Angels-Yankees game, Lyons discussed Italian American Yankees' catcher Sal Fasano, and the fact that he had to shave his moustache to accommodate owner George Steinbrenner's grooming code. Responding to a comment by his fellow Fox sportscaster about how one doesn't want to cross Fasano, Lyons replied: cquote|Well, you know Fasano is the type of guy "who knows a guy that knows a guy." [ [http://twojakes.blogspot.com/2006/08/steve-lyons-is-idiot.html Two Jakes: Steve Lyons is An idiot ] ]

Lyons and fellow sportscaster Thom Brennaman made fun of a 64-year-old New York Mets fan wearing an unusual device over his eyes at a game during Game 1 of the 2006 National League Division Series between the Mets and Dodgers, with Lyons saying: cquote|He's got a digital camera stuck to his face. The man turned out to be nearly blind, except for limited peripheral vision in one eye, and this headgear were special glasses (a "JORDY," a magnifying device) that allowed him limited vision with which to see the game. Brennaman later apologized to the man and his family on-air during Game 3 of the series. [http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/2006-10-14-fox-lyons_x.htm?POE=SPOISVA]

During their broadcast of Game 3 of the 2006 American League Championship Series, broadcast colleague Lou Piniella, who is of Spanish descent, made an analogy involving the luck of finding a wallet, and then briefly used a couple of Spanish phrases. Lyons responded by saying that Piniella was "hablaing Espanol" -- Spanglish for "speaking Spanish" -- and added, cquote|I still can't find my wallet. I don't understand him, and I don't want to sit close to him now.

FOX firing

On October 13, by|2006, FOX fired Lyons for making the above remarks, which FOX determined to be racially insensitive, during Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. [ [http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=ap-alcs-fox-lyonsfired&prov=ap&type=lgns Yahoo! Sports - Sports News, Scores, Rumors, Fantasy Games, and more ] ]

Lyons was replaced for the last game of the series by Los Angeles Angels announcer Jose Mota. Lou Piniella later stated that he thought that Lyons was just "kidding" and that Lyons was, per Piniella's experience, not bigoted. [ [http://sports.aol.com/mlb/story/_a/piniella-comes-to-defense-of-fired-lyons/20061017183209990001] Dead link|date=March 2008]

On October 16, 2006, the Dodgers announced that they would keep Lyons as a commentator for their road games. The team said that they gave Lyons probationary guidelines and that he would undergo diversity training. Lyons continues to host the Dodgers' post-game show "Dodgers Live" along with Kevin Kennedy. [ [http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/playoffs2006/news/story?id=2629160&campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines ESPN - Lyons keeps part-time job with Dodgers - MLB ] ]

Autobiography

Lyons wrote an autobiography titled "Steve Lyons: PSYCHOanalysis" that was published in 2001. (ISBN 1-58261-360-5).

ee also

*Montreal Expos all-time roster
*Chicago White Sox all-time roster

References

External links

* [http://www.sportstricities.com/sportstc/24hour/story/3394738p-12481281c.html Fox fires Lyons for insensitive comment]
* [http://www.freestevelyons.com FreeSteveLyons.com] - Online petition to get Steve Lyons his Fox commentator's job back
*baseball-reference|id=l/lyonsst01
* [http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=lyonsst01 Baseball-Almanac.com]
* [http://www.sermons.org/illustrations/a/abandon.htm July 16, 1990] Pants in Detroit
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0529173/ Steve Lyons] IMDB Profile

Steve also fills in from time to time on Sporting News Radio


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