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Thursday, January 23, 2014

DJF: Dirk Hayhurst Parts Ways With Sportsnet

Dirk Hayhurst COULDN’T hack it…again!

In a post on his Facebook page Tuesday, Dirk Hayhurst confirmed that he would not be returning to Sportsnet next season. Bob Elliott had first grumbled about the possibility around the end of December, burying the news in the middle of some silly listicle he wrote for the Toronto Sun.

I contacted Dirk to see if there was anything else that he could add, but he politely declined, explaining only that their parting of the ways was amicable, and that he doesn’t have any future broadcasting plans to divulge at this time.

The year-and-a-half that he was here wasn’t without controversy, but it was mostly of the lighthearted variety. Of course, Clay Buchholz may disagree. And, actually, the whole Buchholz/cheating incident actually did get a little bit nastier — and awesomer, as in the insta-classic Jack Morris quip, “Salty, this isn’t my first fuckin’ rodeo” — than we might remember. Even the Arencibia stuff and the David Price thing from the ALDS maybe don’t quite meet the standards of “lighthearted,” but they sure as hell were entertaining. More importantly, those incidents really only represent a small portion of a body of work that was, among other things, strong enough to get Dirk noticed by TBS.

It was around that time — when Hayhurst joined Keith Olbermann, Tom Verducci, Gary Sheffield, and Pedro Martinez as that network’s postgame playoff studio crew — that a lot of us around got the inkling that his days in what remains, if we’re being honest with ourselves, a baseball backwater might be shortly numbered. It didn’t help when we saw praise for his work, like when Will Leitch wrote for Sports On Earth that Dirk was “an impressive, unconventional choice as a studio guy; he has proven to be an outstanding one. Hayhurst is 32 years old and is going to be on your television screen for a long, long time.”

Repoz Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:09 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays

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   1. Bruce Markusen Posted: January 23, 2014 at 05:49 PM (#4645364)
What little I saw of Hayhurst on TBS I liked. Unlike a lot of recently retired ballplayers, he's willing to criticize players when it is merited. I thought he was pretty fair and down the middle with his critiques.
   2. Mike Emeigh Posted: January 23, 2014 at 09:11 PM (#4645424)
Hayhurst strikes me as a "speaks his mind, let the chips fall where they may" type, which is fine by me.

He also has a new book coming out, which might have a little bit to do with the decision.

-- MWE

   3. eddieot Posted: January 23, 2014 at 09:43 PM (#4645435)
I like this move for TBS. Hayhurst can be critical and that tends to raise the hackles of current players since he had such an insignificant playing career, but that doesn't mean he isn't a very effective studio guy. TBS certainly has a better eye for interesting than Fox.
   4. JLAC is engulfed in a harmless burst of flame Posted: January 23, 2014 at 10:43 PM (#4645453)
One month a year on TBS won't pay the bills though. To work in baseball broadcasting you have to work for a team, and increasingly that means you toe the line.

I didn't like Hayhurst much, but he clearly has a talent for talking. He'll find something.
   5. snowles Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:47 AM (#4645643)
And apparently Jack Morris is following him out the door.

Cue the Joe Schmo: "What is going on in here?"
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM (#4645650)
The Z-Man is tanned and ready for action! Should he bring his Zauntourage?
   7. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: January 25, 2014 at 12:34 AM (#4646094)
I didn't like Hayhurst much, but he clearly has a talent for talking. He'll find something.


I thought Dirk got better as the playoffs went on. He and Pedro were oddly entertaining and much better than the typical pre/post game crap. KO was a great moderator. I think the odd thing about TBS/TNT is that they seem to hire really great analysts while still giving air time to the likes of Stockton.

Hayhurst's best attribute is his ability to tell a story (especially in written form). His books are great and his blog posts are pretty interesting. This one about an incident with Pedro was insightful.
   8. morineko Posted: January 25, 2014 at 01:40 AM (#4646101)
I don't know what's going on here, whether Morris was offered the Twins job and left or Sportsnet let him go, but I am NOT looking forward to Morris anywhere near Twins games this season. The last years without him have been great. I could do without any more bickering between Morris and Gladden on the radio again.

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