Ethnic joke is strike 3 for Fox sports analyst Lyons


NEW YORK -- Fox Sports fired baseball analyst Steve Lyons, hours after he made ethnically inappropriate comments on the air during the Detroit Tigers-Oakland A's championship game Friday.

Lyons is a former baseball player who has been working for Fox Sports since 1996. He also is an analyst for the Los Angeles Dodgers broadcasts.

Lyons ran afoul of Fox Sports for comments he made during the game after analyst and former manager Lou Piniella said expecting a player to repeat his performance was like "finding a wallet on a Friday night and looking for one on Sunday and Monday, too."

A little while later, Piniella said Oakland A's infielder Marco Scutaro was "en fuego," to which Lyons responded: "Lou's hablaing some espanol there, and I'm still looking for my wallet. I don't understand him, and I don't want to sit close to him now."

There were no repercussions on the air at the time, but Fox executives told Lyons later Friday that he was fired.

Fox Sports wouldn't discuss the incident in detail, releasing a short statement Saturday. "Steve Lyons has been relieved of his Fox Sports duties for making comments on air that the company found inappropriate," a statement said.

It isn't the first time Lyons has run into trouble for comments he made on the air. He was criticized last month for talking about a legally blind fan who was using a magnifying device to watch the game. He also had questioned the religious practices of outfielder Shawn Green.

When Fox began its telecast Saturday afternoon of Game 4 of the Oakland A's-Detroit Tigers ALCS in Detroit, no mention was made of the incident. But instead of Lyons joining play-by-play announcer Thom Brennaman and Piniella, it was Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim radio announcer Jose Mota who was in the booth.