On July 16th 1990, Steve Lyons and the Chicago White Sox were playing the Detroit Tigers. During the game, Lyons tried to bunt for a base hit against Tigers pitcher Dan Petry. Lyons beat out the throw to first but in order to do so, he had to slide head first. Apparently the head first slide resulted in Lyons’ pants becoming filled with dirt. So Lyons did what any normal person would do with their pants filled with dirt in a stadium filled with spectators while being broadcast on TV, he pulled his pants down to clear out the dirt. Almost instantly he realized where he was and quickly yanked his pants back up. The video is below.
This however is not the only incident that he was involved in that would qualify him for a card. After his career was over, Lyons went on to become a color commentator for Fox Sports’ MLB coverage. He was fired for making what Fox deemed as racially insensitive comments directed at Lou Pinella’s Hispanic heritage during the broadcast of Game 3 in the ALCS between the Oakland A’s and the Detroit Tigers.
Lyons found himself in trouble when Piniella had made an analogy involving the luck of finding a wallet. He followed that by using a few Spanish phrases.
Pinella mentioned that with the A”s getting production from the usually lifeless bat of Marco Scutaro was the equivalent of finding a wallet. He then went on to say that the A’s weren’t getting production from where they expected to such as the bats of Frank Thomas and Eric Chavez. He mentioned that the A’s needed Thomas to get “en feugo” because he was currently “frio”.
After fellow broadcaster Thom Brennaman applauded Pinella for being bi-lingual, Lyons decided to take his comments on the situation in a different direction.
Lyons said that Piniella was “hablaing Espanol” , mentioned that he still could not find his wallet and finished by saying, “I don’t understand him, and I don’t want to sit too close to him now,””I still can’t find my wallet.” Lyons phrase “habling Esponal is not even the proper conjugation for the word “to speak”.
Afterwards Lyons said he was kidding. “If I offended anybody, I’m truly sorry,” Lyons said in a phone interview. “But my comment about Lou taking my wallet was a joke and in no way racially motivated.”
His apology was not enough and he was relieved of his duties at Fox Sports prior to Game 4. Dan Bell, a newtork spokesman, had this to say. “Steve Lyons has been relieved of his Fox Sports duties for making comments on air that the company found inappropriate.”
This was not Lyons first brush with racial charged statements during a broadcast. He was suspended without pay in September 2004 after his comments regarding Shawn Green who was with the Los Angeles Dodgers at the time. Green is Jewish and often would not play on Jewish holidays. Well in 2004, Green did not play a game against the San Fransisco Giants to observe the Yom Kippur holiday.
Lyons apparently took exception to this as evident in his following remark. “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.” The network apologized for Lyons comments, but he never did.
Lyons also unknowingly made fun of a blind fan during the broadcast of a New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers NLDS game. The blind man was wearing special glasses and head gear which helped magnify his very limited vision. When Lyons saw this, he felt the need to say, “He’s got a digital camera stuck to his face,.”
What did we really expect though from a man whose nick name is Psycho?