Chip Caray out at Turner Sports

Baseball broadcaster Chip Caray and Turner Sports parted ways on Monday, a move that was termed a mutual decision but seemed in every sense a firing.

Caray had three years left on his contract with Turner, where he was the primary announcer on TBS' Sunday games and postseason games as well as Braves games on Peachtree TV.

The decision was influenced by harsh reviews for Caray, 44, from media critics and many fans following his mistake-plagued work in this year's postseason coverage, a Turner official confirmed.

David Levy, president of Turner Sports, wrote in a memo to Turner employees: “Since the end of this year’s MLB playoffs, we’ve had several discussions with Chip Caray regarding 2010 and beyond. Both sides have agreed that now is the right time for Turner Sports and Chip to move ahead on different paths.”

A Turner Sports spokesman said there would be no further comment from the network. The spokesman also said there was no rush to find a replacement for Caray and said that his Braves and TBS duties could possibly be shared by several broadcasters.

"The only comment I will say is, TBS treated me very, very well," said Caray, a son of legendary Braves broadcaster Skip Caray, who died during the 2008 season. "I came to Atlanta to do Braves baseball. I didn't choose the network job; it chose me."

Caray's job description changed shortly after he returned to Atlanta and the Braves broadcast booth in 2005, following seven years with the Chicago Cubs. In short time, the Braves were sold and the number of Braves games on TBS and Peachtree was slashed in half from about 150 to 75 and then to 45.

His job changed from Braves broadcaster into a hybrid Braves/network position, one that he said didn't fit him as well as the single-team jobs that he prefers, the type of job held for decades by his father Skip and late grandfather Harry Caray, the iconic Chicago broadcaster.

"The business model that TBS chose didn't present opportunity to do Braves baseball every day anymore," Caray said. "Obviously they don't have the inventory [of baseball games] and I'm better when I work more. That's really what I wanted to do. At the end of the day, I'm happiest when I'm working and covering a team ever day. ...

"I'm appreciative of the opportunity I got to come back to Atlanta and work with my dad. That's priceless."

It's not known if Caray will be considered for the Braves broadcasting position at Fox Sports South/SportsSouth  that came open when Jon Sciambi left in October for a full-time ESPN position.