According to the San Francisco Chronicle former A’s first baseman Scott Hatteberg will replace Ray Fosse on TV for 20 games this season beginning June 15 which kind of seems like an odd, sudden move by the A’s. Does this mean Fosse is going to gradually get pushed out of the broadcast booth in the near future? I hope not.
I won’t pretend that he’s a Hall of Fame broadcaster (which doesn’t really have any value anyway since Tim McCarver is a HOF broadcaster) but he’s been a part of every summer of A’s baseball that I’ve ever followed and it’d be a shame to see him go. Hearing Foss get a little too excited about ultra slow motion replays, Dibs, HDTV, groundskeeper Clay Wood, and anything involving catchers adds a welcome bit of entertainment value to the game.
Personally, I don’t want to miss that for 20 games. It was hard enough starting the season without Ken Korach’s velvety smooth voice on the radio and it’s still hard to go an entire summer without the late, great, beloved Bill King.
Note to the A’s: Don’t take my Foss away from me. In fact, feel free to give me more Fosse. Let the man sing the National Anthem and God Bless America at every home game or let him throw Dibs into the crowd between innings. You can never have too much Fosse.
None of this is a knock on Hatteberg who’s always come across as a sharp, entertaining guy in the interviews I’ve heard and I bet he’s going to be great in his new gig for however long it lasts. A little fresh blood isn’t the worst thing in the world for A’s telecasts but I’d prefer to see Glen Kuiper get a 20 game break rather than Fosse.
Of course, that’s not meant as a knock on Kuiper either even though it totally comes across as a knock on Kuiper. He’s affable, perfectly harmless and it’s not like he ruins A’s game with his personality because he’s inoffensively bland. But those are basically his strong points which is kind of a sad statement. Maybe one of the reasons I’ve never warmed to Kuiper as an A’s broadcaster is that he makes me think of Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper. Duane Kuiper makes me think of Mike Krukow which makes me think of the mute button which gets a workout anytime I channel surf over to a Giants game.
Have I mentioned that I’m not a fan of Kruk and Kuip? I guess Glen Kuiper suffers from guilt by distant association which isn’t particularly fair on my part. Sorry about that Glen.
Baby Kuip also suffers from the fact that I wish the A’s shelled out the money to keep Greg Papa on the air several years ago. The fact that every time I listen to Glen Kuiper call an A’s game I 1.) Get a little bored and 2.) Miss Papa and get annoyed at the thought of Kruk, Kuip, and the Giants. That just isn’t a recipe for success when I tune in to the A’s on TV.
Do the A’s really need to shove Fosse completely out of the way for 20 games to break Hatteberg in as a TV broadcaster? Would it kill them to work a three-man booth for some games to ease him into the gig? Why not start out with Hatteberg sitting in for a few innings for a few games, advance to a whole game about a half dozen times with everyone in the booth, and if he’s doing well and likes the work then see where it goes from there? At that point you can show some respect for Fosse’s decades of commitment to the franchise and let him have some say in making the call for what games he’ll take off.
Just an idea.
If this is the start of something special with Hatteberg I’m all for it, but if it’s also the beginning of the end for Fosse then I have some minor reservations about where this 20-game run on TV with Hatteberg will lead.
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