(Ed Note: This article first appeared on Bloguin's MLB site The Outside Corner. Visit TOC for daily news, analysis, and the stories on the outside corner of the sport.)
Perhaps hoping to benefit from what little post-Moneyball afterglow remains, the Oakland Athletics announced that they will have former player, and key figure in the Moneyball book and movie, Scott Hatteberg replace long-time color commentator Ray Fosse on TV broadcasts for a 20-game stretch starting June 15th according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan Slusser.
You're not going to believe this, but the player who famously was asked to start at first base for Oakland with no experience at the position also has no experience broadcasting. In fact, based on Hatteberg's description of how this came about, it is eerily similar to the scene in the movie when Billy Beane comes to his house to offer him the first base job:
Hatteberg, reached by phone, said, "I'm excited to do it. I've never done it before, though, so I'm not sure how well I'll do."
"It wasn't my idea," he said. "I haven't pursued it. But they asked if I'd have interest, and I'd like to try it. We'll see."
No word on whether or not Ron Washington was there to tell him that "it is incredibly hard."
What makes this whole situation uncomfortable though is the fashion in which Hatteberg is making his debut. Ray Fosse has no personal or health reasons for taking 20 games off, which basically means that he is being asked to take a break so that someone else can try and steal his job from him. That's not exactly the kind of way you'd expect a man with 27 years on the job to be treated, especially since Fosse is widely considered to be one of the better color guys in the game.
I am listening to him right now and within the last 2 innings he called what happened before it happened. Example -Nate needs to look for a curve down and in. Next pitch -curve down and in and Nate struck out.. That comes with time and maybe Hatty will get there, especially if the A's keep bringing him back for 20 games each season. Looks like he will be the guy to replace Ray -hopefully when Ray decides it's time to retire.
@crohnieNGalan Don't get me wrong. I hated Hatteburg, but after the past few games I think he's better. Its nice to get a fresh young player's perspective. Fosse is a dinasour.
Bring Ray back. He is the ultimate professional and is so much better that Hatty.
I am listening to him right now on the radio for the A's radio only day game against the Blue Jays. The more I listen to him the more upset I get that the A's are benching him for Hatty on TV games. Bring him back !
I originally hated hatteburg announcing last year. But after a few games of him this year, I think he's actually better than Fosse.
He does have a bit more to say and is not as boring or mundane as Fosse.
He should get rid of that metro hairdo though.
Been a fan for many years, please if you're thinking of replacing anyone Ray Fosse is not the person.
scotty had a big time heart as a player.......but is an absolute butcher in the booth.PLEASE BRING FOSS BACK NOW!! He love the A's and is fun to listen too.......and most importantly he is not a shameless homer like those jokers across the bay!
Robert, we actually agreed on 90% of what we both wrote. You wrote "I like Hatteberg as a sub". I wrote" Use him as a pinch hitter" which if you really know your baseball then you know that a sub is a pinch hitter and a pinch hitter is a sub.
I've never watched judge judy ....I'm too busy watching or listening to the A's games. I wish Hatty the best. Get a kick out of the new commercial with him and I was at games 18,19,and yes 20 when Hatty got the best walk off homer of his career.
I try to focus on what people have in common rather than their differences.
Robert, I hear ya about hitting the mute button when the ads come on, but I am glad that the A's decided to mute Hatty and bring Ray back. Maybe Hatty can be used like Money Ball when he was in the A's 20th consecutive win---a pinch hitter.
No way to treat a pro like Fosse.
I like Hatteberg as a sub, but not as a replacement.
No mention of his absence.I guess we're not supposed to notice.
I'll watch the games on Comcast, but I'll mute/skip the ads.
El Dorado CA
It's about time somebody has replaced Fosse. I've been an A's fan all my life and have great memories of hearing Fosse's voice as I watch games but it's been about 5 years or so over board. Fosse is getting old and bitter and can't relate to the modern details of the way the game is played. Granted they shouldn't have just forced Fosse out but maybe they could have done a trifecta of sorts for a bit just to see how it went or whatever. Oh well. Regardless, bring on Hatterberg or really anyone else to get some new blood in there!
What are you thinking? Fosse and Suzuki? We are A's fans from when we lived in Oakland, still fans after moving to Sacramento in '97. We also support the River Cats, A's triple A team. Are you trying to force us to root for other teams? Someone needs to take "Making Decisions 101" over again!! Get Fosse back; I guess I'll have to follow the Nationals to check on Suzuki! Gary and Betty
Are you kiddin me? Hatteberg replacing Fosse!? That's no way to treat a person like Ray Fosse. Hatteberg should know better.
What a bummer. I love Hatty and all but I want Ray back. I hate to see him go and I think it's crap the way they are treating him after 27 years on the job. He has such great insight on the game of baseball and I'll miss it. He has more baseball knowledge in his left pinky than any of the Giants announcers have in their entire stadium. Fooey!
fosse's posse says "go away hattie" get your own gig ELSEWHERE please
i am so depressed now without our dude! I am so hoping to hear him again soon.
knew you were a giants fan right off. the only dopier announcer than krukow is his sad partner, kuiper. and you obviously are a fan of those two birds, so it clouds your perspective. keep fosse, and the Oakland A's out of your chops. even kuipers brother, the one in Oakland, is better than that one home run hitting bench warmer in san franksisco.
Is Hatty's 20 game broadcasting job a reflection on the A's 20 game record breaking wins ? Who do you thin was calling those games ? Answer: Ray Fosse.
After the 20 games are up, get Ray back in the booth, got it ?
Please return Ray to the TV mic. He is the greatest. Nothing against Scott. What happen....I hope this doesn't jinx the A's.
Why bring Hatty into A's broadcasting ? Money ball answer..."because he can get on base" . But this is broadcasting and, if anything, maybe they could start him on the radio side to see what he has.
Bring back Fosse to the booth. He is one of the best in the business. MR Bean please trade Hatty to radio ans get Fosse back in return.
Get Fosse back today. He was a true catcher and catchers make great color commentary's. Hatty never made it as a catcher. He can't possibly think he can match Fosse's insight, especially about the pitchers.
Come on Oakland - do the right thing and bring Ray back.
Ray has been awful for at least the past 5 years, his one-sided observations and sheer smug attitude towards anything non-Oakland Athletics is clear as day. Across the bay you have Mike Krukow, he's 10x better to listen to than anything Fosse brings to the table.
I love to listen to Fosse to see how ridiculious he can sound, how many A's batters will hit a home run with "one hand," and how much "egg on his face" he'll have.
It blows my mind I hear so many good things regarding Fosse as one of the better color guys in the game. WHAAAAAT! Just because he's been on the job for so long doesn't mean he's gotten worse, maybe he was on top of his game in 2000, but he's been on a down slope the past few years, and a change should/needs to be made.
The front office made a poor choice to do it this way, but to blame Hattenberg is pure craziness. He was offered a "trial job," if he had said no, the A's would've moved on and tried somebody else in the near future.
This move should've happened years ago (along with a new stadium).
When Ray gets old and dies, that is the time to replace him. He is far from that Things are getting really weird with the moves the management is taking. Don't give us "old timers" the excuse that you are trying to get a team together to get to the playoffs. We will see the handwriting on the wall that the owner is putting the pressure on the management not to have a strong team to reach the playoffs but he is trying to fail so that will be more reason to move the team and then no one will back the owner or a team.
just read more. a real dump job by hatteberg. he knew it was fosse's job, and still accepted. yea, it's an opportunity, but so is your friends wife, if you choose. i retract my 'nothing against' hatteberg statement. that is a cold blooded move. just as easy to say, no thanks. now all the A's have to do is move to san jose and it's over.
I actually like Scott Hatteberg, however this seems a real back stabbing type of play on the part of A's management. Even though I like Scott, and he seems to be doing much better at announcing this time around, Fosse did a great job and has been around for a long time. He is one of the faces of the A's that is very recognizable and I don't think there was any reason to pull him out like this. Just because you couldn't make the new ball park plan work right away, there is no good reason to make other non-understandable changes, just 'cause you can. I think there are a lot of us that are forced to get our baseball fixes from the tube, who will miss Ray.
can you believe THAT. ray fosse getting the backhand. and as i write, it's moneyball talk, and hatteberg. nothing against the dude, but how do you do that to ray fosse? are these guys trying to alienate fans or what? fosse is one of the best.
The games are dry and uninteresting without Ray there to add his baseball experience and wonderful stories. We need him back ASAP touché A's games are just not the same without him. Frank Canoav
I like Ray Fosse. Put him back in, A's owner. Why do you fix things that aren't broken? Suzuki and Fosse-- a day apart? Freakin nuts!