It was recently reported that for a few broadcasts on CSN California, everyone’s favorite color commentator Ray Fosse was going to be replaced by former Athletics 1B Scott Hatteberg. This apparent TV telecast experiment is set to begin on June 15th when the A’s host the San Diego Padres and would consist of 20 games during the remainder of the 2012 season. Hatterberg stated that he had not asked to be given this live tryout as Glen Kuiper’s sidekick, and no personal or health reason on the part of Fosse was behind it either. So it begs the question, why is this happening?
Ray Fosse has been a staple on Athletics TV for decades now, and his charm has endeared himself to the fans of the team. Ray has always prided himself on being an old school baseball guy, who just wants to see players play the game hard, clean, and show respect for the its storied history. But the true charm of Ray Fosse is all the non baseball quirks of his on air personality. Perhaps it is his chronic obsession with the tasty little morsels of ice cream and chocolate, the Dreyer’s Dibs. Or maybe it is his obsession with high definition television, because everything looks better in HD. Or perhaps his new found fascination with the ultra slow motion technology most stadiums have on hand, the X-mo camera.
No matter what the reason is, Ray Fosse is what makes the A’s telecasts unique, and it’s a crime to take that away from us. I don’t mean this in any way to be a knock on the personality of Scott Hatteberg, or his potential ability as a color man, but Ray is our guy and I can’t imagine watching A’s baseball without him.
The A’s have gotten quite good at alienating the few loyal fans that do indeed remain loyal. Be it the constant roster turnover, the radio nomads they have been (often jumping from station to station each year with usually inconsistent or weak signals), the eventual landing on 95.7 The Game and the mockery being made of the team by its on air talent, and most painful being the hijacking in essence of the team we love by a ruthless and greedy owner who sees the team as nothing more than a cornerstone to a major real estate deal, the A’s fans have been through hell over the years. Not to over dramatize this situation, but if this is a sign that Ray Fosse is somehow someway being phased out or diminished, the A’s fans who remain loyal to their team will have taken another vicious punch to the gut.
Ray Fosse is our guy, and I find it nearly impossible to find an A’s fan who doesn’t find his sometimes blatant homerism as a positive. The A’s being as battered and bruised as they are as a franchise, as a fan base, as a brand, need someone who gives them some unconditional love. Ray is the voice of the people who love the Oakland Athletics, don’t take that voice away from us.