CSN Bay Area

Moneyball coming to Oakland A’s telecasts – Hatteberg replacing Fosse (for 20 games)

Susan Slusser is reporting that Glen Kuiper will have a new partner in the broadcast booth very soon:

Scott Hatteberg, the former A’s first baseman featured prominently in the book and movie “Moneyball,” will replace Ray Fosse for 20 games as the team’s analyst on CSN California, with his first stint starting June 15, according to multiple sources.

Fosse, an A’s broadcaster for 27 years, confirmed the news but declined further comment other than to say that the decision had nothing to do with him. He has no personal or health reasons to miss any games.

Hatteberg played with the A’s from 2002-05 and retired in 2008. He is remembered fondly for his portrayal in the the book and film Moneyball, where as an injured catcher with a high on base percentage he was pushed to first base.

Slusser noted that Hatteberg didn’t pursue the TV gig, so I am not sure who exactly is pushing for this. From what I can tell, Fosse is pretty well liked as an announcer. In the Fangraphs Broadcaster Rankings the team of Fosse and Glen Kuiper ranked as the ninth best team in baseball, with very favorable comments about Fosse compared to mixed reactions to Kuiper.

Personally I have always liked Fosse and thought that he did a very good job as the A’s color man. That being said, I am interested in what Hatteberg will bring to the table, especially if it means more advanced statistics and a departure from the kind of “old school” mentality that has been at the heart of the broadcast for a long time. After all I am the stats guy here.

However, I don’t think that just because Hatteberg was a targeted by the “Moneyball” A’s that he will have any special insights or connections to advanced statistics and/or ways to relate them to the game that casual fans can understand. I guess it is only 20 games, so if it doesn’t work out they can pull the plug on the experiment without much pain.

So what do you all think? Are you happy to see some new blood in the A’s broadcast booth?

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