Former Oakland A's pitcher Mark Mulder is rejoining the team in 2016 as part of the broadcast crew, according to Comcast SportsNet. Mulder will provide color commentary for 20 games this season, presumably replacing regular color man Ray Fosse alongside play-by-play man Glen Kuiper. At this time, it appears that Fosse and Kuiper will still be the primary tandem for the rest of the season.
This is the continuation of a recent trend for the A's, who have invited several new faces into the broadcast booth over the years:
- Scott Hatteberg, the hero of The Streak in 2002, joined the crew for 20 games in 2012 and then again in 2013.
- Shooty Babitt, who briefly played for the A's and usually does pregame and postgame work, took a turn for 20 games in 2014.
- Eric Chavez, the former A's slugger and six-time Gold Glover, spent 20 games on the mic in 2015.
... And this year it will be Mulder, once a member of Oakland's vaunted Big 3 starting pitchers. The big lefty has toyed with multiple comeback attempts the last few years, including one with the Angels in 2014 that ended with a torn Achilles tendon, but he announced his likely retirement from playing in June 2015. He's also served as an analyst on ESPN's Baseball Tonight, so unlike Hatteberg and Chavez before him he has some serious TV experience.
In past years, Fosse has moved to the radio broadcast with Ken Korach and Vince Cotroneo on days when the alternate color man is in the booth. Until further notice, I expect that will be the case again this season.
Quick reaction: I like this move. Granted, I am an unabashed Fosse fan and will be to my dying day, but I've come to accept that this practice of sprinkling in a third voice for a handful of games is now a regular thing. I was not a fan of Hatteberg or Chavez on the broadcasts, and part of the reason was because it was so obvious that they were novices. Mulder should be a bit more polished, and hopefully he won't say as many certifiably insane things as Shooty does (although I love having the Shootyisms on the postgame show, where he's a far better fit).
What do you think? Are you excited to hear Mulder this season? What other former A's (other than Dallas Braden, obviously) would you like to see get a turn in future years?