Should the Athletics Dump 95.7 The Game?

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95.7, The Game has been the flagship station for the Oakland Athletics since April 15, 2011. Since April 16, 2011, A’s fans have questioned the stations loyalty to our beloved Athletics. It seems that A’s fans are hungry for a 24/7/365 Athletics based program schedule and are unaccepting of any discussion related to that team across the bay. Things truly came to a head when 95.7 The Game hired former Giants Aubrey Huff to work on their morning show.

More offensive than hiring a former Giant was hiring a “broadcaster” who was virtually unlistenable but more attention was made to his team allegiance than his on-air inability. The station further poured salt into their own wounds when they hired Damon Bruce, formerly of the Giants loving KNBR, to host the afternoon time slot. With all of these Giants connections, clearly the A’s flagship was trading it all in for San Francisco.

Fans take to Twitter and Facebook every single day and flood the comment sections with hate whenever a mention of the Giants is made but why? Being a flagship station means that you air the games of a particular team. It does not preclude you from discussing, covering or analyzing another team. First and foremost, 95.7 The Game is a sports radio station with the job of covering sports news and they are a affiliate station for ESPN, which is why playoff games and the World Series are being broadcast despite not being A’s games.

Do I wish that they’d spend a little less time talking about the Giants and more time talking about the A’s during the regular season? Sure. I don’t have more than a passing interest in the Giants but am obsessed with the A’s but let’s be realistic, there’s just not that much to talk about when it comes to day to day baseball.

When you also consider how low the ratings are for A’s games, it’s amazing how much coverage we do get with a pre and post game broadcast. And speaking of the post game broadcast, is there a bigger A’s fan than Troy Clardy? I listened to his first broadcast and he made it perfectly clear that he was a man of green and gold persuasion. You can’t ask for better than that!

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Before you comment about how I’m a shill for 95.7 The Game, let me say this; I hated Aubrey Huff in the mornings and Damon Bruce drives me crazy about 80% of the time. I also don’t think we should know what teams the personalities root for and that a handful of writers for this site could provide better A’s analysis and on-air likability than some of the guys currently employed by the station.

A’s fans are notorious for pointing out an inequity in coverage on a local and national level (for which there is a great deal) but are much slower to acknowledge that there are fewer radios and tvs tuned into A’s games than our neighbors across the bay. If talking about the Giants during the day pays the bills so that they can play the A’s games at night, I’m willing to sit through the umpteenth Brandon Belt anecdote. If A’s fans truly want to equalize the attention given to the two teams, it’s time to do our part and equalize the attendance at the park, the ratings on tv and radio and the money spent on merchandise.

As long as there is an imbalance among the fans, there will be an imbalance among the media. There was a time, within my lifetime, when you couldn’t even find the A’s on the radio but now their games are broadcast on 17 channels. I don’t expect a 24 hours A’s network to talk about the old days and play games and dream about tomorrow. I just want a consistent place to hear my games when I’m on the road with one of the best broadcasters in the game (is there a voice better than Ken Korach?) in FM quality sound and a post game show where I can listen to people demand we trade Alberto Callaspo until midnight. 95.7 The Game has provided that since 2011 and I’m fine with them continuing to do so for years to come. As long as Huff isn’t on air.

Next: Comparing the 1989 A's with 2015 brings hope.

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