What is going on at Fox? First they overreact by suspending Ralph Lawler and Mike Smith, now they dismiss Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler.
Lawler and Smith, announcers for the L.A. Clippers, made comments that offended a viewer. The viewer called to complain, Fox called the viewer to apologize. Instead of leaving it at that, Fox suspended the pair from broadcasting the next game. Ralph Lawler hadn't missed a game in 25 years! He is a consummate professional and loyal employee. A single comment and the resulting complaint by a single viewer led to a suspension.
On the heels of that asinine decision comes word that Fox is going in a different direction next year for Angels broadcasts, opting not to bring back Physioc and Hudler. What direction is Fox going, exactly? Backwards?
I have nothing against Rory Markus, who has been tabbed as Physioc's replacement. Gubicza, however, is as stiff as an overly bleached shirt and has the on-air personality of a cardboard box. Where Hudler exudes personality, Gubicza exudes being really tall.
I know many current fans don't want to remember, but the Angels were considered a small-market, second-tier team before Arte Moreno took over. When the team was owned by Disney they seemed desperate to overtake that other baseball team to the north. They put our major leaguers in ridiculous uniforms, experimented with cheerleaders and zany sound effects for foul balls.
Ew, those are really bad memories.
Arte Moreno restored order. He began to concentrate on his team, our team. He worked to rebuild the farm system, make Angel stadium the best place to watch a game and bring consistency to the team. He succeeded on all fronts. Leave it to Fox to mess with the consistency.
Fox famously gave team ownership a try once. From 1998 to 2004 they seemed to do everything wrong in leading the Dodgers after Walter O'Malley passed away.
Fox Executive: "Say, don't we have the games best hitting catcher and face of the team?" Faceless Fox Accounting: "Yes sir, we do." Fox Executive: "Lets trade him!"
Ew, bad memories again, sorry.
Seems to me that same Fox Exec and Faceless Accountant had another talk recently that resulted in the Angels losing consistency in the broadcast booth. Why ruin one L.A. baseball team when you can negatively impact two?
Physioc's smooth delivery and under-the-radar sense of humor will be missed. Hudler's gaffes, rhymes and that ever-present baseball will be impossible to replace. Fox starts the 2010 baseball season in an 0-2 hole. It's a good thing they don't have any control over the Rally Monkey.