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One shocking story regarding a decision made by the Baltimore Orioles’ ownership prompted strong responses around baseball.
And indeed, more scathing rants against the Orioles are on the way.
Awful Announcing reported on Monday that the O’s suspended fan-favorite Mid-Atlantic Sports Network broadcaster, Kevin Brown. The discipline stemmed from comments he made on live TV last month.
The blame has centered on John Angelos, chair and managing partner of the Orioles.
Orioles Mess Up With Kevin Brown’s Suspension, Drawing Heavy Backlash
During a visit to Tropicana Field on July 23 to play the Tampa Bay Rays, Brown pointed out the Orioles’ lousy streak of baseball heading into the matchup.
Did Brown make heinous remarks worth a suspension? Far from it. Video of the comments prompted intense confusion and disgust over the discipline taken against Brown; some even considered it censorship of speech.
Brown previewed the game by contrasting the Orioles’ lack of success in recent years at Tropicana to their unprecedented winning formula in 2023.
That comparison rubbed Orioles ownership the wrong way, prompting Brown’s suspension.
Brown’s harmless comments, accompanied by television graphics that supported Brown’s commentary, reportedly made the owners feel like they were being addressed as “cheap.”
Here’s what the play-by-play commentator said:
“The Orioles have won three of the first five games at The Trop this season after winning three of the 21 games played in St. Petersburg from 2020 to 2022.”
Kevin Brown has missed calling eight games since that television appearance. He appeared for three more contests before his mysterious absence.
Sports Media Reacts To Kevin Brown’s Suspension
The thin-skinned reaction by the Orioles drew strong criticism hours after the breaking news.
During the New York Mets’ homestand against the Chicago Cubs on Monday, SNY broadcaster Gary Cohen tore the Orioles’ brain trust to shreds for suspending Brown.
Cohen skewered the Orioles, stating that the organization has been “draped in humiliation” in an upswing season (70-42) for Baltimore (currently atop the competitive AL East). He added that the backlash is exactly what the Orioles ownership deserves.
Here’s what Cohen said in response to the Brown suspension:
“During a recent game at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg. Kevin, during his opening, talked about how the Royals had had trouble winning in the past at Tropicana Field, but that they were doing better this year.
“That was really all he said. And for that, the Baltimore Orioles management decided to suspend Kevin Brown and let me just say one thing to Baltimore Orioles management. You draped yourself in humiliation when you fired John Miller and you’re doing it again. And if you don’t want Kevin Brown, there are 29 other teams who do.
“It’s a horrendous decision by the Orioles. I don’t know what they were thinking, but they’ve gotten exactly the reaction that they deserve. And it’s just a shame because the Orioles are playing so well and now they’ve diverted attention from that and now made themselves a laughingstock.”
The Orioles last made the postseason in 2016.
John Angelo’s timeline of poor judgment made the criticism against the organization tenable.
Brown Back Soon?
According to The Baltimore Banner, an Orioles official stated that Brown will return to the booth “in the near future.”
“We don’t comment on employment decisions, however, Kevin Brown will be back with us in the near future,” the Orioles official commented.
Baltimore’s uncompromising mandate regarding on-air apparel worn by broadcasters also drew a spotlight on their unfair treatment of Brown. The organization requires that Orioles broadcasters must wear the logo on television.
Criticism for the ridiculous punishment continues to pour in:
Yankees play-by-play broadcaster Michael Kay admonished the Orioles and asked MLB to slap Baltimore on the wrist.