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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Broadcaster Kevin Brown Could Cash In From Orioles Suspension

  • His profile and ESPN announcing assignments are poised to increase, sources tell Front Office Sports.
  • "It’s just nuts. The Orioles have this unbelievable season going — and they’re shooting themselves in the foot publicly," said a source.
Kevin Brown
ESPN Images

Kevin Brown’s suspension by the Baltimore Orioles could be the best thing that ever happened to the young announcer’s sports media career.

Ever since Awful Announcing broke the news that Brown was yanked from game-calling duties by the Orioles’ MASN network over comments about the team’s struggles against the Tampa Bay Rays, he’s received strong support from other sports media talents.

Overnight, Brown has gone from up-and-comer to one of the biggest names in sports media.

Brown works for ESPN as well as MASN. His profile and ESPN announcing assignments are poised to increase, sources tell Front Office Sports.

The debacle will be covered on Tuesday’s night’s “SportsCenter” with Kevin Negandhi and Elle Duncan. ESPN also covered the story on its site on Monday. Moving forward, Brown will call college baseball and softball for ESPN as well as the occasional college football game. Plus, select MLB games on ESPN Radio.

Before the controversy, Brown was already picking up more significant assignments at ESPN. He called the national “StatCast” alternative telecast of the Home Run Derby in July with Jessica Mendoza and Mike Petriello.

Since joining ESPN, the Syracuse University graduate has handled play-by-play for the NCAA D-I Hockey Championship and Women’s College World Series, as well as MLB games on ESPN Radio and Little League games on ESPN.

Big-name announcers across the country have supported Brown — and bashed Orioles managing partner John Angelos — for what looks like one of the most embarrassing management moves in a while. 

Michael Kay, lead New York Yankees announcer for YES Network, buried MASN and Angelos on ESPN Radio show.

“If it is true, and I’m going to choose to believe that it’s true, they should be ashamed of themselves because not only was what Kevin said in the Oriole notes that night but it was on a graphic — which means that it was planned,” said Kay. “So, if you’re going to be so thin-skinned to suspend Kevin Brown, then you have to suspend the entire Oriole truck. The producer, director, graphics. You have to suspend all of them. Because they’re all complicit in this.”

Kay also called for MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to reach out to Angelos about the “unconscionable” decision.

For many, the Brown story brings back bad memories of the outcry when the Orioles drove off beloved radio announcer Jon Miller in 1996. Owner Peter Angelos had demanded Miller “be more of an advocate for the team” while calling games.

Gary Cohen, lead New York Mets announcer for SNY, also tore into the Orioles.

“You draped yourself in humiliation when you fired Jon Miller and you’re doing it again. And if you don’t want Kevin Brown, there are 29 other teams who do,” Cohen commented on the air to partner Keith Hernandez. “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.”

It’s one thing if Brown had a reputation as a prima donna who’s hard to manage. Instead his reputation is just the opposite, according to sources familiar with his work.

After decades of futility, the Orioles are having a dream season. They lead the American League and have the second-best record in MLB behind only the Atlanta Braves.

“It’s just nuts. The Orioles have this unbelievable season going — and they’re shooting themselves in the foot publicly,” said a source.

Although, the O’s have apparently had a change of heart about Brown. He’s set to return to the team booth Friday night, according to the Baltimore Banner.

“ESPN should have him call a game this weekend,” said another source.

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