Baseball fans broke into chants of “Free Kevin Brown” as the Baltimore Orioles took a 6-2 lead over the Houston Astros in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game at Camden Yards. Here’s what you need to know:
- Brown, the Orioles announcer, was removed from the conference broadcast due to a comment he made on July 23 during the Baltimore series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
- TBS televised Tuesday’s game — which the Astros won 7-6 after Kyle Tucker’s grand slam in the ninth inning — captured the sound of the stadium cheers as well as video footage of the signs held by fans that also read “FOR FREE” Kevin Brown. “
- Sources familiar with the matter said Brown is expected to return to the broadcast booth on Friday the athlete.
Brown noted during the live broadcast on MASN that the Orioles have won more at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay in 2023 than the past three years combined. The comment was supported by the July 23 game notes, which were compiled by the team’s public relations personnel.
“The Orioles have won three of their first five The Trop games this season after winning three of the 21 games played in St. Petersburg from 2020-22,” the game notes read.
Although it’s in the game notes, ownership excepted Brown from referring to it, sources said, believing it made it look cheap. Baltimore ranks 29th in Major League Baseball in the payroll.
Brown, who started out as a radio announcer in Baltimore in 2019, has been a popular Orioles TV showrunner for the past two seasons. MASN has drastically reduced its on-air staff by making a shakeup ahead of the 2021 season that saw Gary Thorn, Jim Hunter, Rick Dempsey and Mike Burdick – among others – no longer return to the Orioles and Washington Nationals regional sports network in favor of younger talent.
Brown has not returned to the MASN booth since his suspension, though he did broadcast the following series in Philadelphia. Brown’s agent declined to comment.
Orioles ownership has previously excluded what it considers critical comments. Public address announcer Ryan Wagner was fired hours before the 2021 home open, and some of his tweets were the main reason.
A MASN spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Orioles, owners of MASN, declined to comment.
Multiple sources briefed on the decision also said that ownership enacted a new policy requiring their announcers to only wear team gear when on the air, which has angered some. The faux pas led to Brown filling in for radio after he was suspended for the Rays series because another announcer got into trouble. The announcers were also previously reprimanded for mentioning former Orioles players who are no longer with the team.
The Orioles are first in the American League East this season, with 70 wins on Sunday.
(Photo: Kenneth K. Lamm/The Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
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