It’s hard to imagine the Baltimore Orioles could have botched the Kevin Brown situation worse than they already have. And yet, here we are.
In the time since Awful Announcing’s report that Brown was removed indefinitely from the booth by the franchise over his discussion around the team’s prior performance against the Tampa Bay Rays, Brown has been the only one to comment publicly.
Last week, hours before he was set to return to the booth, Brown released a statement claiming “media reports have mischaracterized” his relationship with the Orioles. Brown’s statement, however, did not refute any of the reporting as to why he has been absent from the Orioles TV booth since July 23.
The team hasn’t commented publicly, other than to tell reporters that they don’t comment on personnel matters and refute the idea that he was suspended. The benign comments apparently miffed billionaire John Angelos, Chairman and CEO of the team and son of owners Peter and Georgia Angelos, who recently broke his silence in a feature piece in The New York Times Monday.
The piece is mainly about ongoing stadium negotiations, but there’s an excerpt in there about Brown. Angelos seems to have shielded himself from responsibility for the decision, despite the fact that it was he who personally made the call to remove Brown, according to The Athletic.
Here’s more from The Times:
“John Angelos has delegated baseball decisions to a forward-thinking general manager, Mike Elias, but the recent suspension of a broadcaster on the Orioles’ cable network highlighted at least some level of organizational dysfunction.
Angelos said the team was reviewing the internal processes that resulted in discipline for the broadcaster, Kevin Brown, who merely pointed out on air that the Orioles used to struggle mightily in road games against the Tampa Bay Rays. Angelos said he hoped that Brown would remain with the team for a long time. “Nothing like that is going to happen again,” he added. “It shouldn’t have happened once.”
For his part, Brown posted a series of messages on X, formerly known as Twitter, multiple weeks after the news leaked, claiming the situation was “mischaracterized” and saying he has a “wonderful relationship” with the team. The messages drew plenty of skeptical responses online ahead of Brown’s return to the team’s broadcast booth. The broadcasting flap took some attention from the team, and Angelos said he regretted that, too. He generally keeps his distance from the field and clubhouse, focusing on the business of the organization.”
The Orioles ownership has now switched four gears four times here since the story broke.
Two weeks into Kevin Brown story, the Orioles ownership story has changed from:
1- Take down the story, it's false and we'll sue.
2- We're just rotating talent!
3- Mischaracterized by the media (but won't explain)
4- Ok fine it happened and we'll find out who did it! pic.twitter.com/wx8x8t3YJ6
— Ben Koo (@bkoo) August 21, 2023
According to the Orioles, the story went from being completely false to mischaracterized by the media to now true but with Angelos absolved of any blame.
This is quite literally turning into the hot dog sketch from Netflix’s I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson.
It’s pretty clear that Angelos and the Orioles did not want the Kevin Brown situation to become what it did. And it’s very interesting timing to see the notoriously press-shy Angelos suddenly appear in the New York Times a few weeks after the controversy where he’s able to slip his version of a mea culpa into an article about his vision for the franchise’s future.
Taking responsibility for the situation could have been pretty easy had Angelos been able to look in the mirror. It sounds like he has yet to do so and his comments to the Times indicate that he doesn’t plan on doing so anytime soon.