Kevin Brown’s fairly innocuous comments about the Baltimore Orioles’ recent lack of success against the Tampa Bay Rays might not have been appreciated by team ownership, but Major League Baseball broadcasters and media members are coming out in droves to support the play-by-play announcer.
Awful Announcing reported Monday that Brown has been removed from game-calling duties after noting the Orioles’ recent history against the Tampa Bay Rays at the top of a July 23 broadcast. In the segment, Brown simply states facts and essentially tries to explain how this year’s Orioles team is performing better than previous ones.
Here's the clip of Kevin Brown's pregame comments on the Orioles' recent record against the Rays ahead of a series finale on July 23. Sources tell AA these comments led to Brown's current indefinite suspension from Orioles' broadcasts. pic.twitter.com/csURU04fJU
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 7, 2023
Brown has not appeared in an Orioles TV broadcast since. He did return for a broadcast during the Rays’ series against the Philadelphia Phillies but only because a different broadcaster got in trouble over a different infraction, per The Athletic. Since then, he has been MIA from all Baltimore Orioles broadcasts.
A senior Orioles official told Awful Announcing “We don’t comment on personnel matters” and “We look forward to hearing Kevin’s voice soon.”
It’s fair to say that Brown’s colleagues in the announcer world have not taken kindly to the news. It appears to be the latest in a series of attempts by team owners or powerful people to stifle anything resembling criticism, even if, in Brown’s case, it was clearly not any kind of critique.
The Athletic’s Sam Blum said in April that he was banned from a show on the Los Angeles Angels radio network due to his “negativity” and that the team was pre-screening questions from reporters to suss out anything they deemed too negative. Longtime Syracuse radio host Brent Axe was fired for being “overly negative” in a move that appeared to be done to appease outgoing Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim.
The unfairness of the purported punishment as it relates to what Brown did brought a lot of MLB announcers and media members out of the woodwork to defend their colleague and hope he either returns to the booth soon or finds himself in the employment of better bosses.
Kevin Brown is one of the most talented, thoughtful, curious, positive people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, working with and calling a friend.
He’s truly one of the best play-by-play announcers in the country.
If the Orioles don’t want him, another team’ll be elated. https://t.co/tIUcrIGjBm
— Jason Benetti (@jasonbenetti) August 7, 2023
Come on! Make it make sense. MLB has to get involved. This is an awful look and a terrible thing to do to a terrific broadcaster. New York fans of both teams are so lucky. Neither ownership group ever censors the @Mets or @Yankees booth. The truth should never be penalized. https://t.co/F1DrI5GVhk
— Michael Kay (@RealMichaelKay) August 7, 2023
This is absolutely ridiculous. Kevin Brown is one of the best broadcasters in the sport. And he’s literally just stating facts and context.
Fans like a measure of impartiality/reality when watching games. https://t.co/F0udy1HFR6
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) August 7, 2023
Kevin Brown is one of the best, most prepared, most versatile broadcasters in the industry.
He did NOTHING wrong here. Zero.
The @Orioles have been one of the best stories in sports all year, but this is a horrendous look that needs to be fixed immediately. @masnOrioles https://t.co/EQRlKchg5r
— Kevin Connors ? (@kevconnorsespn) August 7, 2023
Wow. This is an embarrassing suspension by the Orioles. Kevin Brown was simply stating a fact and underlying how good this team has been without being critical. Suspending him for this draws more attention. What a bad look during a fantastic season. https://t.co/5xqCLLdPfV
— Kevin Negandhi (@KevinNegandhi) August 7, 2023
The Baltimore Orioles should be ashamed of themselves. One of the best stories of the year on the field and they suspend one of the best young announcers in the game for this? The producer had to approve the graphic anyway. Kevin will be a star, probably in another team’s booth. https://t.co/OXY1lJmYNR
— Howie Rose (@HowieRose) August 8, 2023
Along with his tweet, Yankees announcer Michael Kay also went off on one during his radio show on Monday.
Yankees broadcast Michael Kay went OFF on the Orioles over Kevin Brown's removal from the booth. pic.twitter.com/laPeLieVYY
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 7, 2023
Phillies voice Tom McCarthy noted that Brown was merely reading off a graphic that was prepared well before the broadcast and if anything, it celebrates what the team has achieved this season.
This make very little sense. He didn’t build the graphic and if he did, it only accentuated the great story of the Orioles. They should be proud of what they have done, not offended. https://t.co/kqJfkpDoOD
— Tom McCarthy (@TMacPhils) August 8, 2023
Mets announcer Gary Cohen addressed the Orioles directly on Monday night’s telecast, warning the franchise that they were repeating past mistakes with their broadcasters and that Brown would be wanted by every other major league organization.
Gary Cohen on the Orioles/Kevin Brown controversy.
"Let me just say one thing to Baltimore Orioles management. 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." pic.twitter.com/HkKdr95hQp
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 8, 2023
You can read Awful Announcing’s initial report on Brown here.