An ESPN photo of announcer Kevin Brown. An ESPN photo of announcer Kevin Brown. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images.)

Update: A senior Orioles official communicated to us “We don’t comment on personnel matters” and “We look forward to hearing Kevin’s voice soon.” Additionally, they dispute our reporting that any suspension took place.

Where in the world is Kevin Brown?

The Baltimore Orioles’ lead TV play-by-play voice since 2022 on MASN has worked for the team in a variety of broadcast capacities since 2019, in addition to his work for ESPN (and no, he is not the former MLB pitcher, who did also play for the Orioles). Brown has been off the TV airwaves since calling the end of the team’s series against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 23. He shifted to radio for a series against the Philadelphia Phillies after that, and then has been off the air entirely since that series’ July 26 conclusion.

That led to a Reddit post a week ago wondering what’s up, and then to two tweets Monday saying Brown has been “suspended indefinitely” from Matt Jergensen, who has run Baltimore sports websites and podcasts:

That “The Orioles have won more games against them this season than the last two combined” comment appears to be at the heart of this. That comment was made ahead of the July 23 series finale against the Rays. Here’s a clip showing that:

Awful Announcing has additionally confirmed through multiple independent sources familiar with the situation that Brown was taken off the air for the above comments, that it came after the Rays series, and that he only wound up on the radio for the Phillies’ series thanks to another controversy about a different announcer’s apparel. The Orioles dispute an official suspension took place, but nonetheless, Brown has been off television since July 26th.

That report also got some further confirmation from a very unusual source in a very unusual place. That would be famed sports media figure Roy Firestone, who hosted the interview program SportsLook/Up Close on ESPN from 1980 to 1994 and has held several other significant sports media roles. It looks like Firestone, who as per his Wikipedia page is a lifelong Orioles’ fan and was a bat boy for the team growing up, confirmed that on message board Orioles Hangout. Here’s a screenshot:

A screenshot of Roy Firestone's post on Kevin Brown.
A screenshot of Roy Firestone’s post on Kevin Brown.

As noted, this has also seen a lot of discussion on Reddit and elsewhere. And what’s undisputed is that Brown has not called an Orioles’ game since the closure of that Yankees’ series on July 30. They’ve since played against the Toronto Blue Jays and New York Mets without him calling games, and are set to start a series against the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

Beyond calling games for the Orioles on a combination of radio and TV since 2019, Brown has called some games for ESPN across a variety of sports since 2016. He was also the director of media relations and broadcasting for the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs (a Mets’ affiliate) from 2011-16 and has worked for Time Warner Cable (on high school and college sports) and MSG Varsity (on high school sports) as well.

Brown and the rest of the Orioles’ broadcasters ranked tenth in AA’s annual reader-voted rankings of the top local MLB broadcast teams.

We’ll see if and when he returns to Orioles’ work. But this is far from the first broadcasting controversy around that team and owner Peter Angelos, especially with their 1996-97 fight that saw eventual Baseball Hall of Fame honoree Jon Miller leave, and with their protracted fight with the Washington Nationals about MASN revenue splits.

Update: The Athletic’s Brittany Ghiroli confirmed AA’s reporting that Brown was taken off the air over his comments ahead of that final Rays’ game, and added that he was only on radio on the Phillies’ series thanks to another issue. “Multiple sources briefed on the decision say ownership has enacted a new policy mandating that their broadcasters wear only team gear when on-air, which has rankled some. That snafu lead to Brown filling in on radio after his comment in the Rays series because another broadcaster got in trouble. Broadcasters have also been reprimanded previously for mentioning past Orioles players who are no longer with the team.”