Kevin Brown released a statement to address his recent absence from the Baltimore Orioles broadcast booth and New York Yankees play-by-play voice Michael Kay says it sounds like a “hostage tape.”
Earlier this week, Awful Announcing reported Brown was removed from his role as Orioles’ TV play-by-play voice for citing the team’s recently improved record against the Tampa Bay Rays during a July 23 broadcast. Friday afternoon, hours before he is 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.
Shortly after Brown released the statement, Kay read the note and reacted to it on his ESPN New York radio show.
Michael Kay says Kevin Brown’s statement is “like a hostage tape” pic.twitter.com/iMLBl8zl76
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 11, 2023
“I know for a fact what happened,” Kay admitted. “But I don’t blame Kevin for releasing that statement, what’s he supposed to do? Say, ‘They’re a bunch of complete dolts here. What they did to me was unfair?’ He’d lose his job.”
Kay noted that there are only 30 TV play-by-play jobs in Major League Baseball and while Gary Cohen nobly told the Orioles, “If you don’t want Kevin Brown, there are 29 other teams who do,” the reality is, those positions are filled.
“That was a statement that was obviously vetted by the Orioles and their senior vice president,” Kay added. “I don’t blame Kevin for putting that out there because he didn’t deny what happened. He said, ‘Don’t listen to the noise.’
“The noise is true,” Kay reiterated. “There’s not a second that anybody who reported that or talked about it believes it wasn’t true. He got yanked off the air because he read a stat that they thought was negative and it was quite positive…That was a classic case of putting lipstick on the pig of a situation. What’s he supposed to say?”
Reaffirming Kay’s claim that no one who reported or talked about the reasoning for Brown’s removal by the Orioles now believes it wasn’t true, Awful Announcing issued the following statement:
“Awful Announcing stands by its sources and reporting and believes fans and readers can make up their own minds on what transpired given the additional outlets who confirmed our initial story, the Orioles’ extended period of silence, and the continued lack of explanation on Kevin’s extended departure from the booth.”
Kay’s co-host Peter Rosenberg asked whether he thought Brown’s statement was written or at least encouraged by the Orioles.
“Of course,” Kay answered. “It’s like a hostage tape.”
While Brown’s statement attempts to paint an idealized view of his relationship with the Orioles, the play-by-play voice did not deny that he was removed from the booth for reading an innocuous, if not complimentary, stat about the team last month. Despite being absolutely destroyed by fans and media in recent days, the Orioles have not addressed the reason for Brown’s absence, hiding behind the claim that they don’t comment on personnel matters.
“The reason that we’ve all been giving is the reason he didn’t call the games,” Kay said of Brown’s absence, before noting, “If he had refused to read that statement, he’s fired.”