Baltimore Orioles fans voiced their support for sidelined announcer Kevin Brown Tuesday night. And that was very audible on the team’s radio broadcast, until someone lowered the volume.
During the seventh inning of their game against the Houston Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards Tuesday, the crowd broke into a loud and unified chant of “Free Kevin Brown.” On Monday, Awful Announcing reported Brown had been 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.
In the wake of Brown’s removal, a wide range of MLB announcers and sports media figures have voiced support for their peer. And Tuesday night’s home game for Baltimore was a chance for the fans to be heard. The “Free Kevin Brown” chants were heard loudly on the MASN TV broadcast and were similarly audible on the Orioles’ radio broadcast, for a bit.
Orioles radio broadcast calls Baltimore fans chanting “Free Kevin Brown”
🎙️ Melanie Newman pic.twitter.com/w8BY08gXQf
— VHS (@VanHicklestein) August 9, 2023
Above, you can hear how the chants sounded on both the Orioles’ TV and radio broadcasts. On radio, play-by-play voice Melanie Newman was silent for a bit as the crowd’s support of Brown briefly dominated the broadcast. But at about the 20 second mark of the radio clip, the crowd volume was noticeably lowered. At the same mark on the TV clip, the “Free Kevin Brown” chants remained loud, making it obvious that the crowd volume was altered manually on the radio side. (The chants can also be heard on the TBS and AT&T SportsNet Southwest broadcasts here).
The Orioles and their ownership have been justly chastised for removing Brown after he spoke the innocuous truth about the team’s recently improved record against the Rays. Surely, the Orioles haven’t enjoyed the backlash from broadcasters around the country or their own fanbase, which has overshadowed the team being in first place.
This is not the first time the franchise has appeared thin-skinned. The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli recently categorized it as a pattern, citing past controversies around Orioles’ broadcasters Gary Thorne, Jim Hunter, Rick Dempsey, and Ryan Wagner. Jon Miller can be added to that list.
Brown has not been on a TV broadcast for the Orioles on MASN since July 23 and has been off the airwaves completely since July 26, after briefly being moved to their radio call. On Tuesday, The Athletic and The Baltimore Banner confirmed Brown is scheduled to return to the Orioles’ broadcast booth Friday, Aug. 11.