Let’s start with some good news. The Athletic’s Dan Connolly reported yesterday that the Orioles broadcasting team for 2022 has been settled. The result is that we’re going to get Kevin Brown - no relation to this writer - as the primary play-by-play announcer on MASN, with Scott Garceau shifted chiefly to radio duties. Here’s one more reminder to all that the flagship station of the Orioles Radio Network has changed from 105.7 to 98 Rock (97.9) and WBAL Radio (1090) for the coming season.
According to Connolly’s reporting, Brown is back on a multi-year deal, as is Melanie Newman, who will do radio play-by-play, and work on MASN as an occasional pre/postgame show host and sideline reporter. The others from the new crowd, Geoff Arnold and Brett Hollander are also returning. Their addition into the broadcasting mix has been one of the more interesting things about watching and listening to Orioles games in the last couple of seasons.
I’m glad that the Orioles have decided to further pursue the shift in philosophy from “most people announcing games were born before 1960” to “most people announcing games were born after 1980.” The difference in awareness of what’s happened in baseball in the 21st century, or even just who had recent experience calling baseball games or other sports at any level, has been noticeable over the last couple of years. I hope these folks get to call a good Orioles team before their contracts run out.
The bad news is the same bad news that there’s been since the start of December, only more urgent. The owners are still imposing a lockout on the players, and furthermore, they’ve threatened that if the lockout they could lift at any time continues past today, they will cancel games out of the regular season.
On Saturday, the players reportedly made a comprehensive proposal reflecting significant compromise towards the ownership position. However, the owners rejected the idea of any compromise on several fronts, including questions about increasing the number of players who gain eligibility for arbitration with two years of service time (“Super Two”) and adjustments to revenue sharing formulas.
If the negotiation does not reach a deal before the MLB-imposed deadline, it remains the case that only the side locking out the players deserves blame for a delayed Opening Day. Nearly three months of lockout has not produced any sign of meaningful compromise from the owners on issues that are important to the players. Perhaps this final day before the deadline will produce enough movement that the league backs off its threat.
Meetings are scheduled for today. They had continued yesterday even after Saturday’s acrimony, so at least the process has not broken down entirely. All fans can do is hope for the best outcome from that, in whatever way you care to judge what is best. If we’re lucky, there will be MLB games in a month and three days. If we’re not, then we’ll be counting down to the Norfolk Tides season opening on April 5, hopefully with Adley Rutschman catching Grayson Rodriguez pitches.
Around the blogO’sphere
One analyst’s take on O’s no. 1 farm rankings (Steve Melewski)
ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel has the Orioles at the top of his farm system rankings. In recent media availability, he elaborated on some of why, including things the Orioles are currently doing with analytics for both pitchers and hitters.
Who will the Orioles choose with 1st pick in the draft? (Baltimore Baseball)
Rich Dubroff picked out from the same McDaniel interview some early favorites for the Orioles top pick in the coming draft. You’ll be hearing these names again: Georgia high school outfielder Druw Jones, son of Andruw Jones; Georgia high school infielder Termarr Johnson; and Florida high school outfielder Elijah Green.
Oriole of the Day: Loss of control spoils Kevin Smith’s first season in organization (The Baltimore Sun)
Nathan Ruiz’s rundown of the 40-man roster turned its focus to Smith, who the O’s received as part of the trade for Miguel Castro. It’s hard not to notice that 6.4 BB/9 for the season.
How analytics helped Herrmann turn adversity into advantage (School of Roch)
Continuing the beat writers’ ongoing lockout chats with minor league coaches, here’s Roch with some thoughts from the new Aberdeen pitching coach.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 1996 reliever Mike Milchin, and 1981 two-gamer Dallas Williams. Today is Williams’ 64th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him. Let’s also not forget the lone Orioles Leap Day player, who won’t get a calendar birthday this year: 2017 reliever Stefan Crichton, who is turning 30.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: actress Bernadette Peters (1948), Super Bowl winning Ravens coach Brian Billick (1954), and comedian Gilbert Gottfried (1955).
On this day in history...
In 202 BC, Liu Bang became the Emperor of China, beginning the four century long Han dynasty, seen as a golden age in Chinese history. The majority ethnic group in China today still takes its name from the dynasty; roughly one in six people worldwide are Han Chinese.
In 1525 AD, the conquistador Hernan Cortes had the final Aztec emperor, Cuauhtémoc, put to death.
In 1983, the last episode of M*A*S*H aired. There were close to 106 million viewers for the finale in America, which to this day stands as a record for both a single episode of scripted television and for the finale of a series.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 28. Have a safe Monday.