Orioles Opening Day is now 18 days away, with the first game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards exactly three weeks from today. Real baseball is almost back! Between now and then are another 16 games that don’t count for anything, including one today in Sarasota against the Twins. Tough luck if you want to either listen or watch to the game without being in Sarasota, as it’s not going to be broadcast in any capacity.
Unfortunately, it seems that “no Orioles broadcasters are present where a game is taking place” is going to be a common theme carrying over into the regular season. The Athletic’s Dan Connolly reported over the weekend that MASN will not be having its TV broadcasters traveling for road games to begin the season. In addition, Orioles radio broadcasters will not be traveling for road games, either. The “call the game off a monitor” days will continue unless they are embarrassed into changing their minds.
Anyone involved in greenlighting this decision should be embarrassed. Connolly noted that the Orioles will be the only team that sends neither television nor radio broadcasters on the road as the season begins. There are only three teams, including the MASN duo of the Orioles and Nationals, who have no plans to have the TV people traveling, and only four who won’t have the radio people traveling. Being the only team on both of these lists is shameful.
As you can probably guess, MASN, according to a memo obtained by Connolly, is hiding behind COVID protocols as its justification. This rings hollow when nearly every other television network in the league has managed to figure something out so that their broadcasters can actually be in the park where the game is happening.
Everyone who has watched or listened to an Orioles road game in the last two seasons is well aware that they’re getting an inferior product when the broadcasters are doing their best to call off a monitor from Camden Yards. For the chaotic 2020 season, it was understandable. We were all living peculiar lives right then. At the beginning of last season, before vaccines were widely available, this quirk was also understandable. It’s tougher to stomach when every other industry peers is closer to back to normal.
Connolly’s opinion is that MASN is doing it as a money-saving measure. I’m not in a place to know whether that’s true or not, but if it is, I’ll just say again that everyone involved should be embarrassed. The whole reason MASN exists is to televise Orioles and Nationals games. The network provides essentially no other value. It reflects poorly if they can’t even execute their basic priority at the minimum level, no matter what constraints they are under.
The Orioles radio situation has nothing to do with whatever problems MASN is having, anyway. The Orioles themselves control the radio decisions and it seems they are also being cheap in a way that few other teams have done. Where is the money going? Certainly not the major league payroll.
The stable of Orioles TV and radio broadcasters deserve better. I hope the powers at be reverse this decision soon and the embarrassing “only team to send neither TV or radio folks on the road” stain can be washed away.
Through their first weekend of spring training, the Orioles are winless. They’ve lost two and tied once. Yesterday’s 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Red Sox saw Ramon Urías and Yusniel Diaz each hit solo homers. Diaz’s was a titanic blast to deep center field. There’s a guy who could really use a good, healthy spring training.
Around the blogO’sphere
Could Urías fit again at unsettled shortstop position? (School of Roch)
Roch notes that the Orioles shortstop on April 8 may not be the season-long full-time shortstop. Urías started 36 games there last year, so he seems like one of the candidates to fit in depending on the day’s lineup needs.
DJ Stewart remains confident despite setbacks (Baltimore Baseball)
There are a number of players who if they suddenly took the big step forward, that would be a big help for the Orioles. DJ Stewart is one of those guys. I wish him (and all the rest of the Orioles like him) the best but do not have high hopes.
O’s face tough rotation decisions (Orioles.com)
New Orioles beat writer Zachary Silver runs through the rotation options, which haven’t gotten any better over the last four months or so. He puts Zac Lowther and Jorge López in the “inside track” group while guys like Keegan Akin and Dean Kremer need to show something. I predict poor results if López goes back into the rotation.
Adley Rutschman facing ‘tough balance’ of wanting to play, not rushing return from tricep injury (The Baltimore Sun)
Past Orioles teams have seen guys come back too soon from injuries and end up getting hurt worse the second time around. I sure hope they can resist having that happen to Adley Rutschman now, although it’s a real bummer that he got wiped out of the Opening Day roster picture for this reason.
Sunday Notes: Coby Mayo on keeping it simple (FanGraphs)
The usual FG Sunday column has an item from O’s prospect Coby Mayo, who describes himself as a “see-ball hit-ball kind of guy.” I hope he has a lot of both in his future.
Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries
Today in 2018, the Orioles officially announced the signing of Alex Cobb to a four-year contract worth $57 million. Dan Duquette’s assessment that the team was signings of Cobb and Andrew Cashner away from competing, only to then have the team lose 115 games, does not stand as a great legacy.
There are a pair of former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2017-19 pitcher Jimmy Yacabonis, and 1972-75 designated hitter Tommy Davis. Today is Davis’s 83rd birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Your birthday buddies for today include: Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685), Romantic composer Modest Mussorgsky (1839), actor Timothy Dalton (1946), and video game music composer Nobuo Uematsu (1959).
On this day in history...
In 1800, the pope of the time, Pius VII, was crowned in Venice after being forced out of Rome, with a temporary papier-mâché papal tiara.
In 1925, Tennessee passed the Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in the state. This later led to the Scopes Monkey Trial.
In 1952, Cleveland, Ohio played host to the Moondog Coronation Ball, which has been acknowledged as the first-ever rock and roll concert.
In 1980, President Jimmy Carter announced that the United States would be boycotting the coming summer’s Olympics in Moscow in protest of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
And that’s the way it is in Birdland on March 21. Have a safe Monday. Go O’s!