‘Free Kevin Brown’ chants erupt at Camden Yards after Orioles pull broadcaster off air

Baseball fans broke into “Free Kevin Brown” chants as the Baltimore Orioles led the Houston Astros 6-2 in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game at Camden Yards. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Brown, the Orioles announcer, was removed from team broadcasts for comments he made on July 23 during Baltimore’s series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
  • The TBS broadcast of Tuesday’s game — which the Astros won 7-6 after Kyle Tucker’s go-ahead grand slam in the ninth inning — captured audio of stadium chants and video footage of signs fans held that read “Free.” Kevin Brown.”
  • Brown is expected to return to the broadcast booth on Friday, sources said Athletic.

Backstory

Brown pointed out during the broadcast on MASN that the Orioles won more games at Tampa Bay’s Tropicana Field in 2023 than in the past three years. This comment was backed up in the July 23 game notes, which were put together by the team’s public relations staff.

“After winning three of 21 games in St. Petersburg from 2020-22, the Orioles have won three of their first five games at The Trap this season,” the game notes said.

Even though it was in the game notes, the franchise took exception to Brown pointing it out, sources said, believing it made them look cheap. Baltimore ranks 29th in Major League Baseball in payroll.

Brown, who started as a Baltimore radio broadcaster in 2019, has been a popular fixture on Orioles television the past two seasons. MASN cut its on-air staff ahead of the 2021 season in a shakeup that saw Gary Thorne, Jim Hunter, Rick Dempsey and Mike Portick — among others — return in favor of the Orioles and Washington Nationals’ shared regional sports network. Young talent.

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Brown did not return to the MASN booth after his comments, though he radioed the following series in Philadelphia. Brown’s agent declined comment.

The Orioles franchise has taken exception to what it previously considered critical comments. Public address announcer Ryan Wagner was fired hours before the home opener in 2021, with some of his tweets as the primary reason.

A MASN spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Orioles, which own MASN, declined to comment.

There are many sources of evidence for this conclusion. That snafu led to Brown filling in on the radio after his comments in the race series, as another broadcaster ran into trouble. Broadcasters have previously been criticized for mentioning past Orioles players who were not on the team.

The Orioles are in first place in the American League East this season, reaching 70 wins on Sunday.

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(Photo: Kenneth K. Lam / The Baltimore Sun / Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

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