Baltimore Orioles: MASN Play-by-Play Announcer Changes for 2020

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 23: Lead analyst for MASN, Hall of Famer and former pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles talks with Orioles players in the dugout during batting practice prior to a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 23, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - JULY 23: Lead analyst for MASN, Hall of Famer and former pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles talks with Orioles players in the dugout during batting practice prior to a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on July 23, 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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The hits in 2020 just keep coming, and the latest involves the announcers for Baltimore Orioles games on MASN.

The Baltimore Orioles announcers for 2020 will not be who you are expecting them to be.

So, along with artificial fan noise, we don’t get to listen to Jim Palmer and the rest of the regular Orioles crew.

The information was shared via a Tweet from Dan Connelly with The Athletic:

For people who love listening to an experienced MLB player – a Hall of Famer, nonetheless – this is a disappointing piece of news. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it makes sense that a Palmer, a 74-year-old, would be at risk. The other announcers are also in their 60s and 70s.

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However, the baseball stadiums are empty, so Palmer and Thorne would not be around many people other than when prepping for each game. They might not be the daily announcers in 2020, but according to Connelly’s piece in The Athletic, Palmer and Dempsey will have some involvement during games via phone and video conferencing.

Interestingly, all announcers on all teams will broadcast from their home stadiums. So, the Orioles broadcasters will not travel to Boston for the opening series at Fenway Park. They will be watching from the video feeds – like the fans will. The MLB directed the broadcasting teams to work this way, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sadly, the decisions to change the announcers comes at a time when having some of the norm is nice. Yes, we get baseball back, in a short season, but the sounds are a part of the game. The crowd noise is one of those sounds, but so are the voices that provide the play-by-play and color commentary.

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Having the typical TV announcers out of the booth will change the experience for those who choose to watch Orioles games in 2020. With TV, radio, and streaming, the only options for 2020 games, the people who call them matters.