Yesterday, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, or MASN, announced major MLB news by announcing layoffs as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Unfortunately, this means the Orioles will move into the 2021 MLB season without longtime announcers Gary Thorne and Jim Hunter
MLB News: The Announcement
Citing financial losses, MASN decided to make huge MLB news by cutting the higher salaried announcers from both the Orioles and the Nationals. Additionally, they also canceled both teams’ pre and post-game shows. As a result, the two tenured broadcasters will not be returning for the 2021 season. Joining them on the unemployment line is Mike Bordick, Tom Davis, Rick Dempsey, and Dave Johnson.
Hunter confirmed the MLB news via Twitter while reflecting on his time with the Orioles.
Sadly, Thorne was involved in a pretty public contract dispute last season. In his absence, MASN had turned to Kevin to join Jim Palmer in calling games for the O’s.
Missing Thorne and Hunter
Listening to Thorne call games was one of the more refreshing parts of Orioles’ baseball in the past few seasons. With the team struggling to win games, Thorne was always a professional who found ways to bring some levity to some of the more painful memories. For instance, baseball fans around the world enjoyed his dismay in 2019 every time the team faced Gleyber Torres.
Meanwhile, Jim Hunter started calling games for the Orioles back in 1997 and has been a Camden Yards’ fixture ever since. The 2021 season was already shaping up to be a year filled with growing pains and not being able to hear Thorne and Hunter is like pouring salt into a wound.
While the Orioles have partially announced their broadcasting team, the future isn’t quite as clear for Thorne. Thorne does have a background working for the NHL and WWE. Thorne has previously served as the play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Devils and called their 2003 Stanley Cup championship.
As we move into 2021, a new era will begin for the Orioles and Gary Thorne. While we will get to see the O’s play this year, hopefully, we can hear Thorne somewhere down the line.
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