The most interesting rotation being talked about this spring in Baltimore may not even be on the field. During yesterdays game against the Yankees, voice of NHL 10 Gary Throne announced a plethora of replacements for the chair next to him, which was vacated by Buck Martinez this offseason.
It appears MASN will be filling the spot with former recognizable Oriole faces of the franchise from different time periods – back when the team wasn’t the laughing stock of baseball.
Sitting next to Thorne for an average of a dozen games a piece will be Eddie Murray, Ben McDonald, Brady Anderson, and Mike Boddicker; Mike Flanagan was previously announced this year as the main color analyst for MASN.
Frankly, I don’t care who replaces Buck because he was the WORST color guy I’ve ever heard/seen in my life. His voice sounded like nails running down a chalk board. Whomever decided to make him a part time analyst on ESPN should be fired (unless its the same person who decided to hire Erin Andrews – in that case, they deserve an Emmy). During this offseason when I heard he was leaving to head back to Canada (America’s Hat), I was jubilant that I would no longer have to turn down the volume on my TV on account of his ramblings.
Birdland residents should respond well to the new rotation of color commentators because they come from various successful times in the franchise. Everyone who can vaguely remember the franchise’s successes before someone over at MASN drove it into the ground, should appreciate seeing some of the familiar faces from years past.
Now lets get reacquainted with these Orioles greats of yester-year. Back in the days before baseball in Baltimore stunk worse than the Dundalk poo factory:
“Steady” Eddie Murray #33, 1B
Orioles Tenure: 1977-1988, 1996-1997
The great Eddie Murray is the last Baltimore Oriole who will ever wear the number 33. He is memorialized outside of Camden Yards in the shadows of the Babe Ruth statue behind the center field scoreboard. Most youngsters at the Yard may only know of Eddie Murray as that #33 statue we jump all over while daddy goes and buys the tickets, or the reason one if the seats in left field is orange. However, most Orioles fans remember the achievements worthy of getting your number retired or having a seat painted orange.
A World Series Champion, 1977 Rookie of the Year, member of the 3000 hit and 500 home run club, 3 time gold glove winner, 8 time all-star and Hall of Famer, Murray is probably one of if not the greatest first baseman to ever play the game.
Orioles fans will definitely welcome “Steady” Eddie into the broadcast booth this upcoming season.
Brady Anderson #9 CF/LF
Orioles Tenure: 1988-2001
Brady Anderson was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame by Cal Ripken Jr. in 2004. Anderson, a three time all-star, remains in the top ten for most of the hitting categories. Brady also can be remembered as one of only two players to ever hit 50 home runs and steal 50 bases in the same season- the other… Barry Bonds. Which leads me to my next point…
How come this guy never kept his shirt on??? He was the freakin’ Matthew McConaughey of the MLB. Anderson did set a club record for home runs (50) in 2006 but did it the same route that most players were doing it back in that day, THE ROIDS!!! (Allegedly)
Hopefully in the press box he’ll keep his shirt on, he is 46 now and probably has some man boobies growing.
Ben McDonald #19, P
Orioles Tenure: 1989-1995
How could you forget this cajun on the mound? Ben McDonald was one of the most entertaining pitchers to watch during my childhood. As the first overall pick by the Orioles in the 1989 draft, McDonald was a fixture in Baltimore for seven seasons. Ben left the O’s in 1996 as a free agent and joined the Milwaukee Brewers organization.
While in Baltimore, McDonald was definitely a great guy to watch, along with Mike Mussina. McDonald never led the major leagues in any categories but he always had a recognizable name around Baltimore during my childhood. McDonald never reached his full potential or lived up to the hype due to shoulder problems, which would force him to retire at the age of 29.
McDonald was more recognized for his work in college while eating crawfish at LSU. Ben was a member of the US Olympic team which won a gold medal the year before joining the Orioles. McDonald was also named an All-American after his collegiate career.
Mike Boddicker #52, P
Orioles Tenure: 1980-1988
There was another solid player in Baltimore to wear #52 before Ray Lewis, and his name was Mike Boddicker. This former Gold Glover, ALCS MVP, and instrumental part of the Orioles 1983 World Series Championship was a fixture in Birdland for eight years. Many people in their mid 20’s may only know of Boddicker as “that guy the Orioles traded to get Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling.” And Boddicker was just that, the guy they traded away to get two solid players.
Boddicker had a career 3.80 ERA and a record of 134-116. After his World Series performance, he led the AL in wins and ERA when he went 20-11 with a 2.79 ERA.
Well there you go folks, that is your new rotating color commentating team for the 2010 season. I am really looking forward to anything besides Buck Martinez but this decision from MASN will also give us some variety into different aspects of America’s Past Time.
If the Orioles are planning on doing this every year, I’d like to make a case for some of these previous Orioles greats both on the field and in the press box.
This guy would be great. I know he is fun to hang out with at the ball park because I always see him at his BBQ stand chatting about baseball with everyone who walks by. Boog and I also shared a beer in the club level once before and he was a nice guy. I’d really enjoy hearing a drunk Boog calling the game pitch by pitch in between each bite of his monstrous BBQ sandwich.
Mel Proctor & John Lowenstein
These guys were great! It reminds me back when the Orioles were a great team at the top of the AL and also who can’t forget the voice of Cal Ripken’s 2131 quest? These two on HTS were great and when I think of Baltimore baseball on TV, I think of them. I’d take them over anyone else to ever step back in that booth, even if it’s a rotation of Oriole legends.
Currently Mel Proctor is living in San Diego and appears to be doing nothing. He did call games for the Nationals on MASN but didn’t come back after the 2005 season (who could blame him?).
John Lowenstein is living in Vegas and hasn’t been in front of the camera for quite some time. He suffered the tragic loss of his wife a few years ago. Maybe coming back to the O’s for the 2011 campaign will give him something to do.
Hey, we can hope can’t we. This year, though, enjoy listening to some of the great O’s of the past!