Orioles shake up broadcast team, remove Jim Hunter, add Arnold, Garceau, Newman - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Orioles shake up broadcast team, remove Jim Hunter, add Arnold, Garceau, Newman

Photo Credit: Joy R. Absalon

SARASOTA, Florida—The Orioles shook up their broadcast team for the 2020 season, removing longtime TV and radio announcer Jim Hunter and adding three new members to their team.

Hunter, who has been with the team since 1997 and last year served as the lead radio announcer and backup television broadcaster, is being moved to a new role with the broadcast. He declined to comment on the change.

Geoff Arnold, a 32-year-old announcer for the Frederick Keys, will be on most radio broadcasts. He’ll join Kevin Brown, who returns for his second season on radio. Brown also will serve as a backup announcer on television to Gary Thorne, who returns for his 14th season.

The other new voices are longtime Baltimore broadcaster Scott Garceau and Melanie Newman, who was the lead announcer on baseball’s first female broadcast team for the Carolina League’s Salem Red Sox.

The Orioles says that “each of the new personalities will appear across platforms and in a variety of roles throughout the 2020 season.”

Jim Palmer will return for his 28th season as an analyst. Other analysts include Mike Bordick, Ben McDonald and Brian Roberts. Rick Dempsey will have a reduced role on O’s Xtra. Gregg Olson and Dave Johnson will be analysts on some broadcasts.

Arnold, who worked for the Keys for the last five years, arrived in Sarasota eager for his new assignment.

“As the Orioles are going through this rebuild process, you have a lot of great prospects coming through the system, many of whom I’ve seen already and have relationships with,” Arnold said. “You can probably rattle off a lot of facts about a guy like Mike Trout. You may not be able to do the same about a guy like Mason McCoy, at least just yet. To be able to tell their stories, where they’ve been and where they’re going, I can provide a little more perspective to that.”

The Orioles says that longtime host Tom Davis and Hunter “will bring their decades of Orioles experience to new roles as regular on-air contributors in 2020.”

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Roch Kubatko and Steve Melewski will appear on MASN and the Orioles Radio Network as regular contributors. Paul Mancano will host MASN All-Access.

The first MASN TV broadcast is Sunday against Boston. The first radio game is February 25. Saturday’s broadcast against Atlanta will be streamed on Orioles.com/At Bat.

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB

27 Comments

27 Comments

  1. NormOs

    February 19, 2020 at 5:08 pm

    Making all of these changes and the money it will cost, the O’s probably could get a bonafide MLB player. What am I saying? “We don’t need no stinking MLB players!” Example: Eshelman 6.50 ERA so the O’s only need to score 8 runs when this guy pitches and he is one they are considering for the rotation which means…….THERE IS NO PITCHING! Gee, I hope they are thinking about starting the REBUILD soon.

    • ClayDal

      February 19, 2020 at 5:37 pm

      Calm down Norm, Eshelman isn’t making the team. They removed him from the 40 man roster in September. They are not going to DFA someone to put him back on the roster. He’s just minor league depth

      • jimr62

        February 19, 2020 at 5:51 pm

        It’s still amazing to me the fans that are still whining about this rebuild. As if it will be done in a year or so. It takes up to five years to start even seeing progress. They have done an amazing job up to this point in drafting and international signings and waiver wire pick ups. Stop the whining and go up north where they just won a Championship if you want instant gratification. This gets old fast.

        • Eastern Sho Joe

          February 19, 2020 at 9:10 pm

          AMEN Jim! It’s been 1 year since the new management took over and started the overhaul. Our farm system sucked, no presence in Latin America and our MLB team was stripped to the bone. And… some fans have criticized everything that has been done to fix it.

          I wonder if those who are bashing this whole process are going to root for the O’s when they become contenders again?

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          February 20, 2020 at 9:22 am

          If it takes up to five years to see progress (and I agree it probably does), but how in the world can you say they’ve done “an amazing job”? About the only thing that can be said up to this point is that they tanked their way into drafting Adley Rustchman. And plesae be be a bit more specific as to which international signings they’ve made that are so amazing? I’m not whining here .. I’m just wondering what all Elias followers know that I don’t?
          .
          To say they’ve “done an amazing job” is a bit of a reach at this point. If Norm wants to whine…so be it. Tanking sucks.

          • Eastern Sho Joe

            February 20, 2020 at 3:28 pm

            The “tanking” that got us Rutschman was done before Elias was hired, but you stated just a few weeks ago that we didn’t tank in 2018. lol

        • WorldlyView

          February 20, 2020 at 2:59 pm

          More ammunition for those guys defending/praising the “rebuild”–you can now point to the signing of Andrew Velazquez, whose MLB batting average last year was .087 (not a typo). This addition might take a week off of the 5 year rebuild sighted above.

    • 33d St

      February 19, 2020 at 10:17 pm

      “Bashing the process?” What process? Being a terrible team is not some proven magic formula to becoming a great team. If it was then the Washington Senators should’ve had a dynasty at some point. Those horrible San Diego Padre teams in the 1970s should’ve become power houses. The Cleveland Browns are going to win a Super Bowl any minute. At least according to the people who’ve been swindled by the snake oil salesmen in the Warehouse.

      • Eastern Sho Joe

        February 19, 2020 at 11:02 pm

        33, it’s been 1 year. Let’s say that you were in Elias’ shoes and you took over the O’s in 2018. All of the talent had been traded, your farm system had few prospects, and there was nothing in place to bring talent from Latin America. You inherited a terrible team.

        Can you please share what you would’ve done differently that would’ve resulted in the team not being terrible by the start of your 2nd year?

        Please be specific. I’d appreciate if you could enlighten me and I look forward to your answer.

        • Boog Robinson Robinson

          February 20, 2020 at 9:28 am

          Can I chime in here? One thing different I’d have done is not trade Cashman for a couple of 16 y/o cabana boys. Reason? We may have one 1 or 2 more games last year.

          2nd thing I’d have done differently is not trade our best offensive player, Villlar, for a bad of chips. Now let me head you off with your tired argument that while this wouldn’t have helped us lose less than 100 games, it certainly couldn’t have hurt.

          Enlightened yet?

          • Eastern Sho Joe

            February 20, 2020 at 3:46 pm

            Are you referring to the same Andrew Cashner that got destroyed during the 2nd half of last season? The one that is still an unsigned free agent?

            Oh yeah, let’s start bringing up these pitching prospects with Villar’s significantly lacking defensive abilities behind them.

            A little research goes a long way.

        • willmiranda

          February 20, 2020 at 10:26 am

          OK, specific. First, if I were in Elias’ shoes, I would not have taken the job you describe. (Of course, if I knew that the organization I was with was sitting on a time bomb of a cheating scandal, I might jump ship anywhere.) Specific, Richie Martin. I might have taken him in Rule 5 as a long shot, hoping his sudden batting surge at AA was not an anomaly or one-year wonder but a permanent breakthrough that would continue to advance. However, when it became apparent in the first month or so of the season that he was in no way ready for major league pitching, I would have sent him back to Oakland. Then he could develop along the more conservative course he was on before the draft. That would be the decent thing to do. Instead, to save face, the O’s kept him, sat him against righties, and bragged how his average crept up in the second half. After the season, they signed a veteran shortstop and now they want Martin to practice at second base so that he can be more “valuable.” The poor kid has wasted a year, can’t go back to developing with Oakland, and is stuck in an O’s minor league pipeline clogged with middle infielders trying to learn how to hit. I know I’ve been critical of Martin’s performance before, but I also know it’s not his fault; he’s just a pawn in a game the rest of us are too stupid to understand. I wish him well.

        • WorldlyView

          February 20, 2020 at 3:46 pm

          Joe: There is a difference between being terrible and being grotesquely terrible. What should have been done, to be specific, is to sign a couple of mid-grade free agent pitchers and at least one more free agent position player. Even if their contracts were for one year, the team would be bad but not a flaming embarrassment that is a serious contender for most team losses ever.

          • Eastern Sho Joe

            February 20, 2020 at 3:56 pm

            OK, google “2019 MLB free agents” and you’ll see what was available. Mid-level players aren’t just sitting at home waiting on a call.

    • ClayDal

      February 19, 2020 at 10:27 pm

      You use the term “magic formula.” There is no magic formula to build a winner. First you need to draft well. They have only had 1 draft. Signing international free agents. They finally started doing that last year. Trades-most of their assets were traded in 2018. Free agents-shockingly top free agents don’t want to come here. 54-108 will do that. Give them another draft or two and see how the prospects develop. They have only had one year

    • Mike Shay

      February 27, 2020 at 11:54 am

      Go away

  2. TxBirdFan

    February 19, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    I have to agree with NormO’s. All the smiles will disappear by the third week of the season (if not sooner) when it’s “discovered” that our major league roster isn’t really major league. I have tickets to see them play when they come to Texas and play the Rangers but can’t get excited about who I’ll see. Our clubhouse/uniform guy is going to be very busy this year.

  3. Frank Howard LF-1B

    February 19, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    I thought Jim Hunter was an OUTSTANDING announcer. Replaced in the name of political correctness. I miss Joe Angel too. Chuck Thompson rolls over in his crypt

    • chico salmon

      February 19, 2020 at 7:40 pm

      I’m sorry, Hondo, but I respectively disagree. Jim Hunter was unlistenable. His annoying habit of assigning “multi-hit or multi-rbi, or multi-anything when a guy does the same thing two games in a row, drove me crazy. Also, he was an awful interviewer. He would ask a question, answer it himself, then re-phrase it before putting the microphone in front of the player or coach. Hunter was so bad, I thought he must have pictures on some executive at MASN. Nothing personal. He seems like a decent enough guy, but this decision is at least 10 years overdue.

      • BenchWarmer

        February 20, 2020 at 8:14 am

        I created an account just to voice my agreement with chico salmon.

        Hunter is/was awful. 100% agreed about his famous ‘two game hitting streak,” meanwhile the batter was 1-5 in back to back games, drove me nuts. I’ve been an O’s fan for 25 years and the team was bad for about 19 of them but Hunter was such an over-the-top homer, it was sickening. I heard someone say that if the O’s went 60-102, he would put an orange spin on it and say “the O’s are just honoring the 1960 team.”

        Also, his “excited” voice was so bad… don’t believe me, go watch/listen him call a homerun…it’s embarrassing.

        I realize I’m coming off as a hater but I love my Birds, I like every other announcer, I just can’t stand Hunter. Excited to get some new names and faces to the broadcasting team.

    • Raymo

      February 20, 2020 at 1:18 pm

      I concur with Chico Salmon’s assessment. I’m also not a fan of Gary Thorne but I’ll save that for another day.

    • Pappas58

      February 22, 2020 at 12:20 am

      Agree. The Rays do this with having various on site announcers that pop in during the game. They locate themselves around the stadium and they think it is great, I watch them when they play’s the O’s with the sound off. You hear and see more of them then you do the game. Hopefully it will not be that way but it sounds like it may be. Keep HUNTER where he has been. Sometimes I think the O’s do not know when they have a good thing.

  4. The Cartoon Bird

    February 19, 2020 at 7:12 pm

    More Ben McDonald. He’s always been informative and entertaining. Often he kept my interest listening when the Orioles were getting blown out. Also respect his Cajun mannerisms and accent. Would love to eat Gumbo and talk LSU and Orioles with Big Ben.

  5. 33d St

    February 19, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    Guess Hunter was too expensive. That or the I’d ran a study on the best way to make their games the least enjoyable they can possibly be.

    What next? Putting plywood boards over the windows on the Warehouse? Having tents in the bullpen for the assistant coaches to live in? Making the players go around the stadium with shopping carts after games to pick up empty beer cans and redeem them for scrap value?

  6. Birdman

    February 20, 2020 at 9:46 am

    We will need a scorecard just to keep track of the broadcast team … I count 15 individuals who will be broadcasting in some capacity on radio and/or MASN … anyway, glad to hear that Jim Palmer’s health has improved enough that he can return.

  7. Borg

    February 22, 2020 at 8:19 pm

    It feels like subbing Garceau for Hunter is a lateral move; both were/are homers to the nth degree and annoyingly talk about nonsense rather than what is happening right in front of them. While I am not a fan of either, there probably won’t be a discernible drop in quality. Let’s be real here, there was Chuck Thompson, then John Miller, then the Black Hole of the last few decades in the broadcast booth. When the color guys are light years better than the play-by-ply guys, there is a problem. They might as well just put Palmer, and McDonald.in the booth to analyze each play and forget the play by play guy.

  8. Earl

    February 26, 2020 at 1:50 am

    Don’t like the moves. Can we bring Chuck Thompson back please?

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