Lot of Orioles fans up in arms about this move by MASN and the Orioles, and I can understand why. Britt Ghiroli from The Athletic reported Friday night that MASN is making major changes to their broadcast booth for Orioles games. Household names like Rick Dempsey, Jim Hunter, Mike Bordick, Dave Johnson, and the big one, Gary Thorne will be not be back in 2021. Obviously the big one people are upset about is Gary. He's been with MASN since 2007 so a lot of these fans now have grown up with him as the voice of the O's.
The other ones I can do without, I think it was time to mix in some fresh blood. But Thorne is the big one. Now I'm not one of these O's fans saying they'll never watch the Orioles again because Thorne won't be back, that seems like a bit much. But he was entertaining up in the booth, theres no denying that. He's known for his eccentric home run calls, "GOT THAT ONE!", "GOODBYE HOME RUN", and many more. He's been a joy to listen to all these years. He was subject to the occasional slip up, like when he would think it as a home run but the ball would bounce on the warning track, or he'd mix up players from time to time, but that is what made him your fun uncle Gary. We all thought something was up when he came out last year and said he was in contract negations with MASN to do work for the rest of the season. That was in August and we never saw Gary on a broadcast. He said it was not COVID-19 related and that basically it was the decision of the team. So it's not a real surprise that this is how it's ending with Thorne.
Gary isn't just a baseball guy, NHL fans flood my mentions every year talking about how they want Thorne back calling hockey on ESPN. He can't pronounce "Edwin Encarnacion" but he can spit some hockey names. You want to see range? Gary has it. Frozen Four, Capital One Bowl, PBA, WWE, MLB, NHL, he's legit done it all. He's a legend in the broadcast game and he and Jim Palmer formed a fantastic team in Baltimore. No doubt in my mind he'll go to a national network and continue being one of the best voices in sports. His calls are fantastic too, here are some of the best ones from Gary.
Remember when Gleybar Torres tormented Gary and the Orioles the entire 2019 season?
Remember when Gary did his best Nantz at the Masters impression when the Orioles and White Sox played their game with no fans due to the Freddy Gray riots?
This call is a masterpiece. Manny Machado's rookie year and he make's an unreal play. Call may be better than the play.
Or when he would make fun of Trevor Plouffe's name.
Calling this Don Mattingly homer from 95
He has an all time hockey voice too. All time.
And have you ever wondered who was on the call for Pete Weber's "WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? I AM?!" match? Yup. Gary.
Baltimore will miss you Gary, but I'm sure I'll be hearing those pipes on a TV soon. Adieu adieu!