Watching the Baltimore Orioles play baseball on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network is an enjoyable experience even if you aren’t an Orioles fan. Or, if you are an Orioles fan, you can make it through those awful blowouts simply because Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer are the best announcing team in baseball.
Play-by-play extraordinaire Thorne is simply one of the greatest announcers in all of sports and that in large part is due to experience. Thorne got his start in professional broadcasting as the as the radio play-by-play announcer for the New York Mets. Later, he became the lead play-by-play announcer for the New Jersey Devils, which launched a very successful career calling hockey games.
Thorne was even the lead play-by-play announcer for the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Calgary Flames. His background calling multiple sports (baseball, hockey and college football) on both the regional and national level have molded him into one of the best announcers in sports and since 2007, he has been calling Orioles games as the lead play-by-play announcer for MASN.
Palmer, who serves as MASN’s lead analyst alongside Thorne, completes the broadcast. Palmer is one of the most objective, hard-hitting analysts in all of baseball. In other words, he’s very opinionated and he explains things very clearly. Palmer’s success as a pitcher for the Orioles just adds to his credibility in the booth.
Palmer pitched 19 seasons for Baltimore, winning three World Series, taking home the Cy Young award three times and also won four Gold Glove awards. When Palmer says something, people listen.
Thorne and Palmer’s chemistry in the booth is unrivaled. Their personalities aren’t identical, but they mesh together well. The duo interacts professionally while still keeping the broadcast insightful, entertaining and most of all enjoyable. There’s never a dull moment when these two are in the booth together. There’s none of those awkward silences you hear in other broadcasts. Thorne and Palmer just flat out work.
Thorne’s experience broadcasting on a national level has given him the ability to call a game without being a “homer”, and you’ll never see Palmer favor the Orioles just because that’s who he played for. Part of what makes MASN such a great broadcast to watch a game is because it sounds like a very good national broadcast.
The opposing team’s fans won’t be irritated with the way that Thorne and Palmer conduct themselves. Thorne is just as excited when the opponent makes a great play as when the Orioles make a great play. Palmer calls it how he sees it and gives his honest opinion 100 percent of the time.
While that quality might irritate some Baltimore fans, that’s how broadcasting should be done. If you want to listen to how great your team is all the time, then become a Chicago White Sox fan and listen to Hawk Harrelson call a game, you’ll love him! MASN had better do everything in its power to keep Thorne and Palmer in the booth together for years to come because without them, Orioles baseball just wouldn’t be the same.