Orioles Beat Out Bikinis For WBAL's Brett Hollander
By Dave Hughes, DCRTV.com
The Orioles are back on radio and TV.
Joe Angel and Fred Manfra will once again be calling the games on Hearst news talker WBAL, 1090 AM.
"Both guys are ready," WBAL program director Dave Hill said. "I sat with Fred the other day before he left for Florida. He believes we will see an improved team this year."
WBAL sports host Brett Hollander, joined by the Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck, is also in Florida covering spring training games.
"Brett is ready," Hill said. "He is so excited that he passed up a chance to go to the Bahamas with the Ravens cheerleader calendar shoot to stay and cover the O's first week."
Last year, the Orioles hopped back to WBAL after four years on CBS's WJZ-FM 105.7 The Fan. WBAL had been the Orioles' flagship for 19 years, until the team moved to 105.7 in 2007. For 41 of the Birds 57 seasons, WBAL radio has carried Orioles games.
WBAL will broadcast all 162 games during the regular season. The station is also broadcasting 16 spring training games, from March 5 to April 1.
WBAL also said its Orioles broadcasts this year would be real-time, no-delay broadcasts.
That means they'll be in-sync with what's actually happening at the stadium, something that's good for in-stadium listening. There won't be a delay of 30-second to one minute, as sometimes happens with sports broadcasts.
Plus, you can also hear the Orioles games on the digital HD Radio 4 subchannel of 97.9 FM, WBAL's sister 98 Rock. You'll need to buy an HD Radio to hear that FM relay.
Even though 105.7 The Fan doesn't carry Orioles play-by-play, the station is continuing its "Baltimore Baseball Tonight" pregame shows this season. The show will air at 6 p.m. weekdays.
Although Jen Royle has left 105.7's lineup, radio veterans Bob Haynie, Jim Duquette and Joe Orsulak remain key personalities, said Dave Labrozzi, head of CBS Radio Baltimore. Steve Melewski also hosts a postgame show for the station.
Does WBAL have any worries about 105.7 ratings and its Orioles coverage?
"I'm not losing any sleep over it," WBAL's Hill said. "They are going to do what they do."
Further down the radio dial, Baltimore sports talker WNST, 1570 AM, has its usual plans to cover the Birds.
"I am going back on the radio on Orioles home game nights with a 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. radio show on WNST.net and AM 1570," station owner Nestor Aparicio said. "We will be broadcasting from a variety of downtown locations on game nights."
Luke Jones will be WNST's locker room reporter.
"As always, you can count on WNST.net to bring 'not for sale' coverage of the Baltimore Orioles," said Aparicio, who has had a contentious relationship with Orioles management through the years, "as they attempt to finish in last place for the seventh consecutive season."
Like last year, the Orioles will continue to be heard in the Washington area on ESPN 980, WTEM, including its Warrenton, Va., signal of 94.3 FM and Prince Frederick, Md., signal of 92.7 FM.
On the TV side, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network's coverage will feature Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer, with a series of rotating color commentators, including Brady Anderson and Rick Dempsey.
Missing this year will be Orioles great Mike Flanagan, who tragically committed suicide last year. "The loss of Flanagan will be felt," Examiner sports columnist Jim Williams said.
As usual, Channel 13/WJZ will carry a batch of selected games, mostly weekend outings.
Like last year, MASN will carry all Orioles games in high definition, including the home and season opener against the Minnesota Twins on April 6.
The Orioles will have 95 games on MASN and MASN HD, and 64 games on MASN2 and MASN2 HD.
Three Orioles games are currently scheduled to air on national networks in 2012.
Issue 171: March 2012