By Jason Butt
When Mike Bordick first contacted MASN play-by-play announcer Jim Hunter, he proposed the idea of providing reports on developing prospects in the Orioles' minor league system.
Next thing Bordick knew, he was asked to join the gameday crew as a color commentator, a position he accepted. For the coming season, Bordick, a 2011 Orioles Hall of Fame inductee, will join analyst Jim Palmer and play-by-play announcers Hunter and Gary Thorne as part of MASN's Orioles reporting team.
"This is a new undertaking and I'm pretty excited about it," Bordick said. "I'm anxious to learn. I'm working with the best in the business as far as I'm concerned. With Thorne, Hunter and Palmer, I should be able to learn a thing or two."
Bordick is filling the role left vacant after former color commentator and Orioles Cy Young winner Mike Flanagan died last August. Bordick said he had already begun watching DVDs of past games to study the color techniques of Palmer and Thorne.
"Palmer's amazing," Bordick said. "He has an incredible gift to talk baseball. It just flows out of his mouth."
Bordick said he would have about five or six meetings with a broadcasting coach after he arrived in Sarasota, Fla., for Orioles spring training.
In addition to his responsibilities with MASN this season, Bordick will also serve as special assignment instructor for the Orioles franchise, which he joked as being "top secret," based on the vague wording of the title.
In this job, Bordick will have the opportunity to work with younger players on the local farm teams when the Orioles are on the road for a lengthy period of time.
"Our [MASN] schedule is pretty busy, an 81-game schedule," Bordick said. "But there are blocks of time when I'll have 10 days off or close to two weeks off. So if I get a chance to go to Frederick or Bowie for two or three days and work with some of the young guys, or if they have a need for an extra body or eyes to look a kid to see what's going on, or to talk to a guy, I think I can have that opportunity and ability to do that."
Bordick had two stints for the Orioles from 1997-2002 (briefly playing for the Mets at the end of the 2000 season before rejoining Baltimore the following season) during his 14-year career. With at least 1,000 starts, Bordick boasts the third-highest career fielding percentage (98.2) among shortstops in MLB history. This number trails Blue Jays shortstop Omar Vizquel (98.5) and Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (98.4). In 2002, Bordick posted an Orioles record 99.8 fielding percentage, with only one error.
Bordick originally signed with Oakland as an undrafted free agent, playing with the Athletics from 1990 to 1996 before signing with Baltimore in 1997.
Bordick's experience will help relate the game to his new television audience once the season begins. "I'll explain some things if a situation comes up," he said, "maybe try to add a little bit of insight to some situations, to what a guy might be thinking, what he may have been thinking after the fact."
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• Dogged Legislators Made Lacrosse Official Sport
• Mike Bordick Welcomes New Orioles Role
• Annual Plunge Raised $2.5 Million In 16th Year
• From The Cheap Seats
Issue 170: February 2012