Media Archives

August 11, 2004

Orioles in the media: The Sun

Note: This is part one of a series on the coverage of the Orioles in the media.

Publication name: The Sun (aka The Baltimore Sun to avoid confusion with other papers with "Sun" in the name)

Beat writers: Roch Kubatko, Joe Christensen

Columnists: Peter Schmuck, Laura Vecsey, John Eisenberg

Average in-season coverage:

  • Daily:
    • if a game was played, one game recap about 24 column-inches (800-900 words) long
    • one team notes story 600 to 900 words in length
    • brief recaps of Oriole minor-league affiliates
  • Weekly:
    • "Orioles Focus" column on Sundays
    • minor-league notes column, usually on Mondays
    • Orioles-related opinion columns appear irregularly during the week
  • Other:
    • bite-size opponent scouting report appears before the first game of each series
    • feature-length articles in the "Orioles at 50" series have appeared infrequently this year

Print edition rates: newsstand $0.50 Mon-Sat, $1.66 Sun; subscriptions are cheaper, depending on the package

Print circulation area: Baltimore City plus counties of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford and Howard

Web page:

Link to Orioles coverage:

RSS feed of Orioles coverage:

Web site notes: Pre-final drafts of Orioles news stories appear on the web site the night before being published in the print edition. The final versions appear online at about 4:00 a.m. on the day of publication. Free registration is required to access most stories and some areas of the site. Stories are archived on the site for two weeks. A fairly active Orioles bulletin board is also linked to the site. Stats and box scores on the site come from The Sports Network, which supplies the basics but doesn't offer nearly enough detail to satisfy the statheads.

Archives: Articles since 1990 are archived electronically by the Newsbank and Proquest services. The Sun's web site offers paid access to the Newsbank database, but free access is usually available from Maryland public libraries. Articles prior to 1990 can be viewed on microfilm in libraries throughout Maryland as well as at the Library of Congress in D.C.

Corporate ownership: The Sun is owned by the Tribune media conglomerate, which counts among its assets the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsday. An account on the Sun web site will also work on other Tribune news properties, and vice versa.


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August 15, 2004

Orioles in the media: The Washington Post

Note: This is part two of a series on the coverage of the Orioles in the media. I must admit to some potential for bias here. I am more familiar with the Post, which has been my main newspaper for years, than I am with other news sources. So it is not surprising that I have many things to say about it. However, I will try to be as objective as possible in my analysis. —tbw

Publication name: The Washington Post

Beat writer: Dave Sheinin (with occasional substitutes)

Columnists: occasionally Thomas Boswell, and more rarely George Solomon and William Gildea

Average in-season coverage:

  • Daily:
    • one story about 24 column-inches (~900 words) long containing a game recap (if a game was played) and team notes
    • brief recaps of area minor-league affiliates, including Bowie and Frederick
  • Other:
    • Orioles-related opinion columns and features appear infrequently

Print edition rates: $0.35 Mon-Sat, $1.50 Sun

Print circulation area: The District of Columbia, plus the following:
In Maryland—counties of Charles, Montgomery and Prince George's.
In Virginia—counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William, plus the independent cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park.
Also available on newsstands in many major cities nationally.

Web page:

Link to Orioles coverage:

Link to local minor-league baseball:

RSS feed of Orioles coverage:

RSS feed of Boswell columns:

RSS feed of local minor-league baseball:

Web site notes: Free registration required to view current articles, which are archived for two weeks. Game recaps are posted within hours after the game ends, although stories may not be finalized until after that. Rudimentary stats and transaction information are provided by SportsTicker. A sparsely populated and difficult-to-navigate forum is also available.

Archives: As the Post is one of the nation's most prominent newspapers, its archive is accessible from nearly everywhere. The paper's web site offers a free search portal to its archives, although you will have to pay to view the articles. Those archives are managed by ProQuest (modern full-text archive since 1987; historical archive from 1877-1987). Less-comprehensive archives are also maintained by other services, many of which are subscribed to by businesses, universities, and public library systems. They include Lexis-Nexis Academic (articles since 1977), Newsbank (1977-), and Factiva (1984-). Microfilm versions are also widely available.

Corporate ownership: In addition to the Post, The Washington Post Company owns Newsweek magazine, El Tiempo Latino, the educational brand Kaplan, and a host of smaller media properties, including regional papers and television stations.


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August 25, 2004

Orioles in the media:

Note: This is part three of a series on the coverage of the Orioles in the media.

Publication name:; Baltimore Orioles' site may go by,, or, all of which point to the same site

Beat writer: Gary Washburn

Columnists: none who cover the Orioles regularly

Average in-season coverage:

  • Daily:
    • game recaps (about 800-900 words)
    • team notes (usually 800-900 words)
    • live game webcasts (Flash required); audio or video broadcasts require paid subscription
    • official box scores, statistics, roster transactions
    • audio and video broadcasts for subscribers
  • Other:
    • player features (usually 800-900 words)
    • team press releases provided by the Orioles' public relations office

Print edition: none

Web page:

Link to Baltimore Orioles front page:

Link to Orioles news coverage:

Link to Orioles press releases:

RSS feed of Orioles news:

RSS feed of MLB news:; feeds for other teams' news are also available on the site.

Web site notes: News stories are posted on the site within hours after games or other newsworthy events occur. Stories do not expire. Online features include a continuously updated scoreboard of all MLB games; current and historical statistics provided by Elias Sports Bureau, the official stat-keeper for MLB; schedule; team promotions; minor-league updates; team history; fan forum; community outreach; and a section for kids. Multimedia features are available, although game video and audio require a paid subscription. Other commerce-related areas are fantasy leagues, a memorabilia store, ticket sales, and ballpark information. And is the only place to find MLB's official rules on the Internet.

Archives: A searchable archive of articles goes back to 1999. Search options are limited, and the engine is faulty in that it seems to list two instances of every matching article.

Corporate ownership: Major League Baseball Advanced Media, L.P., is a spinoff company owned jointly by MLB's 30 teams. It was created in 2000 to concentrate on the distribution of so-called new media content related to MLB.


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March 7, 2005

Thompson passes on

A momentous death has hit the Baltimore sports community. Chuck Thompson, the longtime broadcast voice of the Orioles and Colts, passed away Sunday at the age of 83 after suffering a stroke on Saturday.

Thompson was the Orioles' primary radio (or, at times, television) announcer from 1955 to 1987, with the exception of a five-year hiatus from 1957 to 1961. That interruption was the result of a dispute between his primary employer, Gunther Brewing, and the main sponsor of the Orioles' broadcasts, National Brewing (of Natty Boh fame), and led to his covering the Washington Senators for a few of those years. Prior to that, he had begun his broadcasting career in Pennsylvania in 1939, and in the late '40s he moved south to call games for the International League Orioles and the football Colts. In 1993, Thompson became the seventeenth broadcaster honored with the Ford C. Frick award by the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He continued to call Oriole games on a part-time schedule from 1991 until 2000, when his eyesight was hampered by macular degeneration.

The Sun has gone the distance in its appreciation of Thompson and his career by constructing what amounts to an online shrine to Thompson on its web site. It includes a lengthy obituary by Ed Waldman; eulogistic columns by Michael Olesker, David Steele, John Eisenberg, and Peter Schmuck; a timeline of Thompson's career combined with explanations of two of his signature lines, “Ain't the beer cold!” and “Go to war, Miss Agnes!”; and links to the text of several Sun articles from the recent past about Thompson.

In other sources, the Washington Post has published an obit by Matt Schudel and a fond remembrance by William Gildea. The Washington Times has a short feature on Thompson by Dick Heller. Also, Gary Washburn of has posted a brief account. For more on Thompson's life and work, read his autobiography, Ain't the Beer Cold!, which was published in 1996.

Personal thoughts

I started following the Orioles as Thompson was passing the microphone to Jon Miller in the mid-1980s, so my personal memories of Thompson are limited to the part-time work he did over the last two decades as well as excerpts of classic games that the Orioles have broadcast during rain delays. After hearing other announcers over the years, I began to appreciate how masterful Thompson was at calling a baseball game. He had a collection of talents that no play-by-play man can rightly claim to surpass: a deep, smooth baritone voice that never grew tiring; near-perfect diction and pacing that ensured none of his utterances went misheard; the ability to paint a concise verbal picture of the action as it unfolded; and a mix of stateliness and informality in his tone that made him sound like both an authority and a friend.

Thompson remains the gold standard for Baltimore sports broadcasters, and his passing will be mourned by the millions who heard him over the years. He was a beloved local figure who called the greatest moments in Orioles and Colts history.

Addendum (Mar. 10): The tributes keep coming, illustrating just how wide and deep was Thompson's reach. Notably, the Washington Times has published a reflection by Thom Loverro, who takes a Washington-centric view of Thompson's legacy. Also, Joe Gross, sports editor of the Annapolis Capital, has written a few kind words about the announcer. Over at the York Daily Record, Al Gregson, a golf reporter in York, wrote about a personal encounter he had with Thompson on the golf course. Steve Thompson, baseball editor of USA Today (and apparently no relation to Chuck), recorded some of his own indelible Thompson memories. One of the most humorous recollections of Thompson I came across was in an article from July 2004 by sportswriter and Baltimore native Frank Deford. Also on that site, baseball writer John Donovan wrote a fond farewell to Thompson at the end of his Tuesday baseball notes. The Orioles issued a statement announcing Thompson's death on Sunday, but the text appears to have been truncated in the online version.

The response from fans on the Internet has been no less expansive. Wednesday on, the Orioles published warm notes from fans honoring Thompson and his work. The denizens of the Baseball Primer exchanged their own Thompson memories.

This could go on forever, but I'll draw the line here. WBAL TV will broadcast Thompson's memorial service live on Thursday at 11 a.m. Thanks for the memories you helped create for us, Chuck.

April 4, 2005

Whither the O's in 2005?

It's been a while since I looked at what others have been saying about the Orioles, so here are a few quick outside hits mixed in with my comments.

Virtually everyone is picking the Orioles to finish third in the American League East this year. That includes such widely read mainstream sources as The New York Times (write-up by Murray Chass) and The Washington Post. A few prognosticators have the O's pegged lower, and hardly anyone is willing to nudge them above Boston or New York.

While I'm not going to make any bold predictions, I will submit that the Orioles' chances of making the playoffs this year are better than they have been since the late '90s. Those chances are not high, mind you, just better. It would take a lot of good breaks and a regression by the Sox or Yanks for the Birds to make the leap to contention this year. Given the ascendancy of New York and Boston and the greater ability of those northeastern rivals to patch holes using their financial resources, it's hard to imagine the O's making the postseason in '05. But it's no stretch to say that the Orioles will be a competitive team in the context of the league, if not within their division.

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July 27, 2005

Judge to Comcast: Yer out!

Finally, some action! But not the kind of action most Orioles fans were hoping for:

This morning, the Comcast-MASN feud went to a courtroom to be heard by a judge for the first time. (For more of the backstory, read Eric Fisher's report in today's Washington Times.) The result? Montgomery County Circuit Judge Durke G. Thompson dismissed Comcast's lawsuit, ruling that the Orioles did not violate the matching-offer condition in their contract with Comcast by planning to move their telecasts to the new Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, which is jointly owned by the Orioles and Major League Baseball (the split is 90/10). The contract requires the Orioles to allow Comcast to match any third-party offer to broadcast the Orioles' games when the current agreement concludes after next season. According to the judge, MASN does not fit the definition of a third party.

The judge gave Comcast 30 days to respond, so the standoff is not over. But the end may be in sight. If today's ruling holds up, a resolution of the suit could occur before the end of the season, allowing Washington Nationals games to be shown on an MASN channel via Comcast.

This development brightens the outlook for Nationals fans who subscribe to Comcast cable. Those fans have been unable to view many of their team's games in this inaugural year because Comcast has refused to carry MASN on its network during the dispute. Meanwhile, Orioles games have continued to be shown on Comcast Sportsnet per their existing broadcast agreement with the network. But the ruling is certainly welcome news for all those in the Orioles' camp, as a healthy MASN would mean a more stable financial future for the team.

About Media

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The Orioles Warehouse in the Media category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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