Friday, December 31, 2010

4 Ways Oriole Coverage Got Better in 2010

Before the 2010 season completely slips from memory, I thought I'd throw out a few positives about Oriole coverage in this 13th straight (!) losing season. My thoughts are colored by being a member of the Oriole Diaspora and having little access to MASN or local radio. You fans still in the Baltimore area may have other opinions on local media. Feel free to share them in the comments.

4. No Buck Martinez - The gaggle of former Oriole players who combined to replace Buck Martinez in the booth for MASN television broadcasts were not overly impressive but they were still far better than listening to Buck. If there was a guy going through the motions the last couple of seasons, it was Martinez. His opinions were poorly informed, he was full of non-sequiturs and his mannerisms were just plain irritating. Don't believe me? Tune in to a Toronto broadcast sometime and listen to him do play-by-play. Good riddance. I'll take Mike Boddicker any day.

3. Britt Ghiroli - MLB.com's Oriole coverage before the 2010 season was pretty sparse and, quite frankly, very missable. MASN, The Baltimore Sun and independent blogs did it much, much better. Enter new Orioles beat reporter Britt Ghiroli. Britt began employing Twitter almost immediately and her MLB Pro Blog, Britt's Bird Watch, was actually updated on a daily basis at the very least. Multimedia tweets, interaction with the fans and breaking news on Twitter made her something of a pioneer in social media among Oriole beat reporters. Britt has made MLB's coverage of the Orioles relevant again and brought a fresh, energetic voice to mainstream Oriole coverage. We thank her for the effort.

2. Twitter - Twitter has been a blessing for the Oriole news junkie in 2010. In terms of media members untilizing Twitter, Ghiroli pretty much led the way here, too. But she wasn't the only one. MASN's Jen Royle and Kate Wheeler added a lot of content, as well as the Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Add to the mix my fellow Oriole bloggers and rabid fans and you had a hodge-podge of news, reaction, debate and factoids. It's a great place to spark conversation and I got a lot of ideas for posts from what began as Twitter conversations.

1. Credentialed Bloggers - This season, finally, the Orioles began credentialing independent bloggers for individual games at Camden Yards. This put civilian bloggers like myself side by side with the pros in the press box at Camden Yards.

This one would seem a bit self-serving but let's be honest; I live in Atlanta and I'm really not going to be able to take advantage of this program very often. But with traditional media shrinking, I love that my Baltimore-based colleagues will be able to offer fresh, alternative perspectives on the team, even in the worst of times. Let's face it, once Ravens training camp starts, Oriole coverage tends to suffer. Hopefully, this program will help fill in the gaps. A diversity of voices is a wonderful thing and as a producer and consumer of Oriole coverage, I love it.

And hopefully, bloggers will eventually get locker room access as well.

2 comments:

Maryland Orioles' Fan said...

Well said, Heath. Happy New Year.
- Anthony, the Oriole Post

Heath said...

Thanks Anthony. You too!