SARASOTA, Fla. — — More than a year after his stint as an Orioles executive ended, Mike Flanagan will return to the organization as a color analyst for the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network.
Flanagan, who spent more than 30 years with the Orioles as a player, coach, front office executive and broadcaster, will work about half the 2010 schedule, sharing color duties with Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer. Gary Thorne and Jim Hunter will handle the play-by-play responsibilities.
"I'm excited to be back, certainly, with MASN, and to be able to give perspective and a richer experience to the broadcast," said Flanagan, who replaces Buck Martinez, now a play-by-play man for the Toronto Blue Jays' broadcast team. "I'm looking forward to being back with Palmer and [Rick Dempsey], guys that have been around for a long time and have a lot of value."
Flanagan, 59, has been discussing various roles with the organization since his contract expired in December 2008. The 1979 Cy Young Award winner had served as the club's top executive for six years, but his responsibilities in the front office were lessened with the hiring of president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail in June 2007.
Flanagan spent last season mostly under the radar as he pondered several opportunities in baseball. His desire, however, was always to remain with the organization.
"Now that it's done, it's satisfying," said Flanagan, who will make his MASN debut April 15 for the Orioles-Oakland Athletics game. "You always forget the journey, but I'm pleased that it's finished."
A big leaguer for 18 seasons, Flanagan said he would still like to help the organization in other capacities to go along with his broadcasting duties.
"I think when you have someone around like Jim Palmer with Cy Youngs and my history, and a guy like Dempsey who played in four decades, I fully expect to be utilized," he said. "This is obviously a role that I'm extremely comfortable with and have enjoyed in the past. Working with Jim and Dempsey and Gary Thorne, I think we can make a terrific broadcast even better."
Flanagan, a broadcaster with the club from 1996 to 1997 and again from 1999 to 2002, declined to comment on the terms of his deal. Thorne and Palmer have four years remaining on their contracts with MASN.
"As a former player, coach, front office executive and broadcaster, Mike knows every aspect of the game and can provide a unique and comprehensive perspective to MASN's Orioles viewers," MASN spokesman Todd Webster said. "With more than three decades of experience with the Baltimore Orioles, Mike knows this team, this franchise and these fans better than anybody."
MASN will likely have a third man in the booth for selected games during the 2010 season. Former Orioles Eddie Murray, Brady Anderson and Mike Boddicker have been in talks with the network to fill that role.