Monday, March 28, 2011

FullCountPitch - The Full Count: Jen Royle

Jen Royle talks with Orioles starter Brian Matusz

After seven years covering the New York Yankees for the YES Network, MLBAM and SIRIUS/XM’s Baseball Channel, Jen Royle moved to Baltimore to cover the Orioles and Ravens on MASN and 105.7 The Fan.

You can catch Jen from 6-7:15 on “Baltimore Baseball Tonight’s” O’s pregame show with Jim Duquette and Joe Orsulak for Baltimore’s 105.7 The Fan, and you can also follow her on Twitter.

Today, Jen becomes the latest victim guest for “The Full Count”.

FCP: You were a Red Sox fan growing up, how did you put that aside when you starting working for other teams?

Jen Royle: YES! I was a huge Red Sox fan growing up. I literally grew up at Fenway Park. My parents were both born and raised in the city of Boston and my grandparents lived 10 minutes from Fenway Park when I was a child. So needless to say, I spent a lot of time at the ballpark. I vividly remember my father putting me on his shoulders so I could see Wade Boggs, Jim Rice, Mike Greenwell, Dwight Evans, etc. And I grew up watching Roger Clemens. Fast forward 20 years later, who would have thought I would end up covering Clemens with the New York Yankees.

In terms of the fan in me disappearing, it just sort of happened naturally. Once I started working for the YES Network in New York, I didn’t care at all about the Red Sox. I sort of just naturally turned into an unbiased, objective reporter. And let me make this clear, I didn’t care about the Yankees either in terms of winning or losing. I did, however, start to pull for certain people.

I think what most fans don’t understand is once you start covering ONE team on a daily basis, you start to build really nice relationships so it becomes difficult to hope they fail. So that also played a part in me not caring about the Red Sox anymore.

FCP: You came to Baltimore after working in the New York market for the YES Network. What’s the biggest difference you see in the way the Orioles and Yankees are covered?

Jen Royle: I mean, you can’t even compare. From a fan standpoint, a media standpoint and an organization standpoint, it’s just COMPLETELY different. In fact, to be completely honest, I think it was a culture shock for me my first month on the job. I started to question my decision to move to Baltimore because the team started off 2-16 and there were maybe 10,000 fans in the ballpark. Not to mention, I was the new girl in town and was under an abundance of scrutiny because of where I came from — Boston and New York. I had no friends in town and I was driving for the first time in 10 years. So I was a “Negative Nelly” at the beginning.

There are maybe six Orioles reporters in the clubhouse after a game, compared to 30-50 in New York. The Orioles organization doesn’t have the “win now” mentality that the Yankees have, mostly because they don’t have the financial resources and they know competing in the American League East is a much tougher task. Andy MacPhail is doing the best job he can, but he is certainly at an unfair advantage when competing with Brian Cashman.

When I covered the Yankees, we didn’t leave the clubhouse until the last player was one, we stayed on the field with them during batting practice and we went back into the clubhouse after batting practice. In Baltimore, with all due respect, the team isn’t as news-worthy. Things that may be a big deal in New York simply aren’t an issue in Baltimore. I can’t stress enough how different of an atmosphere it is.

Click here to read the rest of this free Q & A w/ Jen Royle at

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