In a stunning move, NESN has fired longtime Red Sox play by play announcer Don Orsillo. Orsillo will stay on for the remainder of the season and will be replaced in 2016 by Dave O’Brien. Orsillo, who has been with NESN since 2001, has become a fixture in New England and has been there to call some of the greatest moments in Red Sox history such as Manny Ramirez’s 500th home run and the the 2004 World Series Ring ceremony held on opening day of 2005.
Despite the Red Sox being bottom-feeders over the past two seasons, Orsillo has been a mainstay and one of the most enjoyable parts of NESN broadcasts. Orsillo has also been brilliant when faced with challenges, namely the revolving door he has had in the booth over the past several years. Color commentator Jerry Remy has been with Orsillo nearly all of this season, but has missed significant time over the last few seasons due to illness and to personal issues. Despite this, Orsillo was always at the top of his game, making his work with 26 different partners while Remy was out dealing with his son’s arrest look effortless.
When asked about Orsillo’s departure, Remy was visibly dejected. “I love him,” Remy said.
Orsillo will be missed from Spring through Fall on TVs across New England. His professionalism and broadcasting talent have brought the game to life for fans and his ability to switch from comedy to announcing skill will be sorely missed. In what might be the greatest testament of all to Orsillo’s time in Boston, no one that has come in to contact with him could have a negative word to say. Orsillo was, and remains, the class of broadcasting. His replacement, Dave O’Brien, has been calling Red Sox games for WEEI and will be able to handle the work. But even though O’Brien is a qualified broadcaster, this move is a sad one for Red Sox Nation.