According to multiple sources Tuesday morning, the popular play-by-play commentator for the Red Sox, Don Orsillo, will no longer be the voice of NESN.
In 2011, Orsillo signed a contract that included an option for 2015, which NESN decided not to renew.
The news of him leaving the network has certainly sent a shockwave to Red Sox fans across the nation and especially the New England area who love his humorous personality and the relationship between him and another popular voice for Boston, Jerry Remy. Whether the Red Sox are winning or losing (just a tad bit of the latter this season), Orsillo’s mix of professionalism, while providing a great sense of humor and deep knowledge of baseball, makes it worth watching the games each day. I am certainly biased, but if you have ever been forced to watch a Red Sox game through another network, such as the opponent’s broadcast, or ESPN (thanks for everything Curt Schilling, you’re an all-time great, but you’re turning into baseball’s version of Donald Trump, where whatever is in your head, is coming out), it’s difficult not to appreciate everything that Orsilllo is, upon hearing his commentating again.
Like Jerry Remy, Don Orsillo is a Massachusetts native who is absolutely beloved by Red Sox fans everywhere. His first game commentating for NESN was in 2001 and he’s been the voice of Boston baseball ever since. In 2007, TBS hired Orsillo for MLB playoffs coverage, where it was apparent that he seemed to have chemistry with no matter who they partnered him with, as he always seemed to bring out the best in them and provide his classic, colorful commentary. According to a source, he is expected to be replaced by Dave O’Brien, a current employee of both WEEI and ESPN.
With the disheartening news of Orsillo leaving, the only way to possibly cheer up myself and several Red Sox fans everywhere is to take a look back at some of his all-time funniest and best moments.
The Pizza Toss: This season marked the 8th anniversary of the famous pizza toss at Fenway and it’s still listed as one of my all-time favorite moments from Orsillo. I could be having the absolute worst day of my life and if someone turns on YouTube and pulls up this video, all my troubles would quickly vanish. When Jerry Remy says, “Here comes the pizza!” and Orsillo busts into a wheezing laugh, it’s impossible not to join him.
The Boob Grab: Upon witnessing the man cop a feel and get a handful of breast at Fenway, the silence from both Remy and Orsillo until they have to speak again, where they absolutely lose it with laughter, is what makes this clip a very close second to the famous “Pizza Toss”. This is one of several reasons why Orsillo will certainly be missed.
Adding an “R”: It’s a longer clip, but definitely another favorite of mine, where Remy feels the need to ask Orsillo if there’s something funny about the way he pronounces certain players names. Orsillo is quick to give him hell by imitating the accent, adding an “r” to the end of everything. There’s nothing in this world better than a pure Masshole accent, and there’s few things better than mocking it.
Quick Note: From a personal standpoint, upon hearing of the news that Orsillo will no longer be the voice of the Red Sox, it was a gut punch and an absolute cherry on top to a craptastic baseball season. Living in Florida, the only reason – other than being able to witness every Sox game – to purchase the MLB package is that I get to listen to Orsillo and Remy all year, without having to hear John Kruk of ESPN discuss his favorite sandwiches, or having to hear the dorks in Tampa Bay talk over cowbells like they’re at a softball game. I speak for many Red Sox fans when I say that Don Orsillo is one-of-a-kind and will truly be missed.