It’s not everyday you hear that the local nine on the field took a backseat to the team’s play-by-play guy.
And that’s been exactly the situation for the past week.
Last night was the first time Boston Red Sox play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo had been back at Fenway Park since the report of NESN cutting ties with him came out last week. Obviously, the protestors of the Orsillo decision were out in large number, with signs saying “Free Orsillo” and “#saveorsillo” rampant outside of Fenway.
But not inside.
Last night, a Dan Shaugnessy column was published in the Boston Globe talking about the support from fans toward Orsillo. One of the most interesting parts of the column was the fact that two Sox employees had told the Globe that workers at the turnstiles were ordered to confiscate any signs in support of Orsillo. Even more interesting was the fact that the Globe then removed that line in the column.
This was the response from an editor at the Boston Globe to Barstool Sports’ Jared Carrabis, who pointed out the elimination of the line on the workers being ordered to confiscate the signs in support of Orsillo.
Story was published early, sourcing was weak so the line was removed. Our coverage on this speaks for itself. https://t.co/ITPLaqrl9d
— David Skok (@dskok) September 1, 2015
That would be a believable excuse, except for the fact that the owner of the Globe, John Henry, owns the Red Sox as well as NESN. It’s pretty obvious that John Henry didn’t want fans becoming riotous and even more strongly against the Orsillo firing. I mean, as reported in that article, NESN even moved its pregame show from Yawkey Way to a more secure spot near the Red Sox dugout.
When it gets to that point, you’d think NESN would realize the mess they have made.
Over the past couple of weeks, it has been an ongoing rumor that NESN wasn’t going to let the public know of Orsillo’s firing until January, which would kill any chance of him getting another play-by-play job. Apparently, Orsillo heard that he would not be returning in 2016 after his contract would end in late December. When Orsillo asked his bosses about it at NESN, they confirmed that the rumor he had heard was accurate. It was going to be kept secret until January as mentioned earlier.
This was all in fear of losing Dave O’Brien who currently works Sox radio broadcasts, and is a favorite of Red Sox Ownership and NESN executives.
Orsillo was told to keep quiet, and that he did.
But sometimes, not all abide by rules. And in this case, thank god for that.
Gerry Callahan of WEEI broke the news last Tuesday morning and sent all of New England into a rage over NESN’s decision. Since then, NESN has been relatively quiet, only announcing that O’Brien would replace Orsillo and some other minor details regarding color analyst Jerry Remy‘s role and some scripted typical nonsense said by Tom Werner, the other owner of the Red Sox.
And it’s been a horrible showing for the Red Sox and NESN ever since.
Orsillo has said absolutely nothing on the matter, and has continued the Red Sox broadcasts as if nothing ever happened. Remy did comment on the situation once to a small group of reporters in Chicago.
Since Callahan broke the Orsillo firing, a petition has been started on change.org to keep Orsillo. It is currently at just over 54,700 signatures and countin, growing faster by the day. If you’d like to sign, it’s the first thing to pop up when you search “Don Orsillo petition” on google.
The Red Sox and NESN have treated Orsillo the completely wrong way. It’s not like he murdered someone. He didn’t actually do anything and according to people that worked around him, they all loved him. He made Sox broadcasts fun, entertaining and really the only reason to watch at the end of bad seasons (which has been happening way too often, as of late). NESN can point to the low ratings all they want, but that’s the team on the field.
If anything, Orsillo and Remy are keeping them higher.
Even though Orsillo could look right into the camera, drop an f-bomb towards NESN, and walk off, he hasn’t. He’s killing NESN and the Red Sox with the class he has exerted. He’s actually gotten even funnier lately. He could easily start hurling mud at NESN, especially NESN executive Joseph Maar, who’s been known to dislike Orsillo, but hasn’t.
It’s weird how bad a company can treat such a loyal employee, and such a fan favorite. Orsillo turned down a large contract just a few years ago to go national at TBS because being the voice of the Red Sox was his “dream job”.
As this continues on and on, and more protests happen at Fenway Park, things will get uglier and the Red Sox and NESN will continue to look worse.
With the loss of Orsillo, it basically marks the end of a dying Red Sox Nation, which results in a loss of money for the Red Sox and everyone involved.
Congratulations, NESN: look what you’ve created.
And in regards to Don Orsillo, every credit in the world should go directly to him. He must be itching to say something and when the season’s over, he probably will. But for now, he knows that the best way to respond is with no response.
He’s just that classy.