Gerry Callahan from the Dennis and Callahan/Minihane show on WEEI reported this morning that this will be Don Orsillo’s final season calling Red Sox games on television for NESN.

It’s both surprising and not.

The recent front-office shakeups may have had an impact all the way to the television booth.

There have been rumors for some time about the Red Sox and Orsillo parting ways. One version was that management at NESN, namely Joseph Maar has been trying to push Orsillo out the door. What held them back was Larry Lucchino, who is close with Orsillo. With Lucchino stepping down as team President/CEO, Orsillo is losing that protection.

Orsillo has been in the NESN booth since 2001, his first game being Hideo Nomo’s no-hitter and Orsillo immediately took gruff for his understated call of the ending of the game. He’s done postseason work for TBS, and will probably have no problem finding another high-profile job.


Don Orsillo will not return on Red Sox telecasts next season – Chad Finn

For more Don Orsillo highlights than you can probably handle at once, click this image:

don orsillo-MLB



75 thoughts on “Dennis and Callahan Report That NESN Will Part Ways With Don Orsillo

  1. Don’t worry, there are plenty of talents out there available! Maybe a woman! Kathryn Tappen is bright, articulate, and would make a great PBP choice!

    (Oh… wait….)

    Well, how about Naoko Funayama — she’d be….

    (Oh… wait….)

    1. Okay, that could be worse….. DOB is solid.

      I was afraid we’d get “Dirty Water TV (feat. Boston Red Sox)”.

        1. In all seriousness, Merloni is pretty good when he doesn’t stray into talk radio host mode. The game broadcast is no place for ridiculous hot takes.

    2. Well. That’s a great replacement. Thrilled with it. So the job description will be Wanted: Radio play by play. Will rotate play by play duties throughout game. Must have experience as a psychologist to keep Castiglione from trying to hang himself after each loss. First name can’t end in ary and start with a G and last name must not be Tanguay.

  2. I half expected “Red Sox Dining Play by Playbook With Billy and Jenny.” They could eat and call the game between chews. Gotta admit she’s hot though. Maybe blind dates in the booth would bring the real housewife crowd in. Thanks Werner.

    1. Every time I see commercials for that show, I can only think “who are these people, and why should I care what they’re eating?”

      She is hot, though.

  3. But what was the issue between NESN/Maar and Orsillo? Money? Personality conflict? At least they’re not replacing him with that clown who filled in during DO’s “vacation” at mid-season. I generally like DOB although he has a tendency to gush at times. On the other hand he’s never been hesitant to criticize underperforming players, like the $80 million boat anchor in left field.

    1. That’s a terrible comparison.

      The ball would occasionally bounce off a boat anchor back to the infield.

    2. This move did not come from Maar. Comes from Sox ownership aka Tom Werner. NESN is his baby and a lousy baby it is. Programming is lame.

      Personally I find Dave O’Brien a much better radio announcer. He’ll be OK on TV but he doesn’t have the smooth flow of Don Orsillo.

      Bad move.

    1. I can’t decide who is more loathsome: That Hubbard moron from New York or Doyel. I think Hubbard may really be that stupid — he writes easily digestible gruel for the dumbest fan base in the NFL, after all. Doyel, on the other hand, comes off as a 100% pure, malicious douche — intentionally. Never forget that he lost a national gig and had to return to the Indy wilderness.

      1. I think you nailed it. Hubbard is like the kid who plays with matches and accidentally starts a fire. Doyel is the kid who intentionally starts fires to watch them burn. Thankfully in this case he made a huge miscalculation regarding what Colts fans think and the wind blew it right back in his face.

    2. I actually don’t blame Doyel as much as I blame whatever editor approved that embarrassment of a package. As I said on Twitter, that’s not a newspaper, that’s a fanzine.

  4. I find DOB to be completely overrated and downright boring on the radio. He’s been a huge disappointment given his rep. Orsillo was never “great” and I felt always did a better job working on the TBS playoff games than on NESN, but it seems to me he got a raw deal.

    DOB’s hiring though looks like a done deal because they wanted this years back when he was first hired on the radio. And I’m going to wager Merloni is going to be pushed full-time into the Sox radio booth. Benz must have left because he knew that midday show would be dismantled — it’s like one domino is falling after another.

  5. Watch out bat boys and ball girls. Organizations begin to rot from the top down, but those at the bottom pay the price first. Orsillo, really? There are dozens of incompetent people (Maar) there who should be gone before him. Mr. Maar could you possibly bring any crappier local shows to NESN??

    How about Remy? He’s just not as good as he once was and appears to be mailing it in. When the Sox are on Fox or ESPN, the game commentary is eons better.

    Time for Werner and Henry to pack their bags, too. Three last place finishes in 4 years and you think Orsillo is a problem? What a bunch of stooges!!!!!

    1. You know, Gordon Edes made a very good point this morning in his piece for ESPN — since 2009 when Remy’s health, and then personal problems began, Orsillo has had to adjust on the fly and work with more then two-dozen different broadcast partners during Remy’s various long-term absences. He handled it all quite deftly and kept the broadcasts moving forward. True, it worked best with Eck as the stand-in color guy, but Orsillo did a pretty good job no matter who was in the booth with him. That’s an underappreciated aspect of his NESN career, I think, and this is a bad decision. Given some of the decisions he’s been rumored to have been behind of late, I sometimes wonder how Tom Werner ever became such a successful, high-powered guy out in Hollywood.

      1. ” I sometimes wonder how Tom Werner ever became such a successful, high-powered guy out in Hollywood.”

        I’m guessing the answer is “by hitching his wagon to Marcy Carsey.”

    1. Really? So ‘EEI is going back to the glory days of 1997? (they’re lineup will once again consist of D+C, Ordway, Dale, and Mike Adams…)

    2. Well Borges spelling aside bringing Ordway back for 10-2 at a reasonable price is probably WEEI’s best move today. Glenn is what he is…a gifted radio sports guy who when asked to do a very specific thing, moderate, is excellent. When he is asked to opine he comes off as a pompous ass. The good thing about midday is there is more time for him to explore topics. This should play to his strengths. If they pair Glenn with 2 revolving hosts that would be best. My guess is he will be stuck with Lou and Fauria 24/7. As I see it that poses two problems. Hockey and Basketball. In both of those cases Glenn will be the most “expert” voice on the panel which means he will have to do analysis rather than move the conversation along. Maybe WEEI has something else up their sleeve.

      Also there is going to be the problem of Merloni and Fauria playing second fiddle. Are they going to be willing to be part of the “The Big Show with F&M”? Will they demand equal billing and a suitable name “MFO” for example? I am sure WEEI will work these issues out…I just hope they put enough thought into it to make sense because the alternative, Tanguay, had me seriously considering reprogramming the WEEI button in my car to Cat Country.

      1. I was hoping that we were done with the little “lets import talent” escapade. Sounds like we are.

        Ordway has a following. He knows the market. He knows how to run a show in the market.

        If they weren’t going to go young with an Arcand or Picard, Ordway was the safest choice. (From listening to a bit of these guys on the weekend, they seem like they’ll be on weekdays at some point, but who knows how someone works until they’re on the air 5 days a week for 4 hours a day.)

        Is he perfect? Nope. Do people not like him? Yup. No candidate is perfect.

        I became a fan again thanks to BSUNF, but from listening to him in the past, I think he learned some of the mistakes the old BS had. Just my opinion though and who knows how well he’ll do.

        1. Dear God I hope this doesn’t mean that we will once again be subjected to Fred and Steve. Ugh. If there’s possibly anything worse than a fake radio contrarian it’s a fake radio tough guy. As pro Patriots as they are, I just can’t listen to either one of them anymore.

  6. So there seems to be a new meme running around that goes: The other owners are tired of the Patriots complaining, they should just accept Goodells punishment and move on. After all they all agreed to let the Commish adjudicate these things. Further the meme states that in other cases Kraft twisted arms to get other owners to accept punishments.

    Here is Tom Curran reporting this:

    F&M have been making this argument. It was reported that John Mara made this argument.

    It is bunk. The Patriots organization did accept the ridiculous punishment of $1mill fine and 2 draft picks. Kraft stood up and did what the other owners wanted even though fans in NE were/are still furious. Its clear the Pats were railroaded and yet he still took it for the good of the league.

    Brady is not an owner. He is a member of the union and he has different rights. The owner cannot force him to accept an unjust punishment and the loss of $2mill in game checks…just because the other owners are uncomfortable with the potential outcome. Greg, Hardy, Ray Rice, the Williams up in Minnesota, Jonathan Vilma…all sued the league and there was not a damn thing any owner could do about it because all of their rights were trampled. Brady is the same way.

    So it would be nice if someone in the media were to correctly point out that Kraft did do what the owners wanted. He accepted the ridiculous penalty for something that never happened in the name of league peace. The fact that was not good enough for the commissioner’s office is not his fault. The fact other owners are too stupid to see all of this is the commissioners doing because he is arguably the “Most Dumb Man in World” (complete with a series of Spanish accent voice overs detailing all of his stupidity before showing him doing a new dumb thing) shows that reporters still do not understand this story…even after 225 days.

    1. I heard this segment with Curran, Monday, I think. It was right before they did the BB interview from 2-3.

      Likewise, I heard him lead the BB interview when they do his paid segment for “Patriots Monday.” It was a textbook for how you interview BB. Yup, no “hard questions” asked but when you know that these questions will be deflected, you have to work around it.

      He’d be dumb to give up his nice TV/CSNNE gig to do radio but he’s great to listen to.

    2. Meme…you keep using that word but I do not think it means what you think it means.

      A meme is something like the I Can Has Cheeseburger Cat or Gangnam Style or What Does the Fox Say? or Advice Dog. A trending topic or a popular story isn’t a meme.

      1. The meme is “The Patriots should take the punishment…like Bob Kraft forced the other owners to do”.

        The rest of what I wrote I agree with you is discussion of the popular story. My larger point is we have heard the exact same language from three very different people…Curran, Felger and Mara. I thought it sounded like a meme…I could be wrong… although I think it is inconceivable that I would use an internet term incorrectly especially while I scale the Cliffs of Insanity.

        1. It’s really not a meme. The phrase you’re looking for is “talking point.”

          “Meme” is a socio-biology term (created by Richard Dawkins in “The Selfish Gene”) that’s defined as a cultural trait that passes from individual to individual through non-genetic methods — generally, by imitation, but whose propagation through a culture mimics genetic progression. It’s been co-opted (correctly, ironically enough) to refer to a photo/phrase/thing that’s propagated in variants via the internet. But it’s not a synonym for “the argument du jour”.

          /pedantry off!

          1. I am going to continue to use Meme as I did. I think it fits and seeing as everyone else is using it incorrectly I will continue to do so…at least for as long as this thread lasts. After that..probably not.

    3. The whole argument, which Felger loves, that the Pats and Brady should have just accepted the penalty and that things are out of control because they didn’t is sheer absurdity. Let us put aside for a moment the fact that when you are innocent, there is no way you would ever admit to something you didn’t do, which is the immediate argument ender for the subject. How were things handled during Spygate? They immediately admitted to things. They accepted the penalties. They accepted the absurd punishment and didn’t do anything to go against the NFL narrative on the matter. And what did that get them? Fans of 31 other teams claiming that this rule breaking tainted all their Super Bowl championships when it wasn’t even against the rules until 2006 and was merely a location infraction. Goodell destroying the tapes and the Pats getting blamed for it. The media absolutely killing the team the entire season. Oh, and the local newspaper publishing a fake story on the eve of the most important game in franchise history which to this day is still considered fact by the ignorant public.

      After all that, why would this team or its players ever go along with the party line ever again?

      1. I agree, last weekend I had a clam boil for some associates at my house. After doing the cooking, I had to eliminate the nonsense of having 2 rams fans, a chargers fan and cowboy fan in my yard. The filmed the rams walkthrough thomase hatchet job started the litany of myths that I spent the rest of the night shooting down. At least the beer was cold. It is amazing what is perpetuated as fact by people who love sports but are brainwashed by espn and the sports hub. Amazing.

  7. The King flub from the last post got so little attention. DeflateGate fatigue? I think it’s a little of this but more not being such a sexy story:

    King had not one but two major reporting errors during that story and it’s just a little surprising that given that track record, his own DeflateGate flub hasn’t gotten more attention.

    But the truly astounding thing this time around is not just King apologizing for another reporting mistake, it’s that he called out ESPN for reporting the same exact thing that he did.

    Back to the big picture – how much of a coincidence is it that King and Mortensen reported the exact same wrong information about 11 of the 12 footballs being under-inflated. Either the pair of NFL insiders were using the same source or this was a concerted effort by multiple people in the league to get that information out into the public. Given what we know now, it’s getting harder and harder to believe that this wasn’t a concerted effort by the league office to lead its trusted insiders and its fans astray. Whatever the next NFL scandal will be, believe what you read from “league sources” at your own peril.

    1. Yeah, when Gary let him f**king TALK. Jesus. I’ve said it a 1,000x and I’ll ask it a thousand more….WHAT is WEEI doing putting him on the air? A great guest like McCann and Tanguay just sh!ts all over it.

    1. Wait…did Don O let less than 1 PSI of air out of a football? If not its not really a story.

        1. I have secret information that I’m not going to tell you, but trust me, it’s totally there. Everyone knows it.

          1. I finally figured out the pretzel logic of people who are in the “NFL has more information that they’re not giving us camp”. They think the heavy fine and draft pick loss is indicative of massive wrongdoing it’s just the NFL is covering for Kraft and BB. They can’t wrap their minds around the fact (not opinion) that the NFL office is filled with a bunch of jealous, vindictive idiots that are railroading the team and Brady on the flimsiest of evidence (if you want to even call it that).

            What one must do is look at it from the Brady and the Pats did nothing wrong angle and all those other silly questions go away.

          2. Just like the heavy fine and loss of a #1 draft pick over the taping incident in 2007 made people think that BB as somehow cracking The DaVinci Code with his video camera, and that all of the team’s pre-2007 success was due to that. Mind you, just as with “Deflategate,” prior to 2007, no NFL team had ever been punished for any kind of videotaping — Goodell set the bar at a first round pick and cumulative fines of $750K; that is, until he hit the Broncos with a much lesser penalty of just a $50K fine (and no draft picks) for filming a 49ers practice in 2010, thus lowering the bar again. Gotta love the consistency of this Commissioner: he consistently hammers the Patriots for misdemeanor rules violations (both real AND imagined), and he consistently lets other teams off easy.

          3. That’s what gets me. “why would the NFL have it in for Brady/the Patriots?” Like the NFL doesn’t employ anyone who’s petty, vindictive, or aggrogant. Yeah, they’re all paragons of virtue.

          4. Yes! On one hand the conspiracy theorist say that the NFL was originally looking to “catch” Belichick in the act. But then somewhere along the line they decided that it was better to tarnish the HOF QB with a clean record because they decided that the guy they hate needed to be protected from this. this is the Volin/Mazz vortex of stupidity.

        2. Unless that something is let air out of a football…it will not be considered a story. Remember according to the NFL allegedly letting air out of a football is the single greatest crime against humanity one can commit.

  8. At a hearing Wednesday on a contempt motion filed by the NFL Players Association in the Adrian Peterson case, U.S. District Judge David S. Doty said “we’re all very curious” how Judge Richard M. Berman will rule on Brady, whose four-game suspension is now the subject of proceedings and settlement talks in the Southern District of New York.

    “I’m not sure the commissioner understands there is a CBA,” Doty said,
    citing Goodell’s actions and quotes in newspaper articles he has read.

    Isn’t a judge saying this like hitting the guy in the back of the head with a 2×4?

    1. Who would you rather have?? These vacation replacements are horrendous and the hub spends half the show mocking that none of adolfo. We have seen the “talent” that eei attempted to bring in from the outside and they were all clueless trolls. I will stick with the devil I know for now.

    2. Why? Just don’t listen then. I did with Felger & Mazz. My life is better for it. I’m not listening this week because of Tanguay and Volin. Why do they have to be fired just because you don’t like them?

  9. Butch Stearns takes an early lead in the race for 2015’s Hottest Hot Take.

    ICYMI, last Saturday on WEEI, Butch announced that because David Ortiz referred to Hanley as “my little brother” during Spring Training, Ortiz must be blamed for the 31 year old Hanley’s transgressions.

Comments are closed.