Don Orsillo, who has called Red Sox games for NESN since 2001, was in the Fenway Park booth for the final time as Red Sox play-by-play man yesterday afternoon.

His departure sparked a number of supportive columns from colleagues, who are as baffled by NESN’s decision to cut ties as most viewers are.

For Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo, a moving goodbye – Gordon Edes looks at an incredibly emotional day at Fenway, which included chants of “Don Or-sil-lo” from the crowd.

Don Orsillo hides hurt in classy way – Michael Silverman lauds the way that Orsillo has handled this incredibly awkward period after NESN made the decision to part ways. Silverman reveals two interesting nuggets – NESN head Tom Werner never spoke to Orsillo about the decision, and that Orsillo received an offer from WEEI and the Red Sox Radio Network, but for about a third of what he was making at NESN.

Don Orsillo keeps taking high road, and NESN keeps insulting him – J*hn T*m@s& notes that NESN refused to show the video tribute played at Fenway Park in honor of Orsillo.

Don Orsillo deeply moved by fans’ tribute at Fenway Park – Nick Cafardo has more on Orsillo’s reactions to the fan acknowledgements yesterday.

On Friday, Chad Finn had written Don Orsillo being pursued by Padres for job and that has been proven true, as Orsillo expected to succeed Enberg as Padres’ voice.

Catch up on the coverage of the Patriots stomping of the Jacksonville Jaguars at


45 thoughts on “Don Orsillo Says Goodbye in Fenway Finale

  1. T+R just said in the crossover that Bill Simmons will be on, “sometime at the end of next week”. He reached out to them. That should be interesting.

    1. He will be pitching his new HBO gig and slamming Goodell. It will be predicable radio. Why he did not reach out to Ordway is my question?

        1. If Big Time Bill has something to pimp he’ll probably hit EEI as well – but cannot blame him for starting with the AM drive slot not mid-days.

        1. Yeah, that was right after it formally leaked (not the Borges tweet) about Ordway returning to WEEI. That’s why I thought he didn’t like Ordway/WEEI.

  2. Don’t get me wrong — I think NESN is a dog and pony show, and not a very good one at that.

    But I think the criticism of “not showing the Orsillo tribute” is wrongly placed. The tribute (I was at the game, btw) was during a commercial break. Also, it was largely a surprise, apparently. I’ve never seen NESN ever show something that happened during a commercial break, ever. The only time NESN will simulcast something that’s happening on field/on the board is when it’s pregame, and it’s a planned ceremony.

    So I don’t think it’s fair to criticize NESN for not doing something that had, as far as I know, never ever been done. Also, I think it’s unfair to the people who are crafting whatever NESN may do for Don at the end of the season (I’ve read that a lot of NESN people are upset about this, and therefore I think there’s a good chance that something will be done, Werner be damned), because now the narrative will be “oh, they threw this together because of the bad PR from not doing [the thing it was unreasonable to expect them to do].”

    Please note this is probably the last time in my life I will ever defend NESN. #SoxAppeal

    1. Dave, you are not really defending NESN as much as pointing out how TV works. The issues with NESN are much deeper than whether or not they showed a tribute to Donny O rather than accepting advertising dollars. With the pace of play of baseball I am thinking they could have found a place to run the montage/tribute if they wanted to…they chose not to because they are supposedly working on something for the last game of the season or maybe a special. Buy for them.

      My issue isn’t even the way they let him go. It happens. Contracts don’t get renewed. Word leaks. People get upset. I think Don Orsillo has handled everything professionally all things considered…as a note I can’t imagine seeing Dave O’Brien every day and feeling comfortable with that.

      My issue is just think NESN has horrible management. There is not one show on the network I would ever tune in to watch. Not one. The fact that they are keeping Remy and have stood by him boggles my mind. The fact that they virtually ignore the Patriots makes zero sense to me. Ditto with the Celtics. I know they do not have the rights to either team but come on…NESN stands for New England Sports Network. You would think they would make an effort to cover all 4 teams. You would think that rather than having shows about fishing, or dating at Fenway they would have comprehensive pre and post game shows for all of the teams regardless of whether they have rights. You would think they would do a better job covering the college teams in town. You would think they would cover/broadcast Pawsox and P Bruins games when there is time. Their production values look amateurish as compared to CSSNE. Its like watching cable access for all things but the Sox games and Bruins games.

      1. I can’t help but remember when they dropped the D and C morning show last year they started running promos for the new morning show stating that they would “Have that fresh perspective you have been looking for.” What perspective? The hot intern perspective? Other than Chatham it’s a wasteland of intern news readers. I guess Werner thinks that’s good enough for us New England rubes. D and C +M were at least engaging, provocative and knowledgeable. I’m forced to watch Mickey and Mickey now on the mouthpeice. Ugh. I’m trying T and R but they rarely talk about sports and I don’t need a marginally funny giggle show. Don’t worry I listen to D and C on my actual commute.
        Personal note. To the carpet baggin’ talking heads. I really don’t need you offering your opinion when you have 0% understanding of New England sports history. If you weren’t here for the bad years you will never know what motivates the New England fan and you really don’t have an understanding of Boston Sports.. I refer more specifically to those calling us dumb loyal homers at the height of deflategate. “Look at you now.”-Tony Montana. It also is evident in most other sports issues. Many of us have actually been watching for many years and we knew that Brady isn’t the kind of person who would let his owner, coach, fans and ball boys take humiliation and penalties for him over equipment unless it was complete bs and never happened. That’s all we needed to know because we’ve actually been watching for the last umpteen years and Brady earned the benefit of the doubt. There would have been no #freefarve or #freehernandez because we don’t trust them. If you knew nothing about New England sports then we might look like dumb homers at first but again “Look at you now”. I refer to you Volin, Borges, Trenni, Gasper, Benz, Tomassi, Breer, Tanguay, Felger, Mazz, etc. also the CHB. You don’t get it and you never will. IF nothing else look at that list and be shamed by the company you keep.

        1. Awesome. This was a smackdown that only a guy with a Sgt. Hulka avatar could have delivered. Those media morons don’t get it, and they never will, especially the ones who aren’t from here. And, all joking aside, you nailed it with the Brady thing. He’s earned our trust and the benefit of the doubt, no question about it. So has BB, quite frankly, despite the fact that numerous media members who don’t like him have called him a liar several times over the years, There’s no proof that BB actually has lied about anything, only media accusations of lying. He owned up to Spygate, even though he disagreed with the league’s interpretation of the rule (his interpretation of it was called a “lie” by his media haters….see how that works?). He said he knew nothing about the preparation of the footballs until he actually did his own investigation after the false media leaks last January, and that’s very plausible, given that Pete Carroll — one of the media’s favorites — said the same exact thing when questioned about the Seahawks’ ball preparation process (the media chose to gloss over that little revelation, of course). And yet morons like F&M keep going on and on about how BB “ordered the Code Red”, because it’s good for the ratings.

          1. As soon as everyone realizes that Bellichick is always right the lion will lay down with the lamb. This from my 2011 owners manual. News to Bill Nye apparently. Too complicated for chb, felgee?

    2. I agree that NESN doesn’t need to produce a video that someone else produced. But they should do something to recognize Orsillo’s tenure. They should do some sort of ad spot and run it during a few games (instead of a Mad Fisherman promo) and put it online. If it’s good, it will get a ton of views and they get credit for taking the high road (at least once). Good business and etiquette. But they have bollixed up this thing from the start so it’s highly unlikely they figure this out.

  3. Fuvk Mazz. What a trolling piece of sh!t. Starts the show today just a miserable @sshole going at Pats fans for being proud of the team so far. Christ, you know he’s in top jackassery form when Felger and Murray have to counterpunch him 4 minutes into the show. Why do I keep getting sucked into this show? Felger is a contrarian douche but he makes POINTS. Sounds intelligent even when trolling. Mazz is just a MORON. Right up there with Tanguay.

    1. I only listen to the pods for certain guests (Bedard, Hurley). They are straight trolling. However, last week with Hurley Felger did drop something I hadn’t heard before – Superbowl week 2007 Belichick stopped the Wednesday practice half way through and start it from the beginning because they were not practicing hard enough. Extremely disappointing if true (Felger cited Koppen).

      1. Over the years I have read quotes from players on that team who said they had a very bad week of practice leading up to the game. Brady was one of them that has said it publicly. So I guess I am not surprised Koppen said it too.

        1. One of the worst-kept secrets about that Super Bowl is the fact that Brady’s foot injury suffered in the AFCCG was a lot worse than anyone let on at the time. Since then, I’ve heard people who were in the stadium for the game say that Brady was “sailing” all of his throws during warm-ups. This is to take nothing away from the brilliant NYG defensive game plan, which was executed to perfection, but if TB12 really was struggling with a foot problem that day, that explains a lot. I also think the team was just distracted by the 19-0 chatter, which explains the poor week of practice. This ain’t 1972. I’m sure that Dolphins team wasn’t faced with anywhere near the media attention and pressure heading into SB 7 that the Pats were dealing with heading into SB 42. It would have been very, very difficult for the Pats to not become distracted that week, at least to a certain degree.

          1. Also telling that it is 8 years later and we don’t hear Brady’s foot as an excuse for that loss like we would say if it were Peyton Manning.

          2. Yes, just like you never hear excuses for any of their other close, heartbreaking post-season losses during this era, many of which can be chalked up to injury issues at simply the wrong time, or even to questionable officiating (which you’d never hear the end of if the Pats won a game due to a controversial call….Tuck Rule, anyone? We’re still hearing about that one). Hell, in SB 42 alone, the video evidence is abundantly clear: the helmet catch play should have been called back by not one, not two, but by potentially three obvious holding penalties committed by the NYG’s offensive line, none of which were called. Still, aside from a rogue Richard Seymour comment that I heard once a few years ago (he was the victim of the most obvious, most egregious hold on that play)……I’ve heard nothing from the Pats’ coaching staff or front office, or any other players, about that. Regarding Manning: I’m still trying to decide if the media’s historical excuse-making machine has been cranked up to 11 more often for his, or for Dan Marino’s career.

          3. It would bring a smile to my face if any team, I don’t care who it is, goes undefeated before Mercury Morris gets too old to realize someone else did it.

          4. He was insufferable, was he not? And Shula’s behavior towards Belichick over the last few years has also been classless.
            Look, 17-0 was a great accomplishment, but that team played NOBODY that season. Seriously. I think they faced two 8-6 teams during the regular season, and all 12 of their other opponents were below .500. In the divisional round, they were trailing the Browns in the fourth quarter, at home, before pulling the game out of the fire with a late TD — a win greatly aided by FIVE Cleveland turnovers. Nice win at Pittsburgh in the AFC title game the following week, but without The Immaculate Reception the week before, they would have had to travel out to Oakland to face a Raiders team that matched up better with them than just about any other team in the NFL at that time. (Oakland was the team, in fact, which snapped Miami’s 19-game winning streak out in Oakland the following season, and they had beaten the Dolphins in the 1970 divisional round, and would beat them again in the “Sea of Hands” game in the ’74 playoffs–they did lose at Miami in the ’73 AFC title game, but that was really the only time those Dolphins were able to beat those Raiders). In the Super Bowl…..Miami got the over-the-hill Redskins instead of the Cowboys team that had pummeled them the year before in New Orleans (Staubach was hurt for most of the ’72 season and Duane Thomas finally shot his way out of town, short-circuiting Dallas’s title defense).
            Context is important. The 2007 Patriots played 10 games against teams (including playoffs) with winning records, including playing San Diego and the Giants twice each. They went 9-1 in those games. They had to win two more games than the 1972 Dolphins had to win in order to be perfect. Seriously, 17-0 was a great accomplishment, but it happened in a much less competitive era, given the shorter schedule and the lack of free agency/salary cap (that same exact roster was together in Miami, basically, from 1970-74). And, on top of that, the ’72 Dolphins got an enormous break from the schedule maker, and from the football gods when the post-season came along.

  4. On an unrelated baseball note, I was at the Papelbon-Harper brawl on Sunday. Lots of commentary talked about Pap being a problem in Boston. As a Red Sox follower then, I don’t remember him being a problem. Certainly never barked at Manny and Ortiz for not running out popups. What were his lowlights in Boston.

    1. I don’t recall any specific incidents but he was always regarded as being rather immature (not that that’s a rarity in sports). He didn’t start mouthing off until he got to Philly (“I didn’t come here to lose!”). The idea that he was a “problem” in Boston probably stems from the fact that the Sox made little or no effort to re-sign him, but that had more to do with not wanting to give an expensive long-term contract to a closer than his personality. They prefer giving expensive long-term contracts to disinterested outfielders and fat thirdbasemen.

  5. Seems to be a rash of fun media things today:

    Heard that live. Yes, he did say that:

    Gary Myers writes about the blowouts/07 compare:

    Belichick was not just satisfied beating teams immediately after
    Spygate. He wanted to humiliate them. The worst pummeling came midway
    through the season when he showed no respect for Hall of Fame coach Joe

    1. Prisco is another clueless media hack. CHFF was on his case very early in their existence (way back in 2004), and Prisco completely dismissed them basically as “a bunch of guys drinking and yapping about football on barstools.” In other words, they weren’t “professional journalists,” like Prisco (even though Kerry Byrne most certainly is)….and so Prisco wasn’t even going to acknowledge that they may have been making some salient points. Not surprised that he’s another one of those thin-skinned mediots who blocks critics on Twitter. These people think they’re infallible. It’s truly hilarious.

      1. A bit off topic but when I’m teaching my students about the reliability of online content, one criteria we look for is the accessibility of the writer/publisher. You have these hacks who block/ignore/don’t reply to criticism or arguments…they are not accessible. That alone hurts their stance.

    1. the second best part of that is how Gaspar basically says that Lafell will amount to nothing…

      Yup, these guys really know their sports.

      1. Apparently, he does. I had a friend from there so I know the city, but is it considered one of the “elite” towns like Wellesley? Can’t imagine he fits in well if it is.

          1. I know this, but I will forever think of Lincoln and Sudbury in the same nanosecond.

    1. I think from the media POV, your analogy is spot on.

      Through the ownership change (and, I read so little here), it seemed like Finn and Shank were the only two who either couldn’t be/wouldn’t be/ignored directorates from above on what the talking points were. Going on this, if Finn is turning on him, then the message is really crystal clear now.

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