Don Orsillo Says Goodbye in Fenway Finale

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 PatriotsLinks.com.

Advertisements

Dennis and Callahan Report That NESN Will Part Ways With Don Orsillo

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.

Update:

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

 

Red Sox Spring Training Game Schedule on NESN

NESN will broadcast 12 games of the Red Sox spring training schedule, beginning with a March 8th game against the Mets. Remember, for a safe place to bet visit GamblingSites.org.

NESN’s 2015 Red Sox Spring Training Game Telecasts

DATE OPPONENT TIME*
Sunday, March 8 New York Mets (Port St. Lucie) 1:00 PM
Friday, March 13 New York Yankees 7:00 PM
Sunday, March 15 Philadelphia (Clearwater) 1:00 PM
Tuesday, March 17        Atlanta 1:00 PM*
Saturday, March 21       Pittsburgh (Bradenton) 1:00 PM
Sunday, March 22 Philadelphia 1:00 PM
Sunday, March 29 Tampa Bay                                     1:00 PM
Monday, March 30 Minnesota 7:00 PM
Tuesday, March 31        Tampa Bay (Port Charlotte) 1:00 PM*
Wednesday, April 1 Toronto 1:00 PM*
Friday, April 3 Minnesota 1:00 PM
Friday, March 4              Minnesota (Hammond Stadium) 1:00 PM

*Select Spring Training day games will be replayed in their entirety at 7:00 pm as the schedule permits.

NESN Hires Guerin Austin As Bruins Rink-Side Reporter

From NESN:

September 15, 2014 – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, announced today that Guerin Austin (@GuerinAustin) will join the network as a reporter/anchor/host. She will begin her tenure at NESN serving as the network’s Bruins rink-side reporter and doing features on NESN Sports Today and NESN Live.

Austin’s portfolio of experience includes five years in Washington, D.C., where she served as host of Caps Red Line, a weekly behind-the-scenes look at the Capitals airing on the NHL Network, and as a morning host/reporter at the FOX affiliate in Richmond, VA. She also served as the in-arena host for Capitals home games at the Verizon Center.

The 2004 Miss Nebraska USA got her start in television as an on-air host and associate producer at the ABC affiliate in Denver, and at the CW station in Omaha, Nebraska. Originally from the Seattle area, Austin grew up in skating rinks, from competing as a figure skater to watching her dad and brother play hockey. She lived in Connecticut for two years training at the International Skating Center in Simsbury.

“Guerin has a wide-range of experience as a television reporter/host, including several years working with an NHL team,” said Joseph Maar, NESN’s Vice President of Programming and Production/Executive Producer. “She is a versatile on-air personality with a range of skills from speaking French to producing features. We are very excited to welcome a reporter/anchor of Guerin’s caliber to NESN and our Bruins broadcast team.”

 

NESN's Guerin Austin

Bruins First Round Series Coverage on NESN and NBC

NESN will have regionally exclusive coverage of up to five first round playoff games between the Bruins and Detroit Red Wings.

In addition to first round game coverage, NESN will produce one-hour of pre and post-game shows before and after Boston Bruins playoff games throughout the playoffs.

Games two and five (if needed) of the first round will be broadcast on NBC. The rest of the games in the series will be on NESN.

NESN’s Bruins Eastern Conference Quarterfinal Schedule

Day Date Game Game Broadcast Network NESN Coverage Begins  Game Time
Friday 4/18 Game #1 NESN 6:00 PM 7:30 PM
Sunday 4/20 Game #2 NBC 2:00 PM 3:00 PM
Tuesday 4/22 Game #3 NESN 6:30 PM 7:30 PM
Thursday 4/24 Game #4 NESN 7:00 PM 8:00 PM
Saturday 4/26 Game #5* NBC **2:00 PM 3:00 PM
Monday 4/28 Game #6* NESN TBD TBD
Wednesday 4/30 Game #7* NESN TBD TBD

* = If necessary

** = Game 5 pre and post-game coverage on NESNplus

NESN also announced that that Bruins regular season averaged a 5.0 rating over the 71 games that NESN broadcast. They’re calling this a ratings record for a full season, noting that last year’s shortened season averaged a 6.3 rating in the 41 games NESN carried (out of 48 total).

The Red Sox will be bumped over to NESNplus when the games conflict.

Red Sox Games on NESNplus in April

Day Date Red Sox Opponent Game Time
Friday 4/18 vs. Baltimore Orioles 7:00 PM
Tuesday 4/22 vs. New York Yankees 7:00 PM
Thursday 4/24 vs. New York Yankees 7:00 PM
Wednesday * 4/30 vs. Tampa Bay Rays 7:00 PM

 

NESN Hires Steve Lyons as Red Sox Studio Analyst

NESN sent out this release earlier this morning:

April 3, 2014 – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, announced today that former Red Sox player Steve Lyons (@SteveLyons12) will join the network as a Red Sox studio analyst. Lyons joins MLB Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley and Jim Rice along with Red Sox legend Tim Wakefield as studio analysts on NESN’s Red Sox pre and post-game shows, plus NESN Sports Today and other original programming.

Lyons’ first appearance on NESN will be on Friday, April 4th during NESN’s two-and-a-half hour Red Sox home opener pre-game coverage beginning at 11:30 am. He’ll join studio host Tom Caron, Dennis Eckersley, Jim Rice and Tim Wakefield before the Red Sox take on the Brewers at Fenway Park.

“We are thrilled to have Steve join our team of veteran studio analysts,” said Joseph Maar, NESN’s vice president of programming & production, executive producer. “He brings incredible passion, experience, candor and depth of knowledge about Major League Baseball along with a familiarity with Boston as both a player and a broadcaster.”

Lyons played nine seasons in the major leagues with four different teams including four stints in Boston. He is also a three-time national Emmy award-winning broadcaster. Drafted in the first round by the Red Sox in 1981 out of Oregon State, Lyons made his MLB debut in April of 1985 and was voted that season’s 10th Player Award winner by Red Sox fans. He is one of only three players to play all 9 positions in one game at the major league level. He finished his career where he started it, playing for the Red Sox at Fenway Park in October of 1993.

Lyons began his broadcasting career in 1996 with FOX Sports and has worked for both the FOX national and regional networks as a game analyst, studio analyst and studio host. A versatile broadcaster, Lyons has also hosted his own interview show, a sports show for kids, and for two seasons was the host of the This Week in Baseball. During his 11 years on FOX’s national broadcast he worked the pre and post-game shows for the Divisional Series, Championship Series and World Series. He just finished a 9 year affiliation with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a pre and post-game host and game announcer.

Dale and Holley – Reunited on WEEI Afternoon Drive

dale-and-holley

What was old continues to be made new again in the world of sports radio. Just weeks after Glenn Ordway brought his old gang back together on the Big Show Unfiltered, WEEI is reuniting their old mid-day combination of Dale Arnold and Michael Holley, this time in Ordway’s old afternoon drive slot.

Chad Finn had reported back on March 20th that this could be a permanent move, and Arnold confirmed that yesterday.

It seems clear that after the Mike Salk experience, WEEI was hesitant to bring in someone from the outside, and instead went for the comfort factor of a show with proven chemistry. No, it isn’t the creative or bold move, but it’s something that will at least keep things calm and will give a nice alternative to the afternoon programming of Felger and Massarotti on 98.5. They’re probably not going to challenge, let alone beat F&M in this timeslot, but they’re going to hold their own and have a built-in loyal audience that is glad to see them back together. This also gives WEEI a chance to sit back a bit and plan what they want to do in the future.

I’m OK with the move. We’re spared further invasion of the Felger Youth, at least for the moment, and while Dale has his detractors (I’m not among them.) he knows and understands all the major sports, and with the Bruins set for another extended run, having his voice on the station gives WEEI something it has been sorely lacking during the last few years of the Bruins success.

Arnold deserves credit for being a “good soldier” and remaining loyal to the station despite being replaced rather unceremoniously  three years ago. He’s been rewarded with a position better than what he had when he left. I’m happy for him.

**************

A few notes from NESN:

Red Sox White House Visit Today at 11:15 AM

This morning at 11:15 AM, NESN will deliver live coverage of the Red Sox visit to the White House.

NESN.com will provide a live stream of NESN’s coverage at www.NESN.com/WhiteHouse

Behind the B

Tonight at 8:00 PM, Episode #12 of Behind the B will debut on NESN.

Red Sox Opening Day Rating up 17%

NESN’s Opening Day game rating was up 17% over last season’s opener with a 10.1 average household rating (24 Share) for yesterday’s 2-1 loss in Baltimore. Last year’s opening day game garnered an 8.6 HH rating for a 8-2 win over the New York Yankees in New York.

That was  Gary Striewski serving  as the game-day reporter yesterday. He’ll be on for the entire opening road series in Baltimore. Elle Duncan will serve in the same role for the home opening series against Milwaukee (April 4-6).