A Boston Sports icon, and voice of the Boston Red Sox since 2001 is reportedly leaving the broadcast booth at the conclusion of the 2015 season.
The news first broke out on the Dennis and Callahan morning show, a radio show in New England on WEEI. It was later reported again by ESPN New Hampshire and Boston.com.
Red Sox fans, as you can expect, didn't take the news well.
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Many fans called into question whether it was NESN's call or Orsillo leaving on his own. But, all signs show it was NESN who wants to move on from Orsillo. Neither the Red Sox or NESN has confirmed the news yet.
Orsillo became the Red Sox full time announcer in 2001, partnering with color commentator Jerry Remy, who has been with NESN since 1988. Remy was also named the official President of Red Sox Nation in 2008.
Orsillo and Remy have been beloved by Red Sox fans for years and now that Orsillo is reportedly leaving, it will certainly not be the same watching next year. The two just have an incredible ability to make a game enjoyable even when the Sox are losing or not playing well. Their laid back approach and likeable personality is second to none.
Even non-Red Sox fans were upset by the news, Orsillo also works for TBS doing the AL/NLDS during the postseason. Orsillo has been a long-time Red Sox fan, working for the Red Sox farm team the Pawtucket Red Sox (Paw Sox) before being promoted to NESN in 2001.
As a Red Sox fan and baseball in general, I don't think this is a good decision by NESN. Orsillo is one of the best announcers in the game today, he could even be compared to the likes of Vin Scully, voice of the Dodgers and now in his 66th season which is absolutely incredible.
Many fans watch just to hear what Don and Jerry will have to say, as they can crack a joke on a dime and make the viewers laugh and just have a good time. Without that next year, NESN will have their hands full trying to find a replacement. One candidate could be Josh Maurer, who filled in for Orsillo for seven games after the all-star break while Orsillo was on vacation.
Whoever NESN finds to replace Orsillo, they will certainly have some huge shoes to fill to win over the Boston fans. If the news is true about Orsillo leaving, he won't have a problem finding another job. Any team would be very lucky have an announcer as gifted as Orsillo.