Boston Red Sox Fire Beloved Play-by-Play Announcer, Then Ask Him to Tweet That He Wasn’t Fired

Joe Rodgers, writing for The Sporting News:

The Red Sox, who have angered fans with their decision to dismiss beloved play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo after this season, reportedly tried to defuse the backlash by asking Orsillo to lie about the reason behind his departure.

According to Boston radio station WEEI, NESN requested Orsillo tweet that the decision to part ways with the network was mutual, when in fact the network dumped him for Dave O’Brien in order to “re-energize” the team’s television’s broadcasts. Orsillo declined.

Orsillo, who has been the network’s play-by-play voice for Red Sox baseball since 2001, has the support of more than 58,000 fans who have signed an online petition to keep him in the broadcast booth.

This is really a bizarre story. I’m a Yankees fan, so I don’t watch many Red Sox telecasts, but I’ve watched a few over the years (via my MLB At Bat subscription) when the Sox were playing important games down the stretch. Orsillo is a great announcer — it’s no surprise that fans are upset.

Here’s a tip to the Red Sox organization: a better way to “re-energize” the team’s telecasts would be to field a team that isn’t in last place.

Saturday, 5 September 2015