NESN moved quickly last night and named a replacement for the departing Don Orsillo: Red Sox radio play-by-play announcer Dave O'Brien.
Orsillo was at the end of his five-year contract with NESN, and the network chose not to bring him back. The fan reaction to his dismissal has been swift and ugly. Petitions have popped up on line, including this one from Change.org, which is at 12,000 and counting as I write this.
It's no reflection on O'Brien, who is generally well-liked by the fans. It's a condemnation of a decision that has left Red Sox fans stunned and shocked. It sounds like Orsillo did not have a good relationship with NESN programming head Joseph Marr, who made the move to let Orsillo walk.
Jerry Remy was visibly upset after last night's game about losing his broadcast partner, with tears in his eyes as he talked with reporters after the Red Sox' 5-4 loss in Chicago.
It sounds like the deal is done, and Don is gone. He gave the Sox fans 15 terrific years behind the mike. I will always appreciate his class and professionalism. And he won't be a free agent long.
Gordon Edes has a terrific take today on Don's Red Sox career here. Take the time and read it.