It played out like a classic late-night melodrama. Don Orsillo, the beloved and unjustly jettisoned play-by-play man, tweeted the Red Sox told him his tribute video for his dear friend Jerry Remy wouldn’t be needed for the ceremony held in his honor Wednesday at Fenway Park. Once again, Orsillo got dissed.
How could the Red Sox be so callous?
But as it turns out, there is more to the story. Red Sox senior vice president Pam Kenn shared the timeline of events Thursday, and it appears as if Orsillo left out some details.
It seems like this whole fiasco could’ve been avoided with some better communication.
According to Kenn, Orsillo was the first person whom the Red Sox called when they were planning the ceremony. “You do not recognize the career of Jerry Remy without Don Orsillo,” she wrote.
The Red Sox invited Orsillo to Fenway, but he couldn’t attend due to his work schedule with the Padres. Upon hearing that, Kenn says the team surfaced the idea of a video message to Orsillo, but ultimately, decided individual videos wouldn’t fit. “As time ran out, we did not ask him for a video, and he did not record or send one,” she said.
That paints a different picture than Orsillo’s version, which insinuates he recorded a video tribute for Remy that the Red Sox didn’t play.
But apparently, there was no video. Orsillo shared the script to a video that he never recorded.
The Red Sox vastly underestimated Orsillo’s popularity when they didn’t renew his contract following the 2015 season. The decision outraged fans, who were seething over two straight last-place finishes. Orsillo’s inexplicable ousting was a perfect way for them to channel their frustrations.
For Orsillo, who was born in Massachusetts, grew up in New Hampshire and went to college at Northeastern, calling the Red Sox was a dream gig. It’s clear the move bothered him, and understandably so. The last five weeks of the season turned into an Orsillo farewell tour, and players saluted him after the final game.
The move was a PR blunder for an organization that was running out of goodwill.
Seven years later, the Red Sox aren’t any better at handling these things. Team president Sam Kennedy was unnecessarily evasive about the issue on “The Greg Hill Show,” and issued a statement that didn’t address Orsillo at all.
The Red Sox, despite enjoying an incredible amount of success over the last 20 years, find themselves in a situation where seemingly few of their fans reflexively believe them. People are worn down after years of avoidable crises. Even when the Red Sox have a point, like maybe trading Mookie Betts instead of paying him $365 million, they deliver their argument in such a weird way.
We wanted a genuine explanation for the move, not John Henry reading a poem about his love for Stan Musial.
Orsillo knows that distrust exists, and in this case, exploited it. His grievance could’ve waited a couple of days.
In retrospect, the Red Sox should’ve found a way to fit in Orsillo’s video, if he wanted to record one. Instead, we got a mess, and attention was taken away from the man of the night.
Celtics-Nets crushes the ratings: Sunday’s Game 1 between the Celtics and Nets was the highest-rated first round contest since 2016, reflecting the widespread interest in this series. It’s so rare these days to have genuine sports villains, and that’s what Kyrie Irving is.
In addition to Irving, the Celtics are also taking on Kevin Durant, one of the greatest scorers of all-time, and shutting him down. This series has star power, bad blood and entertaining basketball. No wonder why it’s a winner.
Beating the Nets would be the most fitting way for the Celtics to start their improbable title run.
“Man in the Arena” returns: Tom Brady’s “Man in the Arena” returns Tuesday for its 10th and final episode. What sort of spin job do you think we’re going to get this time?
It’s unlikely we’re going to receive any real answers about Brady’s faux-tirement. Instead, we will probably hear him ruminate about rediscovering his conviction and blah, blah, blah. Famously, Brady said last year he lies to the media “90 percent” of the time. This promises to be one of those examples.
Bad reviews for Katie Nolan: Framingham native Katie Nolan isn’t receiving rave reviews her work on Apple TV’s MLB game of the week. Last Friday, Nolan caught flak for asking if the helmet is an extension of the player, and admitting she didn’t know much about Jackie Robinson before reading up on him (it was Jackie Robinson Day).
While Nolan seems to be playing the role of the more casual fan, it’s possible to go too far in that direction. It’s unlikely that fans faintly familiar with baseball are seeking out these Friday night games on Apple TV+. The Red Sox play their first Apple+ game against the White Sox on May 6.
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