The Red Sox and NESN honored the life of Jerry Remy before Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays in a ceremony that included his family, former teammates, and a long list of NESN co-workers from throughout his 33-year broadcast career.
There was one very notable NESN co-worker not featured during the ceremony, though: Don Orsillo. Orsillo was Remy's broadcast partner for 15 seasons on NESN from 2001-15 and, for most Red Sox fans, is the play-by-play man they most closely associate with Remy.
So, what happened?
Orsillo took to Twitter late Wednesday night to explain that he had initially been offered an opportunity to do a video message for the ceremony, but that he was later "notified by Red Sox/NESN that my video would no longer be needed for tonight’s ceremony." Orsillo was unable to attend in person because he was calling the Padres' game against the Reds in San Diego.
Orsillo also shared the script of what his message would have been.
As you might expect, Orsillo's post sent Red Sox fans into a frenzy of rage, with one tweet after another ripping the team and NESN for not including Orsillo's video. If you want to see what anger looks like, take a scroll through the more than 1,800 quote tweets on Orsillo's post.
The Boston Globe's Chad Finn got a response from the Red Sox, who said that Orsillo was invited to attend in person, but couldn't make it. They added that while a video had been discussed, no promises were made and videos were ultimately not part of the ceremony.
If that's true, it's still a major misstep from the team and/or NESN. It's understandable if they wanted the focus of the ceremony to be on-field speeches and tributes and not just one video tribute after another on the jumbotron.
But surely an exception could have and should have been made for Orsillo. For so many Red Sox fans, their fondest memories of Remy include Orsillo. To not hear from Orsillo on Wednesday night just doesn't sit right. As long as Orsillo was willing to do a video, the Red Sox and NESN should have shown it.
Finn notes that the Red Sox also pointed out that Orsillo was featured in NESN's recent tribute show to Remy, which is true. But one doesn't preclude the other, and there were certainly more eyeballs on Wednesday's pregame ceremony than the tribute show.
Things did not end well between Orsillo and the Red Sox/NESN, and many Boston fans have never forgiven them for not keeping the beloved broadcaster. Wednesday's snafu, whether an intentional slight or not, is only going to damage their reputation even more.
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