Don Orsillo started his MLB broadcasting career for his hometown Boston Red Sox. He was the play-by-play announcer from 2001 to 2015. He moved over to San Diego to assume that same role for the Padres in 2016 and that's where he is today.
Orsillo also has experience broadcasting at a national level for TBS and FOX. He continues to broadcast national games but knows there's a different tone in doing so.
That’s something he learned from Red Sox legend Joe Castiglione, who he interned under at Northeastern University.
Orsillo joined WEEI’s Rob Bradford on the Audacy Original Podcast “Baseball Isn’t Boring” and shared the key advice that Castiglione gave him about local broadcasting.
“Joe Castiglione said something to me when I first started that really helped me out,” Orsillo said (4:50 in player above). “He said ‘Put a caption underneath the picture, don’t be captain obvious.’ And it was great advice, number one. Number two, he said ‘Local TV is about wearability.’ I didn’t really understand the term but you can’t annoy people because you’re going to annoy people whether you want to or not because you’re on all summer in their living rooms for six months every day for three and a half – sometimes four – hours.”
A team’s local broadcasters tell the story of the club throughout the year. Whether it’s a pennant chase or the dog days of a rebuild, the broadcasters are there the whole way.
“So wearability is not annoying people but just discussion, conversation. Let them get to know you. Show some personality. Don’t miss anything,” Orsillo continued. “The game is a thing – eyes on the field at all times. We never missed anything in Boston and we’re not missing anything here. Any major event that’s going to take place we’re going to be all over it. But it’s two guys … sitting at a bar watching a game together. That’s baseball. It’s fun. That’s local baseball in my point of view and it’s always worked out.”