Sam Kennedy addresses what happened with Don Orsillo’s tribute to Remy


The Red Sox originally held discussions with Don Orsillo about producing a video for Jerry Remy’s ceremony Wednesday night, says team president Sam Kennedy. But ultimately, they decided to forego the plan to show individual video tributes, and pivoted to an all-encompassing on-field ceremony.

On “The Greg Hill Show” Thursday, Kennedy explained what happened with Orsillo’s video. The beloved broadcaster tweeted Wednesday night the Red Sox told him his tribute wouldn’t be part of the program, before sharing the script that he wrote for the occasion.

“At one point, there was discussion early on in the planning about doing some video tributes from people, but as we got into the planning, we pivoted to one all-encompassing — it was pretty moving and emotional video tribute that included his former colleagues and teammates, including Don, of course, and others,” said Kennedy. “I thought it was a really well done video. In person, we had Tom Caron do the MC’ing, he did a great job, and Bob Stanley and Sean McDonough were able to be there in person, and they spoke live and did a great job, and represented the feelings I think we all had and have about Jerry.”

Kennedy added the Red Sox invited Orsillo to the ceremony, but he couldn’t make it, due to his responsibilities with the Padres.

“He was the first person that we called to invite to the ceremony and come back and participate alongside Jerry’s teammates and his colleagues from NESN. But he wasn’t able to make it, obviously, like a lot of Jerry’s former colleagues and players — people with responsibilities across baseball,” Kennedy said. “So he wasn’t able to join us in person. It would’ve been great to have him there, but he couldn’t make it. We had a great ceremony. I think it was a great celebration of a man that everyone in New England felt they know, and certainly loved.”

The Red Sox held a moving 20-minute ceremony to honor Remy, which featured many of his family members and former teammates, including Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice and Dennis Eckersley. Dwight Evans, Fred Lynn, Rick Burleson and Bob Stanley were also in attendance.

Sean McDonough, who worked with Remy prior to Orsillo, also addressed the crowd.

Kennedy says the Red Sox didn’t intend to slight Orsillo.

“We just decided, given there were a number of former friends and colleagues of Jerry who couldn’t make it, rather than having a series of one-off videos from people like Tito or Dustin Pedroia or David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, John Farrell — the list goes on and on — we thought we would capture everybody the best we possible could in one video at the outset, and then pivot to a live, in-person ceremony, which is what we did,” Kennedy explained.

Despite the Orsillo controversy, Kennedy says the Red Sox were pleased with how the ceremony turned out.

“We felt we appropriately celebrated Jerry and his legacy and his family, and if people disagree with how we did it, or feel we made a mistake in any way, that’s totally fair, and we’ll let others touch that,” he said. “But we tried to present a ceremony that was fitting and emotional and celebrated Jerry.”

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