Report: This is Don Orsillo's last season

Brian26

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Nov 16, 2015
22
Orsillo being fired is an example of some of the the worst tendencies of modern corporate America. Here's a guy who loves his job, is very good at it, and by all accounts has been a model employee during his tenure. But someone in management feels compelled to make a splash, or put his fingerprint on a hire, or some other such nonsense, so a guy gets pushed out. It's life, but it's pointless and unnecessary.
Felt the same way in Chicago after the 2005 season when the Sox let the local radio station not negotiate a fair deal with John Rooney, who promptly took his ball and left town to head to St. Louis. That radio station subsequently threw the Sox under the bus and now carries the Cubs.
 

Zincman

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Jul 31, 2006
104
New London
Just listening to DO doing a Padre exhibition and his affability and good humor stand out. Miss it. It is so natural. He was asked who helped him most while getting started in MLB and he quickly named Remy who he said was very kind to him and made his transition very easy. He will do well in SD but he belongs here.
 

dynomite

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Just listening to DO doing a Padre exhibition and his affability and good humor stand out. Miss it. It is so natural. He was asked who helped him most while getting started in MLB and he quickly named Remy who he said was very kind to him and made his transition very easy. He will do well in SD but he belongs here.
Without re-raising the Don/Jerry debate, I'll just say that I also will miss their comfortable and easy banter, especially as someone who feels like announcers are often background noise in an era where there is so much sophisticated coverage elsewhere (SoSH.com, Speier at the Globe, Over the Monster).

The silver lining is that D'OB is really good, so it shouldn't be too much of a loss on the TV broadcast.

The real loss will be on the radio. They had a great thing going, and I will really miss that pairing on my runs, my commute home, and the countless other times I prefer listening to the radio broadcast.
 

Number45forever

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Apr 16, 2003
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Seconded on the real loss here being the radio broadcast. I end up listening to big parts of 2-3 games per week on the radio and I'm really going to miss Castig and D'OB doing those games together. They have been fantastic the last couple years especially. I haven't listened to whoever replaced D'OB yet because I don't really listen to Spring Training games on radio. But I have to imagine it's a step down.

The D'OB NESN games I've watched so far have been good. He and Remy seem to do well together and that's only going to improve with time too. I really enjoyed Orsillo and still wish he was here, but the TV broadcast will be fine.
 
Jul 15, 2005
1,937
Chicago
Seconded on the real loss here being the radio broadcast. I end up listening to big parts of 2-3 games per week on the radio and I'm really going to miss Castig and D'OB doing those games together. They have been fantastic the last couple years especially. I haven't listened to whoever replaced D'OB yet because I don't really listen to Spring Training games on radio. But I have to imagine it's a step down.

The D'OB NESN games I've watched so far have been good. He and Remy seem to do well together and that's only going to improve with time too. I really enjoyed Orsillo and still wish he was here, but the TV broadcast will be fine.
am I the only person who thinks Tim Neverett sounds like a copy of Trupe circa 90s?
 

Sprowl

mikey lowell of the sandbox
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Welcome to the west coast, Don! Take it from me, the Pacific is the greatest: the largest, the widest, the most peaceful. Ommm
 

InsideTheParker

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Jul 15, 2005
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kind of sucks that Padres are on the road...can't catch Orsillo this week on the MLB Extra Innings preview
The free week of mlb extra innings on Directv is still going. I tuned in earlier to the Padres b'cast and heard two guys who were not Orsillo. Didn't somebody say that Orsillo was going to play the Tom Caron role for a while until one of the booth guys retired?
 
The free week of mlb extra innings on Directv is still going. I tuned in earlier to the Padres b'cast and heard two guys who were not Orsillo. Didn't somebody say that Orsillo was going to play the Tom Caron role for a while until one of the booth guys retired?
Yes. 81 year old Dick Enberg is the play by play announcer and he's retiring at the end of the year. Because of his age, he doesn't go on all the road trips and takes a couple breaks throughout the season. It's a perfect fit for Orsillo, really. The fanbase will get acclimated to him here and there before he becomes the full time guy.
 
Jul 15, 2005
1,937
Chicago
The free week of mlb extra innings on Directv is still going. I tuned in earlier to the Padres b'cast and heard two guys who were not Orsillo. Didn't somebody say that Orsillo was going to play the Tom Caron role for a while until one of the booth guys retired?
on the Comcast MLB EI preview, I get the home announcers - so had the Rockies pbp instead
 

Investor 11

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Jul 23, 2006
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Bergs

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Well it's early, but I certainly miss Orsillo. I could stomach an Orsillo/Lyons broadcast, but I had to resort to the ATL feed in the Braves series. I am not at all impressed by O'Brien; he feels very generic to me.
 

moondog80

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Sep 20, 2005
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Well it's early, but I certainly miss Orsillo. I could stomach an Orsillo/Lyons broadcast, but I had to resort to the ATL feed in the Braves series. I am not at all impressed by O'Brien; he feels very generic to me.

OB is fine, but I can't stand Lyons. I hope Remy never retires if he's the replacement.
 

grimshaw

the new rudy
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May 16, 2007
3,365
Portland
I'd rather have Orsillo back. Don could at least act occasionally like Tom Werner wasn't sitting in the same room as him. Dave sounds like he's going to be the earnest, full-on Wally Wave and between innings action enthusiast guy. It's just bland as hell.

He's got the pipes and the enthusiasm part that Don maybe lacked, but bleh . ..
 

Marbleheader

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Sep 27, 2004
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I like O'Brien. He was excellent on radio and I think he's doing a good job. People aren't going to like him because he's different, just like people criticized Don when he first started.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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So far, I think O'Brien is too wooden and is forcing things too much regarding his support of players ("Gosh, you just know Hanley will start hitting HRs...") and his relationship with his on-air partners. Having Austin and Striewski refer to him as "Obie" is so contrived and intended to make us think that O'Brien fits in with the gang like a comfortable shoe.

Given the choice between an overripe DO and a trying-too-hard O'Brien, I'd take DO at this point. It didn't take DO long to get comfortable in San Diego.

Hopefully O'Brien chills out a little bit.

But I'm sure he's scrappy, shows up early, and is hungry. Ergo: winner!
 

grimshaw

the new rudy
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May 16, 2007
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I like O'Brien. He was excellent on radio and I think he's doing a good job. People aren't going to like him because he's different, just like people criticized Don when he first started.
I do remember thinking Don was trying too hard to sound like McDonough at first (Sean actually complained about it IIRC), but he was a godsend over Kurtz.
I've listened to OB for years - just don't love him. He's a fine broadcaster, I just prefer more entertainment mixed in as long as it isn't forced or over the top and I don't think he can be witty or subtle.
 

shaggydog2000

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Apr 5, 2007
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I do remember thinking Don was trying too hard to sound like McDonough at first (Sean actually complained about it IIRC), but he was a godsend over Kurtz.
I've listened to OB for years - just don't love him. He's a fine broadcaster, I just prefer more entertainment mixed in as long as it isn't forced or over the top and I don't think he can be witty or subtle.
I think the word you're looking for is professional. O'Brien is a very good, clear, professional announcer. Not big on being a character. Doesn't show a ton of personality. He does what his job is supposed to be, and that's pretty much it. If he came after a nitwit who imposed his personality on a game, we would feel refreshed right now. Instead he came after a guy who gradually became less professional and more of a character, but in a way that was endearing and not overbearing. We knew Orsillo was a quirky goof. He could out of nowhere spend minutes with Remy highlighting exactly how a fan got hit with a pizza slice. And most of us appreciated that. A straitlaced guy comes off very stiff after that.

I think O'Brien is god at his job, and we'll eventually get to know him and appreciate what he does. I don't think it was a change that needed to be made, but it could have been much worse. And I'm happy to see DO is his goofy self out in San Diego.
 

pedro1918

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As someone who was annoyed by the gigglefests, I am happy with O'Brien. I am happy with a broadcast that is a bit lighter on "entertainment". I think they treated Orsillo like crap, but the move itself is a positive.
 
Jul 15, 2005
1,937
Chicago
As someone who was annoyed by the gigglefests, I am happy with O'Brien. I am happy with a broadcast that is a bit lighter on "entertainment". I think they treated Orsillo like crap, but the move itself is a positive.
I think you should stop watching NESN RS broadcasts, b'c Werner/NESN will push that down our throats, and DOB will have a awkward transition with that.
I liked him fine on EEI/national broadcasts, but DO was good w/ the NESN producer mandates. e.g. DO had a deprecating way about the Twitter bits they introduced the past few seasons (as if he was saying, "yes, these NESN produced hashtags/bits are silly, but we have to go through w/ it on air, so bear with us and watch us poke fun at it!")
 

Doctor G

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Jan 24, 2007
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It seems like O Brien is doing a lot more team and NESN promotion within the broadcast. I'm not a fan of this bUT Don might not not have been thought to be a good enough salesman for the team and network. Don spent more time selling the Don and Jerry show which was fine with me.
 

LuckyBen

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Jun 5, 2012
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I enjoy listening to DOB and feel he meshes with Remy much more. DO was just grating to the ear.
 

MuzzyField

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DO is better in SD than OB is doing TV in Boston. Think about that transition. Who had to make the 3000 mile move and who had to add cameras to his work flow. Nice work DO. I like OB, but he's ESPN stiff and that won't work for 145 games on NESN. Thanks Tom!
 

grimshaw

the new rudy
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May 16, 2007
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I enjoy listening to DOB and feel he meshes with Remy much more. DO was just grating to the ear.
That I agree with. The transition part has been seamless and Remy's strong analysis from the past year has continued with DO. It probably helped that they have traveled together so much and had a good business relationship at the very least.
 

Nightslyr

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Jun 18, 2013
70
So far, I think O'Brien is too wooden and is forcing things too much regarding his support of players ("Gosh, you just know Hanley will start hitting HRs...")
I noticed this, too. It reminds me of when Jack Edwards took over the Bruins play-by-play gig. Every player is the best, and it's just a slump, and they're so tough and strong, etc. Thankfully, Jack toned it down over time. I hope Dave does the same.
 

theheathernet

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Apr 16, 2013
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Interesting thoughts so far. I loved O'Brien in the radio, so while I didn't agree with Don's firing I knew that OB was a great replacement.

O'Brien just seems like O'Brien so far to me. Good, solid. Calls the game. But what I've really liked so far this year is that Remy is a ton more interesting this year. Great stories and on-topic baseball quips. The goofiness that's not on baseball feels just as forced as always, but I'm enjoying all the baseball talk so far this year.
 

cournoyer

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Dec 11, 2012
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I have to piggyback and agree with the Remy comments as well. The last few years I would find myself wondering what Remy brings to the table. I think him and Don just became too comfortable. This year I find that Remy has brought his "A" game for O'Brien, and he's been a great color guy. He's been subjective and critical at the right times in the game. I still prefer Eckersley but I've enjoyed O'Brien and Remy this year quite a bit.
 

grsharky7

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Jul 15, 2005
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I have to piggyback and agree with the Remy comments as well. The last few years I would find myself wondering what Remy brings to the table. I think him and Don just became too comfortable. This year I find that Remy has brought his "A" game for O'Brien, and he's been a great color guy. He's been subjective and critical at the right times in the game. I still prefer Eckersley but I've enjoyed O'Brien and Remy this year quite a bit.
I'll piggyback on your piggyback. I agree, Jerry has had his fastball this year and his enthusiasm has been back. Maybe after all of the stuff with his health and family he is in a good spot and he knows it.
 

InsideTheParker

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I'll third those remarks. Good insight that health and family probably took their tolls. It's hard to do your job when you can't help worrying about other stuff. I am really enjoying the Sox broadcasts this year, with the exception of too-long booth shots and the obvious payola deal with Abboud (sp?).
 

SoFloSoxFan

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Jul 14, 2005
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Jerry has to see the writing on the wall. They already cut his number of games dramatically from last year to this year. If he likes his job and wants to keep doing it, he had better be on his A game or he'll be Orsillo'd.
 

Sprowl

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I think the powers that be made a sensible judgment -- that Remsillo had devolved into pointless, meandering, self-indulgent banter -- and broke up the stale partnership. Promoting O'Brien was justified on separate grounds (David Ortiz! David Ortiz!! David Ortiz!!!). He has had a few awkward moments so far this spring, and his banter with Remy seems a little forced still, but they are both focusing on the game and doing a good job where it counts.
 
Dec 28, 2015
35
I'll second that. I liked Orsillo and was shocked when they let him go, but I now like Crowley even better. He has tightened up the broadcast and brought out the best in Remy.
 
Dec 21, 2015
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Promoting O'Brien was justified on separate grounds (David Ortiz! David Ortiz!! David Ortiz!!!).
Really? That's "justified grounds"? O'Brien was presented with the most dramatic, series-altering individual performance since the same man did likewise 9 years earlier, and in being carried away by his emotions, he creatively musters up... repeating the guy's name a few times? I mean, I'd take "unicorns and show ponies" over something bland like that. A moment like that is one of the few opportunities where an announcer can drop the neutral pretext and get hysterical over the unbelievable events unfolding before them. And presented with one such moment, Dave O'Brien's innermost thoughts were... hey, that man is named David Ortiz! Hell, I'll say it: Joe Buck probably does better there. Orsillo certainly did.

I'll agree with shaggy that DOB is "professional", but I think we've gone from "Quirky, unique, sometimes annoying" to "Professional but dull" with little consideration. If you talk to non-baseball fans, or casual baseball fans, one of the first things they associate with baseball is "Boring". Orsillo and Remy made what can be a ponderous game-watching experience for passive fans into one that was meaningfully more entertaining. I just feel like we went from an A-team to a guy who's a consistent B+, in the name of change-for-change's-sake.

And so now we have O'Brien reminding us on literally every broadcast for the last week that Hanley seems "like a guy who's just about to turn the corner", which has to either be a directive from on high, or a failure of their producer to say "hey, Dave, mix it up a little bit", and either way is just as annoying as an occasional giggle fest. We've exchanged "Down by way of the K" for toned-down lower-vocal-register calls of some dramatic moments, like Vazquez's mammoth blast to win the game last night. (lowest ratio of "vocal drama" to "game-situation drama" that I can recall, outside of Hawk Harrelson narrating an opponent's game-winner, frankly) Basically, O'Brien has some work to do to present himself as anything other than an Orsillo downgrade (but one who - thank god! - takes himself more seriously).
 

Van Everyman

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TPIW, you seem like you need to get out a little more.

O'Brien is a really good PBP guy. That he is taking a few months to get comfortable in his new surroundings and is awkward at times makes him...no different than any human being in a new job ever?

Also, the reason his "David Ortiz!" call has become iconic was that by 2013 there was simply nothing more that could be said about Ortiz and postseason heroics – the guy was just a force and every time you thought he had peaked in some way or cemented his legend, he outdid himself. O'Brien's call completely captured that.

The guy is going to be very good for a very long time.
 
Dec 21, 2015
1,410
Yes, really -- that is an example of what O'Brien does very well, describing dramatic moments with a little extra vocal flare, but without going over the top.
You're entitled to prefer lower-energy, more-dignified broadcasts. Certainly, you get that with O'Brien. But for me, I'll take someone who can intelligently comment on things most of the time, and make particularly-memorable moments that much more emotive on the rare occasions that call for it. As the history of baseball media coverage reminds us, narrative and storytelling is what builds an audience, not a dry recitation of facts. Making emotional connections to dramatic moments is what builds and sustains fans (and mythologies). It's certainly possible to overdo it - Hawk Harrelson being the worst in a long tradition of homers - but my tastes on the spectrum are much closer to Orsillo than to O'Brien. For over-the-top moments, like an Ortiz grand slam in a game that seemed like a funeral procession for the Red Sox season, I prefer an over-the-top delivery.

Are you always this much of a prick?
I kept my post on the topic. You've chosen to make it personal. I'll respectfully decline the invitation.

TPIW, you seem like you need to get out a little more.

O'Brien is a really good PBP guy. That he is taking a few months to get comfortable in his new surroundings and is awkward at times makes him...no different than any human being in a new job ever?
I'm pretty sore from biking 45 miles yesterday amid 32,000 new yorkers, on zero preparation. Apologies if my tone is more salty than intended - I have the highest of regard for every poster in this thread.

I'll certainly give O'Brien a chance. Like I said, he's already a B+ in my book, and when Orsillo took over for McDonough it took him most of 2001 to get the rhythm of PBP correct. But when Hideo Nomo finished his no-hitter, Orsillo got just as worked up as the fans did. I liked him right from that moment - and he grew into the rest of the job. I'm just saying I hope some of that rubs off on O'Brien, to go along with his excellent descriptive abilities.