Popular sportscaster Don Orsillo will not be returning as the play-by-play voice for Boston Red Sox games on NESN-TV, according to a report by the Boston Globe.
Orsillo’s contract with NESN expires at the end of the season, and he will not be offered a renewal. Instead, NESN announced later Tuesday that it is hiring Dave O’Brien to do its games.
O’Brien shares play-by-play duties for Red Sox games with Joe Castiglione on the WEEI radio network. O’Brien also works for ESPN, where he covers several sports.
“We are excited to have Dave, one of baseball’s pre-eminent announcers, join the NESN team next season,” Sean McGrail, NESN’s president and CEO said in a news release.
The Globe reported the main reason for Orsillo’s departure was because he was never a favorite of Joseph Maar, NESN’s vice president of programming and production/executive producer.
Maar began his post in July 2012 and last year started a policy of making broadcasters take vacation time during the season.
Orsillo started doing Red Sox games for NESN in 2001 and has been the full-time voice of the Red Sox on NESN since 2005, when the network took over all local games. He spent 10 years in the minor leagues, including five covering the the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Over the years, fans grew to like Orsillo’s rapport with analyst Jerry Remy, a former Red Sox player and they were in the booth for Boston’s World Series championship seasons in 2004, 2007 and 2013.
“Don is an outstanding broadcaster, and we are grateful for all of his contributions to NESN’s telecast over the years,” McGrail said in the release. “On behalf of everyone at NESN and the Boston Red Sox organization, we would like to extend our sincere appreciation to Don.”
Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of the Red Sox, owns an 80 percent share of NESN.
The Red Sox, in last place in the American League East division, have been undergoing changes in the last few weeks, including the hiring of Dave Dombrowski as head of baseball operations, Ben Cherington resigning as general manager and Larry Lucchino stepping down as the team’s CEO.
O’Brien’s previous play-by-play experiences include the Atlanta Braves (1990-91), Florida Marlins (1993-2001) and New York Mets (2003-05).