Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Don Orsillo - It's Over

Let's wrap up this Orsillo thing.

Carol and I taped the Red Sox last game of the season because we figured there had to be a tribute to Don Orsillo and he had to say something about his fifteen years here in Boston. We taped it because I had to keep a close watch on my man Kevin Harvick, who came through in a very big way, being the champ and the supreme competitor that he is.

We missed the Don Orsillo tribute that was done at Fenway on the last home game because we were at the track and we forgot to punch up the DVR settings.

Pity, because we heard that it was good.

Don Orsillo's firing stirred up a storm of controversy in New England, and rightfully so.

Here is why.

Don comes across as the everyman. Don Orsillo makes it appear as if you or I could step into the booth and do what he does. Because he is not separated from us. He seems like a regular guy. Self-effacing, vulnerable and human.

Sean McDonough did not make me feel that way. Curt Gowdy did not make me feel that way. Ken Coleman did not make me feel that way. ---------------did not make me feel that way.

Those guys were good. Those guys were great. But you knew they were broadcasters. It felt like they were doing a job that nobody else could do. There was a separation between them and us because of that.

There was no separation between Don Orsillo and us. He felt like your friend, it felt like you could have him over for dinner and enjoy a perfectly comfortable time.

He laughed at himself easily and made us laugh along with him. He did not pretend to be an untouchable professional. What he did was to perform his job with excellence and make it look easy.

That alone tells you how good he is.

Carol and I, as wise as we are, did the right thing.

We watched the final game last night. I fast-forwarded through the unimportant stuff ( the game) and focused on every career highlight that they showed. Also caught some cool in-game moments between Remy and Orsillo. Reminiscing about their time together. That easy flowing, mutually respectful, very humorous exchange that became their trademark.

The highlight was Don's statement. Heartfelt. Short and sweet.

It was very obvious that he was fighting to hold it together. He got through it like the pro that he is.

He did not shed tears but we did.

There was a noticeable silence from Remy afterwards. Finally he said: "Well you got through it, but I didn't." Shortly thereafter the camera cut to Remy wiping tears from his eyes.

Jerry Remy shed tears during his remarks to the press when he first learned of Don's firing. And again on Sunday after listening to Don's farewell.

Jerry Remy does not strike me as a tear-shedder. I think the relationship between him and Orsillo is all the more magical because I don't think Remy lets a lot of people get close to him.

That says a lot about Mr. Don Orsillo.

At the end of the game the Red Sox stepped out of the dugout as a team and looked up towards Don Orsillo in the booth. They waved, they gestured, they acknowledged. It really touched Don. It was a very cool thing to do.

Do you think athletes typically care about the guy in the booth? I don't. I think that was a very special moment.

The Red Sox screwed Don Orsillo. He did not deserve the disrespect he was handed.

Red Sox fans everywhere got vocal about it, very vocal, but could do nothing to change the outcome.

People love Don Orsillo. They love him because he makes it easy.

There is nothing condescending about him. No pretentiousness. No ego.

Yet he is the ultimate professional.

He has been replaced. Replaced in a cold, unfeeling, inconsiderate way.

He will never be replaced.

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