Watch CBS News

Keller @ Large: Red Sox, NESN Need To Keep Don Orsillo

BOSTON (CBS) - After listening to him call Red Sox games on TV for the past 14 years, I like Don Orsillo, a lot.

I like him better than Dave O'Brien, the talented radio voice who will replace Orsillo if Red Sox and NESN management get their way.

Over the years, I've seen a lot of situations where a longtime media favorite gets dumped amid public protest, and they rarely result in the personality's return. But it does happen once in awhile.

Remember when they tried to replace the late, great David Brudnoy with some syndicated garbage? That didn't last long.

And now that more than 50,000 people have signed an online petition calling for Orsillo's return, even as fan outrage over his ouster continues to percolate, this may be another one of those rare occasions.

Funny thing about New Englanders: we are supposed to be an aloof, flinty bunch, cold towards outsiders, skeptical of just about anyone we haven't known since kindergarten.

That's all true, to a point. But when we get to know you, decide we like you, and welcome you into our odd little family, there is no warmer embrace.

That appears to be the way many of us feel about Orsillo, a Melrose native who worked his way up the hard way.

John Henry has done a fine job with the Red Sox over the years, but he and his fellow executives have been unable to generate much affection for his media properties, NESN and the Globe.

This foolish Orsillo purge won't help.

And the brass ought to keep in mind that while we New Englanders love those we embrace, we have an equal measure of distaste for those who mess with what we love.

Listen to Jon's commentary:

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News weeknights at 11 p.m.

Email Jon at or reach him on Twitter @kelleratlarge.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.