Don Orsillo Will Be Back on TV This Weekend
Don Orsillo will be keeping busy while he waits for his new gig as the San Diego Padres play-by-play man to begin. Fox Sports announced Monday Orsillo will join its college basketball coverage this season, and his first call of the year will be Saturday night in Providence.
According to Harvard University, Orsillo will be behind the mic Saturday night when the Crimson visit the Dunkin’ Donuts Center to take on the Friars at 7:00 p.m. The game will be a Fox Sports Network production, but will air on Ocean State Networks in Rhode Island. OSN is only available to Cox cable subscribers. (The game notes actually refer to Orsillo as “Orsillio,” but we’ll give those Harvard kids a pass.)
Orsillo isn’t the first former Red Sox play-by-play man to take on college basketball assignments now that his days in the NESN broadcast booth are over. His predecessor, Sean McDonough, currently calls college hoops on ESPN.
This is a transitional year for Orsillo, who won’t take over Padres play-by-play duties full-time on Fox Sports San Diego until longtime broadcaster Dick Enberg retires at the conclusion of the 2016 season. In the meantime, Orsillo is also expected to announce a number of national baseball games for Fox this summer. He was a part of TBS’ postseason coverage from 2007 until 2013.
It was announced in late August that Orsillo would be out at NESN at the end of the 2015 campaign. The network will replace him with the team’s radio play-by-play man, Dave O’Brien.
NESN’s decision to oust Orsillo sparked an uproar among Red Sox fans, and an online petition to keep him in Boston eventually accrued more than 63,000 signatures. Orsillo said goodbye to NESN viewers during the Red Sox’s final game of the season, and most of the club’s players and coaches saluted him from the dugout after the last out of the year was recorded.
Sox give Don a tip of the cap goodbye. “Orsillo rounding third and heading home” is an all time sign off. pic.twitter.com/Z760jGyaXB
— Feitelberg (@FeitsBarstool) October 4, 2015
Orsillo’s unceremonious departure from NESN may have been difficult to swallow, but it was hardly a death knell for his career. He’s an accomplished broadcaster and will likely have the opportunity to take on a larger national role with Fox Sports over the next couple of years.
Much like McDonough, who’s become one of ESPN’s leading college football and basketball commentators, leaving Boston may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Orsillo. His national profile only figures to rise from here on out.