After fumbling the ball with its decision this summer not to keep Boston Red Sox play-by-play man Don Orsillo in its broadcast booth, NESN made a good decision Thursday by bringing analyst Jerry Remy back for his 29th season.
Remy will continue as NESN’s primary color analyst for Red Sox TV games and will work at least 100 contests.
“NESN and the Red Sox have been very good to me over the years, and I hope to continue for a long period of time what I consider to be the best job in the world of broadcasting,” Remy said in a NESN news release. “I also look forward to welcoming my new play-by-play partner Dave O’Brien to the NESN team.”
Remy developed a great rapport with Orsillo and they were popular with Red Sox viewers over the last 15 years of their partnership in the booth. Remy, who played eight seasons for the Red Sox, is a pro and O’Brien is a skillful, talented broadcaster, so more strong broadcasts from the Sox booth are probable.
It’s also likely that fewer games may be good for the 62-year-old Remy, who had past health issues and also joked with Orsillo about not liking to travel. Although, during this past season, Remy displayed a higher energy level on the broadcasts and didn’t hesitate to offer balanced viewpoints in another dismal Red Sox season.
His decreased role in the booth will mean more games from Baseball Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley and former FOX broadcaster Steve Lyons. Eckersley is solid and offers great perspectives from his pitching career, but can be a little bit on the excitable side some times.
Lyons also offers sound viewpoints gleaned from his utilityman role in which he played every position in his nine-year MLB career. He even caught and pitched a few games. Of the three analysts, he makes the consistently strongest effort to be objective and while I like this, it can be a bit irritating to some Sox fans.
NESN will also utilize Lyons and Eckersley more by going with a three-man booth for some games when one of them will join Remy and O’Brien.
While Orsillo will be missed as he begins his new job with the San Diego Padres, it looks like NESN has assembled a strong cast in the Red Sox booth. Now, if the Red Sox brass can do the same for the team, it will be another season worth following.