The Red Sox’ season is more or less over, but the controversy surrounding the departure of play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo continues to consume Boston sports fans.
Now controversial Boston sports personality Kirk Minihane has sources telling him that NESN, the team-owned cable network that broadcasts Red Sox games locally, asked Orsillo to lie about the reason behind his departure.
Per sources, NESN – facing huge backlash – asked Don Orsillo to tweet that he wasn't being fired and it was a mutual parting. He declined.
— Kirk Minihane (@kirkmin) September 4, 2015
Last week, NESN announced it was replacing Orsillo with Dave O’Brien for the 2016 season, much to the chagrin of a Red Sox Nation that had grown to appreciate Orsillo’s steady ways over the past 15 years. NESN originally did not give a reason for the switch — further infuriating Red Sox fans — until chairman Tom Werner and NESN chief executive Sean McGrail wrote Saturday in the Boston Herald that the move was made to upgrade and “re-energize” the team’s television’s broadcasts.
A Change.org petition asking the Red Sox to change their mind on Orsillo’s firing now has more than 57,000 signatures.
As I said above, Minihane is no stranger to controversy himself. In July 2014, he was suspended for a week without pay by Boston sports-talker WEEI after he called Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews a “gutless [expletive]” because of her interviews during that year’s MLB all-star game. In June, he was suspended for one day by the station after getting into a heated on-air argument with former NFL player Christian Fauria.
And then, this week, Minihane (jokingly?) suggested — on television, this time — that someone be hired to murder NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.