Who will be in the NESN Red Sox broadcast booth next season continues to be a soap opera. Drama already ensued when news broke that Don Orsillo was being pushed out as the play-by-play announcer after 15 years at the microphone, to be replaced by Dave O’Brien.
Then the network clumsily handled the tribute that the Red Sox paid to Orsillo during his final home game at Fenway Park. While the acknowledgement played inside the ballpark, NESN did not show it on the air. The network then took a day to issue a strained explanation that the presentation was only meant to be seen at Fenway, and NESN had its own plans for a tribute on the final broadcast of the season.
According to two sources, NESN is interested in Ron Darling as Dave O’Brien’s partner for Sox telecast next year.
— Kirk Minihane (@kirkmin) September 30, 2015
Now Orsillo’s soon-to-be former partner is left behind to deflect and dismiss further rumors about his status in the booth. After rumors of Ron Darling being courted by NESN to replace Jerry Remy as the analyst on the Red Sox broadcast team, the former second baseman told the Boston Herald‘s Michael Silverman that the reports wasn’t true, and he had been told otherwise by the network.
“It’s 100 percent not true – it ain’t happening, that’s what I’ve been told,” Remy said on Wednesday.
According to the Boston Globe‘s Chad Finn, O’Brien is known to like Darling and thus presumably wants him as his broadcast partner. But Darling is under contract with SNY as part of the Mets broadcast team with Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, a trio that marked its 10th anniversary together this season. He signed a multiyear extension in November 2013, though exact terms of the contract were not revealed. Additionally, the former Mets pitcher has roles on MLB Network and Turner Sports.
Still, it seems apparent that NESN is exploring other options with Remy. If the network doesn’t intend to replace him, it’s possible that other analysts are being considered to share the role. NESN president Sean McGrail told the Herald‘s Steve Buckley that Remy “will be involved,” but his role hasn’t been finalized. That doesn’t exactly sound like a ringing endorsement.