Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy rank 13th amongst local announcers

Gail Oskin

Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy are apparently just barely above average. That, or they're being dragged down by something more...insidious.

NESN's Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy have ranked 13th in a fan vote held by Awful Announcing to determine the league's best and worst local announcing teams.

Remy and Orsillo have the distinction (honor? shame?) of being the lowest-ranked team to have received more A's than any other grade. This might make you think there were quite a few haters stuffing the electronic ballot box with failing grades, but apparently the second most common grade was B, so clearly that's not the case. It's also clearly not a matter of a flawed system, given that Hawk Harrelson ranks dead last. I don't need any more convincing than that.

Of course, 13th isn't bad. It's just also not quite where I expect many of us would have him. So what dragged them down? One obvious answer is the current turmoil surrounding Jerry Remy's personal life, but that hardly needs to receive any more of a spotlight than it already has, so let's stick to what happens on camera, and what might turn other fans off.

Homerism is clearly not an issue with the two. While Orsillo doesn't get quite as amped about the other team's big hits, he remains well within the bounds that are expected of any local announcer. For both Orsillo and Remy, a strike is a strike, an out is an out. It doesn't matter whether a close call would help or hurt the Red Sox; they'll call them as they see them. When Eckersley gets in the booth he might "need to have it" a bit more often when it comes to the borderline pitches from the Red Sox, but even he remains pretty self-aware in doing so.

More important, I would guess, is their tendency to stray off-topic For many around Boston, this is a big positive. When Remy and Orsillo get on a roll--something that tends to happen more often when the Red Sox are losing terribly and a distraction is perhaps even called for--they can be legitimately hilarious. Of course, for fans of other teams watching online, this can be seen as pointless or distracting, particularly when they start referencing tidbits that have come up during previous games. Just this past week we've had a running joke about Remy's refusal to eat past 6 P.M. and the terrible rift forming between him and his NESN coworkers as a result. Hilarious for those of us who were listening when it first got brought up. Confusing and unwelcome for a Blue Jays fan who just wants to focus on the game.

Even more than that, though, the problem likely lies with NESN. You can do your best to separate the announcers from the network, but the fact of the matter is that it's Remy and Orsillo promoting some new inanity every inning. Awful Announcing provides this nice summation:

"Don and Jerry are good announcers. They have great chemistry, know the league, and are likable. They know when to seriously call the game and when to joke around. What makes many Red Sox games difficult to watch is the incessant "extras" on the telecasts. The stupid graphics, polls, and pointless interviews with fans can just ruin a game." -AnthonyJennings

They do their best given what they have to work with. Remy especially has started poking fun at his fair share of NESN's polls and promotions. But there's only so much we can stomach. No, Don and Jerry are not the problem. The Godforsaken Wally Wave is.

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