It began with just a hint of tension. Red Sox television broadcaster Don Orsillo would continue his play-by-play call during a Jerry Remy comment, while Remy, trying to sound pleasant while obviously agitated, would say, “Don I’d like to finish that point I was making, if you don’t mind, buddy.” In an equally magnanimous tone, Orsillo would reply, “Oh, I’m sorry, Jerry, by all means. I guess I thought you’d made the point—quite thoroughly, actually—but please, continue.” But now NESN partners Orsillo and Remy can no longer contain the mutual disdain they feel, and the feud is simmering over into nearly every broadcast.
“It’s really getting ugly,” said an anonymous NESN source. “They don’t speak to each other off the air, and if Don so much as touches one of Jerry’s pens, it’s like World War III. One problem is that Jerry is a notorious neatness freak, while Orsillo at times tends to be a bit of a slob.” During a recent broadcast Orsillo was slurping down a Coke while Jerry made a point, and then tossed the empty cup on the floor. An embarrassing exchange ensued.
“Hey, will you pick up that cup, Don?” said an exasperated Remy. “What do you think this is, a college frat house?”
“Well, excuse me Mr. Jerry Remy Incorporated…”
“Oh, here we go with the jealousy,” Remy fumed. “Why change the subject? I’m sick of this broadcast booth looking like a pig’s sty. Cups, food wrappers, chicken bones, and pizza crusts all over the place…it’s disgusting.”
“I’m sorry, mom.”
“It’s just common courtesy…”
“A two-out double by Manny Ramirez, as the Miss Etiquette of baseball broadcasting rants on,” Orsillo said.
Another familiar tension point between the two is Orsillo's apparent resentment of Remy’s incredible RemDawg success story. As Jerry was plugging his website one evening, an impatient Orsillo tersely interjected. “If we’re through promoting the Jerry Remy Empire,” he said, “perhaps we could actually continue with the broadcast.”
“Don you’re so jealous it’s coming out of your ears.”
“Hey, maybe you could sell a tee-shirt of that on the website,”
Orsillo replied mockingly.
“We wouldn't put you on a tee-shirt if we actually wanted to sell one, Don,” Remy countered.
“Well, sorry I don’t have a Hot Dog stand named after me…”
“You couldn’t get a lemonade stand named after you.”
“Bellhorn strikes out to end the inning. We will return to the action here at Jerry Remy Industries in Fenway Park in just a moment.”
The NESN source said things have gotten so bad, that the two argue about even the most trivial things. “Jerry doesn’t like it when Wally appears to be sitting closer to Don, so he moves him, then Don moves him back, and they start this childish tug-of-warm,” the source says. “When it gets to the point that they make Wally choose sides, you know it’s really tragic.”