Emotional Jerry Remy salutes fired Don Orsillo: 'I love him'

NESN issued a media release announcing that Don Orsillo would be replaced in the 2016 season by Dave O'Brien. Gail Oskin/Getty Images

CHICAGO -- NESN analyst Jerry Remy asked to speak with reporters following Tuesday night's broadcast to address the firing of his partner of 15 years, Don Orsillo.

His voice choked with emotion and his eyes filling with tears, Remy spoke of a relationship he described as far more than professional.

"For the last 15 years, it's been an absolute pleasure to work with Don," said Remy, meeting with a small group of reporters in the visitors' broadcast booth at U.S. Cellular Field on Tuesday night. "I can remember him sitting in the booth when the job became available. He was asking me if there was any chance he could get it. I said a few things to a few people. He's been an outstanding partner for 15 years, and I'm truly going to miss him on a work-related side and I'm going to miss him on a personal side because he also has become a very, very close friend of mine.

"I know that he's going to land on his feet and he's going to be in great shape. I'm sure they're going to be lining up for his services. I really mean that. He's terrific at what he does, he's been absolutely fabulous to work with. I love him, and he's going to do just fine. I'm not worried about that part of it."

Orsillo, who before the game had declined comment regarding the reports of his firing, maintained that posture even after NESN issued a media release during the game, announcing that Orsillo would be replaced in the 2016 season by Dave O'Brien, who has been part of the team's radio broadcast team for the past nine years in addition to his extensive work for ESPN.

"I'm sorry," Orsillo said with a shrug. "I've got nothing."

Orsillo was told he was being let go about 10 days ago, but NESN had hoped to delay any announcement regarding his termination until after the season. Remy said he was surprised when he first learned of NESN's decision but preferred not to address that topic further. "I want to stay on message," he said.

Asked if Orsillo's firing had hit close to home, he said: "Sure it is. I've gone through a lot of people. You get close to people. You just feel for them.

"It's been awfully difficult on him, it really has. It's been difficult on everybody. You get used to somebody, you're friends, you work together for such a long time, you have such a good time doing your job, [and] it's over.

"I've been very fortunate because I've worked with a lot of good people, and he's right at the top of the list. So that's all I got."