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Someone thinks Jerry Remy shouldn’t come back to the booth

Jan 28, 2014, 8:30 AM EDT

Jerry Remy AP

We learned yesterday that Jerry Remy will return to the Red Sox booth for the first time since his son’s arrest in the murder of his girlfriend and the mother of his child, Jennifer Martel. Most sentiment I’ve seen since the announcement has been positive. Remy is an institution in New England and his absences from Sox broadcasts for health reasons and then last year’s tragedy were felt by a lot of people.

But not everyone thinks Remy coming back is a good thing. Steve Buckley of the Boston Herald has a column today in which he argues that Remy shouldn’t come back. Why? Because it may make some NESN viewers uncomfortable:

To watch a Red Sox game on NESN this season, and to see and hear Remy engage in his famously upbeat and entertaining banter with play-by-play man Don Orsillo, it will be difficult not to think of that brutal murder, difficult not to speculate about the trial, difficult not to think about that little girl . . . this is the sobering question that must be asked: What about the comfort zone of NESN viewers? If it’s true that watching a baseball game on television is supposed to be entertainment and escapism, how will it be possible to watch and listen to Remy this season without being constantly reminded of the nightmare that he, his wife Phoebe, their two other children, and, yes, the Martel family, are living?

I will note that Buckley quite obviously cares about Remy and the victims, living and dead, of last year’s tragedy. His column is not insensitive at all and, yes, there is likely truth to the idea that some people will be reminded of the murder when they hear Remy’s voice this spring. But it is simply incomprehensible to me that any such discomfort means that Remy shouldn’t be back in the both if he wants to be.

Is Remy supposed to give up his life’s work and the thing he specifically identifies as something which will bring happiness and normalcy back to his life because someone may, briefly, be reminded of the murder? Is he supposed to go lock himself up in his house and quietly, out of the view of others, await his death? To the contrary of Buckley’s premise, I think a lot of people in New England care about Jerry Remy and, given that they “know” him in that way we know people we watch on TV a lot, care about how he’s doing in the wake of the murder. They probably want what’s best for him and his return to the booth will probably bring people a lot of joy.

But whichever way that all cuts, who are we to criticize how a person moves on from such tragedy? That goes doubly for Steve Buckley given that, in the past, he has felt quite differently about such things. Here he is writing in 2012 after Johnny Pesky’s funeral. You may recall some in the media griped that not many current Boston Red Sox players showed up at the funeral. Buckley correctly thought those folks were out of line, saying “I don’t think it’s part of my job to legislate other people’s mourning rituals . . .”

Would that he felt the same way now about Jerry Remy.

  1. wheels579 - Jan 29, 2014 at 3:49 AM

    Only a fool would think Jenny Dell should not lose her job. It isn’t a “hostess position”. Ask any woman who has worked hard to earn a job as a reporter for a sports team if Jenny Dell’s behavior is ok. Women already earn only 77 cents on the dollar for equal work compared to men. Either she has another job lined up with FS1 or wherever, or she’s totally naive. Anybody who turns the tv off because of Remy needs to find another hobby. If you think its fine for Jenny Dell to keep her job, you’re either a misogynist or plain stupid.

    • pastabelly - Jan 29, 2014 at 7:56 AM

      Still on your crusade to dump Jenny Dell and result to namecalling for anyone who doesn’t see a low paying NESN “reporter” fired. If this is what keeps you awake at night, you are the one with issues. What’s really interesting is that you want her “fired” and not moved to another position on NESN where there is no such great conflict. Give up the hate already.

  2. wouldabeenthere - Jan 29, 2014 at 7:23 AM

    Used to really like Buckley, in the paper and on radio but… The only real question is how does Jerry Remy feel about coming back. Think he answered that. I don’t think too many people watching the Sox on NESN have any problem separating the game and the announcers from real life for a bit.

    When I was a kid I realized about a week or so after my dad died how much the mailman resembled him. Would it have been appropriate for me to expect the guy to stop delivering mail because of whom he resembled and because of the thoughts and memories he brought back?

  3. wheels579 - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:51 PM

    Never said “fired.” I also could care less if NESN moves her to another position, which would make more sense if she was not a “low paying” reporter. What’s interesting is how many people seem to care about Remy keeping his job through no fault of his own, yet nobody cares about his co-worker continuing at her job while involving herself in an unethical relationship with a player. Unethical conduct versus possibly being a lousy parent. Yet let’s just reassign the eye candy and dump Remy for his son’s heinous actions?

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