Change Needed In The Red Sox Booth

Fenway Park So there are several reasons for not wanting to watch the Red Sox this season, but one of them can be fixed. Having color analyst Jerry Remy, father of confessed murderer Jared Remy, in the booth is unsettling and unpleasant, and watching baseball is supposed to be fun. It may have been a little harder to make this call prior to the Boston Globe article in March, which exposed a lifetime of violence and a litany of family-subsidized bailouts and second chances that led inexorably to Jared Remy’s heinous crime, murdering Jennifer Martel in front of their daughter. Jerry is quoted saying, “What occurred in August 2013 took my family by complete surprise.” Read the Globe story and then imagine how the dead girlfriend’s family feels reading that statement. (The other two Remy children have also had serious encounters with the law. As a parent, Jerry has struck out.)

But Jared Remy’s trouble defined him in a way his siblings’ did not. Interviews with more than 40 former friends, neighbors, co-workers, police officers, and others contacted by the Globe — including many speaking publicly for the first time — paint a picture of a disturbed, havoc-wreaking life and a criminal justice system that failed to rein it in.

Even as a young man, he had several encounters with police, and three witnesses now say Remy at 18 was an instigator behind an unprovoked and brutal beating of a former schoolmate that left the teen with a severe brain injury.

I was already longing for Jerry Remy’s departure before this all happened — he’s just not that smart. He may know baseball but he knows absolutely nothing else and even the simplest cultural reference has to be patiently explained to him by play-by-play man Don Orsillo. Their chitchat is deadly dull, and it can’t compare to what happens when Dennis Eckersley steps into the booth. Eck is smart, witty, and sophisticated, and an endless source of hilarious anecdotes (and not “the traffic was bad last night at the airport” stuff — but great insider dirt from the good-old-days). And he brings out the best in Orsillo.

So on June 15th the Red Sox will play Cleveland at Fenway. Exactly how are we expected to process jovial banter from Jerry Remy on Fathers Day?

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