Jerry Remy and Jenny Dell are going in different directions when it comes to the Boston Red Sox television broadcasts on the NESN network.
After a long period of reflection, Remy has announced that he is ending his leave of absence and will return to the Red Sox broadcast booth for the 2014 MLB season. He explained that he’s going to come back and see how it goes, and if it doesn’t work, he understands that NESN will make “the proper adjustments.”
It remains to be seen how the chemistry between Remy and play-by-play voice Don Orsillo will be affected and whether the duo can resume their happy-go-lucky banter.
Remy has been off the air since mid August when his son, Jared Remy, was charged with murder in connection with the stabbing death of his girlfriend Jennifer Martel, the mother of the couple’s four-year-old daughter. The younger Remy pleaded not guilty and since the arrest has been jailed without bail.
Overcoming his misgivings, Remy said he made the difficult decision to go back to television after extensive discussions with family and friends who convinced him to return. The heartbroken Remy admitted in a solemn radio interview on the Dennis & Callahan show on WEEI that he has largely been on self-imposed “house arrest” since the August incident. He also explained that Remy and his family tried their best to help the younger Remy with his issues over the years, but were unsuccessful. During the interview, Remy also mentioned that he feels awful that his granddaughter will grow up without a mother “who was a very caring and loving woman who was trying to make herself a better life.”
Remy admitted that he enabled his son to some degree, and that steroid use among other things may have played a role in Jared Remy’s problems.
Jenny Dell, the NESN in-game reporter, has been reassigned to studio work. Dell went public with her relationship with Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks on New Year’s Eve, which suggested a possible conflict of interest with her job. NESN did not give a reason for Dell’s changed network role, but announced that it is in the process of recruiting a new sideline reporter. Dell replaced Heidi Watney, who left initially NESN in 2011 for the NBA Los Angeles Lakers, and now works for the MLB Network.
Since Dell served more of a public relations function than anything related to breaking news, some are wondering why it was necessary to “sideline” the sideline reporter over her romance with a player, if indeed that was the case. Presumably Dell will move on to another network when her NESN contract runs out.
Jerry Remy — affectionately known to fans as the “RemDawg” — played second base for the Boston Red Sox from 1978 through 1984 and has been the beloved color commentator on Red Sox game broadcasts on the NESN TV network since 1988. In recent years, Remy has battled cancer and depression which caused his absence from telecasts in prior intervals. Don Orsillo has teamed up with a variety of substitute broadcast partners during Remy’s absences, with MLB Hall of Fame picher Dennis Eckersley making the most appearances during game broadcasts.
About his return to the booth as Red Sox game analyst, Remy said on Monday that “I don’t intend to be a quitter. Don’t intend to be one now. It’s what I do. It’s what I know. It’s what my comfort level is. It’s where I feel I belong and I feel I’m going to do so as long as possible. I hope in no way that my decision to come back to do games has a negative impact on the Martel family. I’m quite certain they understand I have to make a living, and unfortunately mine is in the public eye. I’m quite certain they understand that.”
The worst-to-first Boston Red Sox are the defending World Series Champions.
Full Jerry Remy radio interview: