Opening Day For The World Champs

That was a fast offseason.

The 2014 Red Sox begin their regular season this afternoon at 3:05 in Baltimore. A defiant Jerry Remy will be in the booth alongside Don Orsillo despite the fact that his presence on the telecasts is not just a job to earn a living, but he is there to entertain and inform the audience, some of whom may be uncomfortable with having him on.

He has a right to earn a living, but this is not just any living. Despite being a private person with a private lifestyle, his job puts him very much in the public eye.

My personal feelings are conflicted on this. While I appreciated Chad Finn’s column from Friday where he made the case that there is no reason to oust Remy from his job, I can see the other side too.

There are other factors here too. Putting aside the legal matters with his son, is Jerry Remy the best person for this job? At one time he was among the very best color commentators in the game. Is he still? I think that’s up for debate. Is he even the best one employed by the station? (I say Dennis Eckersley is better.) Does he bring out the best in his partner? I don’t think he does. Too often, they go off onto silly tangents, and is that going to be appropriate now? When Orsillo works with Eckersley, one of the things I appreciate is that Eck solicits input from Orsillo, who sometimes seems surprised at that. But he brings out the best in Orsillo, which is better for the broadcast.

So Eckersley doesn’t want the gig full time. OK. I was just using him as an example.

I really don’t know how these first few weeks and beyond are going to go. Are we just going to forget about it, and it will be Don and Jerry and Wally as usual? It’s really hard to tell. We know Remy’s not going anywhere of his volition, and John Henry and NESN are not going to remove him.

Finn in the Red Sox preview in the Globe had a look at all the Sox radio and TV voices.

For the on-field team, there is plenty of intrigue, from the official rookie season of Xander Bogaerts, to the comeback of Grady Sizemore (Tony Massarotti’s personal source of anger) and the performance of veterans who performed so above expectations last year.

Of course, we’re already being told in some quarters that there is no where for this season to go but down. I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad we have these brave truth-tellers to set us yahoo honks straight on things.

Check all today’s coverage at RedSoxLinks.com.

  • APNDaveR

    VICTORINO IS DOWN! THERE’S NO WAY THE SOX CAN COMPETE WITHOUT HIM, MIKE! THE SEASON’S OVER!

    (just glancing into the near future….)

  • Bob

    Would miss Remy if he goes, but I cannot listen to Eck with his made up baseball terms.

    • agramante

      Well, I’ll say this much. Remy has a voice I like listening to. Guys like him, Dan Patrick and Dave O’Brien–they could read the phone book and I’d enjoy listening. I do think Remy has slipped in recent years–he used to know the opposition better. He’s shown barely any decency, and no self-awareness at all, throughout this whole episode with his son. I think NESN would be doing itself a favor to let him go.

  • Leo

    Remy hasn’t been an informative analyst in years. NESN should have replaced him before it gets worse. 98.5 should look long term and replace Squeaky now. He offers nothing original. The Red Sox have some terrible analysts on NESN between Remy,Rice, and Cafardo. Who is NESN’s sideline reporter?

  • latetodinner

    Well after a week of hand wringing Jerry Remy is still in place, without a care in the world (or at least the one he lives in in NESNland) and the rest of us are stuck if we want to watch the TV broadcast. Well, I guess I won’t. I have no problem listening to Dave O’Brien and Joe C.

    I was surprised that WEEI and the D&C show were talking Remy again this AM. I thought ‘new week, opening day, new themes”…but then it dawned on me…WEEI has a vested interested in people tuning out the TV broadcast and tuning in the Radio one. They can beat the Remy horse all year and it probably helps them with the Sox broadcast ratings as well as the talk ratings.

    As for the actual team on the field…spring training did not tell us anything. These harmonious camps that Farrell runs are akin to Patriot camps where you learn nothing.Let the real games start and we will see how things shake out.

    With regards to some specific story lines:

    -I think it is great Grady Sizemore won the starting CF job. His attitude and work ethic are inspirational. I have no idea how long his body will hold up. What I do know is each day that it does is one more lesson I can teach my 13 year old gymnast daughter about hard work, coming back from injury and always staying positive.

    - John Lester and his contract. As far as I can tell no player who has been given more than $100 mill contract has worked out and performed commiserate with the contract. (the only possible exception to that was Manny and he cheated with PEDs). If that is the case, I would let Lester walk. I think 4 years $100 mill is a gamble and he is looking more at 6 years $150 mill. With Owens, Renado, Hill, De La Rosa, Workman and a host of others coming…let Lester go and be someone else’s financial albatross. Do not get me wrong. I like Lester and I think he is a good pitcher. Hard throwing lefties are impossible to find. I am only suggesting that so far evidence points to huge $100 + mill contracts as making the players complacent. I prefer hungry to complacent.

    - trade Johnny Gomes. Do it before his act wears thin and he becomes a problem in the clubhouse. Do it before I have to hear another media member talk about WAR. Lastly, do it because I can’t handle the surfer talk much more.

    • agramante

      Agreed on just about every point. On Lester, if the Sox let someone else give him $100+M, it’ll be the classic “our team will regret it for the first two years” kind of thing, letting a guy go while he’s still in his prime. But the back end of a big contract with him I think will be a disaster. If Sox management is content with paying an underachiever more than $20M per year, then great. Otherwise, go with the kids. Ellsbury will hurt the Sox for a few years too, but no way did I want them offering him that kind of money.

  • DryHeave

    Can understand how some might feel but I always come back to reality….will him being on the broadcast “ruin the games” for me?…NO .. I don’t know Remy personally. Just another guy with a microphone. Pretty sure I’ll still be able to enjoy the games.

  • Homer Greenz

    I could not agree with you more about Eckersley.

  • Homer Greenz

    I am pretty sure that this morning during the D & C show I heard a promo clip that was Holley ripping Salk. He said something about “…me during the last year.”

    • latetodinner

      During the Dale and Holley show yesterday they were talking about erasing contract years and Holley quipped “can I erase last year?”

      • bsmfan

        Gotta wonder what he did in such a short time to piss that many people off?

      • Homer Greenz

        Thanks!

  • bsmfan
    • APNDaveR

      My thoughts exactly. Great column.