Red Sox color commentator Jerry Remy, who has been out of the booth since his son, Jared, was accused of the murder of his girlfriend, won’t return this season, it was announced after Thursday’s game.
Jared Remy pleaded not guilty Aug. 16 to the murder of girlfriend Jennifer Martel.
“I am full of grief for the Martel family,” Jerry Remy said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to them. My wife and I are sick about this senseless tragedy. It’s clear this isn’t the time for me to return to broadcasting Red Sox games. It’s my hope that I can do so in the spring. I thank NESN and the Red Sox for their support through this nightmare.”
One imagines Remy will have a place in the Red Sox booth for as long as he wants it, and at 60, he’s far from too old to do the job. However, he’s put in full seasons in just two of the last five years. He sat out most of 2009 after complications arising from cancer surgery, and in 2012, he dealt with depression and took a leave of absence. It’s possible he could call it a career this winter or at least scale back his workload significantly.
With Remy out in recent weeks, NESN and the Red Sox been using Dennis Eckersley for color commentary, though that’s been getting them a whole lot more color than commentary. They’ll surely need to do better if Remy steps away, and it wouldn’t hurt to audition a few candidates now. Gabe Kapler maybe?
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.