Red Sox color commentator Jerry Remy left the broadcast booth last August after his son was charged with murder, but he announced today that he will return for the 2014 season.
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Remy spoke for about 30 minutes this afternoon in front of a small group of reporters and admitted that he was leaning toward not returning until recently. However, the support from his family and friends and a clean bill of health were motivators for him to rejoin play-by-play man Don Orsillo.
Here’s part of his statement from this afternoon:
“Right around the turn of the year, after a miserable holiday season, that baseball clock clicks in a little bit, and people reminded me — my inner circle of friends and my wife — about my career and where it came from and where it is. I got drafted as a baseball player. I got drafted last and made it to the big leagues. I wanted to quit. My father talked me out of it. I made it to the big leagues. When I started this job — awful. I was terrible. I couldn’t wait for the first season to be over because I wanted out. I didn’t quit. I continued on for 26 years. When I got cancer, I wanted to quit. I didn’t. It threw me into a depression. I came back. I continued on. Some of these things started to resonate a little bit with me. I’ve never been a quitter, and I don’t intend to be one now. I’ve been in professional baseball in some capacity for 40 years. It’s what I do. It’s what I know. It’s where my comfort level is. It’s where I feel I belong and where I feel that I’m going to continue to do so for as long as possible.”
Remy’s son, Jared, has pleaded not guilty to the murder of his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel. The trial is set for October 7.
In addition to announcing his return today, Remy passed along his deepest sympathies to the Martel family. He and his wife have filed have filed for custody of Jared and Jennifer’s daughter along with two other parties, including the Martels.
The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.
Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”
Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”
The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.
There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.
Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.