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Jerry Remy Return Sometime Soon?

Jerry Remy (Image from

Depression to Blame for Remy’s Extended Absence

According to the Boston Globe, Jerry Remy will appear in the Red Sox booth Wednesday night for an inning, a sign that he could be returning to the booth permanently in the near future. He was at Fenway Park attending Terry Francona’s press conference Wednesday, the first time Remy visited the park since his illness.

Remy spoke to the media before the game Wednesday, and said his return was delayed while he battled depression. He told Channel 5’s Mike Lynch he doesn’t know when he’ll come back, but he expects to return this season “You battle through and you get through it and it’s nice to get back to the park where I’m supposed to be,” Remy said.

Remy’s full dialogue is below:

“Since last season, it was kind of weighing on my mind. I didn’t know what it was. I went into the cat scan with the understanding that at the end of the season they would have to take that out. Dr. Ronin saw a spot on my lung. He went in the week before Thanksgiving, they took that out. That couldn’t have gone better. There was no follow-up treatment. Cat scan after three month. No chemo. No radiation.

Then after that, I got hit with an infection, right at the end of January into spring training. I was back at mass general for 10 days. Three weeks of antibiotics. That was probably worse for me. It all started crashing down on me. I had therapy for that. I had lost 25 pounds. Looking back on it, it was probably my fault that I went to spring training. It was an easy schedule. I thought if I could get started, I could get going. But I wasn’t ready. I wasn’t strong enough. Emotionally, I wasn’t ready. Physically, I wasn’t ready.

So I started to crash. Probably in Cleveland. Don (Orisillo) saw the crash first hand. It wasn’t fair to Don to work one day, not work. It wasn’t fair to the company. It all finally came crashing down on me. I had been fighting depression the last couple of months. I got therapy for that. Trying to get my meds right. Physically I’m back. I got the weight back on that I’d lost because of the infections. And mentally, I think I’m on the right path. Doctors told me to expect that sort of thing. They’re kind of surprised I didn’t crash before I did. The cancer part, I couldn’t have been luckier thanks to Doctor Ronin at Mass General. They caught it very early. Things that happened after that

I plan on coming back this year but I can’t put a date on it. I’ve already passed two deadlines of my own. As I said at the beginning, when I come back, I come back full time. I’ve got a date in mind, but I don’t want to say what it is because I’ve already missed a couple of my dates.

Look, people go through this stuff all the time. It’s been hard. There’s no way around it. It’s been very hard. Because you’re doing a job, it makes it twice as hard. I can’t watch the games. I watch the national games. But the home games I can’t watch. I’m supposed to be there. It makes me feel guilty. It breaks me down even more. I’m aware of what’s going on.

I’ll tell you something. Never in my wildest dreams…I have boxes and boxes and boxes and boxes of cards, letters, prayers, kindergarten schools’ letters, tweets, emails. I can’t believe. In a way, you feel like you’ve done something right for these people. It’s awfully nice. And there’s no way I can get back to them. If I get back on the air, that’s the way I’ll thank them. Overwhelming. Overwhelming.

It’s kind of like a trial run, I guess. I came in last week for the McCartney concert. I made it to that OK, so I thought maybe I’d get back to see some of the guys downstairs to see Tito, some of the players, sit in on his press conference. Simulate a game.

I’m anxious. I’m not going to lie; I feel a little nervous. I just want to get back to work. Get back in the role of what I do. The pressure thing, it’s tough. It’s not easy. You know that commercial on TV where that lady cranks herself up to get up in the morning? That’s the way it is. That’s basically what it’s been like in the last couple of months. I’ve been in the gym for the last two months, I put my weight back that I’d lost from the infection. Physically, I feel fine, but mentally, the other part is tough to deal with. It’s trial and error.

You try to keep busy. I’ve been doing a hell of a lot more reading than I’ve ever done. I’ll tell you that. My wife’s been special. My family has been special. They’ve done a lot.

I’m just going to tell them the reason I’m depressed is because I’ve had to listen to Orsillo. I don’t know what I’m going to say when I’m doing the game.

I’m not ashamed of anything. People deal with cancer all the time with depression. I’m not embarrassed by that. If there’s any way I can help anybody, you know, what the hell? I’m not immune to all that. I will say this: the last two years and they knew about it last year; they didn’t know I had cancer and it’s been a difficult time. It’s taken a lot out of me. The way I feel I’m going to get that back is I’m going back to doing what I do.

As President Obama says, ‘I have not been perfect.’ But I’ve been pretty good (at quitting smoking). It’s very difficult. It’s a terrible addiction. I’m not going to preach to the choir. I would just ask that you never pick your first one up. Once you pick your first one up, you’re screwed. Those who don’t smoke out there, don’t do it.

This was life-threatening. You get your knee fixed, you get your knee scraped out. They know what it is, you get your back operated on, you know you’re coming back. This has been the range of emotions you go through with all of this and it seems to hit you all at once.

On that road trip at the beginning of the season, I didn’t realize how weak I was. We go out to Anaheim. I went to bed, the next morning, I wake up, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. And I knew right then and there, I had tricked myself thinking I could try to do this. All the things together, it takes a lot out of you. When you physically get injured, you know you’re going to get better. It’s not life-threatening.

I didn’t know until 2:30 that I was coming when I was talking to my wife and I said, ‘You know, and It sounds crazy, but kind of a big step was coming to the McCartney concert. When I got back to the ballpark, I felt good. The better I feel, there would have to be a day where I had to come here. I looked at it today and I thought, ‘What are you doing? Get in there,’ I was lying around.

Yeah, it was (spur of the moment). Like I said, I have a date in mind, but I wanted to get in here prior. I wouldn’t say I’m doing great, but I’m here, with a month to go.

The best medicine is your family.

I think (a smaller schedule) would be better. I think the initial idea is home games. And if they have a big trip on the road and I’m feeling up to it, I might be there for it.

As I said it’s been overwhelming. In a way, at first, it worked against me because it felt like I was letting people down. But I was crying reading them. My wife was reading them and I couldn’t read them and while I was on the couch. And she’d read them all to me. Tito’s emailed me a thousand times. It’s been very responsive.”

About KC Downey - @kc_downey

KC is the "head coach" of the Sports of Boston, LLC blog network. Follow him on Twitter: @kc_downey

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2 comments for “Jerry Remy Return Sometime Soon?”

  1. […] Jerry Remy Return Sometime Soon? […]

    Posted by Jerry Remy Update: Cancer-Free | Sports of Boston | August 13, 2009, 5:30 am
  2. jerry, it was so great to see you last nite. on mlb package, we do not always get nesn. sometimes, the other team’s guys. so it was with great joy that we had nesn last nite. you look great, and it will be so good to have you back.
    i know a lot about depression. last nov. while visiting daughter and family in vegas, i started panic attacks. could not get out of bed for days. did not eat, lost weight. started taking my xanex i had for nervousness. it helps. finally, fighting it and taking meds, i started to feel like being in the world again. my family and i could not understand why the least thing could trigger uncontrolable crying. i was away from my doctor.
    well, it took over 6 months and now i can talk to people, and not cry. it is a good feeling.
    God was so good to me!!! he will help you too.
    we await your return, just not the same without you. too much cheese, ha ha!!
    your greatest fans,
    john and betty bartman.

    what is wrong with the red sox, is tito’s having to change the lineup around. that is not good for a team, we think. there was not the same ole gang and we think that was why they did not play good. so, we blame theo for making tito live with too many players.

    Posted by betty bartman | August 13, 2009, 1:12 pm

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