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A week has passed since the Boston Globe printed a scathing expose on famed former Red Sox second baseman and NESN color commentator Jerry Remy’s son, Jared Remy. Jared Remy is awaiting trial for the murder of his girlfriend and mother of one of his two children, Jen Martel. Again for the second time in as many months, Red Sox fans questioned whether Jerry Remy should continue broadcasting for NESN during the 2014 season.
The article accused Jerry Remy of enabling his son by securing employment for his son and paying for legal and mental health support. Globe reporter, Eric Moskowitz, detailed Jared Remy’s long criminal history that included many, many assault cases against women he dated, use of steroids, and other run-ins with the law.
The week plodded forward. Everyone was disgusted with Jared Remy’s acts, and some were upset at the behavior of Jerry Remy towards his son. Again, for the third time in eight months, people wanted Jerry Remy to step down from his post.
Remy had no choice but to respond to all the accusations and chatter. Remy sought closure, for what will hopefully be the last time, by calling into the Dennis and Callahan Show on WEEI. During his conversation with hosts John Dennis and Gerry Callahan, he admitted that he and his wife Phoebe did enable Jared.
“Yes. We paid for lawyers, we paid for psychiatrists, we paid for the help that we thought he needed. I think a lot of families would have done the same thing. Others would not have, others would have thrown him out on the street. But that just wasn’t our way. Now when you look back on it, what was the right thing to do? I don’t have an answer for that. I really don’t have an answer for that.”
He insisted that he and his wife were only doing what they thought was best for Jared, and their granddaughter and grandson. Remy understands and accepts that both he and his wife failed as parents:
“Looking back, I don’t know if I would do things differently. I really don’t. I think that we did the best we possibly could. We both are loving parents. We thought we were trying to do what we could to get this kid on the right track. And we failed. We failed. It’s that, plain and simple. There’s no other better way to describe it than we were not successful in that. If people don’t understand that, there’s nothing I can do to make them change their mind.”
Everything that was stated on WEEI is accurate because it came straight from Jerry’s heart. He deserves to continue to work as Red Sox commentator on NESN because of his honesty and ability to acknowledge that the decisions they made along the line regarding Jared were their best reactions at the time. The public can easily judge, but at the end of the day, whether the Remy’s were hands-on or hands-off in their parenting style would not have mattered. Something bad would have inevitably happened because Jared did not want to take responsibility for his actions, nor his mental or physical health. Jared had to do the heavy lifting, making the conscious choice to stay away from the steroids and improve himself through the care made possible by his family. Jared did not want to do that kind of heavy lifting.
Jerry should return to work because it is a way to heal. Baseball is America’s pastime, not passing judgment on how former baseball players should raise their children. There are many NESN viewers going through similar situations. Jerry is a positive example for them. Those struggling can rise above the criticism, pain, and sadness that come with loss and violence through engagement with fulfilling work, and looking forward to a brighter future. Remy must make his life worth living, just like everyone else, whether we face adversity or not. It is the best revenge, after all, right?
His acknowledgement of where he went wrong as a parent is enough for this fan to continue to tune in and support him through what is a very difficult time. If others cannot come to peace with the situation, all I can suggest is to tune into the games broadcast by Fox while you find the compassion in your heart to forgive Jerry Remy for what you perceive to be his parenting transgressions.