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Jerry Remy on D&C: Loss of Rich Hill ‘a terrible blow’

06.03.11 at 12:08 pm ET
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Jerry Remy

NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy called in to the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk baseball and a little hockey. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Remy said that Daisuke Matsuzaka’s decision to have Tommy John surgery probably means Red Sox fans have seen the last of the Japanese starter, whose time with the Red Sox he called “a mixed bag.”

“It’s always been a bumpy road,” Remy said. “Communication-wise, pitching-wise, it’s just been a bumpy road all the way through. I think that once he’s gone for a couple of years, nobody will remember Daisuke.”

Remy said that Matsuzaka’s biggest problem has always been his unwillingness to change his training and between-starts regimens to fit the MLB pitching schedule.

“He had his own set way of doing things, and that’s what he had done his whole career over in Japan, and that’s what he probably expected to do here,” Remy said. “But it’s a different game. Over in Japan, he was pitching what, once a week? That’s not the case here. They tried and tried and tried to change the way he did things, and he was stubborn about it.”

Remy said that the loss of Rich Hill might impact the Red Sox far more than Matsuzaka.

“That’s a terrible blow to the Red Sox, because this kid was pitching great baseball for the Red Sox, and he was the only left-hander they had had out of the bullpen,” Remy said.

Remy said that because of his production, David Ortiz has given himself some bargaining power at the end of the year, making his future with Red Sox unclear.

“I think the way David feels, he wants more than a year,” Remy said. “The way he’s playing right now, there would probably be no reason that somebody wouldn’t give him more than a year. So if the Red Sox are sticking to the one-year plan, he may go somewhere else.”

He added that Ortiz is “playing great baseball right now.”

“He’s locked in as good as I’ve seen him in a long, long time,” Remy said. “Driving the ball to the opposite field, pulling the ball when he has to, hitting home runs, driving in runs, high batting average. This is as good as it gets for David right now. So I don’t know what they’re going to do at the end of this season.”

Of J.D. Drew, Remy said that if Terry Francona were putting his best nine on the field Friday night, Drew would be on the bench.

“You’d probably put somebody like [Josh] Reddick out there, or they may be waiting for Ryan Kalish to come back from the minor leagues and try him out there,” Remy said. “They’ve got some options.”

Added Remy: “They’re a better team if J.D.’s playing better, but at this particular time he’s not.”

Remy briefly discussed John Lackey’s return on Sunday, saying that no one in the organization knows what to expect, and that Lackey worked especially hard at not bringing his hands above his head when he pitches.

Remy also weighed in on the May 25 collision between Giants catcher Buster Posey and Marlins outfielder Scott Cousins that ended Posey’s season and drew harsh criticism from Giants general manager Brian Sabean.

“I’m a little bit surprised at all the hoopla about it,” Remy said. “I guess it’s because it’s Posey and he’s a terrific young player, but we see this almost on a nightly basis. I think it was one of those unfortunate things where [Posey] lost control of the baseball, and once he lost control of the baseball he couldn’t protect himself. That’s when he got crushed at home plate.”

Remy said that home-plate collisions may be more common today than during his playing time, but catchers are also taught how to properly block the plate.

Remy both began and ended the conversation discussing the Bruins. He said he was impressed with how well Tim Thomas played in Game 1, and that he liked that Saturday’s Red Sox game is a day game so fans can watch both the Red Sox and the Bruins that night. He compared Alex Burrows‘ apparent biting of Patrice Bergeron‘s finger to throwing at someone’s head in baseball: inappropriate, inexcusable and taboo.

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Daisuke Matsuzaka, David Ortiz, J.D. Drew
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