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Jerry Remy on D&C: ‘I just don’t mail games in’

03.20.13 at 10:50 am ET
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Jerry Remy

NESN analyst Jerry Remy joined Dennis & Callahan Wednesday to discuss the state of the Red Sox as spring training winds down, as well as address an article D&C co-host Kirk Minihane wrote last year that criticized Remy’s performance in the booth.

Remy said he wanted to talk to Minihane about the article, which praised some aspects of Remy’s work but noted he isn’t as “sharp” as he once was and that “it often feels like Remy is mailing it in.”

“You wrote something like I mail my games in, and I didn’t take well to that, only because I was a last-round draft choice, made it to the big leagues, I started this job with no experience. I’ve been through cancer. I’ve been through depression a couple of times. I just don’t mail games in,” Remy said. “That’s kind of like challenging my work ethic. … Being criticized for being a bad analyst, that’s fair game, but to criticize somebody’s work ethic, I found that very disappointing because I haven’t mailed a day in in my life, and it’s been a pretty good life for me.”

On the topic of the Sox, Remy said he thinks John Farrell will bring the stability that the pitching staff needs, and that while he’s concerned about some lingering injuries, he thinks the team is headed in the right direction.

“It’s been really an exceptionally quiet camp, and there’s a quiet confidence that I think has gone along with it,” Remy said. “Hopefully they can get off to a good start and get people thinking about the Red Sox again.

“I’m kind of optimistic, really. I’m not as pessimistic as a lot of people. … I think they may surprise some people, I really do, but again, it all goes back to the starting pitching.”

Following are more highlights from the conversation. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

On Daniel Bard: “The little bit that I’ve seen of him is, he looks more like the Daniel Bard of a couple of years ago. They’ve got him back throwing over the top. His velocity is better than it’s been. They’re still working on his slider because he still has a tendency to drop down on the slider a little bit, and that all came from trying to be a starting pitcher a year ago.

“The bullpen is so deep that I don’t know if he’s going to break camp with the Red Sox or not. The only thing that tells me right now that he may is the fact that you’ve got two left-handers out of there right now — [CraigBreslow is out of there, [FranklinMorales is out of there, so they’re down to one left-hander in the bullpen, so they may give Bard the opportunity right out of the chute.”

On whether Andrew Bailey or a catcher is more likely to be traded: “You’ve got a closer [in Joel Hanrahan], but the thing that scares me away from trading Bailey is the lack of the two lefties in the bullpen to start. I think they want as much depth out there as they can and that may put that [trade] on the back burner for a while until they get healthy.

[RyanLavarnway has been kind of the lost man out there. We all expected him to compete for the job, and then when they signed David Ross — who, by the way, looks pretty good — I guess they feel Lavarnway needs more time in the minor leagues or is available as trade bait. You never know what’s going to break this last week and a half, when teams start getting down close to their 25 and they start to realize what we really need and what we don’t need. That’s when you see a couple of deals break, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Red Sox involved in a deal.”

On three encouraging things and three concerning things from camp: “First of all, I think the pitching has been very, very good, and I think that’s not a coincidence. With Farrell coming back, he has a lot of things he’s noticed in a couple of the guys over the last couple of years and it’s been very obvious with guys like Jon Lester and [Clay] Buchholz and guys like that. The bullpen’s very strong. Jackie Bradley Jr.‘s the real deal. He’s going to eventually be a real good Major League Baseball player.

“The things I’m concerned about are obviously David Ortiz — how chronic is that going to be, is that going to be a problem he’s going to have to deal with now for the rest of his career? There have been ups and downs. Stephen Drew, it doesn’t help and he’s completely opposite of his brother, but unfortunately he’s got this concussion thing and who knows how long those things are going to hang on. So that’s a concern right now, but overall I honestly believe that if the team pitches, and the starting pitching in particular pitches pretty well, I think they’re going to do OK. [ShaneVictorino is going to fit in and [MikeNapoli has looked really good, particularly good over at first base, so that’s a positive right there.”

On who will DH and who’ll play left field on Opening Day in New York: “I think left field’s going to be Victorino. I think you want to put Victorino in the biggest spot in the outfield and of course Yankee Stadium, the biggest part of the ballpark is left field. The DH could be Jonny Gomes, and could Bradley make the club? There’s no point in Bradley making the club if he’s not going to play, and if he’s not going to play, you want to send him back to the minor leagues to play.”

On Bradley getting enough time if he plays against right-handers: “If the kid can play five games a week, that’s fine. Plenty of guys have come to the big leagues with that great success out of AA baseball. That would be fine. I think in an ideal world that would be good, and I think Farrell may be leaning in that direction, but we don’t know how the organization feels about it.”

On where the power will come from without Ortiz in the lineup: “There’s not a lot of it, and that’s why he’s so key to the lineup. That’s why yesterday was a little encouraging, saying that he thought he’d be back int he middle of May. I would take that right now, because he has basically done nothing down here but trying to get himself feeling good. What concerns me is that when you’re talking about both heels like that, that’s very painful — this is a big dude running the bases, and I just worry about the long-term effect, whether this is going to be a chronic thing, or whether this is going to be something that eventually will go away. I do have some concerns about it because I totally expected to come to spring training and have him completely ready for the season. I was stunned when I got down here and he was not close to being ready.”

Read More: Daniel Bard, David Ortiz, jackie bradley jr., Jerry Remy
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