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Jerry Remy on D&C: Mariano Rivera ‘a class act’

07.17.13 at 9:59 am ET

NESN Red Sox color commentator Jerry Remy joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning for his weekly baseball discussion, and he offered his thoughts on Tuesday night’s All-Star Game.

Remy said he watched the Midsummer Classic to see how the Red Sox players would fare as well as to watch the final All-Star appearance of Mariano Rivera. The retiring Yankees closer was named MVP after pitching a scoreless eighth inning in the American League’s 3-0 victory at Citi Field in New York.

“It was great to see him come in and see him get the respect of both the American League and National League and the fans in New York,” Remy said. “You talk about a class act. Has there ever been a bad word said about this guy? Never. It’s a real rarity to see a guy like that.”

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig did not get an All-Star invitation despite his tremendous first six weeks in the majors. Remy is fine with that decision.

“I didn’t think he belonged there, to be honest with you,” Remy said. “I know he’s an exciting kid and all this stuff. But let’s see him for a year. And some of his antics have been crazy. I don’t think that’s a good example for Major League Baseball right now. I think he’s got to grow up a little bit. He’s obviously a very talented kid. But heck, right now I could go back and have a good month and be named to an All-Star team — I’m quite confident at the age of 60.

“I think he’s got a lot of growing up to do. Let’s give him a chance to grow up at the big league level. He’ll be an All-Star many times over.”

Asked which Red Sox player of Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and John Lackey has impressed him the most this season, Remy went with the pitcher.

“I love Pedroia, I love watching him play every day. Ortiz went through streaks where he was just unbelievable. But the guy I’m most happy about is Lackey,” Remy said. “Because he went through a lot in this city when he came here. He was never healthy, he got booed, his attitude was not good because he was not pitching well and he was not feeling like like himself. And here’s a guy who really worked his tail off. I saw it with my own eyes all last year. He’d be out on the bench during games, he’d be cheering guys on, I’d see him in the clubhouse. He’s a great teammate. And he’s actually throwing better right now than he threw when was with the Angels.

“I’m really, really happy for him. And I’m glad that the people are starting to respond to a guy who was a class pitcher for the Angels and maybe even a bit better now after the Tommy John surgery.”

Added Remy: “He worked hard at the rehabilitation, he got his body in shape and he came back a totally different guy. I think he deserves an awful lot of credit for what he’s done. That wouldn’t have been a popular thing to say a year ago, but I think everybody realizes it now.”

Clay Buchholz, meanwhile, has been out since June 8 with neck soreness. Remy said criticism aimed at Buchholz for his lengthy absence is misguided.

“I honestly think they want him to be 100 percent. I don’t think you want to mess with this kid,” Remy said. “He was incredible when he was out there pitching. There’s obviously something wrong. Clay Buchholz is a guy that’s going to take the ball and go out on the mound. It’s obvious that there’s something there that’s causing him from doing that. If it was just some usual pitching soreness or tenderness, he’d be out there. But it’s not. It’s more than that. It’s got to be more than that.

“He’s not that type of kid that’s going to sit back and say, ‘I’ve got to feel like I can go out there and be great.’ I think if it was just normal pitching soreness, he’d be out there pitching. But it’s not. And I think there’s some concern about that. We’ll see how it goes. ‘€¦ But I am concerned about it. Because it’s been a long time now.”

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.

Read More: Clay Buchholz, Jerry Remy, john lackey, Mariano Rivera
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