Red Sox Nation will make the ultimate decision whether Jerry Remy will be able to continue to be a part of NESN's Red Sox broadcasts according to Remy himself this morning.
A day after Remy spoke to the Globe's Dan Shaughnessy about his plans to continue as color commentator on NESN Red Sox broadcasts even as his son Jared prepares to go on trial in October in the murder of Jennifer Martel, he took to the airwaves to answer a few questions.
"I can understand the people that are upset with [the decision to remain in the booth]," Remy said when he called into WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan" show Friday with the Red Sox Opening Day in Baltimore just a few days away. "I understand that and I expected that. I knew for a long time that there was a story that was going to come out that was not going to be kind to us by any means, but that was all taken into consideration before I made my decision back in February that I was going to come back. So I did come back to spring training, I felt very comfortable doing the games, that was important to me to be able to be in the booth and have some peace in doing the games and there was never any question that I was going to go into the season. People made a big deal about coming home for a week when there were reasons for that, it was prearranged and I'm just ready to go on to Baltimore now and begin the season. I don't know what else could possibly come our way, I have no idea. I don't see how it could get worse than it's been this week but with the support of the Red Sox and NESN, my decision has been made to go on. Hopefully in time, those who don't like the idea will come around, but if not, I certainly understand how people feel."
Remy was asked what kind of support he was getting from fans in general.
"It's a small taste," Remy said of the feedback he's received this week. "Being around the ballpark in Fort Myers was a very positive experience for me from the people. The majority of them were wishing me well, thinking about me and all that stuff so that made me feel good. I understand the other side. I certainly get it. It's what I expected when I made my decision before and I just feel that I have to go on with my life in some form and this is what I still enjoy doing. Look, if I didn't enjoy doing what I'm doing now, if I was at the end of my rope and said I've had enough broadcasts, I'd have been gone in a second but it's a job that I love. I still love it as much as I did 26 years ago when I started it. I feel like I have a right to make a living and go on and do my job. Ultimately, I work for very, very smart people. They will make the ultimate decision on whether this is the right thing or the wrong thing. I hope it turns out to be the right thing."
Remy was asked if he regretted enabling Jared by financially supporting him throughout his son's troubled years.
"Yes, of course we did," Remy said. "What are we guilty of? We're guilty of getting him lawyers when he was in trouble. We were well aware what was going on with Jared and we tried our best to do everything along the way to get him as much help as he possibly could. And then for a stretch it seemed like he had his life in order and then of course everything caved in and we felt as parents... did we enable him? Yes, we paid for lawyers, we paid for a psychiatrist, 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 into the street, but that just wasn't our way. When you look back on it, was it the right thing to do? I don't have an answer to that. I really don't have an answer for that."
When asked if he was paying for Jared's lawyer now with the pending murder trial, Remy replied simply: "Yes."
Remy was asked if ever considered putting an end to the financial and emotional support that he provided to his son.
"It was not an option, he was our son, he's our son and we tried to do the best that we possibly could for him," Remy said. "Unless you go through something like this, like I said, people have different ways of dealing with their own personal families and I was in a position where I felt that we could deal with it in a proper way and get him the proper help ... believe me, we tried everything we possibly could and stuff about buying cars and this and that you look back and you say, 'Maybe we should have did [sic] things differently,' but the fact is he was a kid that couldn't hold onto a job. He couldn't do this, he couldn't do that, and one thing you've got to keep in mind through all this is that we wanted the best for our granddaughter, too. He was living with Jennifer and our granddaughter was there and we didn't want to see her thrown out on the street and begin her life in a horrible way and now obviously it's horrible now. But that's just the way we felt, that's the type of people we are. Some people can accept that and some people still can't accept it so looking back I don't know if I would do things differently, I really don't. We did the best that we possibly could. We thought we were loving parents and 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 better way to describe it than we were not successful in that and if people don't understand that well there's nothing I can do to change their mind. That's their prerogative."
Remy said he always felt there would be more trouble with his son.
"We always felt that it was a disaster waiting to happen, something around the corner and that's why we always tried to get him as much possible help as you can. Sometimes it takes two to tango and a lot of times the tango wasn't there... I can't say if I had to go back and do a certain thing different that I would. It's been awful, absolutely horrible. It's horrible for two families and it's not something that I wish on anybody that has to go through this with children because when you have children, and you guys do, you know how you feel about them and you try to do the right thing. And the right thing doesn't always turn out right."
When Remy was asked if he considered getting Jared a public defender in lieu of paying for an attorney to defend him, Jerry Remy said his financial resources would come into play.
"Well, here's the deal with that. If you do that, people say ... supposedly I've got a ton of money and you wouldn't be able to get a public defender because you're supposed to be able to afford his defense, so you're caught between a rock and a hard place so he has representation. He deserves that. Whether it makes it to trial or not, I don't know. We'll see what happens. It may not even make it to trial. We don't know what's in his head."
Remy was asked if he knew why the women involved with Jared may not have done all they could to aid the process of getting Jared jailed for his actions.
"No, I don't understand it," Jerry Remy said. "I will say one thing about the [Globe] story, you have to consider some of the sources in the story that came out. With that said, they all had the option of moving forward. There's no holding back from this end of the family on anything to do with anything from his personal life. There was none of that. And had any one of them wanted to move forward, as some did, there was no reluctance on our part to have them do that and they had every right in the world to do that so it's exhausting and I don't know really what's more to say about it except that it's been a terrible time, a terrible tragedy, we'll never get Jen back and do we reflect on ourselves as parents and what we could have done? Of course we do. And we do it daily. But somehow we have to find a way to move forward and the way I'm trying to move forward is to do what I do and I think it's important for me to do that to show my grandson and eventually my granddaughter that you've got to fight a little bit and you gotta continue on and as I said, Red Sox Nation will make the ultimate decision. They will make the decision, believe me. I said I work for smart people, they'll know. And if they know, they'll say, 'See ya.'"
Remy would not delve into what details he believed to be false in the Sunday Globe story by Eric Moskowitz.
"I'm not going to get into the whole story and get into what's false and what's not false but I can tell you that a lot of the things that came out in there were not accurate," Remy said. "Consider the sources. I'm not blaming the writer at all. He had a job to do. But there's a lot more that we know than he knows. So I would just leave it at that."
Remy was asked to comment on the fact that Jared saw little jail time during his troubled years while judges repeatedly were soft on their punishment toward his son.
“I don’t understand the legal system," Remy said. "I understand it a little bit better now, obviously, for the last couple of months than I did before. Could some of them have been tougher? Probably so. He did spend 81 days in jail. And we thought that was a wake-up call for him. And for a while it was. But their decisions on how they come to their decisions, I really don’t know about. That’s lawyer-judge stuff. If I’m guilty of anything, it was getting him a lawyer. Then going through the process, and we accepted whatever the result was. Should one of them have put him away for a longer period of time? Only they can answer that.”
Remy was asked about comments made recently by Kristina Hill, the friend and neighbor of Jennifer Martel’s who called into WEEI’s "Mut & Merloni" show this week and said the Remys discouraged Martel from extending the emergency restraining order against Jared the day before she was killed.
“Nonsense,” Remy said. “She can call the station and talk for 45 minutes if she wants but it’s nonsense. We did everything in our power to try to help Jennifer be safe. We encouraged her to leave. We offered her a safe haven. I don’t want to get into the nitty-gritty of some of these accusations, but I can tell you that Phoebe and I did everything we possibly could to make her safe and to encourage her to leave, to get out, to offer her a place to stay. It just didn’t work out that way.”
The Martels and Remys reached an agreement to settle a custody battle over the Jennifer and Jared's 5-year-old daughter Arianna on Tuesday. Jerry Remy was upset with some recent commentary implying that he would allow Jared to be in contact with Arianna.
“I read a column yesterday that comes out and says we’re bad parents and we shouldn't even be allowed to see our granddaughter because what will we do, have pictures of our son all over the house?" Remy said. "We’re not stupid. That kind of thing, it’s that kind of reporting that is disgusting to me, because what are we going to do, bring our granddaughter into our house, show her pictures of Daddy? Give me a break. We’re going to have her on the phone with him from the can? Give me a break. We’re going to take her for visitations to jail? Give me a break. We’re not stupid either. It’s those kind of things that upset me a little bit.
“The other stuff is fact. The other stuff is what it is. But when you start saying things like that. You can call us the worst parents in the world, I can accept that. You can call me an enabler, I can accept that. But when you start talking about how we’re going to treat our granddaughter toward her father and say foolish, stupid things like that, that is absurd. That is something we would never, ever expose her to. He has shown no desire. When he calls, he makes sure he calls on times when she’s not visiting. There’s been no contact, there will be no contact. Those are the kind of things that get under my skin a little bit. The rest of it is just what it is.”
Remy also said he had nothing to do with Jared being able to return to his job at Fenway Park in January 2006 after serving 81 days in Middlesex Jail.
"I can tell you that I didn't go and request the job back for him," Remy said.
In addition, Remy was asked if he was aware that his financial support to Jared was potentially funding his son's steroid abuse.
"There's no question he was on steroids," Remy said. "Did I ever see him take steroids? No. But I'm also not foolish. ... There was a certain amount of money going to him to live. And how he used that money, I have no idea. Obviously, when you look at it, I'm sure some of those dollars were going for steroid use... among other things. But I'm not silly enough to say he wasn't using steroids. Obviously he was. It was something he started right after high school and we had many talks about it, why it's not good and why you shouldn't be doing this and all that but that was his outlet of covering up all his other weaknesses. That was his outlet of feeling like he was something special being a body builder. Did I support that? Well, we gave him money to live. How he used that, I imagine some of it was used for steroids."