Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy announced on Monday that he will be returning to the broadcast booth for the 2014 season. Remy met with a group of reporters at NESN's studios to break the news.
Last August Remy left his job for the remainder of the season after Jared Remy, Jerry's son, has been accused of stabbing his girlfriend Jennifer Martel. Jared is still being held in prison without bail.
Jerry Remy and his wife have applied for custody of Jared and Jennifer's daughter, and the bulk of Remy's remarks made to reporters on Monday focused on conveying his sympathies for the Martel family.
The following is Remy's opening statement, which appears -- along with the rest of Remy's comments from a question-and-answer session -- on WEEI.com:
“Last August 15th, we lost a beautiful woman. She was energetic. She was a wonderful mother. She was a person who was trying to make better for herself through going to school, wanted to become a teacher. It’s been an incredible loss, obviously, to the Martel family to lose their daughter Jen. Jen was also very close with us, very close with my family, with my daughter, with my son. We can’t even imagine or feel the pain that the Martels are going through and have been going through daily since this tragedy. We’ve also gone through a lot of pain. I don’t want in any way to take away from what they’ve had to deal with, what they’ve had to go through. But by far the worst day of my life, and obviously the worst day of the Martels’ life. They don’t have the benefit now of speaking to her, talking to her. They’ll never see her again. Her daughter will never see her again. We at least get the chance to talk to our son through phone calls from incarceration or visits.
“People have told me in time that things get better. Time has not gotten things better. I still feel the same way today as I felt on the night of August 15th. We were doing a game in Toronto. I got on the team bus going to the hotel. I was notified by somebody on the bus that some reporter was trying to reach me because there was an incident, and my initial reaction was that the incident was from the night before and I didn’t pay it much mind, but then it started to bother me, so I called my wife, and she gave me the news that Jen was dead. Obviously I was in shock on the ride home from Toronto, and I apologize to the media for not being available to them at that particular time, but I was in no condition to talk about it or even imagine it.
“At that particular time, as the days went on, I got away from here for about four or five days. They were hanging around the house, waiting for a comment, and I wasn’t ready to give it. I hid away at a friend’s house for four or five days. It gave us a chance a little bit to get our thoughts together, to get our emotions together, and see exactly where we were with this. It became worse and worse. The initial shock, the initial grief all got worse. There was no possible way that I felt I could come back last year to do Red Sox baseball. We had a discussion with NESN people, with the Red Sox people. They had wanted me to come back, but I couldn’t do it. They respected my wishes and said that you’d be welcome back anytime you want to come back.
“During that span, I didn’t watch any games. I couldn’t tell you what happened from August 15th to the playoffs. I did watch the playoffs. I did watch the World Series. Once the World Series was over, the trickle-down effect of this tragedy was even more than I could imagine — how it affected not only the Martel family, obviously, but also how it affected our family. I just fell into a thing where every day, something was popping up that was worse than the day before. At that particular time, I was giving no thought at all to whether I was going to be back doing this, not doing it, didn’t care. If you’d asked me in November, December, if I’d be back, the answer would have been no. We were going through and are still going through issues almost on a daily basis between custody, between, obviously, my son’s upcoming trial. There’s a lot on everybody’s plate. I felt, for a couple of months, two or three months, that was over, there was no way I was coming back. I had two main concerns — obviously, what the public would think, and whether I could be myself. My answers at that time were no. I had a very small circle of friends, three very good friends of my wife who were encouraging me to reconsider the way I felt or at least give it time, give it more time. I promised them that I would do that. I couldn’t find a reason to come back. I just couldn’t find it.
“Right around the turn of the year, after a miserable holiday season, that baseball clock clicks in a little bit, and people reminded me — my inner circle of friends and my wife — about my career and where it came from and where it is. I got drafted as a baseball player. I got drafted last and made it to the big leagues. I wanted to quit. My father talked me out of it. I made it to the big leagues. When I started this job — awful. I was terrible. I couldn’t wait for the first season to be over because I wanted out. I didn’t quit. I continued on for 26 years. When I got cancer, I wanted to quit. I didn’t. It threw me into a depression. I came back. I continued on. Some of these things started to resonate a little bit with me. I’ve never been a quitter, and I don’t intend to be one now. I’ve been in professional baseball in some capacity for 40 years. It’s what I do. It’s what I know. It’s where my comfort level is. It’s where I feel I belong and where I feel that I’m going to continue to do so for as long as possible.
“I must say that I hope in no way that my decision to come back to do games has a negative impact on the Martel family. I’m quite certain they’ll understand that we have to make a living. Unfortunately, mine is in the public eye. I think they’ll understand that. We have spoken to the Martels. Phoebe and I have expressed our condolences to the family and to the brother and the sister-in-law. It seemed to be received. We can understand their anger. I would feel the same way.
“It was really three friends of mine and my wife that got me off the schneid because I had been trying to tell my family that we have to move on in some capacity and live our lives, yet I was one that was resisting that. I think it’s up to me to set an example to go on and live my life. Unfortunately — well, fortunately or unfortunately — it’s in the public eye, and it makes it a little bit different than some other things.
“I’m open to taking any questions that you have. I just want to be super sensitive to the Martel family with all of this because we do feel horrible for them. We just can’t imagine what it’s like, waking up every morning and not being able to be with your daughter who is a very, very special person.”