Jerry Remy Does Not Like To Be Called a Bad Grandparent

Remy shot back at a Herald column that wondered whether he's fit to see his granddaughter.

Associated Press

Associated Press

NESN Red Sox commentator Jerry Remy gave a fascinating interview to the Dennis & Callahan radio show that shed light on which criticisms gets most under his skin in the wake of his son Jared’s alleged murder.

Remy won’t be stepping down from his position at NESN, but he acknowledged the calls for him to quit,  the accusations that he failed as a parent, and the recent Globe investigation into his son Jared Remy’s criminal history. He only sounded an angry note when seemingly alluding to a Margary Eagan column in the Herald suggesting the Remys shouldn’t have partial custody of their granddaughter.

On Sunday, the Globe published a story detailing Jared Remy’s long criminal history. In a statement, Jerry Remy contested some of the details in the story. In a follow-up interview with Dan Shaugnessy, he confirmed he would stay on this season. On the Dennis & Callahan show, Remy wouldn’t elaborate on what he saw as factual errors in the Globe story, making certain to say several times that he didn’t blame the reporter for pursuing it. He sounded contrite when faced with those who hope he’ll step down. “I understand that and I expected that,” he told the radio hosts. He even saw eye to eye in ways with those who say he failed as a parent. “We did the best we possibly could. … We failed. It’s that plain and simple.”

Only when he got to the subject of his fitness to raise his granddaughter did he really forcefully push back against critics. A settlement recently gave the Remys the right to visitation with their granddaughter, Arianna. On Wednesday, Herald columnist Margary Eagan wrote:

I can’t understand why Jerry and Phoebe Remy have fought for custody of their granddaughter, Arianna. Look at the children they raised.

She detailed the criminal charges against all three Remy children through the years, saying it showed a pattern of bad parenting.

It leaves me wondering about Arianna’s visits to Jerry and Phoebe Remy’s home. Are Jared’s pictures on the mantel? Do the Remys know how to talk to her about her father and why he’s behind bars? Will they think it’s OK for her to talk to Jared by phone?

Will their judgment be so clouded by love and loyalty for their son that they’ll eventually decide it’s all right to take Arianna to visit Jared in prison?

Remy had some answers to those questions:

You know 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? I mean we’re not stupid … It’s that kind of reporting that is disgusting to me because what are we going to do, bring our granddaughter into the house, show her pictures of daddy? Give me a break. Have her on the phone with him from the can? Give me a break. Take visitations to jail? Give me a break. I mean, we’re not stupid either. So it’s those kind of things that upset me a bit.

Regardless of where you fall on blaming Remy for enabling his son or believing he should step aside, it’s been sad to watch him publicly contend with how to treat a child who stands accused of horror and see where he finally draws a firm line and hits back at critics. That line, apparently, is his role as a grandfather.