Is NESN Phasing Out Jerry Remy?

Remy is working a reduced schedule this season and has missed the last three Red Sox road trips.

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

When beloved play-by-play man Don Orsillo was ousted last year from the Red Sox booth, club chairman Tom Werner said the move was done to “re-energize” the broadcast. It appears as if phasing out iconic color analyst Jerry Remy may be the next step in that process.

NESN insinuated last fall Remy would return in a reduced role, saying he would work “at least 100 games.” Through the first seven weeks of the season, Remy’s presence on telecasts has been diminished. He’s sat out the last three road trips, sharing color duties with Steve Lyons and Hall of Fame hurler Dennis Eckersley.

Remy, 63, has been the lead Red Sox color analyst for 28 years. He developed a smooth chemistry with previous partners Sean McDonough and Orsillo, cultivating the zany “RemDawg” persona that Sox fans love.

Though Remy and new play-by-play voice Dave O’Brien have yet to develop a free-flowing rapport—there are often pauses and awkward laughter whenever they venture off script—he seems sharper as an analyst this season than in recent years. When Remy is at his best, he adds a keen level of insight to the more intricate aspects of the game that escape the average fan. His analysis from last Thursday’s contest about who covers second on a stolen base attempt is a good example of that.

Despite that, NESN isn’t planning to shift away from its rotating booth. Lyons, the telegenic former outfielder who was once a lead national baseball analyst for Fox Sports, has enjoyed a prominent role on Red Sox broadcasts ever since NESN brought him aboard in 2014. It’s difficult to believe that somebody of Lyons’ stature would’ve agreed to sign on without the promise of regular work in the booth.

Eckersley, meanwhile, remains a fan favorite due to his candid commentary and colorful lexicon. He’s also announced games for TBS over the last couple of years.

When asked for a statement about Remy’s declining role on telecasts this season, a NESN spokesman referred Boston to comments NESN president and CEO Sean McGrail made about Remy’s status last October.

“Jerry remains one of the most beloved color analysts in all of baseball,” McGrail said. “We are thrilled to have him continue as the cornerstone of our broadcast. His insights and perspective on the Red Sox organization and the players make him one of the best analysts in the game.”

That may be true, but few people found fault with Orsillo before NESN let him go last year. Remy’s reduced schedule leads one to wonder whether he’ll soon follow in his former partner’s footsteps.