“Exploring the Cult of the ‘Rem Dawg’”
by John Molori of the Eagle-Tribune
He is the latest in a long line of beloved Boston broadcasters. From Johnny Most to Fred Cusick to Ned Martin to Gil Santos and Gino Cappelletti, Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy is fast joining a select pantheon.
Ironically, it was the late Ned Martin who gave Remy his initial pointers in broadcasting.
“He was the best possible guy to break in with,” says Remy, who currently works Red Sox games on NESN, WBZ and UPN38. “He was so laid back, so relaxed. Nothing bothered him. Ned allowed me to grow. He called my attention to some grammatical errors, but he was never overbearing and had a lot of patience.”
Clearly, Martin saw something that even Remy did not see.
The erstwhile Red Sox second baseman (1978-1984) had no plans to enter the broadcasting field, instead opting for a post-retirement coaching gig with the New Britain Red Sox in 1986.
Remy took all of 1987 off and began his TV career in 1988. Last week, he broadcast his 2,000th Red Sox game.
“That’s 2,000 more games than I expected to do,” says the 50-year-old Weston resident. “I just kind of threw my name in the hat back in 1988 and I got the job. I had no idea what I was doing. I knew baseball, but knew nothing about the TV end of things.”
The Somerset native settled into broadcasting because it kept him in baseball, but also afforded him time with his family.
“I don’t have the pressure of a coach or manager,” says Remy, who has been married 28 years and has three children. “I had to learn things like calling replays and interacting with my partner. My first year, I was horrible. I was so conscious of making a mistake.”
Remy has come a long way since those early days. His current style is one of information and entertainment. In the past few seasons, Remy has incorporated more of his sense of humor into his work. It has been well received by viewers.
“You have to earn the confidence and trust of the people before you can make them laugh,” says Remy. “I’m just being myself. You can’t be a phony. I was not a superstar player (1975-84 with the Angels and Red Sox: 7 HR, 329 RBI, .275 average), so people can relate to me.”
“The No. 1 job is to be the best analyst you can be, but you have to have some levity at times. People are inviting you into their homes. You don’t want to be a guy that they don’t like.”