Opening Day for the Red Sox is a week away. The team will begin its defense of their World Series Cup in Baltimore. They will have a very phat and happy David Ortiz batting clean-up. The Red Sox gave Ortiz his Second Annual Lifetime Achievement Award Sunday in the form of a $16 million one-year contract extension [with a couple of option years for the team]. Our long national nightmare of Ortiz whining every year about money is mercifully over.
Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy will be in the NESN booth. The "RemDawg" is the affable "Voice of the Red Sox" and "President of Red Sox Nation." We were reminded, thanks to a terrific piece of journalism in Sunday's Boston Globe, about the murder charges facing his son Jared Remy after the death of Jennifer Martel.
The details of Jared Remy's long and prolific history of domestic violence, arrest, wanton behavior, and irresponsible adult activity were laid out in painful detail. The story put to rest the notion that the Globe would no longer report substantially negative stories about the Red Sox after its purchase by John W. Henry.
Jared Remy was the king of second chances. A review of hundreds of pages of court files and police records revealed accounts that he terrorized five different girlfriends starting when he was 17, and that courts repeatedly let him off with little more than probation and his promise to stay out of trouble. He rarely did.
Now 35, Remy has been arrested or brought to court as the defendant in 20 different criminal cases, mostly for charges of violence against, or intimidation of, women, including his pending case for allegedly murdering his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, in Waltham last August.
Martel was Jared Remy's live-in girlfriend and the mother of his child.
No material facts in the case against Jared Remy changed in light of Sunday's Globe story. Martel is still dead. Jared Remy is still in jail. From a legal perspective, Jerry Remy has nothing do with Martel's death. In the court of public opinion, the answer is muddied at best.
The world of the Red Sox rotates around public perception. Sideline reporter Jenny Dell may have lost her job in part because she fell in love with a member of the Red Sox.
Jennifer Martel lost so much more after she fell in love with an employee of the team's security detail.
Jerry Remy is still employed as part of NESN's broadcast team. The public perception of the role of played by Remy in enabling and/or financing his son's lifestyle, criminal behavior, and high-priced and successful criminal defense attorneys, can no longer be questioned or ignored.
Everyone is entitled to best counsel possible. [Disclaimer: I love high-priced, successful attorneys and have been married to one for nearly 25 years.] That doesn't mean the Red Sox, or those who watch their games on TV, have to endorse and finance it. You pay to watch NESN via your cable or satellite bill, or through the MLB TV package. Jared Remy continues to get the best attorneys money can buy. Taxpayers in Massachusetts are mandated by law to finance criminal defense of the indigent. NESN viewers are not.
It's bad enough millions of NESN viewers [myself included] unknowingly helped to finance Jared Remy's way of life for years. Enough is enough. The circle is closed.
If you like the food, service, and setting at Remy's restaurants, please continue to dine there. Bring two friends. Everyone is entitled to make a living and I despise reactionary boycotts. People are free to dine at Remy's. They have no choice when to comes to watching the Red Sox on TV.
Jared Remy worked for the Red Sox in the team's security detail despite his multiple run-ins with law enforcement. This was the eye-opener of eye-openers, as far as the Red Sox were concerned:
By the time the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, Remy had amassed 15 criminal cases and at least nine speeding tickets and five accidents, according to state Registry of Motor Vehicles records. Still, that February, he was assigned to escort the new World Series trophy to the Berkshires for an appearance. He got pulled over doing 92 on the Pike, according to RMV records.
Jared Remy should have been fired by the Red Sox right then and there. Given his past issues with law enforcement and his multiple speeding tickets and accidents, what was he doing driving to the Berkshires on company business with the World Series Trophy? Going 92 on the Pike in the dead of winter. Makes you wonder if his boss was Sergeant Schultz.
It wasn't until Jared Remy was implicated in the steroid possession arrest of another security guard and questioned about it during an MLB inquiry that he was finally fired by the team. Domestic violence? Speeding on company business? No problem. Your name linked to steroids in an MLB investigation bound to become public? Gone.
Spare me the calls for the Red Sox to join in on some contrived campaign to raise awareness. Martel's death and issues of unchecked domestic violence are way too important to be trivialized by a baseball game.
As long as Jerry Remy remains in the NESN booth, however, that will remain the case.
[For more information on the Jennifer Martel Memorial Fund, visit www.jennifermartelmemorialfund.com.]
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