Longtime NESN color analyst and former Red Sox player Jerry Remy says his cancer has returned.
Fans recall Remy has battled with lung cancer three times before starting in 2008. Today he told reporters that this latest recurrence was spotted during a routine follow-up just before Christmas and that he just completed treatment. Remy, 64, said he feels fine, “I feel really good. If we had a game tonight at Fenway, I’d be there doing it.” He said he went public with this news to encourage more people to get regular check-ups.
Remy recently signed a multiyear contract extension with NESN that stipulated he would work 115 games this season. He said he expects to meet that commitment.
Fans rallied to support Remy on Twitter and Facebook as have Sox players, executives, and former play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo.
Now, a few other notes of interest for Red Sox fans:
- Three of the four major scouting publications, Baseball America, MLB.com, and ESPN, all rank Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi, 22, the game’s top prospect for 2017. Benintendi is still technically a rookie with 105 career at-bats, just shy of the rookie limit of 130 ABs.
- With Benintendi, Jackie Bradley, and Mookie Betts it’s fair to ask if the Sox will have the best outfield in baseball this season. Over at Fan Rag Sports, Alex Smolokoff analyzes the competition and says Boston, the Marlins, and the Rockies have the best outfields in the sport. Smolokoff says whether Boston is tops depends upon Benintendi and a full season for Bradley that was more like his first half in 2016.
- It’s easy to be myopic, focusing only on our favorite club, but the Boston Herald‘s Michael Silverman reminds us that there are plenty of interesting stories percolating throughout baseball right now, such as the emergence of the Yankees’ fearsome catcher Gary Sanchez, whether the Blue Jays can recover the loss of slugger Edwin Encarnacion, and whether anyone can stop the Indians, coincidentally Encarnacion’s new club. Silverman also spotlights some interesting things going on with the Cubs, Dodgers, and Nationals. In all, a fun look at what’s going on beyond Boston.
- Spring Training is finally here and NESN’s Darren Hartwell breaks down what to watch for from jetBlue Park as the next six weeks unfolds. Among the more interesting questions is what Hartwell calls “Castillo’s Last Stand.” Time is running out for Rusney Castillo to be an MLB star, though the 29-year-old had a solid winter ball season finishing at .392 over 14 games.
- In their first team preview of the new season, FOX Sports picked the Red Sox for analysis and predict that Boston to finish 2017 with a second consecutive AL East title.
- We finish this roundup of news by noting the passing of longtime Detroit Tigers owner Michael Ilitch, who died late last week at age 87. Ilitch actually played for an affiliate of the Tigers in the minor leagues in 1952, as well as for minor league teams of the Yankees and Washington Senators before his playing career ended with the knee injury. From there he opened a pizza business called Little Caesars and the rest, as they say, is history. Late last year, Forbes magazine estimated Ilitch’s fortune at $6.1 billion. Commissioner Rob Manfred extended his condolences as did Red Sox Baseball President Dave Dombrowski, who worked from Ilitch from 2002 to 2015. “He was driven to win,” Dombrowski said. “My only regret was we never brought home a World Series for him and for the fans.” Update: An interesting side note about Ilitch involves his connection to civil rights icon Rosa Parks as reported by CNN.