Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bob Lobel: Jerry Remy Impresses on Opening Day

By Bob Lobel (@boblobel)

We know how the Red Sox did in game number one, but a more difficult measurement is the Jerry Remy factor. 

On a scale of one to 10, how do you think it was? I’m putting him down for a solid seven, and the reason it wasn’t higher was the opening of the game, when he was on camera in the most intimate, for lack of a better word, setting. 

It’s easy to understand because he was in the two-shot close up, and had plenty of one-on-one observations about game stuff. One-on-one with the audience, to be more specific. That would have been me in the room where I was watching, so from my individual prospective, I could not separate his personal problems from his professional analysis. 

That was the most difficult part for me and I’m sure for him, but I will give him high marks for rising above what I couldn’t to pull it off. That opening segment is what I remember and to me the lesson here is that keeping him out of close up shots will do him more favors than anything else in this nightmare situation for him. 

I thought he brought his A-game with some very insightful comments and not a whole lot of fooling around with dandy Don. The fact that he was left out of two-shot close ups was a big benefit as well.  At least the viewer wasn’t forced to look at him and wonder in a one-on-one basis if he was thinking what I was thinking about his personal life, and how he could compartmentalize it all. 

I give him a seven, and by the time the game ended much of the angst had worn off.  I’m sure, since this mess is not going away, the next game will probably go the same way.  The pressure on Jerry will be enormous to bring that A-game as often as possible.  

There will be blowouts with time to fill that will test everyone, and since game one was in doubt until the last batter, it can’t really serve as a great example of what is to come. One day at a time is what they say, isn’t it?  One day at a time. 

It works for a lot of people in many different situations. The NHL playoffs, of course, are at our doorstep and for the Bruins' expectations haven’t been this high since the world was flat.  They are now expected to win, probably four straight in every series they play. 

Of course, it may not happen. Playoff hockey is a different animal and strange things happen (see Tim Thomas). They have set themselves up pretty well, however.  Just about destroying all competition on their way to the end of the season following the Olympic break.  They are a different team all of a sudden, and the coach everyone wanted to fire three years ago is the second coming of Toe Blake. 

Hard to explain it in simple terms, but it seems they all have matured and blended together at once. The test was not really how they finished the regular season. The test will be the next month and a half, and how they handle the inevitable adversity that will come their way. Yet, where else would you want to be? What other colors would you want to wear? Who else do you want to root for?  

The Bruins are back. The Red Sox are back… 

Two out of four is the best any town in North America could possibly hope for. As Herb Brooks would tell his 1980 Olympic hockey team, “this is our time.  Take it.”

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