In Boston, Dan Shaughnessy writes "no local broadcaster has been more popular" than NESN's Jerry Remy. But now fans "wonder ... is Remy coming back to work Red Sox games this year? Or next year? Or ever?" Folks at NESN are "waiting for the popular analyst to make a decision." Jerry Remy’s son Jared is "charged with murdering Jennifer Martel this past August, and everyone associated with Remy, NESN, and the Red Sox has been unfailingly sensitive and respectful." Sources said that Remy has "a standing offer to return to NESN, and network officials are hoping to make an announcement before the Red Sox report to spring training." Remy has been "virtually invisible" since Aug. 15, the "night Jared Remy was charged with killing Martel" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/3).
PRIVACY PLEASE: The CP's Stephen Whyno noted Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle "could barely contain his relief" after the conclusion of the Winter Classic and HBO's "24/7" series. Carlyle said, "It's been a long three weeks, that's for sure. ... There are lot of things that are going on inside that are hard to deal with when you're always constantly under a camera or a microphone (is) under you." The Winter Classic represented "the end of a difficult journey for the Leafs." Team GM Dave Nonis said, "It is a lot leading up to it. I think it's tough on the players, it's tough on the coaches. But I also think that it created an atmosphere that made it more than just a game. I think both teams raised their level of play" (CP, 1/2).
STAYING PUT: In Charlotte, Jim Utter reported race announcer Allen Bestwick will “remain with ESPN/ABC after it loses its NASCAR contract and work primarily as play-by-play announcer" for ABC's IndyCar telecasts. Sources said that Bestwick will do “both IndyCar and NASCAR events this season for ESPN/ABC.” Sources also said that Bestwick in ’15 will do IndyCar broadcasts and “work in other sports” for ESPN (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 1/2).
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: CBSSPORTS.com's Gary Parrish noted ESPN announcer Bill Walton at the open to last Saturday's Alabama-UCLA men's basketball game was talking about "how the players were no longer constantly looking to the sideline for direction." Walton's broadcast partner Dave Pasch said, "Couple of veiled Ben Howland references just four minutes into the game." Parrish: "At this point, is there anything longer and stranger than Walton's obsession with Howland?" It is "pretty bad when fellow ESPN employees are publicly calling for Walton to shutup or at least backoff." ESPN analyst Seth Greenberg tweeted, "Ben Howland deserves better. Give it a break Bill" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/2).