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Is NESN replacing Jerry Remy with Ron Darling?

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It was unclear if Jerry Remy would stick around now that longtime broadcast partner Don Orsillo is headed for the Padres, but NESN snooping around replacements should answer that question.

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Update 4:33 pm: Good news! Jerry Remy has spoken on this topic, and gave Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald an answer to the question about his potential replacement. Remy "emphatically" denied that Darling was coming to NESN to join the broadcast team.

Remy also declined further comment about his own status with NESN, however, so this might not be the end of the story. One wonders what those sources were hearing things for, and what exactly the plan is for the NESN booth.

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NESN cutting ties with Don Orsillo in order to "re-energize" the broadcast was bad enough, but apparently, he's not the only longtime announcer that Red Sox fans won't get to hear in 2016. According to WEEI's Kirk Minihane, NESN is looking to have current SNY and Mets announcer Ron Darling join Dave O'Brien on the 2016 broadcast. It is not said outright by Minihane, but one can assume NESN isn't planning on moving to a three-man booth, and this is in fact the possible end of Remy's time as the full-time color commentator for the Red Sox.

As beloved as Remy is, maybe the same rage that existed for Orsillo's forced exit doesn't have to exist here. It's very likely that Remy, 62, who has dealt with health issues and has been in the booth since 1988, isn't in a space where he wants to get to know yet another play-by-play announcer: he might just think it's time to call it quits. As Chad Finn noted earlier this month, Remy's future with the team was unknown as Orsillo's lack of one became more clear, so maybe the final call was being left up to Remy himself. Of course, his own exit could have been hastened by the awful Orsillo decision, so NESN wouldn't be blameless here, but it would be a different scenario, at least.

This is all just hypothesizing and guessing, though: it's also entirely possible NESN is giving Remy the boot and did a better job of keeping that secret than they did Orsillo, at least until now. It's a shame, but the team Red Sox fans love so much has already been broken up, and you knew they would seek to form a new, more permanent one eventually, so the anger I'd like to have about this is mostly sadness and begrudging acceptance right now.

Well, until we find out NESN pushed Remy out then tried to convince him to say it was mutual, anyway.

There is also the possibility, as Finn points out on Twitter, that NESN is moving to a reduced schedule for Remy, or into a studio role. That would be disappointing, but at least he wouldn't be pushed out: it's much more likely, given the aforementioned points, that this is something Remy would be amicable to.

Still, a season without Remy in the booth, with no hope of ever getting Remy back in the booth full-time, is not something to look forward to: like with O'Brien, that isn't meant to be a knock on Darling so much as it is love for Remy and his work. There is a whole lot I suspect we'll love about the 2016 Red Sox, and the combination of O'Brien and Darling (or whomever they eventually get -- Darling doesn't necessarily have a reason to bail on SNY) does have potential, but it just won't feel the same as it could have.