NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning, following Tuesday night's walk-off victory over the Yankees.
"It was finally fun to be at the ballpark and to watch them walk off with a win, especially against the Yankees," Remy said. "I felt good for them because they've been through such terrible times, obviously. To have a game like that, to be able to get a walk-off win and knock the Yankees a game [back] to tie for first place was kind of fun to watch. We haven't had many of those. It kind of reminded you of what it should be around here."
Remy predicted that the Red Sox will be a contender next season, dismissing thoughts that 2013 will be a rebuilding year. Looking at the Bobby Valentine situation, Remy speculated that the manager could get another chance.
"I wouldn't be surprised if he's back," Remy said, adding: "It's just a hunch. I have no insight at all. I have no idea what the front office is thinking. I just have a hunch that maybe they're going to say, 'Let's give this guy a clean slate, let's give him a full deck to work with and let's see what happens.' Because the guy is a very good on-the-field manager, there's no question about that. And I think that as time has gone on through this disaster, he has built some relationships with players in that clubhouse. … I'm not 100 percent certain he's going to be fired at the end of the season. I know that's going to make a lot of people upset. But that's just my opinion. That's based on no inside information at all. It's just that it's possible he could be back."
John Lackey, working his way back after Tommy John surgery, had a bullpen session Tuesday and received positive reviews. Remy said he wouldn't be surprised to see a more productive pitcher next season.
"I think it is quite possible," Remy said. "The guy's worked very hard all year long. He gets a bad rap around here, and sometimes it's his own fault. But the fact is, this is a guy that's worked hard all year. He's been with the team, he's been on every road trip, he's been through every rehab session that he's had to be through, and he's starting to see the results of the surgery right now, which is promising. I can't imagine another team taking a shot at him, coming off Tommy John surgery, so I think he would probably be here. And I think we would definitely see a better John Lackey. … It's quite possible that the guy could come back and have a good year for you."
As the Red Sox play out the season, Remy said he wants to see the young players get an opportunity, but he also wants to see the team play hard and make things difficult for the contenders.
"What I want to see more than anything else -- and they have been doing this -- is playing as hard as you possibly can until it's over. You don't want to see a team quit," Remy said. "You hope that they go out every day, play as hard as they possibly can. That's why I think the schedule helps them, because they're playing all teams that have a chance to go to the postseason, with the exception of the Blue Jays, of course. To be able to make life miserable for them, that's what it comes down to."
Touching on the American League East playoff race, Remy gave the Rays an edge over the Yankees and Orioles.
"This is going to be a hell of a race," he said. "You've got three good teams in there, with Baltimore and you can never rule out Tampa Bay. Watch out for Tampa Bay, because of their pitching. They play it right to the end, as we know from last year. Look for Tampa Bay to somehow sneak their way in there. They're only a couple of games back. They've got the great pitching. They always seem to come up big toward the end of the season. They're going to be very tough."