Remy to lead Red Sox Nation
After summer-long campaign, wins in landslide election
BOSTON -- More than two months, 1,200 contestants and one landslide electoral victory later, the incumbent will remain in office.
Jerry Remy, NESN's lead baseball color analyst, received a mandate from Red Sox Nation, winning the presidency with 39,120 votes, more than 25,000 votes higher than the second-highest tally. Throughout the late-summer campaign, Remy served as "temporary, acting" president, drawing barbs from opponents for being "famous" and using the bully pulpit of regional cable broadcasts to advance his platform.
Regular fans Rob Crawford (13,669 votes), Jared Carrabis (9,445), Cheryl Boyd (5,305) and Cindy Brown (3,640) rounded out the top five. The Red Sox did not release the vote totals of finalists who fell out of the top five, a group that included former Red Sox reliever Rich Garces, Sam Horn and ESPN reporter Peter Gammons -- though, as Dr. Charles Steinberg, executive vice president/public relations of the Red Sox said, "there were no embarrassments."
Steinberg added that the strong showing by the underdogs was not an accident.
"The fans voted decisively," Steinberg said. "It's no surprise that Jerry Remy won. What was a surprise is that the rest of the top five were all regular fans."
"The regular fans really hustled with massive e-mails," Steinberg added. "They were on MyFace, MySpace, whatever the space and faces are. They got the word out. So even though Rich Garces, Sam Horn, Peter Gammons are as popular as they are, amazingly, fans voted in great, great numbers for folks that they hadn't heard of before."
It also remained unclear whether Remy would follow through with his campaign promise to tab the electoral runner-up, in this case Crawford, as his vice president. During the Red Sox Nation presidential debate, Remy pledged that his VP would receive the secondary perks of the office, which include season tickets and a trip to Spring Training.
"They'll work side by side with me," said Remy during the Sept. 27 debate, which was moderated by Tim Russert and aired on NESN.
Before Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday, Remy walked to the mound as "Hail to the Chief" played over the Fenway Park public address system, and not long after four F-16 jets from the Vermont National Guard streaked across the twilight sky.
Remy, Steinberg said, was scheduled to throw out the first pitch before the game even if he hadn't won the final vote. With TBS broadcasting the playoff game, Remy was off duty, so the former Angels and Red Sox player had a chance to be recognized publicly.
By throwing a strike to receiver Doug Mirabelli, Remy therefore ended a presidential campaign that began on July 12 with an official announcement from the Red Sox.
"The story does not end here," Steinberg said. "We want to continue the dialogue with our fans, whether it is with the top five, the top 25 or the 1,200 who ran for office. We want to give a voice to all Red Sox fans across the country and around the world. Such sustained communication helps us remain accessible and accountable to our fans."
"The fans who have participated," said Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino, "have been a bounty of enthusiasm, energy and provocative thoughts. We look forward to compiling a master list of their suggestions and determining which have merit and feasibility."
Remy wasn't the only former candidate at the ballpark on Wednesday. Horn could be seen ambling up the left-field stairs to the Monster Seats before he settled in to watch Game 1. Seeking to clear the air about his much-publicized mock-feud with Carrabis -- "We're cool," Horn said -- he then gracefully conceded the office of president.
"Overall, I had a great time," Horn said. "I think that the Red Sox Nation definitely got a great president in Jerry Remy. If I could help him in any way, I would like to do that."
Alex McPhillips is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.