Henry: No smear campaign against Tito

October, 14, 2011
Many say Terry Francona was dragged through the mud on his way out of Boston, but Red Sox owner John Henry says that upper management did not engage in a smear campaign against their former manager.

A team source told the Boston Globe this week that Francona was distracted by marital issues and his use of pain medication last season, allegations the former Red Sox manager strongly denied.

"Ultimately, if there were team sources involved they do work for us. Did it come from John (Henry), Tom (Werner) or Larry (Lucchino)? No," Henry told 98.5 The Sports Hub on Friday.

Henry said he was driving in his car when he heard the radio hosts accusing ownership of leaking information to the Globe that reflected poorly on Francona.

"It's ridiculous that people would talk about things like that," Henry told the radio station. "[Francona] brought two World Series to this franchise. He's arguably the best manager we've ever had."

Francona, married to his wife, Jacque, for almost 30 years, moved out of their house and lived in a hotel this past season, the newspaper reported. According to the Globe, team sources also had concerns that Francona's performance may have been affected by his use of pain medication.

Francona -- who left the Red Sox in a mutual decision announced Sept. 30 -- has had nearly 20 surgeries on his knees and used pain medication for many years. He told the newspaper he used painkillers after knee surgery in October 2010 and used them during the season after doctors drained blood from his knee at least five times.

Henry was upset that "team sources" were involved in the story.

"If it's someone with the team, and that's what it says in the newspaper, then I'm very upset about it," he told the radio station.

"It's reprehensible that it was written about in the first place."

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