Red Sox Owner Denies Francona Smear Campaign

BOSTON (AP) _ Boston Red Sox owner John Henry popped in on a Boston radio show on Friday to deny that the club conducted a smear campaign against manager Terry Francona after letting him go.

Henry said he was driving in his car when he heard the hosts on 98.5 The Sports Hub accusing ownership of leaking information to the Boston Globe that reflected poorly on Francona. In a front-page article this week, the paper cited team sources who said Francona was distracted by the breakup of his marriage and painkillers he took after knee surgery.

Henry denied ownership was trying to discredit the manager.

Henry also said that he personally opposed signing outfielder Carl Crawford to a seven-year, $140 million contract but leaves those decisions to the baseball people.

Also, Henry said he had no idea the clubhouse culture had disintegrated, saying, “If Dustin Pedroia didn’t know, how are we supposed to know.”

     (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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