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John Henry says relationship with Terry Francona would be ‘difficult’ to salvage 07.18.13 at 2:38 pm ET
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During his sit-down session with Mut & Merloni on Thursday afternoon, Red Sox owner John Henry discussed his strained relationship with former Sox manager Terry Francona and said it would be “difficult” for the two to mend fences.

Francona criticized Sox ownership — mainly Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino — in a book he wrote with Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, and Francona also has expressed disappointment with the way he has been treated since he left after the 2011 season.

Asked if he has tried to reach out to Francona, Henry said he still has a bad taste in his mouth from his previous attempt, as Francona shared his bitterness about the situation with the media.

“I’m not sure I want to get back into the whole ‘attempt’ thing, because I had a long discussion with him about it, and as far as I’m concerned he mischaracterized that aspect,” Henry said. “To me, he wrote a book that really attacked Tom and Larry unfairly. So, how can we have much of a relationship at this point?”

Asked about the possibility of repairing their relationship, Henry added: “It may be difficult, because the things that were said, some of these things were so below the belt. Maybe you can blame Dan Shaughnessy for that. … It’s about the book. There’s not much more to say about that.”

Henry insisted that ownership backed Francona during the tough times in Boston, and he commended Francona for his overall performance as Sox skipper.

“He had eight tremendous years and was tremendously supported, even after the collapse of September — which, we made it clear, we did not blame him for that collapse. But this is an argument you can’t win,” Henry said. “Really, what reason would I have to go on about this situation. He was the best manager we ever had. We had eight great years, great teams. He was a great manager. He was the best manager we’ve ever had. And I appreciate what he did. He suffered as much as any manager I’ve ever seen — even through the good times. He did everything he could to win for this organization.”

Read More: John Henry, Terry Francona,
John Henry joins Mut & Merloni in studio at 12:30 at 8:20 am ET
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Red Sox owner John Henry will pay a visit to the WEEI studio for an interview with Mut & Merloni at 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The Red Sox,who have the best record in the American League (58-39), return to action following the All-Star break when they host the Yankees in a three-game series that starts Friday.

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Dustin Pedroia acknowledges playing through torn UCL in thumb 05.29.13 at 9:09 am ET
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Dustin Pedroia

Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia revealed Tuesday that he has been playing with a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb.

In an interview with the Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman, Pedroia said he was told he had a complete tear. He injured the thumb sliding into first base in an Opening Day win over the Yankees, although he said it was impossible to determine if it could have been a pre-existing tear. Doctors told him he could play through the injury without risk of long-term damage as long as he could deal with the discomfort.

“People shouldn’t know if you’re 100 percent or not. It is what it is, and it’s my responsibility to perform well,” Pedroia told the Herald before Tuesday night’s 3-1 loss to the Phillies. “My mindset is if I’m nicked up, I have to find other ways to perform. That’s the way I think about it. Maybe I’m crazy.”

The general recovery time for such an injury is eight weeks.

“You go and come back in eight weeks — that’s a lot of ballgames without one of the team’s best players, so my job’s to go out there and do the best job I can to help the team win. That’s the way I look at things,” Pedroia said.

Pedroia’s toughness impressed owner John Henry.

“It would have taken the heart and soul out of that club on Opening Day,” Henry said. “We already had lost [David Ortiz] and we didn’t know when he was coming back. It just meant so much to that club to have Dustin in the lineup every day.”

Added Henry: “I had two or three talks with him during the time about what he should do. I kept talking about it’s a long season and he kept talking about not missing a game. The guy played through the pain, through the swelling, the discoloration. He played through it, and no one ever knew. And he’s hit what, .330?”

Read More: Dustin Pedroia, John Henry,
John Farrell: Team meeting first step to ‘re-write script’ from 2012 02.15.13 at 2:14 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — For John Farrell, Friday morning’s address to the his team was all business. It was about the business of moving on and making sure every player, coach and uniformed personnel understood what was expected. General manager Ben Cherington, owner John Henry, team president Larry Lucchino and chairman Tom Werner were all on hand to listen and offer support when needed.

“Well it was about 50 minutes,” Farrell said. “There’s a lot to mention. More than anything, a lot of it was introductory for a number of new players, new people they’re coming in contact with. They were able to hear from ownership, from Ben, from myself. Pretty typical, I would think, for an opening of spring training.

“There are a good number of players there is no history with. I think more than anything, that first conversation, first talk is a way to set the tone, which I think was clear. But the thing we want to emphasize is that it’s a matter of what we do on the field and not what we’re talking about. We’re hopeful and with every intent, that our actions speak certainly more volume than our words.

“To a man in that room, everyone associates the name Red Sox with winning. And that came out in conversation throughout the offseason. There’s been an eagerness to get back down here and get started and re-write that script. Different degrees of embarrassment, different degrees of knowing that what transpired last year isn’t the norm or isn’t the expectation or allowable to a certain degree. So, I’m confident of that mindset to re-write that story.”

Was he cheered or booed?

“They’re a business-like group,” Farrell answered the good-natured question with his own dry wit. “Very stoic.”

The team then went out and had their first full squad workout as the heavy rains held off. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: 2013 spring training, Boston Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, David Ortiz
Red Sox chairman Tom Werner on Terry Francona’s book: ‘It’s a good piece of fiction’ at 12:59 pm ET
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Lou Merloni speaks with Tom Werner Friday at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner, in an interview with WEEI’s Lou Merloni at spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., acknowledged he has read former manager Terry Francona‘s book and called it “fiction.”

“I read the book. Fortunately I didn’t have to pay for it — it was given to me,” he said. “It’s a good piece of fiction.”

One of Francona’s criticisms was that Sox ownership at times appeared more concerned with ratings and finances than the product on the field, that acquiring a “sexy” player was important to appeal to a wider fan base.

“That was silly. The only time I can remember ever talking about needing a sexy player was when I called Ben Cherington and told him to sign Vicente Padilla,” Werner joked.

“I don’t know what else to say,” Werner added. “There were so many things in that book that were fabricated.

“But we accept the knocks — a certain amount of the knocks that we received we are perfectly mature enough to handle. When you lose, it’s a tough situation. But I would just say to our fans, we suffer. You know that. You know who we are and you know how important it is for us to get things back on a winning track.”

The owners also were portrayed as not having a true love for the game of baseball.

“Well, it wasn’t accurate,” Werner said of that accusation. “I haven in my office a picture of me — I’m a freshman in college, making a movie about Fenway Park. And that picture was taken 45 years ago. So, I just know how much I love the game. And really, we care so much about getting back to our winnings ways. That’s what I’m focused on.”

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Read More: adrian gonzalez, John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Terry Francona
John Henry is hands-on with David Ortiz 02.13.13 at 4:55 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — After signing autographs for fans, Red Sox owner John Henry took time out to greet his slugger David Ortiz after batting practice Wednesday at JetBlue Park during Red Sox spring training.

Henry asked Ortiz about the strength of his right Achilles, and how it’s coming along.

“How do you feel?” Henry asked his slugger.

“I feel better, feel better,” Ortiz told his boss. “I was doing that agility drill and it felt good. I was moving around pretty good.”

Moments later, it was Ortiz’ chance to return the favor.

“How are your kids?” Ortiz asked the owner.

“They’re great,” Henry replied, before adding that his family will be joining him in Fort Myers later in the week.

Just moments earlier, it was Henry meeting and greeting the fans, even signing autographs.

Read More: 2013 Boston Red Sox, 2013 spring training, Boston Red Sox, David Ortiz
Larry Lucchino on D&C: Terry Francona’s perceptions ‘mischaracterized’ by Dan Shaughnessy at 11:17 am ET
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Larry Lucchino

Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning, and much of the conversation centered on Terry Francona‘s book that paints Lucchino in an unflattering light.

Lucchino said he decided not to read the book — at least for now — and minimize his comments about it. Told that it doesn’t seem to be his nature to avoid addressing an issue like this, Lucchino responded: “Sometimes my nature doesn’t always lead me to the right place. But I think in this case it makes perfect sense.

“I certainly have heard a little bit about the book, so I know some of its themes. If I did read it, I would probably find that it’s even more disappointing than I’ve heard, that it’s highly selective. It’s history as translated and written by Dan Shaughnessy, so it gives a certain Shaughnessy twist to it — I think many of us know what that can mean.

“It seems that if I did read it, the probabilities of my making some intemperate remark or getting involved in some collateral discussion of it would prevent me from doing my job right now. I’ve got a full plate of things. The 2013 season is a demanding one and has been. The offseason’s been demanding and there’s a lot for us to do. I just don’t need — and I don’t think the franchise needs — a debate of what’s right and what’s wrong. As I said, it’s highly selective.”

Added Lucchino: “I’m not a bully. I don’t think I behave that way. You can talk to lots of people who will I think give you a slightly different impression.”

Lucchino acknowledged he was disappointed that some discussions he believed were private were referenced in the book, but he expressed a bigger concern with how Shaughnessy “mischaracterized” Francona’s perceptions.

“Certainly a lot of the things we talked about we did not anticipate would be the subject or be material for a book afterwards. That’s a little troubling,” Lucchino said. “But I have fond feelings for Tito. I have good memories about what happened. I understand that he left feeling a certain way about the organization and about us. But I believe he has said a whole number of positive things since then. And I just prefer not to get into a kind of discussion about how Dan Shaughnessy translated a lot of these things and characterized them — or in my view, mischaracterized them.

“I’ll give you an example: One of the themes of the book, I’m told, is that we care more about money than winning, we are more about marketing and ratings and money and the profits that will be generated from baseball than the winning. I think that’s silly. I think it’s wrong. Look at our track record. We’ve had the second- or third-highest payroll in baseball for years. We’ve won more games over our first decade than any team in baseball except the Yankees. Our payroll’s been higher than any team in baseball except the Yankees. We’ve reinvested not just into the ball team but into the ballpark, into scouting, player development. It seems to me that the body of work demonstrates that — and we have not taken one penny of profit distribution out of this club. Everything we’ve generated from these activities has been reinvested in the team, in the payroll, in the scouting, player development, amateur signings, foreign signings. We have taken the revenue that we have generated and put it back in this team, for the success of the team, the preservation of the ballpark. And I think that speaks for itself. I don’t need to be out there saying, ‘My goodness, we care more about winning than money.’ It should be self-evident. It should be clear from our track record.”

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Read More: Dan Shaughnessy, John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Tery Francona
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