SBD/Issue 244/Franchises

John Henry's New Wife Reportedly Calling Shots On Fenway Plans

Red Sox Owner John Henry's new wife, Linda Pizzuti Henry, is "calling the shots when it comes to the team's development plans at Fenway Park," according to Thomas Grillo of the BOSTON HERALD. Sources indicated that Henry "benched" former Senior VP/Planning & Development Janet Marie Smith "just weeks after his June wedding." A source said, "Janet Marie was told to go because Linda’s taking over the whole damn place." Smith last week spoke of her departure, saying that the "bulk of the work to renovate the park has been completed and that she does not really know Pizzuti." Smith: "Eight years was long enough to work on a project, and it was time to go." But a source indicated that "conflict centered on factors that have been brewing within the Sox organization" since Henry bought the club in '01 and hired Smith. Some Red Sox employees, including President & CEO Larry Lucchino, "praised Smith for encouraging Henry to buy properties around the ballpark to keep developers from building apartments or offices that could tower over Fenway." However, other team staffers "wanted the Sox to maximize the property the team purchased under the name of New England Sports Ventures" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/8). Pizzuti Henry denied the story on her Twitter page, writing, "Ludicrous and sexist Boston Herald article about me by Grillo relying on unnamed sources that constructed a soap opera that never happened" (TWITTER.com, 9/8).

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