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SBD/January 16, 2013/Franchises
Terry Francona's Book Draws "Unflattering Portrait" Of Fenway Sports Group
Published January 16, 2013
THE RESPONSE: ESPN BOSTON's Edes adds the criticism of Red Sox ownership "comes at an inopportune time" for FSG Chair John Henry and his partners, as they are "dealing with a fan base already put off" by the hiring of former manager Bobby Valentine and last season's last-place finish, as well as "persistent rumors (despite emphatic denials) that Henry might sell the club, and the ongoing perception that the club is competing with the Liverpool soccer team for the owners' attention." A team spokesperson yesterday said that a formal response from the team "was not anticipated, and if one comes at all, it probably will come after the book's publication." But Red Sox Chair Tom Werner in an e-mail wrote Francona and the Sox "had unbelievable success together, and our focus is on 2013" (ESPNBOSTON.com, 1/15). The BOSTON GLOBE's Abraham in a separate piece wrote Werner "took the high road when asked about the criticism" (BOSTON.com, 1/15).
EXCEPTION TO THE EXCERPT: Francona said that the excerpts in SI "make the characterization sound worse than it really is." He added that "when people read the book they'll understand the portrayal of ownership is not as harsh as it may seem." Francona: "The last chapter is hard because it was a hard ending. I’m sure there will be a thing or two that will piss somebody off that I didn’t think would, but I’ve read it seven times and me and [co-author Dan Shaughnessy] made change after change because I wanted it to be good, I wanted it to be interesting and I also wanted it to preserve the clubhouse because I do believe in that so much" (ESPN.com, 1/15). Francona added, "There's context. What's in Sports Illustrated isn't the whole story." The Boston Globe, where Shaughnessy works as a columnist, will "run excerpts from the book for three consecutive days starting Jan. 27." Shaughnessy will "write about the making of the book and his relationship with Francona for the Globe Sunday magazine" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/16).
THROWING THE BOOK AT 'EM: In Providence, Tim Britton writes the criticism is "rather tame, all things considered, and it's nothing particularly new" (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL, 1/16). In Boston, Michael Silverman writes under the header, "Tito Throws Book At Sox" (BOSTON HERALD, 1/16). Silverman adds that the excerpt comes while the team will "begin ticket sales on Jan. 26 at Fenway and online" (BOSTONHERALD.com, 1/15).