Report: Terry Francona may have been distracted by pain medication
Some people at Fenway Park grew concerned that the pain medication former Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona was taking after a half-dozen procedures on his knee might have been affecting his ability to manage, according to a report in the Boston Globe.
Since Francona and the team parted ways recently, reports have surfaced about the dysfunction in a Red Sox clubhouse that produced a 7-20 record in September to turn what had been a once comfortable lead in the playoff race into one of the worst collapses in baseball history.
According to the Globe, team sources expressed concern that Francona's performance may have been affected by the use of pain medication. The sources were not identified, the article said, saying those interviewed feared for their jobs or their relationships inside the organization.
The article also said Francona was worried about his son and son-in-law, Marine officers serving in Iraq. At the same time, Francona was living in a hotel, separated from his wife of more than 30 years.
Responding to the allegations that he was distracted, Francona noted that he was dealing with the same problems during the four-month period when the team was going 80-41.
"It makes me angry that people say these things because I've busted my [butt] to be the best manager I can be," Francona told the paper. "I wasn't terribly successful this year, but I worked harder and spent more time at the ballpark this year than I ever did."
-- Houston Mitchell
Photo: Terry Francona. Credit: Patrick Semansky / Associated Press.