Werner calls Francona book 'fiction'

Posted by Robert Burgess  February 15, 2013 02:37 PM

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We've been waiting to hear how the Red Sox ownership group would react regarding the recently released book, "Francona: The Red Sox Years." The feedback from the top has been trickling in this week.

On Friday's edition of Mut and Merloni on WEEI, Red Sox team chairman Tom Werner acknowledged reading the book, authored by former Red Sox manager Terry Francona and Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, and called it "a good piece of fiction."

Francona contends in the book that the Boston ownership group does not love baseball the way the now-Cleveland manager does. The former Sox skipper also said public relations goals and television ratings affected player acquisition decisions.

The last 24 hours have also resulted in an interesting exchange between Shaughnessy and Red Sox team president Larry Lucchino. Francona presented an unflattering characterization of Lucchino in the book.

While taking questions from reporters on Thursday, Lucchino twice offered a terse "no comment" to Shaughnessy before answering the same questions when posed by other reporters. The writer responded with a column in Friday's paper titled: "Why we love Larry Lucchino," which ended with the line "In Earl Weaver style, Lucchino loves a good argument, has thick skin, and doesn’t take things personally."

For his part, Lucchino told reporters he hasn't read the book.

"I know some people find that hard to believe. But it seems logical to me. I want to look forward, not back. I'm afraid if I do read it, I will find in it inaccuracies and things that will cause me to react to it in a way that would divert me and cause some kind of sideshow instead of dealing with the here and now. It seems perfectly logical to me not to read it. I don't feel any great compulsion to. I may get around to it sooner or later."

Lucchino told WEEI on Thursday he believes Shaughnessy "mischaracterized" Francona's perceptions.

Earlier in the week principal owner John Henry arrived at Spring Training in Fort Myers and dismissed the idea, put forth by Francona and former general manager Theo Epstein, that ownership was too focused on TV ratings.

“I have to laugh. That’s just laughable,” Henry said. “It’s ludicrous to say that we signed any player since we’ve been here for PR purposes.”

Globe national baseball writer Nick Cafardo asked Henry if he loved baseball.

“Again, I don’t want to be defensive. Especially about stuff that really is ridiculous. That’s ridiculous,” Henry said.

Shaughnessey isn't backing down, Tweeting earlier in the week: "Francona book lands at Number Two in New York Times today."

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