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Curt Schilling Backs Terry Francona After Pain Medication Controversy

Curt Schilling backed former Red Sox manager Terry Francona during an interview with WEEI, one day after the Boston Globe cited team sources wondering whether Francona's rocky marriage and use of pain medication affected the way Francona managed the ball club.

"Of all the things that I heard and saw talked about after it came out yesterday, did anyone put marital problems with struggling managing and bad September together?," Schilling asked. "I just feel like that was one of those, 'We need some people to buy this copy so let's put it in there.' Why? The medication, that's embarrassing and it's sad and it has nothing to do with anything because that same writer and all the people involved have been around Tito, and there were no incidents of him being off his rocker or out of it. And 30 days before that article and the season ended, everyone was OK with everything."    

 

Schillling blamed ownership for leaking the story to the Boston Globe, and believed somebody in ownership was attempting to tarnish Francona's legacy. 

"Part of this did [come from ownership], absolutely," Schilling said. "There's no way it couldn't have. ... "He [Francona] is upset. You guys know me. I would have acted irrationally and overreacted, I'm sure. I wonder legally whether he has recourse because the team trainer, the team doctor and the ownership, the executive people on this team I would imagine are the only people with enough knowledge of Tito's medicinal habits to make that comment, to have that news out there.This was somebody out to ruin this guy's life. Because now, I look at this almost like I look at a sexual harassment case. It doesn't matter if he did it or not. He's going to have to answer questions about this for the rest of his life."

When asked whether he was slightly disappointed by Josh Beckett, one of the pitchers the Globe reported to have a laissez-faire attitude about the Red Sox this past season, Schilling did not go easy on his former teammate.

"I think beyond slightly would be a good guess," said, Schilling, a teammate of Beckett's in 2006-07. "I've talked to enough people to know that it's not lies. I think that the loss of John Farrell had a massive amount to do with why this all happened. I spoke to him the other day and the first thing I said to him was 'Wow. I don't see any of this happening if you stay.' And he was like, 'Well, it might have happened, but there would have been a couple of fist-fights along the way and I would have been gone at some point.' Poor Curt Young because here's a guy coming in to a veteran staff trying to get to know his pitchers and they . . . the amount of disrespect that the players involved here showed to each other, to the organization, to Tito, to the game, is staggering to me. Probably as staggering are some of the names that are on that list. I'm blown away. I'm incredibly disappointed. Things have changed here for a long, long time, and I think it's for the worse. I think the way that this was handled by the organization is pathetic and embarrassing. Why would you want to root for this team?"