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Terry Francona upset by report

Former Red Sox manager Terry Francona defended himself against allegations that came out at the end of this past season regarding his use of prescription pain medications.

Francona, who appeared on WEEI radio in Boston, said he felt "terrible" about the implication his ability to manage had been damaged because of the medications.

Francona said he talked to Boston Globe reporter Bob Hohler the night before the story appeared in the newspaper. Francona believed there would be no suggestion he had an issue with pain medications.

"When I hung up with Bob, I was under the impression that he understood," Francona told WEEI. "I could have gotten him to talk to (team internist) Dr. (Larry) Ronan. I was under the impression that wasn't part of the story. We definitely got our signals crossed. I would have put up more of a fight (to deny the allegations).

"The people that know me that well, knew that what was said in the paper wasn't true. It was obviously said to hurt me."

Joe Sullivan, the Globe's sports editor, said, "I don't know what the miscommunication could have been."

Francona was questioned about the pain medication when he interviewed for the Cardinals' managerial job in November.

"That probably aggravated me -- not from St. Louis, I would have asked me, too -- but the fact that I had to defend myself aggravated me," Francona told WEEI.

Francona accepted at least partial blame for the Red Sox's late-season collapse.

"If there was one thing I was probably guilty of, it was protecting everyone in that organization," he told WEEI. "Everybody. I felt that was part of my responsibility, even to the point where in that last press conference, I said I take responsibility for this. I couldn't get to the players.

"I thought, 'OK, I'm done here. I'll take responsibility and go away.' Little did I know I was going to be going away limping because someone cut my legs out from under me."