A lot of Red Sox fans, myself included, when hearing about the Globe piece, were thinking why didn't these things come out sooner. When you learn that the Globe owns about 16% of the team, I think the owners are trying to prepare fans for some players that fans love leaving.
First, I want to say the revelations about Francona's personal life are disgusting, and should not have been included in the piece. The guy left the same way he came in, as a class act and should not have had his name dragged the mud like it was.
Now onto why I think the owners are preparing fans for some big names from the past, leaving. First is the timing of the piece. The piece came out the same day when Theo agreed with the Cubs. Say what you want about the Sox ownership, the one thing they aren't is stupid. You don't have sustained wealth by being stupid. The replacement for Theo is probably already in the building, Ben Cherington, but seeing as he will be a rookie GM, so he's going to come under more criticism than a normal GM for some of his decisions. Especially when you consider a lot of the free agents have meant a lot to this team over the years. I think Wakefield and Varitek are already out the door, but they just haven't announced that yet. But when it happens the ownership can say "They had as much ability to put a stop to the behavior of players as anybody in the clubhouse, given their seniority on this team." As for Ortiz and Papelbon, those are harder decisions, but if either one or both are not back, the owners can say pretty much the same thing, and most of fans will buy that. There are some players on this team, John Lackey, that will be gone, not sure how, but I think they'll find a way to do it, and J.D.Drew, that fans would be happy about the player being gone, but there are still sentimental fan favorites, that if they leave, fans would get upset.