Toronto Blue Jays manager Tim Johnson apologized Monday for falsely claiming he served in the U.S. military in Vietnam and was a high school All-American basketball player.
The Blue Jays released a one-page letter from Johnson, whose resume has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after local media reported his claims of serving in Vietnam led to rifts with some players and pitching coach Mel Queen.
Johnson, 49, didn't serve overseas as a U.S. marine, but did train soldiers who were going to Vietnam.
"I want to make it clear that although I was a member of the United States Marine Corps Reserves, I never served in Vietnam," Johnson said in his letter. "Any statements I made that led people to believe I served in Vietnam were wrong, and I am sorry for any inaccuracies or misrepresentations that I made. I apologize to my players and the Blue Jays' organization, my family, our fans and to the members of the media."
Johnson previously denied he specifically told individuals he served in Vietnam. But the issue resurfaced this month when Boston Globe columnist Will McDonough said Johnson had done the same thing while serving as a bench coach for the Red Sox under manager Kevin Kennedy.
The tense relationship between Johnson and Queen prompted the Blue Jays to hold a meeting between the two.
Johnson also apologized Monday for errors in his Blue Jays biography, which says he was an all-American high school basketball player and had the opportunity to attend UCLA if he had not signed professionally to play baseball.
"This is not true and I apologize for this misleading statement," Johnson said. "I take full responsibility for my actions and I do not blame anyone for continuing to pursue this issue. I realize that I should have properly clarified my personal background and been completely truthful about my past. >
"It is important for me to set the record straight so I can go forward and be more open and honest with those around me. I want to thank my family and the Blue Jays for their support during this difficult personal time."
Johnson led the Jays to an 88-74 record as a rookie manager last season. It was the club's first winning season since 1993.
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