Debating importance of No. 1 seed for Patriots

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Debating importance of No. 1 seed for Patriots

Just two No.1 seeds have won a Super Bowl since 2003: the 2004 Patriots and 2010 Saints.

Half of the Super Bowl winners came from Wild Card weekend, half came from first round bye. Looking at that, there doesn't appear to be an advantage, but the guys on Sports Tonight still want a top two seed.

"More important for them to be No. 2 vs. a No. 3 than No. 1 vs. a No. 2," Mike Felger said.

What Felger is saying that a bye either one is huge, not so much the No. 1 seed.

But the Boston Herald's Steve Buckley says that it's the No. 1 seed that Bill Belichick and the Patriots are after.

"I was looking at that same chart 20 minutes in the news room. I don't care what it says, I don't care what the numbers say, and you're not supposed to do that. I'm fairly confident that Belichick is ticketing a course to get them the No. 1 seed. I just think it's an edge there's that old thing, you give Bill Belichick an extra week to get ready for a game, which is why the first round bye is important. And I just think he would rather have his team on his court, if you will, then to fly to Houston."

Check out the video for much more from Felger, Buckley, Gary Tanguay, and former Patriot great Troy Brown.

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

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Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.