Fitzpatrick: Spikes is a 'punk' at times


Fitzpatrick: Spikes is a 'punk' at times

FOXBORO -- Ryan Fitzpatrick's helmet was on the ground a few yards away, but he walked right past it. It could wait. He marched over to Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes and wanted to have a word.

Spikes was flagged for a roughing-the-passer penalty in the fourth quarter of New England's 37-31 win over Buffalo when he drove Fitzpatrick into the ground, separating the Bills quarterback from his helmet.

"We aren't going to back down from anybody," Fitzpatrick said of his reaction to the Spikes hit. "I think that Spikes is an emotional player. I think he's a punk at times and took a cheap shot at Scott Chandler in the first game and was doing a lot of talking and hitting out there. He's not one of my favorite players, not high on my list. I think that's all just mentality and I think it's important that you don't back down from anybody."

Spikes was fined 21,000 when he hit Chandler in Week 4 and knocked the tight end out of the game with a concussion.

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner


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.