Hernandez: Birth of daughter a 'life-changer'


Hernandez: Birth of daughter a 'life-changer'

FOXBORO -- Aaron Hernandez spoke to the media for the first time Thursday after the birth of his first child, a daughter named Avielle Janelle, on Tuesday.

"Definitely a life-changer," said Hernandez, who missed Tuesday's practice to be with his fiancee and their newborn. "Every time I come to the stadium I can't wait to go see her. She's a cutie. I can't wait to go back and basically look at myself."

For Hernandez, who turned 23 years old on Tuesday, the birth of his daughter was the ultimate birthday gift.

"It's crazy," he said. "The best birthday gift you could have having a daughter on your birthday. Especially daddy's little girl. It's an honor. I couldn't ask for my life to be better at this point. My life is pretty good. Thank God for that. It's a blessing. I still feel blessed daily."

Hernandez signed a deal that will keep him in New England through 2018 this summer and called then called it a life-changing moment. He knows the birth of his child will change him, too. And he believes it will be for the better.

"I'm going to look at things differently," Hernandez said. "I may be young and wild, but I'm not. I'm engaged now. I have a baby so it's just gonna make me think of life a lot differently, and doing things the right way because now another one's looking up to me. I just can't be young and reckless Aaron no more."

Hernandez was limited in practice on Wednesday and was back to work with his teammates in the Patriots practice bubble on Thursday. Asked if he would be ready for Sunday's game against the Bills, he was non-committal.

"Game-time," he said, implying that he would be a game-time decision. "That's it."

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.