Unlike Boldin, no predictions from Patriots


Unlike Boldin, no predictions from Patriots

FOXBORO -- With Anquan Boldin's prediction that the Baltimore Ravens will win on Sunday, a few Patriots were asked to react.
But as the Patriot Way goes, they didn't join in on the fun.
"The difference between this years AFC Championship and last years AFC Championship is that they are different teams," said Patriots center Ryan Wendell on Wednesday. "Weve got new players and some of the same players that were in that game. Theyve got new players and some of the same players as well. Nothing matters that happened in the regular season. Nothing matters that happened last week. Were two good teams that are going to square off in this game. All that really matters is who goes out and performs."
When asked why the Patriots always hold back from giving anybody the type of bulletin board material that perhaps Boldin has now given the Patriots, Wendell was pretty honest. "I just think that guys on our team are just really focused on their job and the opponent across from us," he said. "I think that takes up enough time."
Fellow Patriots offensive lineman Sebastian Vollmer also chimed in.
"I guess it is just the way we do things," said Vollmer. "We will see on Sunday what happens. I dont think we take too much into consideration from what happened last year. It was a different team for both of us. I think both teams deserve to be in that game on Sunday and we will see what happens."
But one thing you won't see, is a prediction from the Patriots locker room.

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.