Belichick praises team after 'good job this week'

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Belichick praises team after 'good job this week'

FOXBORO -- When the Patriots have lost this season, it seems as if the overriding sentiment inside their locker room the next day is that they just didn't have a good week of practice.

So if their week of practice is any indicator as to how the result of Sunday's AFC Championship against the Baltimore Ravens might play out, Bill Belichick said on Friday that he's been impressed with what he's seen from his team leading up to the game.

"I think it's been a good week," said Belichick. "We're kind of back on a normal week, playing Sunday to Sunday. I think the players have done a good job this week. They've worked hard to get the scouting report and new information on the Ravens. They practiced well. I think we've had good energy. I think the team's excited to play. If you can't get excited for the AFC Championship, I don't know what you can get excited for.

"This is what we've worked all year for, this opportunity. I know that everybody wants to make the most of it. I think the attitude's good. We're looking forward to playing a great football team, going out there and knowing we need to play our best to beat them, but that's the way it should be."

Drellich: MLB could explain umpire rulings more often

Drellich: MLB could explain umpire rulings more often

BOSTON — We know that Red Sox manager John Farrell did something wrong. In the absence of any sort of formal announcement otherwise, we’re left to assume the umpires did everything properly — but there’s room for MLB to make that clearer.

If the NBA can put out Last 2 Minute reports, why can’t MLB provide more regular explanations or reviews of contested calls?

Farrell on Tuesday said he’d like to see more public accountability in the umpiring realm, hours before the manager was to sit out Game No. 77. Farrell was suspended one game for making contact with crew chief Bill Miller on Saturday night as manager and umpire rained spittle on each other over a balk call that went against the Sox.

Well, was it a balk or not? Did Miller do anything wrong as well?

“I don’t know if there was anything levied on the other side,” Farrell said. “I don’t know that.”

But would he like such matters to always be public?

“I think there have been strides made in that way,” Farrell said. “I guess I would. I think everyone in uniform would prefer that to be made public. Whether or not that happens, I don’t know, but that would be a choice I would make.”

The league has a thorough internal review system. But it is just that: internal. Most of the time, any way.

On most every night at Fenway Park, there is someone on hand watching just the umpires and reviewing them.

MLB, to its credit, has announced suspensions for umpires in the past. The league has made public acknowledgments when calls have been made incorrectly. More of that seems viable — even if it’s an announcement to reaffirm that the call was made and handled properly, and here are the reasons why.

“I haven’t received any further determination or review of what transpired,” Farrell said. “My position, my stance, remains steadfast. I still firmly believe that time was called [before the balk call was made]. I wasn’t arguing the balk. I was arguing the timing of it. As I reiterated today to those that I spoke with, I still stand by my side of the argument. Unfortunately, there was contact made.”