FOXBORO -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick was on the New York Jets coaching staff from 1997-1999, while Bobby Valentine was manager of the New York Mets.
Now Valentine is the new Red Sox manager; Belichick had nothing but good things to say about his old pal from Queens.
"I love Bobby," said Belichick on Friday. "He's a great guy, a great baseball guy. I love to talk to him, he's got a lot of energy. Don't get me wrong, I love Terry Francona. But I had a great relationship with Bobby in New York. Went to some Mets games. Went with Keyshawn Johnson to throw out the opening pitch . . . I look forward to catching up with him."
Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis.
Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time.
The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.
Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball.
FOXBORO -- It seems unlikely that a 23-year-old who has spent much of his life around sports would be unaware of how fantasy football works. But Malcolm Mitchell insisted on Friday that he was that 23-year-old.
Over the last seven days, Mitchell has been the second-most added player in ESPN.com fantasy leagues behind only Steelers tight end Ladarius Green. The rookie wideout went undrafted in many fantasy leagues before the start of the regular season, but his production has spiked over the last three weeks making him one of a hot commodity for people headed into the fantasy playoffs.
In wins over the Niners, Jets and Rams, Mitchell has caught 17 passes for 222 yards and three scores.
"I have family members mention it, but I never know what they're talking about," Mitchell said when asked if he was asked about his newfound popularity among fans of fantasy football. "I'm not sure how that works. If someone said it, I'd probably have no idea what it means."
A fewer lockers down from Mitchell is the stall of rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett, who cut into Mitchell's back-and-forth with reporters joking, "I've got him on my team!"
Mitchell's confusion over the phenomenon that is fantasy football seemed to be genuine as he asked questions about how teams operate and what fantasy free-agency means.
Those who've picked him up probably don't mind that Mitchell is in the dark on the subject -- and the same goes for the Patriots coaching staff, it's safe to assume -- as long as he continues to do his job as well as he's done it in recent weeks.