Carpenter could be an interesting Patriots fit

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Carpenter could be an interesting Patriots fit

Bobby Carpenter hasn't lived up to the billing he had coming out of Ohio State as a first-round pick in 2006, but the newly acquired linebacker could be a very productive find for the Patriots.

Speaking Thursday night on SIRIUS XM NFL Radio, Carpenter said, "Ive always been a huge fan of Coach Belichick and the Patriots and the way theyve done things. They were willing to bring me in and I couldnt wait. Im really excited to be part of the New England Patriots franchise and everything they stand for."

Carpenter found a role as a backup and third-down linebacker with the Lions last year. A longtime workout partner with former Patriot Mike Vrabel, Carpenter seems to understand the role he creates in New England is up to him.

"If you have a specific talent theyre going to find a way to utilize that, on either side of the ball, whatever it is," he said. "Thats why you see so many guys playing and so many guys contributing in different ways. They do an excellent job of talent utilization and really try to find a way to get all 53 guys on the roster onto the field at some point in time so they can help the team win games.

By just about every measurable term, they are the most successful franchise in the last 10 years," Carpenter said of the Patriots. "Theyve been to five Super Bowls and won three. They have a terrific quarterback and terrific coaches. I dont know really what else you could hope for as a player going to a team."

Best thing about Carpenter? He's still only 28.

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

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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.