Day 1: Touch down in Buffalo (Gronk's town)

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Day 1: Touch down in Buffalo (Gronk's town)

BUFFALO, NY When we last spoke, I was getting out of the car in Williamsville and heading over to the field where Rob Gronkowski played his first three years of high school football.

Why? I don't know. I was in the neighborhood.

So I walked off into the snow, across the field and took some video.

Before you watch this you should know that I was intentionally impersonating Fatty McGee in between sentences.

Also, not really.

After making it back to the car, I headed into the high school to see if there was anyone around in the athletic department. Once I got there, the AD was gone but the girls basketball team was at practice, and there were a few coaches and parents more than willing to talk about Gronk. With one major theme being that him winning a Super Bowl might be a bittersweet moment for the town.

One one hand, they're happy to see a local boy make it big, but on the other:

A) There's still a little bit of ill will surrounding Gronk's decision to leave the school for his senior year.

"He was in another league," one coach said, "and he wanted to play at a higher level. So he went to Pittsburgh. They do it a little different than we do in Western New York.

It was the right move, but didn't sit well with everyone."

B) Everyone there hates the Patriots.

"James Starks grew up around here and won a Super Bowl last year," said the coach, "and that was a pretty big deal. People were very kind about it.

But James Starks doesn't play the Bills twice a year."

On that note, I'm settled down in Buffalo for the night. Tomorrow morning, I'm heading back to Willamsville North at 8 am to meet with Gronk's old AD, before heading down to Canton, Ohio and the Football Hall Of Fame.

It was a hectic first day, and the blog hasn't quite found it's rhythm, but now that the longest leg of the trip (It was seven hours from Boston to here) is in the books, things should settle down and we'll get a little more cohesive action.

Until tomorrow.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz 'made one pitch that hurt' Red Sox

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz 'made one pitch that hurt' Red Sox

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

QUOTES:

"He pitched as we had anticipated at the time of the trade.'' - John Farrell on Drew Pomeranz.

"I had a good curveball and I was locating my fastball a lot better. I was in a lot better counts all night, but I made one pitch that hurt us.'' - Pomeranz on his outing.

"He was able to limit the damage against a very good offensive team. He pitched well enough to win. I just wish we could have put more runs on the board for him.'' - Jackie Bradley Jr. on Pomeranz.

 

NOTES:

* Until Monday night, the Red Sox had won their last six series openers.

* Drew Pomeranz has allowed four or fewer hits in 12 of his 18 starts this season.

* Eleven of Travis Shaw's last 15 hits have been for extra bases.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. had his 25th multi-hit game.

* Sandy Leon is hitting .500 (11-for-22) with runners in scoring position.

* The Red Sox are 21-21 in games decided by two or fewer runs.

* Dustin Pedroia (walk, single) has reached base in 28 straight games.

* Xander Bogaerts has 133 hits through 97 games. Since 1940, only Wade Boggs (134 in 1983; 135 in 1987) and Adrian Gonzalez (135 in 2011) had more.

STARS:

1) Justin Verlander

Verlander has enjoyed a bounce-back season of sorts this year, and the Red Sox got to see it up close Monday night as Verlander limited them a single run over six innings.

2) Jose Iglesias

The former Red Sox shortstop haunted his old team with a two-run homer in the sixth to put the Tigers ahead to stay.

3) Drew Pomeranz

The lefty absorbed the loss, but pitched well enough to win, giving up two runs in six innings while striking out seven.