Palko finally gets his shot to start for Chiefs

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Palko finally gets his shot to start for Chiefs

FOXBORO -- In 2008, Tom Brady suffered a season-ending injury after taking a hit to the knee against the Kansas City Chiefs.

Matt Cassel replaced Brady, and went on to win 11 games with the Patriots. He was rewarded with a six-year, 63 million contract with the Chiefs.

Three years later, Cassel finds himself on the sideline with a hand injury, watching his backup QB, Tyler Palko, replace him during Kansas City's Monday Night Football game in New England.

Like Cassel, Palko may have a chance to write his own script, after waiting five full seasons for his first NFL start, which comes against the Patriots on Monday.

But the new Chiefs quarterback isn't yet thinking about that potential Hollywood script.

"You can't write the story before it's written," said Palko in a conference call on Wednesday. "There's obviously comparisons and all that other stuff, but that's not going to win the game because it's aligning this way or it's not aligning this way. Right now, my job is to go out and give our team a chance to win. And I don't have enough time to think about all that stuff."

This is Palko's sixth year in the NFL. He said it hasn't been easy, waiting for his first start.

"What is it, my fifth year?" asked Palko, as he seemed to be thinking out loud. "I guess it's been a long time coming, but I guess when you're entrenched in it, you really don't think about how long it is. You set a goal, and my goal was to be a starter in the NFL, and I'm getting my opportunity right now."

Now, he'll face a Patriots defense, in their building, on a Monday night. And perhaps he'll have some advantage with the fact that there's not much game film of him, and also with the fact that his current defensive coordinator -- Romeo Crennel -- was once the defensive coordinator for the three-time Super Bowl champion Patriots.

But Palko, being as honest as he could be while entering his first career NFL start, said that his advantages are non-existent.

"I don't think there's really any advantage for me, going into this thing," said Palko. "I've got enough chips stacked against me."

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.