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

Pedroia doesn't have MRI, still listed as day-to-day with ankle/knee soreness

Pedroia doesn't have MRI, still listed as day-to-day with ankle/knee soreness

Three weeks into the season, health has dominated the conversation with the Red Sox. And it’s much more than just the flu.

A scheduled off-day Monday brought something resembling an update for three players worth roughly $63 million in salary.

Dustin Pedroia, Orioles peacemaker, was examined at Massachusetts General Hospital and remains day-to-day because of left ankle and left knee soreness. He did not undergo an MRI, with his condition apparently good enough that the team felt it was unnecessary -- even though the message delivered on Sunday by manager John Farrell was that the Sox wanted to rule everything out.

Pedroia hasn’t played since he was spiked by Manny Machado on Friday in Baltimore.

Pablo Sandoval, at some point Monday, was slated to have an MRI after spraining his right knee Sunday. A further evaluation is to come Tuesday, so his status remains unclear.

David Price, meanwhile, threw a 45-pitch bullpen at Fenway Park on his long journey back from a left elbow strain. There were simulated inning breaks and, naturally, what’s next is still to be seen. Facing hitters shouldn’t be too far away, Farrell has suggested.

Bills decline to match Patriots offer to RB Mike Gillislee

Bills decline to match Patriots offer to RB Mike Gillislee

The Patriots have themselves another "big back" option for 2017. 

The Bills announced that they have opted not to match the restricted free agent offer sheet that New England made to Mike Gillislee last week. That means the 5-foot-11, 219-pounder is now a member of the Patriots. Buffalo had until 4 p.m. on Monday to match.

Gillislee was reportedly extended an offer sheet by the Patriots that is worth $6.4 million and $4 million in the first year. The Bills had the cap space to match the offer, but with LeSean McCoy already atop their depth chart, the price tag may have been too rich for them to choose to hold onto the 26-year-old.

Because Gillislee was given the original-round tender by the Bills, the Patriots will send Buffalo a fifth-round pick as compensation. That gives Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio six picks in this weekend's draft: two thirds, a fourth, a fifth, a sixth and a seventh.

Gillislee joins Rex Burkhead, Dion Lewis, James White, Brandon Bolden and DJ Foster on the running back depth chart in New England.