We’re in! Jeff Horrigan has the details of last night’s 14-3 rout of the Orioles that clinched a the Wild Card playoff berth for the Red Sox. Bob Hohler says “Oh, happy day.” in regards to last night. Steven Krasner looks at the Sox clinching in style. Paul Doyle looks at the celebration from Fenway. Bob Ryan looks at this remarkable team, how they were built by their General Manager, and whether this could be the year. Reading Lenny Megliola today, I think my allergies started getting a little worked up this morning. Wait, I don’t have any allergies… Kevin Gray has more on the playoff clinching effort. Sean McAdam looks at the special night from an extraordinary team. Alex Speier reports on Derek Lowe’s starting effort propelling the Sox into the playoffs. Rich Thompson says Lowe’s sinker really lifted the Sox last night. Gordon Edes gets a sampling of the excitement from every corner of the ballpark last night. Paul Harber looks at Lowe’s effort, and season. Ed Gray looks at the player saluting the fans after the game. Shira Springer looks at Nomar, who provided a big blast last night to essentially put the game away last night. Megliola also sought out the quiet man in the Sox clubhouse, Bill Mueller. Gerry Callahan on WEEI this morning feels that the Sox celebration went too far last night. His observation from watching it all was that the Sox feel that they’ve accomplished their goal for the season, and should’ve been a bit more subdued and focused on what is ahead. They should’ve held something in reserve, he asserts. He urges all to “be careful” and not get too caught up in what this team has accomplished, the season is not a success yet. Callahan has a pay column today in the form of a letter to HBO regarding why his clips didn’t make it into the final version of their “Curse” documentary. He says:
You cut me out of your last documentary, and I admit I wasn't happy about it at first. You guys came up to the Ritz in Boston with an agenda, and you didn't like me because I didn't follow the script. I told you that the curse was a load of crap, and I assured you that Boston fans don't spend five minutes a season bemoaning ghosts of Red Sox past. That is the truth, but let's face it: You weren't looking for the truth. You just wanted to remake an old fairy tale.
Edes looks ahead to the Oakland A’s, the first round opponent for the Sox. Gray also has Theo Epstein speaking on the A’s. Steve Buckley’s pay column says Grady Little might not want the Sox to pick up his option, he may be looking for a long term deal, and Buckley says he deserves it. Art Davidson says Lou Merloni has been working at catcher to try to increase his chances of landing on the postseason roster. Krasner looks at Trot Nixon, who is unsure of when he’ll be able to play again. Thomas Keane Jr. looks at the scalping business in and around Fenway. Speier has a piece in the Eagle-Tribune looking at David Ortiz as an MVP candidate. Somehow I missed this abomination of a column from Jim Donaldson the other day. It’s the usual drivel about the Sox always being second best to the Yankees. He says he’s “about objectivity and reality” and later in the article says that it is “Boston’s stock in trade” to fade in September, as if by curse. He chides fellow media people for their optimism, and doesn’t feel this team is anything special:
"Don't you," Red Sox owner John Henry said in July, "get the feel that this is a special team?" Um, well, no. Not really.
Didn't then. Don't now.
He concludes by saying that should the Sox meet the Yankees in the playoffs, they will lose, just as they always do. Hohler’s notebook looks at Sox players with and without postseason experience. The Courant notebook has Mike Hargrove saying Pedro is a difference maker in the playoffs. Krasner’s notebook looks at Grady’s contract situation.
Tom Curran looks at Lavar Arrington and havoc he can wreak upon opposing offenses. Michael Felger looks at Joe Andruzzi, who surprisingly is one of the seemingly few healthy Patriots. Nick Cafardo says all the injuries are allowing for the development of younger players, out of necessity. Ian M. Clark has a similar view, noting that the development of the young players could pay off huge in the future. Hector Longo says Ty Warren is a disappointment. Christopher Price also looks at Warren and his development. Michael Parente looks at Bruce Smith, still a QB terror at age 39. Rich Thompson looks at Deion Branch, who will be a bigger part of the game plan this week and in coming weeks. Jim McCabe makes his NFL picks. Michael Gee has a pay column looking at the challenges facing Bill Belichick with all the injuries. Felger’s notebook has more on Warren. Curran’s notebook looks at the versatility on the Patriots which will help them whether the storm of injuries. Cafardo’s notebook says the injuries even cut into the Special Teams depth.
Bill Griffith looks at the Speed Channel, and no local TV for the Sox in the playoffs.
UPN38 has Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00. ESPN has Braves/Phillies at 7:00.