We’re in! Jeff Horrigan has

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.

Playoff spot is not quite

Playoff spot is not quite in hand yet. Paul Doyle looks at a clunker last night by Burkett and the Sox. Jeff Horrigan looks at a rough outing by Burkett. Bob Hohler says there was no magic on the mound for Burkett last night. Kevin McNamara notes Burkett wasn’t “over keyed” for the game. Funny line by Burkett who says: “What am I going to do? Throw 86 or 87 (mph)?” (As opposed to 83) Kevin Gray looks at a clincher put on hold. Lenny Megliola looks at the Orioles playing spoiler, at least for a night. Michael Silverman looks at the case for David Ortiz, AL MVP. Dan Shaughnessy says the champagne is on ice, ready to be opened. Peter May looks at a very short night for Burkett. Kevin McNamara looks at David Ortiz’s Yaz-circa-1967-like streak. Shira Springer also looks at Ortiz. Horrigan has an interesting Ghost Story, as told by Scott Williamson, who had the experience at the hotel the Sox will be staying at in St. Petersburg. Jim Fennell has a mini-feature on Lou Gorman, with a look inside his Fenway office. Megliola writes about Johnny Pesky speaking up about Grady Little returning next year. Silverman looks at a strong effort by the bullpen last night. Howard Bryant says in his pay column today that the missed chance is no big deal, and actually pretty typical of this team, which has had so many big losses and then even bigger wins. Michael Gee also has a pay column and attempts to talk reason. He says:

Superstition is what the ignorant use to explain events they can't or won't understand. The Dead Fat Outfielder Theory has no bearing on this or any other postseason.

The Sox haven't won a title since 1918 for one reason. They were never good enough. Boston's lost nine playoff series since then. In all but one (the 1946 World Series), the Sox were underdogs, often prohibitive underdogs.

He notes the Sox won’t be prohibitive underdogs this year, their only problems might be the bullpen and not having homefield advantage until the World Series. But those have nothing to do with “foreordained doom.” Springer also looks at the Sox propensity for late inning heroics. Peter May asks some of the Orioles about the Red Sox/A’s first round playoff matchup. Hohler’s notebook looks at the batting race. Horrigan’s notebook looks at Trot Nixon and his calf muscle needing some more time to heal. Krasner’s notebook also looks at Trot. Doyle’s notebook looks at Ortiz.

Nick Cafardo says that Tom Brady measures high on the GTM. (Grogan Toughness Meter) Michael Felger looks at a prideful group of Patriots who want to get back onto the field and play, despite any pain they may be in from injuries. Tom Curran looks at Ty Law as one of those who will be play through his injury. Alan Greenberg also looks at Law, trying to get back up to speed to take on Laveranues Coles. Christopher Price says that the Redskins have a pretty good defense of their own. Mike Reiss says the says point to the Patriots switching back to a 4-3 defense. Hector Longo says the time has come for the Patriots to open up the playbook, score in bunches, time for Tom Brady to “prove” his worth. Ed Gray looks at Brady and his elbow. George Kimball has a pay column trying to figure out why Troy Brown isn’t getting the ball and is off to a slow start. Cafardo’s notebook looks at the lengthy injury report. Felger’s notebook looks at whether Wilbert Brown will spill all he knows about the Redskins offense. Curran’s notebook looks at what base defense the Patriots will play on Sunday, and for the rest of the season.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. ESPN has Nebraska/Southern Miss. College football at 7:30.

Questions that spring to mind:

Questions that spring to mind: Has any athlete ever made one reporter look as foolish as David Ortiz has made Shaughnessy look this year? With all the grief that he takes at times for his defense, do we all realize that Todd Walker has 83 RBI on the year? From your second baseball that has hit #2 in the lineup much of the year. Amazing. The Sox have eight players with 80+ RBI. As Gerry Callahan said this morning, Walker is playing in his last regular season week with the Red Sox, but thanks to last night, we’re never going to forget the guy. Gordon Edes has the story of another incredible win at Fenway for the Sox. Jeff Horrigan details the enthralling late show that transpired last night. Kevin McNamara looks at the late inning heroics. Paul Doyle says this could be the type of game that carries the team through the playoffs. Christopher Price looks at just another dramatic victory by the 2003 Sox. Tony Massarotti says that the Big O has to receive serious MVP consideration. Sean McAdam says this team just continues to find ways to surprise us, even 157 games into the season. Lenny Megliola looks at how much the players enjoyed that win last night and how they love playing together as well. Dan Shaughnessy sucks us into thinking he’s fully on the bandwagon, but then drops this line in the middle of his column today:

Ah, the A's. How sweet is this matchup? Do you know that the A's have won eight consecutive playoff games against the Sox, sweeping in 1988 and again in 1990? Do you also know that the A's have not won a playoff series since Roger Clemens -- wearing eyeblack on his face and Ninja Turtle laces in his shoes -- imploded on the mound at the Oakland Coliseum in Game 4 in '90?

We knew we could count on you to do your best to sour things and bring up past failures, Dan. Continuing his single minded determination to make life as miserable as possible for Red Sox fans, Dan produces a column about Bucky Dent today, of all days. Peter May looks at Todd Walker’s huge home run, which he went up to the plate trying to hit…and did it. Tony Chamberlain looks at Tim Wakefield, grateful to be picked up by teammates. Edes has a segment of a one-on-one interview with David Ortiz for the Globe SportsPlus tonight. Michael Silverman looks at the two homeruns, trying to figure out which one was bigger. Kevin Gray looks at the September reign by the Sox pushing ahead. Silverman has a second article looking at baseball’s lack of a 50 homer guy this year. Unlike Shaughnessy, Steve Buckley delivers a feel-good column today, looking at Ortiz and his favorite song, which his Sox teammates attempted to chant to him in that pile at home plate. The song, which translates to “Jump Around” in English, might just be the perfect theme for the 2003 Sox, according to Buckley. Joseph P. Kahn looks at the origins of the Sox rally cry of “Cowboy Up”. Christopher Young already has his ticket to the seventh game of the World Series at Fenway. Chamberlain also looks at tonight’s starter, John Burkett. Horrigan’s notebook has a couple Sox pushing for the signing of Barry Larkin in the offseason. The Globe notebook looks at Grady’s decision to pinch run for Manny in the eighth inning. McNamara’s notebook looks at the move of Walker to the #3 spot, which continues to pay off. Doyle’s notebook looks at another attendance record at Fenway.

Michael Felger, in his Patriots Insider, talks with Bo Jackson about Rosevelt Colvin’s hip. He also has an interesting note about the Pats giving players written tests a couple days prior to games to see how well they’re picking up the game plan. Tom Curran looks at Colvin and his agent saying the player will be fully recovered and ready to go for next year. Alan Greenberg also looks at the injury and its effects for the long term. Felger has a second article on Colvin, who still isn’t sure exactly when the injury actually occurred. Michael Smith, Dan Pires and Christopher Price wrap up the Colvin stories. Nick Cafardo has a look at the situation of Maurice Clarett, who yesterday sued for the right to enter the 2004 NFL Draft. Jim Baker writes briefly about Adam Vinatieri. Michael Gee writes in his pay column today that while the Patriots might be able to overcome the injuries in the short term, over the course of the season, they’re going to catch up with them. Howard Bryant has his Boston Uncommon pay column in which he looks at Belichick’s right to not divulge injury details to the press, the Sox closer situation and the WNBA. Mike Giardi wonders if the boys in Foxboro can overcome this horrific September string of injuries. Jonathan Comey looks at the NFL 10 years ago and a few other league items.

Steve Conroy looks at Dan McGillis, who looks to be a force for the Bruins this year. Nancy Marrapese-Burrell also looks at McGillis. Conroy’s notebook looks at Martin Lapointe, who will miss a month after undergoing knee surgery. Marrapese-Burrell’s notebook also looks at the surgery for Lapointe.

Jon Meterparel is the focus of John Molori’s Media Blitz this week. Meterparel reveals his ambitions in this piece, including his five year plan to become the Red Sox play-by-play announcer and possible plans for a Meterparel 5:30 AM D&C warmup show. On the Big Show, naturally Pete Sheppard was critical of Meterparel’s ambition and the fact that he was the focus of the article. Two years ago, Pete had his own Media Blitz profile, and in that one, he revealed he’d like to take over for Ted Sarandis should WEEI management move to cancel Ted Nation.

Ron Borges looks at the fall from the top by John Ruiz.

NESN has Red Sox/Orioles at 7:00. ESPN has Phillies/Marlins at 7:00 and Dodgers/Padres at 10:00. ESPN2 has Reds/Cubs at 7:00.