Sox got their wild card

Sox got their wild card lead back to 1.5 games with a 8-2 win and an Mariners loss. David Heuschkel looks at Derek Lowe, who was able to get his 16th win on cruise control. Steven Krasner says the Sox were able to feast on the Tampa Bay pitching. Kevin Paul Dupont says this was a typical comfortable win over the Devil Rays. Jeff Horrigan says the offense was rediscovered after a tough weekend against the White Sox. Alex Speier puts the emphasis on the win on the pitching of Lowe. Michael Silverman says that Lowe is clearly on his game. Kevin McNamara says that Lowe shows no signs of cooling off as the weather does. Gordon Edes looks at Manny’s Monster shot last night and the guy who found it. A couple of pay columns in the Herald. Steve Buckley says that Grady Little should get his contract for next year picked up right now. He asserts that Little has done a better job than he did last year, just as he said he would, as evidenced by his handling of the Manny situation. He also mentions that there hasn’t been a single clubhouse incident in the two years Grady has been manager. He says if they don’t make the playoffs, it isn’t Grady’s fault, and he shouldn’t lose his job over it. Howard Bryant looks at Manny, who is red hot since his suspension, and it couldn’t come at a better time. He’s making amends with his teammates with his play. Shira Springer looks at Andy Abad, still hoping to get a chance to contribute. Silverman also looks at Kevin Millar, who in the midst of a slump, is tinkering with things to try to break out of it. Edes has a similar piece on Millar. He notes that Millar may get some rest soon. Springer looks at vintage Lowe. Edes previews the proposed 2004 schedule. Horrigan’s notebook has Nomar upset over the folding of the WUSA. Krasner’s notebook looks at Rocco Baldelli. Dupont’s notebook looks at Nomar returning to the lineup.

Kevin Mannix hands out his week two report card, and gives the coaching of the “arrogant oaf” and staff an “A”. Alan Greenberg says the play of Dan Koppen and Eugene Wilson on Sunday gives us a glimpse of the future without Damien Woody and Ty Law. Tom Curran says spreading out the offense is a big key to the Patriots success. Michael Felger says the Lawyer Milloy talk is finally quieting down, the team has long since moved on, and Woody has moved into Milloy’s old locker. Christopher Price looks at the big game by Willie McGinest on Sunday. Rich Thompson looks at Koppen stepping in for Woody instead of having Compton move over to the center spot. Bill Reynolds says that a win is the best thing for all the controversy the Patriots have had the last two weeks. Michael Parente looks at the next game on the schedule, the defending AFC East champs, who are currently winless. Ron Borges says you would be foolish to dismiss the Jets this week. Bill Burt says that Bill Belichick has gotten his team and respect back. Gerry Callahan weighs in on the “hate their coach”comments in a pay column. He says the team certainly does not love Belichick, but that isn’t necessary, or even desirable. He has their respect and attention, and they certainly trust his game planning. Callahan concludes:

As long as Belichick keeps doing what he did Sunday, as long as they believe in him, his players will keep playing. And they'll keep loving the meal, even if they can't stand the cook.

Jim Baker looks at the Tom Jackson comments as well, adding what the ESPN analyst said last night. Jackson amends what he said, noting that perhaps “hate” was too strong, and that he had not talked to any of the players on the team. Jackson says he didn’t know his comments would be taken personally by Belichick. How could they not be? Nick Cafardo looks at the situation as well, getting reaction around the locker room on the matter. The important thing is not whether teams like their coach, but if they play hard for him or not. Nick says they did on Sunday. Jon Wallach is nervous about the J-E-T-S. The second headline leading off Cafardo’s notebook speculates that Rosevelt Colvin may have suffered a dislocated hip on Sunday, but that is not expanded upon within the contents of the notebook itself. Felger’s notebook says that it is clear that Colvin did not dislocate his hip. He also has specifics on Brady’s elbow injury. Curran’s notebook says that the 2003 draft is looking pretty productive.

Bill Griffith has the Sox debut in HDTV, the weekend Patriots events on the TV, and even a Kevin Winter sighting.

Stephen Harris says the Bruins need to improve greatly on defense. Harris’ notebook looks at a couple of young forwards making an impression in camp.

Susan Bickelhaupt and Jamie Pote look at the collapse of the WUSA. Frank Dell’Apa says the league might’ve tried to get too big, too soon.

NESN has Sox/Devil Rays at 7:00.