Party Like It's 1995!

Breaking News: The Red Sox Nation Presidential Debate
Will Not Be Shown at Its Regularly Scheduled Time ...

(But If You Set Your DVR to the Debate, You've Got the Best Reality Sox on TV)

Wild-Card Dynasty Over!

AL Champs!

(NESN Screenshot Photo)

Sox Party Like It's 1995 ...
It's the East They Can Do

Lowell and Cora dive into the crowd during the celebration

(BDD Photo / NESN Screenshot)

Too Bad Apple: New York is Now the Big Second Banana
Ladies and Gentleman, The Boston Red Sox
Are the 2007 American League East Champions
Check Out All the Celebration Photos | Video ...

Dunn Deal!

Bullpen Officer Billy Dunn gets a champagne shower, too

(Billy Dunn - Knuckle Up for Luck -- BDD Photo / NESN Screenshot)

THEO ON THE DIVISION WIN: ”I’m really, really proud of our players and our organization, and happy for our fans because it’s been a long time since they had the bragging rights in the al east and don’t have to take the taunts any longer and can enjoy this one… it’s just a great day for our fans. When you have the Yankees in your division, it feels like you have a stalker. Every time you turn around, they’re right there, and we’ve been out to big leads before and haven’t been able to hold ‘em. … Our guys really handled the Tampa clinch very professionally, now tonight, get a little crazy, enjoy it, but then back to business, and we still have the home field to play for, best record in the league, and then the important time starts, we have to win 11 games, one at a time, try to win the division series, then go from there.”-- GM Theo Epstein, to NESN’s Tina Cervasio in the Red Sox locker room

Tim Wakefield, David Ortiz and Jonathan Papelbon celebrate on the field. The Red Sox clinched the 2007 American League East Championship with a victory over the Minnesota Twins, combined with the Yankees loss to the Devil Rays in Tampa.

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Jim Davis)

AND A TIP OF THE CAP FROM AN EMOTIONAL TITO: "To win this division is no small feat, to see us accomplish something we share from top to bottom in the organization and the fans who live and die with us, it's something special... When we went through the tough time in Toronto, it was a tough week, tough to take, tough to handle... but Lowe, Varitek, and Ortiz calmed me down a lot... [watching the Yankees-Orioles] I couldn't believe Millar didn't swing. ... To see it unfold, to see Theo, I didn't know he had that vertical."-- Manager Terry Francona, to NESN’s Tina Cervasio in the Red Sox locker room

Boston Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon hoses down the fans with champagne

(Boston Globe Staff Photo / Barry Chin)

Fenway Southern Hospitality

Baltimore Orioles' Melvin Mora is greeted by teammates Freddie Bynum and Jay Payton after bunting in the winning run against the New York Yankees in the 10th inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Baltimore,

(Reuters Photo)

Mora the Same in the AL East? Nope. Sox Are No. 1 Now!

Meet Our New BFF: Mr. Melvin Mora, Instant Fenway Standing-O

"I know there were a lot of Boston Red Sox fans that were screaming in Boston. I'm excited. It was against the Yankees, and we came back. ... In my career, what I've had success on is bunting for base hits. When I saw the third baseman way back, I just made my mind up before everything was going to happen. We just want one. We didn't need a grand slam."-- Melvin Mora, Yankee Killer, 9.29.07, Baltimore Sun

Boston Dirt Dogs -- The Perfect Storm

(BDD Photo Illustration / Mr. Punchy)

Ron Sen: Stepping Into Liquid

We share finite space and time in an infinite universe. And in that space, we struggle together on a hostile planet to share moments of joy and sadness, achievement and loss, hope and despair. Amidst that vastness, our lives become united in our shared experience called Red Sox Nation.

Red Sox Nation has never represented membership cards, Sox Appeal, or even the media frenzy surrounding tonight's celebration of an American League East championship. People drive a little more courteously, smile more easily, and food even tastes better when our boys win. We suffer the defeats less well, although the World Series of 2004 vanquished memories of Loserville.

The 'panic button' never came out this year, and as close as the competition came, I always had the same assurance for coworkers and patients, "the Yankee fans experience what we formerly owned", the anticipation of something that would not happen, the corruption of broken dreams. Mariano Rivera, Sox nemesis incarnate, failing in the clutch, and the lowly Orioles dismissing the mighty Bombers.

Tonight the Sox from grizzled veterans like Schilling and Timlin, basking in the dwindling sunshine of lengthy careers, celebrate anew with rookies Pedroia, Ellsbury, Moss, and even Matsuzaka and Okajima.

What benefit victory? A chance to rest for Ortiz and aching knees, for Youkilis and a sore hand, and for those like Lowell and Varitek who suffered the marathon to get to the postseason.

The doubting among us will say they've done nothing yet, that tonight's events only serve as a prelude to uncertainty and more sore shoulders, balky knees, and strawberries. But those who follow this team season in and season out, night and day, remind them that is simply why we watch, to find out how it ends. Tonight the Sox stepped into liquid, champagne. -- Ron Sen, Boston Dirt Dogs contributor and founder of Red Sox Reality Check

Pick the Sox ALDS Bench | A Look Back at the '95 AL East Champs

BDD is a feature of Boston.com. The site is not produced by the Boston Globe sports dept.

Boston Globe:

Red Sox agree to deal with Pierzynski > Sox non-tender Bailey, Kalish > Sox face arbitration decisions

Boston Herald:

Sox set Bailey, Kalish free > Doug Fister dealt to Nats > White Sox agree to 1-year contract with C Flowers

ProJo:

Pierzynski reaches deal with Red Sox > Kalish, Bailey non-tendered > Mike Napoli still ideal at first base > Middlebrooks, Red Sox both looking for improvement

NY Post:

Cashman pessimistic on Yankees re-signing Cano > Report: A-Rod called PEDs 'Food'

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The "Curt’s Pitch for ALS" program is a joint effort by Curt and Shonda Schilling and The ALS Association Mass Chapter to strike out Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

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