Is today the day?

In a season that's gone completely mad, a season that's often defied logic - along with every industry expert who predicted 100 losses - it would seem appropriate for the Orioles to clinch a playoff berth from the team hotel in St. Petersburg, Fla.

It's possible that the Orioles will find out later tonight that they've reached the postseason for the first time since 1997. As I tried to explain last night, they're officially in if they win today and the Angels lose one of the games in their split doubleheader.

The Angels' first game starts at 1:05 p.m., while the first pitch at Camden Yards will be thrown at 1:35 p.m. (OK, who are we kidding? It's always a few minutes late.) Game 2 for the Angels-Rangers begins at 7:05 p.m.

I wonder if the Orioles would spray champagne in the lobby or pile into a player's room? It would be quite a scene at the bar.

The preference, of course, is to celebrate on the field in front of their fans, then head into their plastic-covered clubhouse and break out the bubbly. That's assuming they really do go crazy after the final out. We've been debating in the press box whether there will be a full-blown celebration from a team that's been so business-like, with the exception of the shaving cream pies and one hilarious video.

The Most Valuable Oriole will be announced this morning and honored on the field before the game. Jim Johnson or Adam Jones? It's going to be close.

Johnson recorded his major league-leading 49th save last night. He's notched saves in 18 of his last 23 appearances.

Brian Matusz has posted a 1.42 ERA in 17 relief appearances. Tommy Hunter has allowed one earned run in his last 12 2/3 innings. Their contributions shouldn't go overlooked as the Orioles try to overtake the Yankees in the American League East, rather than play catch-and-release.

Chris Davis has homered in three straight games, giving him 30 for the season.

So much for the debate about whether he's a 4-A player. And now we know what he could do with 500 at-bats.

"I think he's verified what he felt and what we felt," said manager Buck Showalter. "It's an ongoing proving ground and Chris knows that. I've said many times that the great thing about this club is it's not a team that assumes anything. They don't. Whether individually or as a team, and it's very refreshing.

"Chris realized a lot of that, but his teammates have been there for him and it's been a great relationship."

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