Friday, September 10

From SoSH: Re: September 10th - The New Streak Begins

It's time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. One of Jose’s many fans, a lurker named Dixielandbandana, sent him a note today pointing out that ESPN Page 2 Columnist Eric Neel used the name “Balki Arroyo” in his column yesterday.

Since this is one of Jose’s most venerable nicknames, he is modestly annoyed that another writer, particularly one with many more readers and much more notoriety has swiped his line. Jose figured that the only thing to do was to email him to discuss the situation. Below is what Jose sent. (Note: Jose tried to send this anyway, but the ESPN mail system will not allow a message this long, so Jose sent a shorter version.

Dear Eric,

This is Jose Melendez. You’re a baseball guy, so you may recall that Jose Melendez was a dreadful relief pitcher for the Red Sox in 1994-95. This is probably not the same guy. Today, Jose Melendez is the handle of a baseball blogger and poster who refers to himself exclusively in the third person, you know, Ricky Henderson/Bob Dole style.

The reason Jose is writing you is that, well, you ripped him off. Jose first referred to Bronson Arroyo as “Balki” on May 21, 2004. You did it today and that is what, September 9. That means Jose got there first. And he has proof. Check out this link…go ahead… Jose Lays his Claim

Or if that’s not enough, Google “Balki Arroyo” and see what comes up. Checkmate friend. Heck, you could even ask Bill Simmons, who is a long time SoSH member. Jose will bet he knows the KEYS TO THE GAME.

Now Jose is not accusing you of stealing from him. Seriously, he is not. It is fully possible that this joke evolved completely separately in two or more places. As hard as it may seem to believe that there was once an actor named Bronson Pinchot and as hard as it may be to believe that he once played a character named Balki in a HIT SERIES, and as hard as it may be to believe that two people both remembered that series enough to make the joke, Jose accepts that it is at least theoretically possible. Like it is theoretically possible that George Steinbrenner isn’t the biggest jerk in baseball. Hard to prove, but theoretically possible.

What hurts Jose’s feelings though, is that everyone except for Jose’s small cadre of loyal fanatics will think you thought it up. This joke is Jose’s legacy! (Note: Isn’t that incredibly sad? Don’t you pity Jose now?) The ravenous hordes of bored office workers who look to Page 2 for a diversion from the drudgery and ennui of office work (Jose Melendez included) will think you made it up, and you will reap the accolades.

So here is what Jose proposes. Just give Jose credit. Write a little correction in your fine Web site, maybe in the “Notes for Eric’s Scorecard” stating that the idea was originally conceived by Jose Melendez of and the world famous and we can put all will be forgotten. Heck, if you give credit, you can use any of Jose’s hysterical nicknames like Curt Euro, DLowe the Paranoid Android or Mosey Nixon. That’s free!!! Quite the bargain, isn’t it.

Do it for Balki, do it for Cousin Larry Appleton, do it for Mrs. Garrett (no wait, that’s not quite right.)


Jose Melendez

2. Jose’s cousin Jeff and his wife Marla (who are far more Jewish than Jose) suggested an outstanding new home run call for The World’s Most Perfectly Sculpted Jew, and the great thing is that it also works for The Jewish God of Walks (who must be the God, because in Judaism, like in Islam, Christianity and Highlander, there can be only one.)

So here it is – “Shabbat Shalom.” It literally means “peaceful Sabbath,” but it is also used as a sort of goodbye at the end of a service. Can’t you picture it?

“Kapler steps in…Here’s the pitch…There’s a drive, deep to left Shabbat shalom, that one’s gone.” Sweet.

3. Speaking of the World’s Most Perfectly Sculpted Jew, Jose notice in an ad the other night that he has a tattoo. That means hew will never have the most stunning physique in a Jewish cemetery. Jews with tattoos are not allowed to be buried in Jewish cemeteries. Unfortunately, this means that Mariners rookie pitcher Bobby Madritsh will also be unable to fulfill his dream of being buried in a Jewish Cemetery.

I'm Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.

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