Monday, September 27

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

1. You know what time it is KEYS fans? Yes, it’s time to start looking ahead. Yes, Jose knows this is contrary to our very natures as Sox fans, we’re always looking over our shoulders, wondering who might be gaining on us, expecting things to go wrong, but trust Jose, let’s look ahead. It’s fun and surprisingly easy.

Jose actually tends to have a lot of trouble looking ahead. If there is something awful or maybe even just unpleasant in Jose’s future, he tends to spend a lot of time fretting about it and seeing anything after it as beyond the void and unworthy of consideration. Jose is actually in such a state right now. He has so much to do at work between now and Thanksgiving that anything after Thanksgiving seems as abstract as a Picasso. (Note: Jose has heard that if one looks at a pointillist painting while on acid, it looks like a realist scene. So here is Jose’s question. If one watched Esteban Loaiza pitch while on acid, would it look like he was pitching well? What about Kevin Brown?)

For Jose the classic example of being unable to look forward was when he had jaw surgery 10 days after high school graduation. Jose knew he was going to have the surgery for about two years, and spent most of that time dreading it. He just couldn’t comprehend the fact that there was going to be a point in his life when the dread surgery was over, so it was hard for him to focus on anything that would happen after. And actually the surgery was awful. Jose lost 30 pounds, had his jaw wired shut for five weeks and even worse, O.J. killed…sorry, allegedly killed, two people the day before Jose’s surgery so TV was pretty much ruined for the duration of his recovery. Frankly, if Jose’s parents hadn’t kept him focused on it, he probably wouldn’t have applied to college since it came after the surgery. On the up side, Jose did learn how to fit about 1,800 calories into a glass (Note: Ice cream and fruit in heavy syrup are the KEYS.)

Okay digression over. Jose is done trying to bulk up KEYS that have been a little shaky lately with bland material about his orthodonture. Let’s move on to talking about Mosey Nixon’s orthodnture!! No wait looking ahead, looking ahead…that’s it!

The first step is to look backward and note that we are six ahead of Anaheim, the AL West is beating itself to death, and we get to play Tampa and Baltimore. It’s like what Ricky Davis did before he tried the under the legs dunk, he looked back saw that there was no one close, so he could make a mistake and still recover. Only then did he go and do something stupid. Got that? Look back first, then do something stupid. Actually, let Jose amend that. The second step is to actually look forward for just a second. See how we are 3.5 behind the Yankees? Now it possible that we will catch them, but it is improbable. Though they do have a tough series against Minnesota left. Well, are we giving up something good by looking ahead? Hey, if it happens it happens.

So now that we’ve looked both ways, lets start really looking ahead. It looks like the Sox probably are going to play Minnesota, which means we can look forward to one of those Shaughnessy columns comparing Boston with Minnesota. You know, winter in Minnesota 10 months…winter in Boston nine months. Advantage: Boston. Jose can also look forward to not talking to his many friends from Minnesota and growing to really hate Johan Santana. Actually, Jose should give you his big scoop on Johann. Despite his first name…ready? HE ISN’T GERMAN!!!! HE’S NOT AUSTRIAN OR DUTCH EITHER!!! So German SoSH poster ossie schreckengost doesn’t need to sweat it, he can still root for the Sox. (Note: Not that a Geman would care if he was Austrian or Dutch, but he’s not German and that’s the important part.) (Additonal Note: Should we end up playing Anaheim, Jose will explore his suspicion that Vladimir Guerrero is not Russian or even Ukrainian.)

You know what else is good about looking ahead? When a KEY gets really long, rambling and off subject, you can start thinking things like "What will be in KEY 2? Maybe it will be a Tony Castrati Transaltor. No, wait Jose did one of those on Saturday. I bet it’s about Ellis ‘Chicken Man’ Burks." Enough talk, enough chatter, it’s time to throw down. KEY 2 now.

2. Wow the Yankees get to choose between Kevin Brown Esteban Loaiza and Javier Vasquez be their number 4 starter in the playoffs. This is what they call a "good problem." You know, if it’s 2003. In 2004 it’s a bad problem. A very, very bad problem, like a termite infestation or possibly bubonic plague.

3. Jose thinks yesterday was the ultimate proof that Pedro Astacio is not ready to contribute anything on the major league level. Even though he’s pretty skinny, you just have to be able to nail Kenny Lofton with no outs in the eighth inning of a blowout. If you can’t do that, why are we keeping you around? Seriously.

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

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