Tuesday, October 26

From SoSH: Re: 10-26-04 The Beginning of A New Era(pt.3)

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

1. Once there was a city named St. Louis that was among the greatest in the world. It was the host of the 1904 Olympics and the 1904 World’s Fair back when the World’s Fair meant something. (Note: Though apparently in the 94 events only 42 included athletes who were not Americans. Unfortunately for the Cardinals, every World Series game will be contested.)

Once there was a city named St. Louis that stood as the “Gateway to the West,” the gateway to a better life, the gateway to hope and freedom and land and independence.

Once there was a city named St. Louis who’s spirit was so indomitable it was heralded on the side of the most famous aircraft of the day. Yes, Lucky Lindy named his transatlantic steed the “Spirit of St. Louis.”

Once there was a city named St. Louis that was home to a man named Musial who forever redefined what it means to be “The Man.”

Once there was a city named St. Louis where Bob Gibson tormented hitters with his angry gaze and angrier fastball.

Once there was a city named St. Louis, where Marshall Faulk played and Kurt Warner prayed and Super Bowls title seemed like they would stretch to the horizon.

Once there was a city, now it’s done. Brother, now it’s Boston’s time.

Today there is a city named St. Louis where even getting a flight on Olympic Airways is every bit as impossible as holding an Olympic games.

Today there is a city named St. Louis that has an Arch symbolizing its past glory and golden arches representing its present decay.

Today there is a city named St. Louis that is so unremarkable that Akron is stealing its stuff and getting away with it. That’s right. You know that Goodyear Blimp, “The Spirit of Akron?” That’s Akron calling you out St. Louis and what are you going to do about it? Nothing. You’re Akron’s b*tch St. Louis. What do you think Boston would do if Rochester started talking about Rochester Baked Beans or Rochester Scrod? We’d kick their asses, that’s what we’d do.

Today there is a city named St. Louis that is home to a man named Matheny who is a gaping whole in a lineup.

Today there is a city named St. Louis where Matt Morris entices hitters with a frightened gaze and even more frightened fastball.

Today there is a city named St. Louis whose football team yielded 31 points to a punchless Miami offense, and handed the Dolphins their first win.

The city of St. Louis was once so grand that truly it deserved its sainthood. But now? Now the bloom is off the rose, the best days are behind them, and many other cliches. In 1904 the Olympics was originally given to Chicago but was moved to St. Louis by a 14-2 vote. Perhaps some enterprising Midwesterners would consider voting the Cubs St. Louis’ home games this year? Perhaps the Missouri city no longer deserves its sainthood. Yes, from now on Jose will simply call the once great city Louis, or maybe even Lou.

2. Yesterday there was a plea for common sense in the Boston Globe by a certain Amanda E. Ottaway of Boston. It is a letter so important that Jose believes it warrants repeating here.

Jose is a huge believer in freedom of expression. And Ms. Ottaway has every right to say what she did. But let’s break this letter down a bit shall we? Let’s address her specific grievances.

Not everyone loves the Red Sox

AO: “I moved to Boston from Cincinnati in May to start a new job and a new life. I thought Boston was filled with culture and history.

JM: Well, it is, but our fair town can’t possibly be expected to compete with the great meccas of the Midwest like Cincinnati and St. Louis. It’s like comparing Cognac and Fresca, we can’t possibly compete. Also, do you expect that people should sit around the cafes all day talking about the merits of defending Bunker Hill versus Breed’s Hill and the first use of ether? History is wonderful to the extent that it gets state workers paid holidays, but beyond that? (Note: Actually, Jose loves history, but come on.)

AO: “The only thing I have heard about since I got here is the Red Sox. Don't people have anything else to talk about besides that?”

JM: Sure we do. In January we’ll talk mostly about the Patriots. But seriously, even on a Red Sox fan site like SoSH there are outlets for discussing politics, popular culture and the world of computers. And we Bostonians can discuss almost any subject, as long as it is connected to baseball in some way. For instance, in Cincinnati, one might chat about John Kerry’s bid for the White House. In Boston, one can chat about it too, but only by comparing it to Euro Bellhorn’s quest for the Red Sox single season strikeout record. Alternatively, one could debate how the race would be different if Dale Sveum were Kerry’s campaign manager. (Note: How would it be different? Well, Kerry would send a lot more time “out” on the campaign trail, and a lot less time at home. Sveum would keep saying “John go home to Louisburg Square, you need rest, and Kerry would keep ending up out on the trail. Get it? Dale Sveum is a below average third base coach. It’s funny now isn’t it? Also, can we change the name of Louisburg Square to Bostonburg Square for the next week? Just wondering.)

AO: “Not only that, but I am expected to be a fan of the team just because I live here. Forget the fact that I lived somewhere else for more than 30 years, and I'm still fond of that team.”

JM: Ahh…there’s the rub. She’s a Reds fan and is still bitter that her beloved Reds lost the 1975 World Series to the Boston Red…Wait… She has no f’n reason at all.

AO: “I am just so surprised that people around here don't have anything else to do in their lives except talk about and watch baseball. It is really making me hate Boston”

JM: Umm…some of us have jobs, too. And families. Maybe a dog. Jose plays softball, though that kind of proves your point.

AO: “Add to that the fact that I live on Boylston Street in the Back Bay.”

JM: Let’s see at least 30 years old, lives in Back Bay, might this be a disgruntled yuppie? Either that or she is a homeless woman who has seen revelry cut into her panhandling.

AO: “This week has proved to me how completely disrespectful Boston residents are of each other. I've witnessed people screaming, yelling, honking their horns at midnight during the middle of the week. I will be moving once my lease is up.”

JM: The nerve of people celebrating something wondrous that has never happened before. And in the city at that. Peasants.

AO: “Don't people here get the fact that not everyone loves the Red Sox?”

JM: We get it. Some people (Note: you) are jerks. Okay.

AO: “I was never even given the chance to like them. As far as I'm concerned, Go Cardinals!”

JM: We were never even given the chance to like you. As far as we’re concerned, Go Home!

Now having done a point by point rebuttal, Jose would like to address some the broader issues of Ms. Ottaway’s comments by looking at some of her previous writings.

Did you know that in Summer 1989, Ms. Ottaway was living in an apartment just off of Tianenmen Square in Beijing, China and wrote a letter to the Beijing Times-Picayune saying “This week has proved to me how completely disrespectful Beijing students are. I’ve witnessed them screaming, yelling, protesting at midnight during the middle of the week. I wish someone would crush them with armored columns.”

Did you know that mere months later in Fall 1989, Ms. Ottaway was living in an apartment near the Brandenburg Gate in East Berlin and wrote a letter to the Die Berliner Zeit-Picayune saying “Don’t people here get the fact that not everyone loves Democracy? I was never even given the chance to like it. As far as I’m concerned, Go Communists.”

Finally did you know that Ms. Ottaway was living in a Times Square apartment on December 31, 1999 and wrote a letter to the New York Times-Picayune saying “I am expected to be a fan of the New Millennium just because I live in it? Forget the fact that I lived in a different millennium for more than 30 years, and I’m still fond of it.”

Here’s another thing not to like about Bostonians. We put words in your mouth and libel you, but then admit that it is all lies (Note: All of those “letters” are lies), so it’s not technically libel.

3. So the Cardinals’ plan now is to win Game 3 with Jeff Suppan starting against Pedro Martinez? Good God, how are they even in the World Series making moves like that? Jose knows Suppan has been good all year and great in the playoffs, that he was good all of last year, except when he was with the Sox and that he beat Roger Clemens in Game 7. (Note: Who hasn’t?) But seriously? If this idea works, Jose’s sources report that Cardinals Manager Tony LaRussa is planning to start Brian Rose in Game 4 and Tim Vanegmond in Game 5 before returning to Boston and throwing Nate Minchey in Game 6 and Vaughn Eshelman in Game 7. Actually, Jose thinks this is a good plan. They can’t possibly be any worse than fictional characters Woody Williams and Matt Morris.

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


Anonymous said...

Jose -

Thanks for taking Amanda down! I have an extra pair of symphony tickets for Saturday night that she can have - I'll be watching the game. No wait, I forgot, this series is over in 5. Never mind.

Anonymous said...

Hey, she can have my tickets to the Huntington tonight. If I were her I'd be psyched - think of all the last minute seats to cultural events in Boston this week!

Beth said...

she can have my foot in her...

Anonymous said...

Jose - these were the funniest KEYS all year. Bar none. The "did you know" paragraphs about Amanda were hysterical. You, like Pedro, were in peak form.

See you in spring training,