Wednesday, October 27

From SoSH: Re: 10-27-04 The Beginning Of A New Era(pt.4)

(Sigh) One of the most important days of the year and is down for six hours. But it matters not.

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

1. Well, this is new.

What an odd and extraordinary situation Jose finds himself in. Like all of you, every day Jose looks forward to watching the Boston Red Sox play baseball, and every night Jose goes to bed looking forward to watching the next game. Watching baseball has given Jose so much pleasure, at least when the Sox are good. And when they are bad? Well, then at least the Sox eat hours. Maybe they aren’t great hours, but the Red Sox at least consume them, thereby eliminating the need to put further strain on an already overworked network of family and friends.

Jose wants that to end. Yes, Jose is rooting for the Red Sox season to end today. He didn’t want it to end in 2003 or 2002 or 2001 and backwards and backwards, but he wants it to end now. Mach schnell!!! Post haste!!!

After tonight, Jose does not want to watch the Red Sox again this year. After tonight, he does not want to be astounded by Curt Euro’s grit and toughness; he does not want to marvel at Manny’s sweet swing; he does not want to see David Ortiz spit on his hands or Orlando Cabrerra toss the ball effortlessly to first. For the first time in 18 years, Jose hopes, Jose prays that the Red Sox will not play baseball tomorrow.

Jose also desperately wants this to be the last KEYS TO THE GAME of 2004. KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE, KEYS TO SLOVENIA, KEYS TO A FRAGRANT YET SUBTLE PINOT NOIR, Jose would gladly write them all, but KEYS to another game? The Red Sox have all of their KEYS, now all they need to do is unlock the door (Note: Or possibly bomb through a wall Legend of Zelda style.)

Prior to today’s KEYS Jose has written 90,425 words in the form of KEYS TO THE GAME. That is enough. That should be all. Let us end it here and now. Yes, for the first time Jose looks forward to not watching the Red Sox tomorrow

2. Jose should probably write something that actually has to do with the game, a little analysis, a little match up work. Starting pitching has been the story of this series, so let’s focus on tonight’s starters. The Red Sox have Megatron pitching, ready, poised and full of energon cubes. Of course, this raises the question of what Transformer Cardinals starter Jason Marquis might be? Perhaps Bumblebee the loveable little VW Bug, who has a lot of pluck but is just to small to get the job done. No?

Okay, stop. Hold on. Bring out the writing coach, bring the manager to the mound. It’s time for Jose to be honest here – Jose is gassed. He dropped 1,657 words yesterday, his longest outing ever, and put enormous strain on his shaky left elbow in order to try to pull the Sox through. He doesn’t have much left, and it’s showing. That first KEY…that might work in June, but this is the World Series. And the start of KEY 2? Bumblebee? What the hell is that?

But you know what? Jose can’t surrender the keyboard. He just can’t do it. He’s going to keep bringing it until the manager comes and drags him out. So here goes, let’s see if he can get these last two KEYS up around 97. Then Jose will point skyward, call it a day and rub his ‘fro against a teammate’s. It is on.

Jose had hoped to come up with some clever, nickname for Jason Marquis that would play off of either Marquis de Sade or Marquis de Lafayette. Lafayette, Jose immediately realized, was hopeless. Nothing rhymes with it except possibly “Laugh Riot” and that, ironically, didn’t seem funny. Moreover mentioning a riot seemed extremely distasteful.

And Sade? Well lots of things rhyme with Sade “God,” “Rod,” “Mod,” “Decapod” but none of them seemed to reflect the man who will take the man who will actually take the mound for the Cardinals tonight. Can one connect Jason Marquis to what the American Heritage Dictionary defines as “a cephalopod mollusk, such as a squid or cuttlefish, having ten armlike tentacles?” Actually, yes – he does lack a backbone. But it still seemed like too much of a stretch.

Jose had sort of hoped to find something that would rhyme with Sade and mean “Is so anxiety riddled that he needed to be used as a pinch runner in game 1 to work out the butterflies, and he even screwed that up by falling down on the base paths. So now he is destined to walk five and give up six runs in 2 2/3 innings in the biggest game of his life.” But surprisingly, in a language as versatile as English, there is no word captures that, much less one that rhymes with “Sade.” The only thing that even comes close to capturing it (Note: Not rhyming with it) is “Kevin Brown.”

So Jose will have to settle for French. And as it turns out the French have a word that seems just about perfect. Jose doesn’t speak a word of French, but this term, to Anglophone ears, seems ideal for Jason Marquis – “Inquiétude.” It’s what one gets when “anxiety” is translated by Babelfish, but it seems to Jose that it is so much more. It conveys a sense of unsettledness, a sense of fear, a sense that every pitch might be the mistake that is remembered forever.So tonight’s pitching match up? Megatron versus Le Marquis de Inquiétude. Jose doesn’t know about you, but he’ll take the robot hell bent on destruction.

3. UNO!!! UNO!!! UNO DAMN IT!!! Jose has played a lot of different games in his life time, and sometimes he gets confused about which rules belong to which game, but he is almost sure that baseball is the one where you have to shout UNO when you’re about to go out. Right? If you don’t say “Uno” you have to win two extra games, so UNO!!! UNO!!! UNO!!!

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


Anonymous said...

I don not want to read KEYS TO THE GAME again this year.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to reading Jose Melendez's KEYS TO THE MEAL, where his lunch and/or dinner plans are described in great detail.

Anonymous said...

Keys to the parade? Keys to the banner hanging? Keys to 'going to disney world'. Keys to my life being complete? What's next?

Anonymous said...

Keys to the parade? Keys to the banner hanging? Keys to "going to disney world". Keys to my life being complete? What's next?

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jose...thank you everyone who watched and cared and wrote and cheered along with the rest of us. I hope that every player on this team gets a statue, and Jose, I hope you keep posting about whatever you want. The Boston Red Sox are World Series Champions.

Anonymous said... you have your wish. An excellent final Keys, I thought...and now...well perhaps it might be Keys to the KBA.

Anonymous said...

Jose, I would like to thank you for adding to my enjoyment of the 2004 Red Sox.

I've looked forward to your Keys as I lurked in the SOSH game threads. I've been reading since sometime in early July.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Jose, the Keys were a daily blessing for this displaced Sox fan this season. Karl is most appreciative. If your CCCC event hasn't happened yet, give a wave to Sandwich for him on Jose's way by. Cheers!