Tuesday, October 5

From SoSH: Re: 10/04/04 Game One of the Real Season

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

1. Jose has a confession to make, a shameful confession that he has held from you, his loyal readers throughout the regular season. But now on the eve of the postseason it is time to fess up. It is time for Jose to confess his sins and beg forgiveness, lest the new postseason begin with a foul stain from the old. Here goes…God, this is like passing a kidney stone...eerrrrr….. aaahhhhhhh…… yooooooowwwwwww… Jose may have had something to do with the Game 7 disaster last year. (Note: God that hurt.) Jose knows what you’re thinking.

“Oh Jose forgot too wear his lucky boxer shorts” or “Jose forgot to cross his fingers at a crucial juncture.” But no. This was worse, much worse. In the late innings of game 7, with the Sox up by three, the Melendezette left the apartment where we were watching the game with friends and walked the two blocks home to watch the conclusion as she prepared for an early morning meeting. And Jose let her. He let her go knowing that we had been winning with her on the couch beside him. He let her go knowing that without Jose’s counsel anything could happen. It would be easy for Jose to let the Melendezette take the fall for what happened next, but it would also be wrong, very, very wrong. (Note: And it could potentially result in him sleeping on the couch.)

The Melendezette is a fan, but she is not a fanatic. How was she to know that shaving her legs with a three run lead, could lead to disaster? Jose is not suggesting that this was mojo. Jose, as you well know, does not believe in mojo. Jose would never say something as foolish as “We were winning with hairy legs, we should have stuck with hairy legs.” (Note: Okay, Jose may have said that four or five thousand times in the days that followed.) No, Jose believes in science, in empiricism. Jose recalls reading in Jurassic Park, (Note: Michael Crichton went to medical school so the science has to be good, right?) that chaos theory suggests that a butterfly flapping its wings in Hong Kong can cause a hurricane in the Cayman Islands and wash all of the dirty, sheltered money into the sea. (Note: Okay, the last part may have been Jose’s anti tax cheat fantasy.) Thus, Jose maintains that a hair shorn form a leg in Boston and falling into a bathtub there resulted in a slight wind current in New York that pushed a Pedro fastball to Hideki Matsui slightly higher and changed the course of history. No, it is not the baseball Gods that are cruel, but the elements themselves. (Note: This is why so many Red Sox have long hair or unshaven. They know that atmospheric disturbances created by shearing hair could adversely affect games.)

But let it never be said that Jose Melendez does not learn from his mistakes. For instance, he learned that in the regular season ending KEYS he incorrectly stated that Kevin Paul Dupont had erred in saying that Theo Epstein took Keith Foulke to a Celtics game. From that, Jose learned to stop relying on actual news and simply make things up instead. (Note: The KEYS are “fiction” not journalism. Jose just watched the movie “Shattered Glass” about Stephen Glass’s fabrications at the New Republic, and Jose will be damned if anyone will ever question him about his sources. “Can you produce the source who told you Eric Kneel prefers Iran to America Mr. Melendez?” So consider yourselves warned. Much like the “Lighter Side” on Boston.com, KEYS is not news, fact or even edjutainment. It is good old fashioned fiction, or possibly prose poetry.)

So Jose is learning from past mistakes as Terry Eurona will this post season as well. (Note: Terry, yank Pedro after 7, bring in Stapleton for Buckner, never, ever rely on Calvin Schiraldi and don’t start Pete Schourek in game 4, and you’ll be fine. Wait, starting Schourek in Game 4 was the right decision. Okay, go ahead and start Shourek in game 4 Terry.) Jose has spoken with the Melendezette and she has agreed not to shave her legs during the post season. While this may seem like a big sacrifice, especially for Jose, the Melendezette has naturally smooth legs, so it will be managable. Also, just as a precaution, Jose’s friend Audrey, with whom he watched game 7 last year has agreed not to shave her legs either. This year there will be no atmospheric disturbances, no battles against fractals and no horrifying conclusions. This year, by harnessing the awesome power of science (Note: And not in a Bonds/Giambi/Sheffield way), we will prevail.

2. With his typical excellent timing, Jose has taken ill just in time for the post season. Yes, Jose is struggling with flulike symptoms. The question is will he respond to the symptoms like Michael Jordan or like Roger Clemens. Only time will tell. But enough about Jose’s illness let’s talk about our opponent the Anaheim Angles (Note: Jose will persist in calling them the Angles after the famed Germanic tribe that inhabited the British Isles, until someone can prove that “Angels” is not a stupid name for a baseball team.) What do the Angles have going for them? Well, their game one pitcher Jared Washburn looks terrific after losing 400 pounds by eating nothing but Subway sandwiches. In fact, he may want to get game 2 starter Bartolo Colon on that diet as well. You remember Bartolo Colon don’t you? The last time we saw in a playoff matchup, we scored 24 runs.

What else? Sparky Plug is their leadoff hitter, which is terrific for them. It’s like having Jeff Frye, and we all remember how great that was. They do have some big bats in their rotation however, like Troy Glaus, who can occasionally extend his arms, Garrett Anderson (Note: They might as well be trotting out Mrs. Garrett) and Vladimir Guerrero who, umm…who…well, who scares the hell out of Jose. And their manager? Mike Scioscia, who appears to have recovered fully from the radiation sickness detailed on the Simpsons, which Jose can only assume is a documentary of some kind, is regarded as among the best in baseball. But we will conquer the Angles like so many angry Normans. Before this series is over Bill “Umlaut” Mueller will me known as “William the Conqueror.”

3. Jose just heard on WEEI that Scott Williamson will not be on the Division Series roster due to “an inability to carry a heavy workload. Remarkably, Jose expects to have the same problem for the duration of the playoffs. Regrettably, Jose does not expect to be left off of his employer’s playoff roster.

(Completely unrelated note inserted as a note only because a fourth KEY would be blasphemous: Last night Jose slept fitfully, tossing and turning as a vision emerged from his fever racked brain. Jose saw a tie game in the bottom of the ninth, he saw Sparky Plug hit a soft liner….just…just over the head of Euro Bellhorn to give the Angles a 1-0 game 1 win. Jose awoke in a cold sweat, shaking, fearful, and then he remembered. He remembered what he has told you all before. Jose’s dreams are an excellent predictor of what will not happen. Indeed, the opposite is bound to occur. Rejoice. Sox. Playoffs. It begins.)

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I must admit that I also may be responsible for the Sox loss in the horrible Game 7 loss of last October. The Paintcharge (I feel I must use the third person when interacting with the great Jose)left his beloved watering hole of Ruloff's in Ithaca, New York, where he has been spreading the gospel and love of the Red Sox as a New Englander out of New England for the past five years, to head home, assuming that the game was well in hand. I got home and found that Pedro was still in. My reaction was the same as my roommate's(who, incidentally had not watched baseball before the postseason)"why is Pedro still in!!??"
I blame myself for leaving the comfort of my beloved barstool.