It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.
Jose returns to the KEYS on an almost unprecedented three days rest. No side sessions, no work with a typing program, nothing. In fact, the only work Jose has gotten in since the Sox clinched in game 3 was a little work on an application for a fellowship. So Jose is fresh, well-rested and lined up for the hard slog ahead.
1. And now comes the end of days. The cataclysmic battle between good and evil that has been forecasted, projected and prophesied since the darkest days of last October and perhaps since the dawn of man is at last upon us. What is the universe? What is the nature of good and evil, light and darkness, crunchy and smooth? Seek not the answer in the Bible, nor the Torah. The Koran offers not the solution nor the Bhagavad Gita. Look not in Science and Health nor even Dianetics. On this very day, in the heart of New York City, we will all bear witness. We will witness the ultimate proof that this universe of ours is Manichaen. That there is only good and only evil and they are locked in never ending combat.
Whose side are you on? Whose side are you on? There are no grays, there is no nuance. Whose side are you on? There is nothing to finesse, no fences to straddle. Whose side are you on? There can be no changes of heart, no defections or conversions. Whose side are you on? You are with us or you are against us.
Chris Rattey be warned this is not Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker. Even the light and dark sides of the force are too weak an analogy for the struggle before us. After all, Darth Vader still had good in him. He was salvaged, his soul recovered. When his black mask of death was removed, the sad face of a frail and vulnerable human being was revealed. We pitied him. When this series is over will you pity Derek Jeter? Will you pity A-Rod? Oh, the Yankees are frail and vulnerable, that we shall see, but there will be no tears shed, no spiritual reunion with Yoda and Obi-Wan. No, the Evil Empire is not stark enough.
This is Billy Budd territory. The Yankees are the evil and sinister Mr. Claggart, devious, cruel and manipulative. The Red Sox are Billy Budd the earnest young sailor working under Claggart’s cruel hand. And how does Melville’s novella end? In the end each man lies dead, but even in death one is still good and one is still evil, and the vacillating Captain Vere is left standing. But here there are no Captain Veres. There is no middle. Whose side are you on?
At eight hours and fifteen minutes it begins. Whose side are you on?
(Note: Jose hasn’t actually read Billy Budd in about 14 years, and he sure as hell isn’t going to reread it now. So in the event that that Jose had the plot and metaphors wrong, let’s pretend that entire piece was pegged to Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener and his epic line "I prefer not to," as in "I prefer not to even talk to any Yankee fans until this series is over." Not that Jose could ever use that line since it has a first person singular pronoun in it.)
2. Well, after a KEY focused on cataclysm and Armageddon, Jose always finds it’s good to lighten the mood. So here goes. One reporter asked Curt Euro about "mystique and aura" or some such nonsense at yesterday’s press conference. You know what? As they say in ads for securities "past performance does not predict future results." And unless "mystique" is that blue chick from the X-Men and she’s wearing pin stripes, mystique don’t mean a damn thing.
Jose will not repeat a T-Shirt that suggests the Yankees take their title rings in suppository form, but he agrees with the sentiment. Jose worships at the temple of right f’n now, and as much as Jose loves history, he knows it is not deterministic. Eighty six year means nothing. NOTHING!!! The Mongols routed the west for centuries, but are you reading Genghis Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME? The Romans dominated the known world for hundreds and hundreds of years, but the upstart Goths eventually took them down. Do the British still rule India? Do they speak German in Cameroon? Did Andre the Giant lose a match after 22 undefeated years? (Note: Yes, Jose knows that streak is B.S.)
So please Yankees, rely on ghosts and fairies and unicorns and long dead sluggers. Depend on your vaunted history to protect you. After all, it worked for the Soviet Union. Didn’t it?
3. Jose thinks it is just a shame that the Red Sox spent all of this money making up brand new “Why Not Us?” T-Shirts. They could have saved a bundle by simply recycling the shirts worn by Les Expos in 2000 that read “Why not us? Why not now?” or even better “Pourquoi pas nous ? Pourquoi pas maintenant?” (Note: Or something like that. Jose doesn’t remember the French exactly, so he had to use Babelfish.)
Jose actually bought one of these French language shirts on his sole pilgrimage to Le Stade Olympique. He only wishes he still had it so he could wear it around this week and show he is down with the hip new rallying cry.
If we get through the ALCS Jose has a suggestion for a rallying cry for the next round. How about “We don’t want to fight, or start any trouble. We just wanna do the Super Bowl shuffle?”
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.