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It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE.
Today KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE comes to you live from our nation’s capitol, Arlington, Virginia.
1. Jose got very excited last night because boston.com led him to believe that the Red Sox had signed St. Louis shortstop Edgar Renteria to a four year $40 million package. It’s not that Jose misread, it’s that he was mislead. Yes…yes, that must be it.
Apparently, this is not the actual case. The Red Sox have only made an offer, which is a shame, because Jose was fully prepared to start in with a few Renteria jokes to set the tone.
For instance, Jose was going to bid a fond farewell to the Orlando Cabrera era. Yes, we all enjoyed yelling “Welcome to the OC bitch” (Note: All due credit to whoever came up with that line, God knows it wasn’t Jose) whenever OC would make one of his slick plays with the glove or drive an improbable two out double, but Jose thinks that we can all agree that this is an upgrade. After all, the OC entertaining as it may be, (Note: Which is to say not entertaining at all. Joes has never watched the OC, but he can tell.) is basically a trivial tribute to and affirmation of all that is decadent and deviant in American culture. But now we have replaced the OC with ER. ER is not only four time gold glover and superior shortstop, but also represents a high point in American television – he represents the heroic efforts of doctors and nurses in a big city emergency room as they struggle to save their patients while simultaneously struggling to save their own personal lives. He also represents Maura Tierney’s return to prime time television and the fact that the guy who played Kubiak on Parker Lewis Can’t Lose can still find work. What’s not to like? (Note: The blood. Jose Melendez is not crazy about blood, so he seldom watches ER, but still…)
So Jose joins with all of Red Sox Nation in hoping and praying that in the next day or two, he will be able to say “Welcome to the ER, bitch.”
2. So the Red Sox gave a two year deal to a 41 year old pitcher. Jose knows it sounds bad, but trust Jose, you need to hear the rest and think it through before you flip out. He’s not just any 41 year old pitcher, he’s a 41 year old pitcher who is chronically overweight, has a bad attitude and may well be an alcoholic. Also, he hates Fenway Park and has expressed an interest in heading the demolitions crew should the Red Sox ever take crowbar to steel. See don’t you feel better now that you know the whole story?
Signing Wells for two years for $8 million with the potential for him to earn $10 million more in incentives is the sort of the deal that not only raises eyebrows, but causes eyebrows to become fuller, thicker and more lush in order to be more noticeable as they are raised. There are a lot of Sox fans walking around today looking like Michael Dukakis or Frida Kahlo. Yes, Theo has earned a lot of faith and a lot of good will by putting together a WORLD SERIES CHAMPION team, but Jose is still a little wary of this deal.
Everyone says that Wells will fit in perfectly with the Red Sox “bunch of idiots” concept. Now, Jose likes people with extremely low IQs as much as anyone, but is it possible that the Sox are starting to take this approach a little bit too far? Instead of focusing on skill, age, and conditioning, is it possible that the Red Sox are only looking for people with limited mental faculties? If that is the case, is it possible that a Jose Canseco signing is just around the corner? What about a comeback from Mike Greenwell?
You can see why Jose is concerned. So in order to prevent these sorts of dangerous moves from happening in the future, Jose has a simple suggestion. Instead of acquiring idiots, the absolute lowest end of the IQ spectrum, maybe the Red Sox should start acquiring morons…people who are still very stupid, but not quite as stupid as idiots. After all, if they are looking for elderly pitchers who aren’t terribly bright, Roger Clemens is still available.
3. The Wells signing seems to preclude the possibility of the Red Sox making a serious run at former Pawtucket pitcher Carl Pavano, who is reportedly headed to the Yankees for $42 million. Jose is basically glad that the Sox are not signing Pavano. Not only does Jose feel like $40 million for four years is excessive for an oft injured starter, Jose is deeply wary of “men” who spell Carl with a “C.” Jose just finds the “C” to be soft and effeminate, perhaps lacking in toughness, unlike the stark and rugged “K” practically oozing manly virtues like ruggedness, independence and strength. It says something that when one googles “famous carls” the first links are to Carl’s Jr.
Think about Karl Marx versus Carl Jung. A revolutionary philosopher versus a psychoanalyst who constructed the idea of the collective unconscious. A man whose ideas fueled revolutions versus a man whose ideas fueled pretentious undergrads and even more pretentious grad students. Who do you want as your number two starter?
Think about Karl Rove versus Carl Levin. The evil mastermind of the Bush campaign (Note: God how Jose hates him) versus the bland yet annoying Senator from Michigan. Rove may be a clubhouse cancer, but he always brings the gas.
Karl Popper versus Carl Sagan. The Author of “Open Society and its Enemies,” the scourge of Plato and even his fellow Karl, Karl Marx up against the man who brought astronomy to the masses? Karl Popper would be “billions of billions” of times better then Carl Sagan on the mound. (Note: Jose recalls that Dave Barry is the master of the billions of billions joke, so this should be regarded as an homage, rather than an Eric (K)neel style swipe.)
So there’s your evidence. With their money, the Yankees will be acquiring a man whose name is a dubious testament to his potential. After all, who would you rather have Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes a man whose name spells his toughness out loud and clear or “Crazy” Carl Everett, a man whose name spells out his craziness. You make the call.
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE.