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It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE WINTER MEETINGS.
1. Jose is sad. Jose, is just really, really sad. The Red Sox have caused a lot of sadness in Melendezville over the years, but this is different. The 2003 ALCS was a sort of sadness mixed with rage and a deep burning pain, sadness wrought by fire. When Roger Clemens left for Toronto it was a stinging sadness, like being slapped in the face by someone for whom you cared. When Mo Vaughn left for Anaheim, it was an empty, lonely kind of sadness, like the end of a relationship where things had gotten so bad, where the distrust was so complete, that no reconciliation seemed possible. This sadness is different. Pedro is different.
There is no bitterness, no anger, no sharp pain. All that remains is warm memories of good times, and sadness that there will be no new memories, that the warmth and goodness are gone. Pedro will not come out of the bullpen with his arm dangling and still pitch six shutout innings again, he will not strike out 17 Yankees again, he will not don a Yoda mask in the Sox dugout again, he will never salsa dance on the Fenway turf again.
If Roger Clemens was a bad breakup, if Mo Vaughn was a bad breakup, then Pedro is a good breakup. Have you ever ended a relationship where you were still in love, where there was warmth and good times, but it just couldn’t be sustained? Where fundamental differences in what each of you wanted out of life and out of a partner made staying together simply impractical? Jose has. And he was right to do it…and so were the Red Sox…and so was Pedro.
And it hurts. And it’s lonely. And it so, so sad. But it is the right decision…for everybody. But you recover with time; you fall out of love. You find someone, new, you find someone better. And the sadness stops, and the dull ache melts into the continuum of physical sensation and all that remains is those warm, happy memories.
Thank you Pedro Martinez. Red Sox nation enjoyed the time we spent with you, we’ll never forget it, and we’ll miss you, but we just didn’t have a future together. We wanted different things. You wanted four years, we wanted financial flexibility. And love? Love is wonderful but one of the most foolish myths of American society is that love conquers all. Love conquers a lot, but not all…and it sure can make one stupid, but not guaranteed fourth year stupid.
So good luck Pedro. We’ll miss you, and we wish you well. We’re sorry it needed to end, but this is the right thing for both of us.
2. According to a variety of sources, the Red Sox are making a serious play for Toronto first baseman Carlos Delgado. The Sox’s decision to pursue Delgado represents a stunning change of direction for the Red Sox. After getting burned by Venezuelan first baseman Carlos Quintana (Note: Touted by some as the Latin Wade Boggs, branded by others the Latin Sam Horn, and in reality closer to the Latin Brian Daubach) and reliever Carlos Reyes, the Red Sox appeared to have sworn off Carloses (Note: Or is it Carlosi?)for the past six years. Apparently, that era may be coming to a close. On the upside the, Red Sox have still avoided all players named Scott since the 1990-2001 run where Scoot Cooper, Scott Fletcher, Scott Hatteberg ensured that there was always at least one underperforming Scott on the team. (Note: This was also the time when the Patriots had Scott Sisson and Scott Seychules. Just about the only Scotts we didn’t have in town were Byron Scott playing for the Celtics and figure skater Scott Hamilton playing for the Bruins. Also, Scott Harshbarger lost his bid for Governor.)
(CORRECTION: Okay, there have been lots of other Scotts, Sauerbeck, Williamson...Jose was just lost in his grief about Pedro.)
3. Now a final note regarding the great Pedro Martinez. David Ortiz revealed potential for a future career as an agent when he stated "Pedro ain’t going to no Mets." We all that he was using a double negative because English is his second language. Dead wrong. He was playing us. Ortiz knew exactly what he was saying, and he was right – Pedro ain’t going to no Mets. He IS going to the Mets.
I’m Jose Melendez and those are my KEYS TO THE WINTER MEETINGS.