Friday, December 17



It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE.

1. There are a lot of things in the world of baseball that could disturb Jose Melendez today. He could be disturbed by the fact that ESPN told him that Randy Johnson was headed to the Yankees last night. (Note: Of course, ESPN was lying, but it still didn’t feel too good. It’s like someone telling you a friend was seriously injured in an accident, and then saying he was just kidding. Sure you’re relieved that there was no accident, but you’re scared and disturbed by the fact that someone would make up such a mean spirited lie.) He could be disturbed by the fact that Tim Hudson, the best available pitcher is gone to the Braves. (Note: Sorry to the good people of Hudson. Jose appreciates your effort. Can you change your town’s name to Sheets or Burnett now?) (Additional Note: Is it true that the town of Mt. Washington, Massachusetts was named in honor of the Patriots signing mountainous defensive lineman Ted Washington in 2003?) He could be disturbed that Pedro is taking some odd shots at the Red Sox on his way out. He could even be disturbed by the growing evidence that the only members of the 2004 squad who will be there to hoist the flag on opening day will be Kevin Youkilis and Johnny Damon. (Note: Though as long as Little Crespo isn’t there, Jose can deal.) But Jose doesn’t sweat the small stuff, no sir.

What really disturbs Jose is the revelation in the Faith Rewarded DVD that David Ortiz’s favorite television program is Friends. Pardon? Friends? Seriously?

You are David Ortiz, the Dominican Jimmy Foxx, Big Papi scourge of the Yankees, king of the post season, ravager of right handed pitching…Friends? People used to fear you in the batters box. Pitchers hands would tremble, opposing fans would weep. When Jared Washburn came in to face you in the game 3 of the division series, do you know what he was thinking?

“I am terrified of this man. Terrified.”

Do you know what he’ll be thinking next time?

“I wonder if David sent a get well card to Matthew Perry when he was in rehab.”

Do you know what Paul Quantrill thought in game 4 of the ALCS before you cranked the game winner?

“This guy is a monster, a clutch monster, and I don’t like my chances.”

And now?

“Most guys like Monica or Rachel, but I bet David likes Phoebe. Yup, he seems like a Phoebe guy. I bet he likes how she plays the guitar and loves animals.”

This is a big problem, and it needs to be addressed right away. (Note: Big Papi gave Scarface as his favorite movie. How is it even possible for someone to have Friends as his favorite TV show and Scarface as his favorite movie. The only more ridiculous combination Jose can think of would be Full House and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.)

So here’s what Jose proposes: Ortiz needs to find a new favorite TV show. Friends is off the air anyway, so it’s time. And no it can’t be Joey. Jose thinks it should be something that fits in with his style of ball, something like “M*A*S*H.”

2. Let’s talk a little bit about the proposed Randy Johnson deal. Jose’s initial reaction is that the Yankees are trying to get taller, so if the Johnson deal falls through, look for them to go after Derek Lowe or possibly Acie Earl.

But wait, there’s more. A lot of people have wondered why Johnson has been so insistent that he go to the Yankees. Jose has a theory. Back in 1995, when Jose worked at Fenway concession stand 7, he saw Randy Johnson walking through the tunnels wearing a Beastie Boys shirt with the sleeves cut off. So here is Jose’s theory: Johnson wants to go to New York because that’s why the Beastie Boys are from.

Now that we know this, Theo should be able to counter it. First, he should point out that the Beastie Boys are on tour a lot and probably don’t spend that much time in New York any more. Second, he should offer Johnson the opportunity to hang out with Boston’s own Bel Biv Devoe if he comes to the Sox, because they are not on tour a lot, and probably do spend a lot of time just hanging around. (Note: Though under no circumstances should Theo offer Johnson the chance to hang around with the Cowsills.)

3. According to the Boston Globe, Dr. Bill Morgan, who performed the experimental surgery on Curt Euro’s ankle will “be leaving his post as the club’s medical director.” Jose has a few ideas for replacements:

Dr. Frankenstein: Maybe he can build a number two starter out of pieces of Matt Mantei, Lenny Dinardo and Euro “Tikka” Malaska.

Dr. Strangelove: Since the ownership seems intent on blowing the team up, maybe he could help.

Dr. Doolittle: The ability to talk with the animals seems like it would help a lot with this group.

Dr. Strange: One of only two people on this list who is an actual medical doctor, though as Jose recalls his surgical skills were lost in an accident, which in turn led him to seek his magical powers.

Dr. Doom: Never mind. His desire to take over the world would put him in direct conflict with John W. Henry, if we are to believe what some anonymous third hand sources tell us.

Dr. Who: In addition to having helpful time travel abilities, could do a great rendition of “Who’s On First.”

Dr. Nick Riviera: He would seem to be a god fit for a team that is committed to not overpaying staff.

Dr. Hawkeye Pierce: He’s from Maine so he’s probably a Sox fan, and he’s the best surgeon in the whole 4077. This also gave Jose an opportunity to work M*A*S*H into a single KEYS twice.

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

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