Thursday, December 2



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

1. According to the Associated Press, the Yankees have pulled out of negotiations with the Arizona Diamondbacks to acquire ace lefty Randy Johnson. Officially, the Yankees withdrew from negotiations because the Diamondbacks’ demand for starters Javier Vasquez and Brad Halsey, reliever Tom Gordon and 300 suitcases full of gold krugerrands was excessive. (Note: While Jose could easily crack wise about the Yankees “pulling out” or “withdrawing early” because their partner was too demanding, he will not, as this is a family blog. Instead, he will just stick to jokes about family friendly subjects like drug abuse.)

The unofficial reason for the breakdown of trade talks, of course, is something completely different. While it has escaped the gaze of the mainstream media, Jose has noticed that this decision came on the same day that it was confirmed that Yankees DH Jason Giambi had confessed to using steroids, human growth hormone and birth control pills to a grand jury investigating BALCO. The real (Note: Not real) reason the Yankees soured on Johnson is that they were burned by signing the drug addled Giambi to a 7 year $120 million deal and are deeply concerned that Randy Johnson is also using human growth hormone.

“Johnson is 6’10”, that’s huge,” said Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner. “Giambi was using human growth hormone, and he’s only 6’2’’, so Johnson must be taking unbelievable amounts of the stuff.

I was just devastated when I found out Giambi was using drugs. When he was a scruffy Oakland A, I could have understood it, but as a Yankee? As a New York Yankee? With that world class hair cut? I’m just shocked. I won’t be fooled again. From now on I’m sticking to signing men of character like Gary Sheffield. We’ll just adjust our priorities and move on, maybe resign Steve Howe to fill our need for left handed pitching.”

2. Rumors are swirling that the Red Sox will look to White Sox Shortstop Jose Valentin to fill the gap at short until phenom Hanley Ramirez is ready for the majors in a few years. In addition to ensuring the departure of Orlando Cabrera, Valentin’s signing would also guarantee the trading of first baseman Doug Mientkiewiecz as a cost cutting measure.

Trading the Mientkiewiecz would open up uniform number 13 for Valentin and allow the Red Sox to simply recycle old John Valentin #13 jerseys, rather than drop the literally hundreds of dollars required for new uniforms. It would also prove a boon to Red Sox fans whose Valentin shirts have been tucked away since Valentin’s departure in 2001.

Now if Jose could only find some other player named Nomo for the Sox to sign, he could take his own Sox t-shirt out of mothballs.

3. Finally, an item that comes to the KEYS from SoSH member Bucknahs Bum Ankle.

There is a handy little site called Acronym Finder that allows one to look up any acronym in the world and see what it stands for. When one enters SoSH two things come up, neither of which is “Sons of Sam Horn.”

The first is “Smoothed Out Slappy Hours,” which is apparently a Green Day album. Jose is not a big Green Day fan to be honest. Aside from the fact that he finds the idea of them as heirs to the punk mantle disgusting, Jose was at their riot on his first day of college in 1994. Green Day was giving a free concert at the Hatch Shell and a riot just plum broke out. To be honest, Jose had left before Green Day even came on. He could sense the crowd turning ugly, and he had recently recovered from jaw surgery. He figured one good punch in the face would be all that was needed to get his jaw wired back up again, so he ditched. Also, Jose saves his rioting for World Championships.

That said, Jose can only assume that with the word Slappy in the title, the album is about Alex Rodriguez.

The second acronym that comes back is “Somalia Shilling.” This presents a bit of a quandary. As long time readers know, Jose has determined that Curt (Austrian) Schilling was properly converted into Euros, and that other currencies called the “Schilling” or “Shilling” are irrelevant. Given his membership in and fondness for SoSH, could Jose reasonably start referring to Curt Euro as Curt Somalia Shilling, or Curt SOSH?

Jose is going to have to say no because the Somalia Shilling is not spelled the same as Curt’s former last name. Besides the value of the Euro keeps going up and up, making the $13 million per year contract look like a bargain. Today, that $13 million is only 9,798,009 EUR. See, value. And the Somali Shilling? Well, $13 million equals 40,040,000,000 SOSH. Not so good. If one looks at that measure of value, we should be calling Kevin Brown “Kevin Somalia Shilling.” Jose will keep his Sox pitchers in Euros thank you.

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

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