Saturday, September 11

From SoSH: Re: September 11th - Bronson and Ron go for #2

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

Is this West Coast swing over yet? Because it is killing Jose. Jose has this theory that West Coast road trips are a massive conspiracy by the Coffee Grower’s Association, or possibly some sort of secret aid stream to the Colombian government.

Normally, Jose drinks one to two cups of black tar per day. This week, however, when he has stayed up for every single game, he has been up to around five. Yesterday, Jose had three cups in a two hour meeting at the end of the day and boy did he pay for it. Jose tried to sleep at about 1AM, once the game’s outcome was no longer in doubt. But instead of drifting off into blissful slumber (Note: or even a fitful sleep), he lay there twitching for about an hour. Even the normally, reliable BBC could not send him off to Queen Mab. (Note: This is Jose’s first try at a Shakespeare allusion, and frankly he’s not sure he got it right. If he wants to sneak one by without anyone being able to verify whether he screwed it up, he should allude to Timons of Athens instead.)

So Jose got up and went for a walk around the drunk strewn streets of Boston at about 2 AM. Jose’s done this many times before, but rarely while sober himself, and it’s a whole different world. Jose saw at least three fist fights and five well-dressed people lying in their own filth. Actually, it was sort of like a trip to Yankee stadium.

Jose’s in a rush today, so lets see what the REAL news in Dan Shaughnessey’s column today is.

"We…are…shoving…come….into the handsome face of the Yankee Superstar…A-Rod" (Note: Jeez, are the KEYS working blue?)

"John Kerry…rained…the F-Word…on…Garciaparra…at the Barcelona Olympics." (Note: That’s at least as true as some of the Swift Boat ads.)

"The Yankees…cease-and-desist…intelligence…and…confidence." (Note: No controversy there.)

3. How long after the Buffett concert is over do you think the Red Sox will wait to announce that the concert at Fenway next year will be… Dropkick Murphys. Jose figures about a week. Jose knows they don’t quite have the fanatical following of a Springsteen or Buffett, but the Sox do seem intent on shoving them down our throats. (Note: Jose likes Dropkick Murhpys fine, and Tessie has grown on him, but as many SoSHers have pointed out, it’s been a bit much.) If the Sox are serious about having the best possible concert at Fenway, Jose hopes they are building a way back machine, so they can get The Clash circa 1978. And while their there can they pick up a young Bill Lee, you know, just for the series against Don Zimmer and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

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


It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING.

Jose has been a fan of pro wrestling for a long, long time. He first got into it at around Wrestlemania 2 (Note: Though he accidentally taped over his friends copy of it with a Voltron special. Jose felt really, really bad about that.) and quickly became a student of the sport’s history. The countless hours Jose spent watching tapes of old events and reading Pro Wrestling Illustrated are lost to him forever, though the piles of magazines with stories such as psychoanalysis of Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff (he’d switched from face to heel three times, quite odd at the time) remain forever.

Jose and his friends developed their own elaborate wrestling leagues and sets of characters that were far more lively and interesting than anything the WWF could come up with. There was Persian Gulf Championship Wrestling featuring stars such as Israeli heavyweight Devastating Dion and the evil Iran John. Ivory Coast Championship Wrestling featured lengthy feuds between Daniel the Devastator and The Ultimate One (a heel with a God Complex) and a memorable first blood match between Tashu the Bloody Dragon and Elway the Bloody Bronco that ended in a draw. (Note: Do NOT have first blood matches on an island without shower facilities. Ketchup is sticky and unpleasant over time.) Who can forget when the 212 pound monster Anthony the Giant bowed in a hair cut match? And we all knew that WWF was in serious trouble when they introduced a manager named Johnny Polo (later Raven) who was a pale imitation of the great Polo Pete.

Perhaps the greatest moment came when Jose and his friend Dan were working a match that was so realistic that Jose’s mother, Susan Melendez, became concerned that her son was being brutally beaten and responded by crushing his opponent with a rolled up newspaper. As Jim Ross would say, she beat him like a government mule. (Note: Jose does not think the government should beat mules. It just seems like a bad use of taxpayer dollars.) That was a DQ loss that hurt.

Jose’s mother, who worked in sales for an office supply company at the time, then went on to win a contest at work for best use of a Sharpie marker for the Southeast Asian Wrestling Federation’s Tag Team Title belts. Take that Terrell Owens. How many Sharpie contests have you won?

So Jose feels more than qualified to tell Vince McMahon how to run his business.

The WWF has gotten stale. (Note: Jose will never call it the WWE. If it is the WWE, than the wildlife advocates have already won.) Wrestling is a cyclical business, Jose understands, and the WWF will reemerge once its young stars catch fire. Pushing Randy Orton and West Newbury’s own John Cena is a good start, but it will still take time.

In the meantime, what wrestling needs is better storytelling. The soft core porn is nice, but it takes too much away from the plotlines, as does the continued efforts to force untalented actors into comic bits. To Jose the salvation of wrestling will be satire of "traditional sports." This hasn’t worked in the past (see The Goon and MVP), but it just might now. In this spirit, Jose offers three humble plotlines to save wrestling.

1. The WCS (Wrestling Championship Series)

One of the most persistent complaints in all of the sports world is that college football lacks a playoff system that determines a national champion. Instead, its champion is determined by the icy calculations of a super computer. In college football, this is a joke, but in wrestling it would be a funny joke.

Imagine a face, let’s say the Rock (Note: Yes, Jose knows he’s only part time now, but he’s the best example) defeats a heel like Triple H for the World Championship at a pay-per-view. Then, on Monday Night RAW the next night, Vince McMahon comes out and announces that the championship system is primitive and unfair. Instead, the championship will now be determined by a system of highly technical computer rankings called the Wrestling Championship Series (WCS), based on the next month’s wrestling. Over the course of the next month, The Rock wins grueling match after grueling match against top flight opponents: Chris Benoit, Randy Orton, Eddie Guerrero, but loses by disqualification to one of Triple H’s lackeys, say Batista. In the meantime, Triple H destroys a series of prelims, Jamie Noble, Rosy, etc. in minutes. At the next pay-per-view, the Rock barely beats Olympic gold medalist Kurt Angle, while Triple H crushes the Brooklyn Brawler.

On the next RAW, Vince McMahon comes out and announces that according to the WCS the new champion is Triple H. The Rock protests and a match is made for that evening. The Rock beats Triple H and goes to grab the belt…but what’s that? It’s Mr. McMahon’s music. McMahon announces that yes, the Rock may have won the match, but according to the WCS, he is still not the champion. According to the computer, Batista, who beat the Rock earlier in the month, is the new champion.

This series of screw jobs would proceed for months until the Rock and Triple H met in a hardcore match wherein they would fight their way into the room containing the WCS computer and destroy it. With nothing but match outcomes to go by, Vince McMahon would be forced to return the title to the Rock.

2. Steroid Controversy

Because wrestling is so clearly steroid riddled, this would be risky but really funny. McMahon would introduce a strict new drug test policy and then use it to ban face after face. This would yield countless skits of wrestlers talking about peeing in the cup and ultimately lead to Mr. McMahon having urine thrown at him by angry wrestlers. What’s not to like. You know, if you’re a freak.

3. Football player goes to wrestling

Plenty of pro football players have become wrestlers in the past, Bill Goldberg (Note: Not the World’s Most Perfectly Sculpted Jew) most notably in recent years, but never quite like this. With Brock Lesnar leaving wrestling to try to make it in the NFL (and failing), the WWF should recruit a poor, desperate, washed up football star and chart his effort to make it in the WWF. Basically, he would just get his ass kicked constantly, and talk about how much easier football was. In other words, make wrestling look good by tearing football down.

OK, Jose know the WCS is really the gem of these ideas, and clearly it is the most developed of them, but they could all spice up a wrestling industry that has lost the ability to gain viewers with scantily clad women, blood and "Suck it" crotch chops that one can see immediately following any Derek Lowe post season save.

I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING.

Friday, September 10

From SoSH: Re: September 10th - The New Streak Begins

It's time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. One of Jose’s many fans, a lurker named Dixielandbandana, sent him a note today pointing out that ESPN Page 2 Columnist Eric Neel used the name “Balki Arroyo” in his column yesterday.

Since this is one of Jose’s most venerable nicknames, he is modestly annoyed that another writer, particularly one with many more readers and much more notoriety has swiped his line. Jose figured that the only thing to do was to email him to discuss the situation. Below is what Jose sent. (Note: Jose tried to send this anyway, but the ESPN mail system will not allow a message this long, so Jose sent a shorter version.

Dear Eric,

This is Jose Melendez. You’re a baseball guy, so you may recall that Jose Melendez was a dreadful relief pitcher for the Red Sox in 1994-95. This is probably not the same guy. Today, Jose Melendez is the handle of a baseball blogger and poster who refers to himself exclusively in the third person, you know, Ricky Henderson/Bob Dole style.

The reason Jose is writing you is that, well, you ripped him off. Jose first referred to Bronson Arroyo as “Balki” on May 21, 2004. You did it today and that is what, September 9. That means Jose got there first. And he has proof. Check out this link…go ahead… Jose Lays his Claim

Or if that’s not enough, Google “Balki Arroyo” and see what comes up. Checkmate friend. Heck, you could even ask Bill Simmons, who is a long time SoSH member. Jose will bet he knows the KEYS TO THE GAME.

Now Jose is not accusing you of stealing from him. Seriously, he is not. It is fully possible that this joke evolved completely separately in two or more places. As hard as it may seem to believe that there was once an actor named Bronson Pinchot and as hard as it may be to believe that he once played a character named Balki in a HIT SERIES, and as hard as it may be to believe that two people both remembered that series enough to make the joke, Jose accepts that it is at least theoretically possible. Like it is theoretically possible that George Steinbrenner isn’t the biggest jerk in baseball. Hard to prove, but theoretically possible.

What hurts Jose’s feelings though, is that everyone except for Jose’s small cadre of loyal fanatics will think you thought it up. This joke is Jose’s legacy! (Note: Isn’t that incredibly sad? Don’t you pity Jose now?) The ravenous hordes of bored office workers who look to Page 2 for a diversion from the drudgery and ennui of office work (Jose Melendez included) will think you made it up, and you will reap the accolades.

So here is what Jose proposes. Just give Jose credit. Write a little correction in your fine Web site, maybe in the “Notes for Eric’s Scorecard” stating that the idea was originally conceived by Jose Melendez of and the world famous and we can put all will be forgotten. Heck, if you give credit, you can use any of Jose’s hysterical nicknames like Curt Euro, DLowe the Paranoid Android or Mosey Nixon. That’s free!!! Quite the bargain, isn’t it.

Do it for Balki, do it for Cousin Larry Appleton, do it for Mrs. Garrett (no wait, that’s not quite right.)


Jose Melendez

2. Jose’s cousin Jeff and his wife Marla (who are far more Jewish than Jose) suggested an outstanding new home run call for The World’s Most Perfectly Sculpted Jew, and the great thing is that it also works for The Jewish God of Walks (who must be the God, because in Judaism, like in Islam, Christianity and Highlander, there can be only one.)

So here it is – “Shabbat Shalom.” It literally means “peaceful Sabbath,” but it is also used as a sort of goodbye at the end of a service. Can’t you picture it?

“Kapler steps in…Here’s the pitch…There’s a drive, deep to left Shabbat shalom, that one’s gone.” Sweet.

3. Speaking of the World’s Most Perfectly Sculpted Jew, Jose notice in an ad the other night that he has a tattoo. That means hew will never have the most stunning physique in a Jewish cemetery. Jews with tattoos are not allowed to be buried in Jewish cemeteries. Unfortunately, this means that Mariners rookie pitcher Bobby Madritsh will also be unable to fulfill his dream of being buried in a Jewish Cemetery.

I'm Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.

Thursday, September 9

From SoSH: Re: September 9th - WAKE-up In Seattle

It's time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. Tonight the Red Sox go for their fifth win in a row after completely crushing and humiliating the Oakland As. Has anyone else noticed a pattern here? The Angels were as hot as the sun in a sauna; they play the Sox and get swept. The As were as hot as the Human Torch in hell; they play the Sox and get swept. Quite simply the Sox are better than anyone in any sphere of human endeavor at this moment.

If you put them up against the ’27 Yankees they’d sweep them. If you put Gabe Kapler in the ring with a young Muhammed Ali, he’d knock him out in the first round. If Terry Eurona ran for president against the 1972 Nixon or 1984 Reagan, Terry would carry 49 states. Hell, if you put Euro Bellhorn in the Miss USA pageant tomorrow, he’d come out on top, and he’s no looker – that’s how much the Sox are winning these days. They must be lauded with wine and verse.

Fetch Jose his lyre!!! It’s time for five syllable poetry.

By Jose Melendez

Those nine were supposed,
To be the big test,
And our Red Sox rose,
And beat up the “best,”

Our rivals today?
A team that just blows,
With no stars to play,
(Except Ichiro.)

The knuckler will float,
And sit their bats down,
And Wakefield will gloat,
In grunge’s hometown.

Melendez, Jose
Will relish each play.

2. Jose couldn’t help but notice that former Sox pitcher Jin Ho Cho is neck deep in a draft dodging scandal in Korea. While using one’s privilege to avoid service to one’s country seems like it would be a big deal, precedent suggests that it will not adversely affect Cho’s presidential aspirations. (Note: Jose knows this sounds very political, particularly as Jose is a known Democrat, but you conservatives out there are more than welcome to imagine that it is a shot at Bill Clinton. Though if you think Jose would pick on a man recovering from heart surgery, unless it’s Dick Cheney, you are mean, insensitive people.)

On a related note, do you think that we could get BK Kim conscripted? Maybe we could work out a deal where if he pitches fewer than 80 innings in the Majors next year or his ERA climbs above 4.50 he is inducted into the South Korean army during the seventh inning stretch. This would be a good way to motivate a pitcher with a history of cracking under stress right? Right? (Note: Jose was going to write a Korean army themed version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game here, but given all of the American troops in harms way today, it seemed like it would have been a jerk move, so you will all just have to think about how funny and insensitive it would have been.)

3. What to do, what to do. What would make a this third KEY lively and interesting rather than the throwaway KEY it normally is. A Tony Castrati translator is always good, but Jose did that yesterday. Jose knows, how about (gasp) a new feature!!!

As an experiment Jose will try looking at today’s Shaughnessey column and deciphering the hidden messages within using the awesome power of the ellipse. Jose is pretty sure that Rush Limbaugh did something like this to Hillary Clinton and he knows Al Franken did something like this to Rush Limbaugh, so Jose figures if those titans of journalism can do it, it must be solid and reputable technique, like making things up, or using unnamed sources with no corroboration.

From today’s Shaughnessy column
“The…Boston Globe Columnist who was once labeled ‘Curly-Haired Boyfriend…shaved his…balls…after beating…Richard Nixon” (Note: Richard Nixon is mention twice in KEYS today. Wow.)

“I…had a policy requiring…America’s Most Wanted…to set rules for…the staid Yankees.”

“Ashton Kutcher…with a beard and…geri curled hair…?…I like it.”

So there it is. Your news directly from Dan Shaughnessy. Misleading and out of context, just like all of Dan’s work.

I'm Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.

Wednesday, September 8

From SoSH: Re: September 8th - Let's Break Out Those Brooms!!

It's time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. Tonight the Red Sox go for their fourth win in a row and poetry advances to four syllables per line. According to Chinese superstition four is an unlucky number because the word for four and the word for death are quite similar. For instance, if Orlando Cabrera was Chinese, there would be a swarm of locusts at his house right now. Similarly, if Danny Ainge, old number 44, was Chinese, he would have traded Antoine Walker for Raef F’n LaFrentz dooming his career as Director of Basketball Operations. Thankfully, he’s a white guy, so that could never happen.

By Jose Melendez

God’s angry arm,
Throws in Oakland,
The As are harmed,
Game out of hand.

Umlaut plays third
With Golden Glove
ARod’s a turd,
Gives Jeter love.

Williamson gone
From the DL?
No Tommy John,
Elbow feels swell.

Outcome’s the same,

2. Jose hasn’t done a Tony Castrati translator in a while. Frankly, it’s been hard to skewer the guy when he’s been so relentlessly positive. Maybe fatherhood has mellowed him, or perhaps he is getting so little sleep that he can’t keep an attack coherent. Still, to quote Woody Allen, the heart wants what it wants, and today it wants to rip TC.

Tony Castrati Loves Fried Chicken

What TC says: “In the top of the eighth, Millar showed why. He homered.”

What TC means: I’m a homer now. I used to rip the Red Sox, but now I love everything about them. I am a changed man. Theo’s a genius. Larry Lucchino is a saint. Black is white. Slavery is freedom!!!

What TC says: “Millar went 3-for-3 in the Red Sox' 7-1 victory at the Network Associates Coliseum. Millar finished with a single, double, walk, home run, three runs scored and an RBI.”

What TC means: Kevin Millar is now my idol. I will do everything just like him. I will eat chicken on television at every opportunity and talk about how much better the team would be with ARod than Nomar.

What TC says: “And so on and on it goes for the Red Sox, who continue to play like the perfect baseball machine.”

What TC means: Actually, when I was gone for three weeks, I was working on a screenplay. It’s about a mad scientist who lives on a spooky island and is a huge baseball fan. After he gets tired of breeding atomic monsters, he starts to construct a team of robotic baseball players who are perfect in every way, all five tool players. That is except for one robotic sinkerball pitcher who is has emotional problems and struggles with a desire to be a real human being. As a result his sinkers keep missing up and in and he gets shelled outing after outing after outing. I call him the Paranoid Android. It’s a completely original idea, one that I certainly didn’t steal from Jose Melendez. Anyway, at the end, they take out the Paranoid Android’s emotion chip and he regains his pitching form, but at what cost? AT WHAT COST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What TC says: “If you are looking for a barometer for the Sox this season”

What TC means: Did you know I really wanted to be a weatherman? Really. I’ve spent the last few days at following the hurricanes. Did you know that the Miami Hurricanes are named after a meteorological phenomenon? Well they are!!! So are the Tampa Bay Lightning. Baseball doesn’t have any weather names, but they should. When they move the Expos, I hope the call them the Washington 70 percent Chance of precipitations. That would be awesome.

3. Congratulations to the Lowell Spinners on their 194th consecutive sellout. It is hard to imagine anything selling out that frequently with the possible exceptions of Roger Clemens and Ben Afflek.

Speaking of selling out. Jose has posted a KEYS TO THE NICKNAMES on his blog in response to recent confusion about how some of these names came to be. Unfortunately, this only makes 7 5 straight days that Jose has sold out, so he still has a way to go to catch The Spinners.

I'm Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.

Tuesday, September 7


It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE NICKNAMES.

Tired of being confused about why C-3PO is appearing in SoSH game thread when Derek Low pitches? Confused about why "Mosey" Nixon returned to the Sox today? Well all of your questions are about to be answered!!!

Jose was once like you, clueless, lethargic. Bullies would come up to him and mock his poor knowledge of obscure Red Sox nicknames. Sometimes they would even kick statistical spreadsheets in his face. But no more!!! Jose got fed up, and when he got fed up he got creative. He took charge of his own destiny. By making up his own nicknames, he confused others and distracted attention from his own limited knowledge of baseball. Now you can fake your way through SoSH game threads too!!! Impress your friends, astonish your family, amaze women with your knowledge of KEYS vernacular. Jose Melendez is proud to present these KEYS TO THE NICKNAMES for those of you who started reading KEYS late in the season, miss updates from time to time or have memory problems due to senility or alcohol abuse.

Just sent $19.95 to:

KEYS Center
Melendezville, MA 12345

Or keep reading, and Jose will bill you later…when you least expect it.

1. Jose’s most important single source of nicknames is European monetary conversion. With the adoption of the Euro, most of the old currencies of Europe have been converted into Euros. Thus the following Red Sox players have all undergone name conversion:

Curt Schilling = Curt Euro
Mark Bellhorn = Euro Bellhorn
Mark Malaska - Euro Tikka Malaska
Terry Francona = Terry Eurona (Note: Except when Francona is funnier, such as in the song "Why Francona.")

2. The second major source of nicknames is pop culture. You know, that stuff you see on TV that isn’t Red Sox baseball. For instance:

Bronson Arroyo = Balki Arroyo
Despite the fact that Arroyo’s father claims to have named him for Charles Bronson, it is fairly clear that he was really named after Perfect Strangers star Bronson Pinchot, who played the lovable Meposian clod, Balki Bartokamous.

Derek Lowe = DLowe the Paranoid Android
When DLowe blamed his poor performance on mechanical problems early in the year, it made it obvious that despite all appearances, he must be a robot. But how could a robot have such serious emotional problems? The character Marvin the Paranoid Android from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy offered a precedent. (Note: If you want to think it is from Radiohead, that is fine with Jose too.)

Cesar Crespo = Little Cesar Crespo (Ground out! Ground out!)
This is a reference to Little Caesar’s Pizza with it’s "Pizza! Pizza!" motto. Thankfully, Jose will never have to mention this particular nickname again.

3. The final category of nicknames is those that Jose just made up for stupid reasons. Stupidity is the reason Jose does a lot of things.

Mark Malaska = Euro "Tikka" Malaska
This is a reference to the famed Indian chicken dish.

Bill Mueller = Umlaut
This is a new one, but the "ue" in Mueller is the Anglicization of the German ΓΌ.

Trot Nixon = Mosey Nixon
With his injured leg, it seemed unlikely that Nixon would be able to generate the speed required for a proper Trot. A mosey seemed like a better speed and a great tribute to Patriots full back Mosi Tatupu.

Gabe Kapler = The World’s Most Perfectly Sculpted Jew
Let’s settle this once and for all. Kapler is way more sculpted than Goldberg. He may not be as strong, but he is way more sculpted.

Ellis Burks = Chicken Man
Jose hasn’t had to use this one too much, but since Burks’ knee was treated with a substance made from rooster combs, Jose worried that he might turn into a giant chicken hell bent on revenge against the humans, sort of like The Lizard in Spiderman.

Well, that was as close as Jose will ever come to doing a clip show; the originals seemed a lot funnier. Still, the need clearly exists. That became clear the instant Jose’s own brother asked him why Nixon was "Mosey."

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


I'm Jose Melendez and it's time for my KEYS TO THE BONUS SOX POEM.

1. Since Jose missed updating the KEYS for the Labor Day game, game 2 of the current winning streak, Jose Melendez is proud to present this bonus two syllable per line Red Sox poem.

by Jose Melendez

3. Red Sox,
Beat As.
Yank jocks,
Fear Rays.

Throws hooks.
Sox see,
Good looks.

Late game,
Who'd thunk?
A's shame,
Throw junk.


I'm Jose Melendez and those are my my KEYS TO THE BONUS SOX POEM.

From SoSH: Re: September 7th - Lowe Goes Choppin' Again

It's time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. Jose is back from a relaxing day of vacation and looks to regain his winning form tonight against the As. Last night was one of those nights where Jose was absolutely determined to watch the whole game, despite severe fatigue brought on by a weekend of sailing, tennis and eating fine food. He was also worn out by frequent naps and drinking the occasional adult beverage (Note: As Terry Eurona and Ken Macha would call them.)

For the first two hours, Jose stayed alert by ironing shirts, going through old papers and paying bills while watching the game. Then, at around 12:05, with the Sox up 4-3, he lay back on his couch and prepared to watch the drama of the last three innings. Fifteen seconds later Jose was unconscious. He awoke about an hour later to see As fans dumping crap on the field and his beloved Red Sox with an 8-3 lead. Clearly, something exciting had happened, so Jose vowed to remain awake for the final three outs. About 15 seconds later, Jose was once again asleep. He awoke again, just in time to see Ramiro Mendoza record the final out.

Now Jose knows he’s going to hear a lot of criticism about his relaxed attitude, about not being focused when his team needs him and so on. To that, Jose replies, we won and that is all that matters. If they win with Jose asleep, fine, if they need Jose to stay awake until one for us to win then…umm…crap…one is pretty late.

2. Despite missing yesterday and its two syllable per line poem, Jose will continue to write poetry with syllables reflecting the number of consecutive wins the Sox are seeking for as long as it takes. (Note: Jose may try to post a retroactive two syllable poem on the blog.) Today, three syllables!!!

by Jose Melendez

Android’s pitch,
Sinks and falls.
Makes him rich,
Strikes not balls.

Jesus Christ’s,
Finger’s hurt
Heals with ice?
Shots like Curt?

Mosey’s here,
Pokey too,
Role’s unclear
Super Jew.

TheKEYS rhyme,
West coast time.

3. Jose was thinking about doing a Tony Castrati translator today, but TC decided to go after George Steinbrenner for demanding a forfeit. Jose really can’t come up with anything to mock about that, to do so would be like mocking the fire chief for condemning arson, so TC gets left alone for today. (Note: When Jose talks about “TC,” is it possible that he’s really talking about Tom Carron, or Tim Conway or even travel agent extraordinaire Thomas Cook? Think about it.) Instead, Jose will join TC is piling on the loathsome Yankees organization.

If one really thinks about the pathetic state of the Yankees, demanding a forfeit makes sense After all, the Yankees who would want to face the awesome power of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays? But Major League Baseball, in a rare case of sound judgment, did not force the DRays to forfeit. Baseball avoided committing yet another miscue under Bud Selig's leadership. Instead the Yankees, who had demanded surrender, forfeited themselves. They forfeited their dignity. They forfeited their fraudulent reputation as a “classy organization.” They forfeited the respect of their wives and children. They forfeited the claim that they do not fear the Red Sox. But they did not forfeit everything. No, no. Yankees fans despair not, your team has not lost everything. Quite to the contrary, the Yankees secured forever a reputation as whiny divas who think they are bigger than the game. Congratulations to the New York Yankees. You are now officially dainty little pansies. (Note: Until yesterday, they were only unofficially dainty little pansies.)

I'm Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.

Sunday, September 5

From SoSH: Re: September 5th - Rebound With Curt

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

Jose has the good fortune to have access to a computer today, so no one need spend a single day without KEYS.

1. Well, the winning streak was halted at 10, by a struggling Rangers team on a phantom out. Nuts to that!

Yesterday, Jose marked the Sox’s tenth straight win by writing a sonnet, 14 lines but 10 syllables per line. Today, in honor of the first win in a new streak Jose presents a new poem with 14 lines that are each one syllable. It’s a sophisticated poetry thing.

By Jose Melendez





2. According to Jose’s brother, Sam Melendez, one of the biggest benefits of the Nomar for Mientkiewicz and Cabrera trade is that it has made watching the closed captioning of games infinitely more entertaining. Every time Mientkiewicz’s name is mentioned, the caption writer is so slowed that he falls two to three batters behind. Jose is deeply sympathetic because he has a similar problem. For instance, this KEY is only 90 words, long, but because it uses the word Mientkiewicz three times, it took three and a half hours to write.

3. Speaking of Doug Mientkiewicz, according to Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe, the slick fielding first baseman has volunteered to be a recruiter of free agent pitchers for the Sox in the off season. Mientkiewicz specifically mentioned speaking to his former teammates Brad Radke and Eric Milton, but before he takes the job, Jose urges him to think carefully about what being a recruiter really entails. It could mean going to all of the free agent pitching fairs in high school cafeterias across the country. It could mean wandering mall parking lots asking young men if they’d ever considered a career pitching for the Red Sox. And it will almost certainly mean many a night of sitting in living rooms in small towns across America explaining to working class parents what the Boston Red Sox have to offer their son.

Jose thinks it’s great that Mientkiewicz wants to take on a second job, Jose just wants him to think about the commitment it requires first.

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