It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE COLD LEFTOVERS.
1. Now that Doug Mientkiewicz is gone from the Red Sox roster and closed captioneers everywhere have been freed from the cruel toil of typing his name at great speed, Jose should probably address the infamous World Series ball situation. Since the situation has now been more or less resolved, with the Red Sox displaying the ball and the ownership of the ball remaining indeterminate for now, it may seem like Jose is as far behind on this issue as Arod on a Curt Euro fastball. But Jose would disagree. Jose thinks he is right on the vanguard of the real issue. The real issue, of course, is who owns all manner of World Series memorabilia.
People act like the ball was the only piece of precious World Series history that might have gone missing. But what happened to the Mientkeiwicz’s glove? What happened to the bases? What happened to Terry Eurona’s score card? And if the Red Sox traded Mientkiewicz to a team where he would be a starter as a reward for agreeing to share the ball (Note: They didn’t, but let’s pretend.) is it not possible, just possible, that they acquired Edgar Renteria in order to get the bat that struck the final out of the World Series?
And what about other items of historical import? What happened to the chalk from the base lines? Was it washed away? Did it disappear up Darryl Strawberry’s nose like so much other white powder before it? What about World Series MVP Manny Ramirez’s Game 4 jock strap? Has anyone even bothered to look into that? Even Jose has not been immune. For the past three weeks, Jose has been getting phone calls from Leisure Suit Larry Lucchnino demanding that Jose hand over the computer he used to write the KEYS to Game 4 of the World Series. Lucchino insists that it doesn’t belong to Jose, it really belongs to the fans, by which he means the Red Sox, and that it should be touring New England, or in the Red Sox museum, not that such a thing exists, rather than in Jose’s frosty tenement apartment. Jose agrees that the computer doesn’t belong to him, but he disagrees about to whom it belongs. Larry says the people own it, Jose says the Melendezette owns it, because she, you know, paid for it. Let’s see the people…the Melendezette…the people…the Melendezette. Hmmm….Sorry Larry, Jose’s beloved "the people" are going to lose out on this one.
2. With the departure of Doug Mientkiewicz to the Mets, the Red Sox have now surrendered both players acquired in return for Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra. So at the end of the day, the Red Sox gave up Nomar, for Single A first baseman Ian Bladergroen and the two draft picks received for Orlando Cabrerra. Of course, the Sox gave up two picks wen they signed ER, so basically it boils down to Nomar for Ian…and a World championship. Obviously it’s a good trade in the net, but still Jose wonders, if years from now, he’ll be lamenting the Garciaparra for Bladergroen trade?
No, probably not.
3. So Pedro is signed, Beltran is signed, ER is signed, OC is signed, Pavano is signed, Delgado is signed, Tek is signed, pretty much everyone is signed, so the Hot Stove season is basically gone and yet spring training is still a few weeks away. Everyone knows that this is the slowest part of the baseball calendar, and a distinct phase of the off season completely separate from the Hot Stove season, and yet no one has a name for it. Jose would like to come up with a name for this period.
Jose has heard some people refer to it as the "cool stove" or the "not hot stove" but those don’t really have much zip to them. What we need to do here is dip deeper into the world of metaphor. They call it the hot stove since everything is simmering, bubbles of activity delicately rupturing the seemingly calm surface of the offseason. So what happens at this time of year? Well, the only real baseball activity appears to be invalids like Magglio Ordonez or players who greatly overestimated their own values looking to sign desperate last minute deals. So what might capture that and yet be as snappy and mellifluous as "Hot Stove season?" Since not much is happening and only injured or recycled players are still signing, Jose proposes that the next three weeks be known henceforth as the "Cold Leftovers Season." Peter Gammons can even put pout a CD called "Cold Leftovers, Lukewarm music" It won’t have the really good or popular bands on it, like "Hot Stove, Cool Music" instead it will have bands like Wang Chung and Ratt.
(Note: Jose hates the Cold Leftovers season. He’s got absolutely nothing to work with, as you can probably tell from reading these KEYS. More about the World Series ball? Second guessing the fantastically successful Nomar trade? Coming up with the name Cold Leftovers season? Joking about Ratt? This is not one for the portfolio. Of course, maybe Jose is just grumpy because the huge free agent deal his agent promised him has yet to come to fruition. Jose may be forced to go to the Royals camp as a non-roster blogger and try to earn his way on to their blogger corps and a shot at the league minimum.)
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE COLD LEFTOVERS.