Tuesday, February 22


It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.

1. According to Globe reporter Chris Snow, former Sox first baseman and noted ball hawker Doug Mientkiewicz said of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry “It wasn’t what everyone made it out to be…The Twins-White Sox is just the same to me.”

In other news, Mientkiewicz described the U.S. Civil War as being “basically the same as Shays’ Rebellion.” He went on to compare the Gore vs. Bush election to Menino vs. Davis-Mullen, Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant to “Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. Iron Mike Sharpe, and Spiderman vs. the Green Goblin to the New Mutants vs. Magus.

2. Apparently Chris Snow is having a banner day for comic news. He also reported that outspoken current Red Sox first baseman and noted chicken hawker Kevin Millar is negotiating to appear on Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” a New York based program. Jose doesn’t know too much about the show, but he can only assume that this means that Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez will be giving Millar some sort of make over. (Note: Okay, that was a cheap shot, because the sexuality of the left side of the Yankees infield is irrelevant to their performance, not a big deal whichever way they swing and nobody’s business. Still, it is an unbelievably easy joke to make, and Jose didn’t get where he is today – a blogger writing tens of thousand of words for free – by taking the high road.)

3. Media hack after media hack are now piling on to criticize the Red Sox for their continued taunting of Alex Rodriguez. Has it occurred to anyone that this might, just might, be a tactic to get inside the head of the third baseman? (Note: Yes, lots of people have.) This is a classic wrestling strategy, and it is just beginning to unfold. Just you watch.

Right now the Red Sox are just flexing their muscles and taunting A-Rod about his past failures. But watch what comes next. The Sox will give A-Rod a few spring training at-bats to get comfortable, to begin to relax. Then in the third or fourth game, A-Rod will dig in on a 3-2 count and suddenly “Ba-du-du-du, Da-da-da.” The driving introduction to “Dirty Water” will begin to sound, coming seemingly out of nowhere. A-rod will whip his head around, looking for the source of the haunting music but to no avail. Meanwhile the opposing pitcher will have zipped in a fastball for a call third strike. A-Rod will go nuts…smashing his bat against the back stop. Reporters will begin to wonder if the Red Sox really are in A-rod’s head.

A few days later, on another 3-2 count, Jason Varitek will suddenly appear on the Jumbotron.

“Hi Alex,” he’ll say. “I’ll bet you can hardly wait for your opening day *ss whoopin’” Strike three zips by a distracted, petrified Rodriguez.

“Looks like you’re out again,” Varitek will say.

After another few days, Varitek will join the Minnesota Twins radio announcers to do a little bit of color commentary in a game against the Yankees. For some reason, the radio team will be sitting in the seats along the first base line. Don’t ask why, just believe. Varitek will join them right before A-Rod’s first at bat.

“Look for him to slap one down the line,” Varitek will say. “Or more likely to slap someone going down the line.”

As he keeps looking over his shoulder at his enemy, A-Rod will swing and miss horribly. On his third swing and miss, the bat will go flying out of his hands towards Varitek, but like all A-Rod’s swings that day, it will miss horribly, whacking a shocked Billy Crystal instead.

Varitek will calmly rise, extend his right hand, palm flat and bend his fingers slowly, in succession. Bring it. A-Rod will charge the catcher and BAM!!! One punch and the diva goes down. “See you on opening day, punk.” Fade to black.

So now you can see that there is a perfect logic to everything the Red Sox have done so far. Now if we can only bait A-Rod into a hair cut match.

(Note: It is possible that some of you may feel Jose is ripping off Bill Simmons who has done some really great stuff on what pro sports would be like if they were more like wrestling. Here is the difference. First, as Jose has said before, he knows way more about wrestling than Simmons. This is not something to be proud of; it is just a fact. Second, whereas Simmons writes fantasies about what sports-entertainment baseball would look like, Jose honestly believes this stuff is going on. Also, not something to be proud of.)

I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.


Scully said...

the keys are getting more hilarious as spring traning nears

Chili said...

You do us Western Mass people a disservice by trivializing Shay's Rebellion. It's our little piece of American history (maybe our only one). Perhaps you could substitute the Whiskey Rebellion -- I don't think Virginia would mind terribly.

On second thought, keep Shays in there. Any publicity is good publicity.

Oh yeah, great KEYS like always.

Anonymous said...

"...thousands of words for free..."!? am I the only loser who bought the book? Actually, my wife was just asking how sales were going. I read a key or two to her every night before bed. It's nice because she explains some of the references to me (like why is "It's not a toomah" funny?). How are sales going? I and the friends I bought copies for are all enjoying the book immensely.

Anonymous said...

same here with loving the book!!

White Bread said...

Jose, you sir are the man. Excellent stuff.

Fisks Of Fury said...

As if the "New Universe" reference wasn't bad enough, now you have to dredge up New Mutants / Magus?

For shame....

Sam said...

The third key had me in hysterics. I'm going to have to go sit in the corner for a while until I can calm down enough to stop giggling sporadically.

Kyle said...

You also forgot to mention that your stuff, especially lately, is a lot better than Simmons'. And Simmons is good. Or at least he used to be. Now he's still pretty good, but much more hit and miss.

Perhaps Simmons is the aging, Pedro Martinez-esque, prima donna of hilarious Boston sports writing, while Jose is like a dominant young Juan Pena working his way up to the majors.

Anonymous said...

just came across your blog today while pretending to work. really funny stuff. i'll be checking back frequently!

james from dallas

Rob said...

Chili wrote:

"Perhaps you could substitute the Whiskey Rebellion -- I don't think Virginia would mind terribly."

It's been a costly winter for Pennsylvania. First they lose the AFC Championship game, then they lose the Super Bowl, and now they've lost the Whiskey Rebellion.

On the other hand, they've still got their cheesesteaks. Oh, and Philly's like a little New York. Right down to choking in major sporting events.

Chili said...

Why...I stand corrected. The Whiskey Rebellion WAS in Pennsylvania. I must have confused it with Bacon's Rebellion (which was 100 years earlier). That's what happens when an engineer tries to make a witty historical reference.

Makes me think that Francis Bacon was quite the multi-tasker, working all that rabble-rousing in around his writing. Kinda like our pal Jose...