Thursday, March 17

3/17/05 - Baseball Returns to Washington

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

So what if the game today was rained out. The steroid hearings are the real game today anyway.

1. Already, the ongoing Congressional steroid hearings have raised question after question after question. How did Jim Bunning get elected to the Senate? Is Major League Football what they’re calling NFL Europe now? Does Bud Selig have any shame? (Note: No.) And why haven’t some of the most likely targets been required to testify? Where is Giambi? Where is Bonds? Where is Melendez?

The first two were apparently released because they are part of an ongoing federal investigation, but why not Jose Melendez? Presumably the fact that Jose is neither a professional baseball player nor a steroid user has something to do with it, but that is no excuse. Jose would have been a terrific expert witness, as he likes to think of himself as an expert on everything. And if he was able to get a word or two in edgewise, he would have been great on a panel with Curt Euro and Frank Thomas.

Jose even had his testimony all written out

Representatives, Senators, parents, friends and most importantly The Class of
2005, Jose would like to thank for this opportunity to testify on one of the gravest problems facing our country today – deficit spending fueled by unwise, unfair and unnecessary tax cuts for heiresses, robber barons and the idle rich… Wait… What’s that Congressman? This is about steroids? Really? You really think steroids is one of the top issues in this troubled times? More thank the economy? Or Iraq? What about Iraq? Or terrorism? Terrorism is a big problem. Hmmm…Okay… You’re the

Steroids are bad. When Jose was in high school, there was a poster in the nurse’s
office with Jessie Ventura saying so. And he wasn’t even a Governor yet. So Jose is opposed to steroid use in all its forms… with the exception of Flonase, which he absolutely needs to get through the upcoming allergy season. Steroid use is a blight on baseball that fuels a disrespect for the rules, a delegitimization of records and the
general breakdown of American society. It is like crack but not as dangerous and not addictive. If steroid use persists, the future of baseball is bleak. Not Alaskan wilderness bleak, but like 40 degree days in April bleak.

To see how grave the situation is we need look no further than our other national pastime professional wrestling. Today, wrestling is dominated by flamboyant musclemen, lumbering giants and Canadians who hit each other with chairs, sledgehammers and automobiles in mad fits of roid rage. Jose longs for the days before steroids, when wrestling was led by decent, humble men like Gorgeous George.

If steroids are not halted, it won’t be long before each batter comes to the plate with 10 minutes of music and fireworks, a three hour game includes 45 minutes of
backstage interviews and sketches and the MVP is married to Bud Selig’s
daughter. Do not let steroids ruin baseball like they have wrestling.

So in conclusion, where is the nearest bar. It is St. Patrick’s Day and Jose would like
to get drunk.

2. Tony Castrati: Gettin' Self Righteous

What TC says: “Today, our national pastime goes before Congress to answer for all of those needle marks.”

What TC means: Today Congress launches hearings into the seedy world of competitive sewing.

What TC says: “Don't look now, America.”

What TC means: Seriously. Don’t look at me. I’m hideous.

What TC says: “Our worlds are colliding.”

What TC means: This hearing is on the superconducting supercollider. Right?

What TC says: “Reality TV at its finest.”

What TC means: Or are these Congressional hearing into Survivor?

What TC says: “And one can only assume that the senators and representatives will be treated with far more respect than any member of the media.”

What TC means: Which is outrageous. After all, Congress was only elected by… get this… the people. I was appointed by Pat Purcell.

What TC says: Regardless, assuming the likely absence of bombshells during today's testimony, baseball has a credibility problem.”

What TC means: Which is a big problem given the new bankruptcy legislation. Oh…that would be a credit problem. Never mind.

What TC says: Always, without exception, baseball is where we have gone to escape reality.

What TC means: Or drugs… some people use drugs to escape reality.

What TC says: Let this be a lesson to you, Mr. Baseball.

What TC means: I am now talking to a Tom Selleck movie.

3. Johnny Damon missed yesterday’s game with cellulitis, the same ailment that set the stage for Jose’s gusty performance in last year’s World Series. The skin infection, which can be serious, had reached Damon’s lymph nodes, making it a more advanced infection than the one afflicting Jose.

But honestly, Jose was thrilled to hear about Damon’s illness. As Jose knows all too well, cellulitis demands a 10 day course of antibiotics during which one may not consume alcohol. This practically ensures that Damon, who raised a stir last year when he suggested that perhaps he parties a bit too much, will start the season in great shape.

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

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