Friday, March 4

3/4/05 - Beanpot Consolation Games

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

1. Do today’s two games even warrant KEYS? After all the Red Sox are not playing a major league opponent, a pseudo major league opponent like the lineup the Twins trotted out last night, or even a minor league opponent. Instead, they are playing two colleges – Northeastern and Boston College. As best Jose can tell, the right to get crushed by the Red Sox at the beginning of spring training is a consolation prize for losing the Beanpot. Why else would it be that the Sox play BC or Northeastern almost every year and never Jose’s BU Terriers? Besides, even the World Champion Red Sox could never beat the BU baseball team. Never.

So to answer Jose’s rhetorical question…Jose will probably make like the Red Sox, play one game, sit the next.

2. Jose was not impressed with his fellow hapa haole Denney Tomori. Suffice it to say, Tomori looked more hittable than any pitcher Jose has ever seen on any level. Slow fastballs, equally slow change ups, dull curves…yikes. Jose suspects Tomori will give up more hits this spring than most kickball pitchers.

On the upside, Jose now knows why Tomori calls the big breakfast at his Denny’s restaurants the “Grand Slam”… he’s probably given up more than a few of them in his day.

3. Sox Skipper Terry Eurona has entered spring training this year without the enormous plug of tobacco in his cheek that was as much a part of his image as his red sweatshirt or balding head. Eurona’s decision has earned him plaudits from his family, friends and doctors…but not from Jose. Damn it Tito, we won a World Series with you recklessly endangering your health, calming your nerves with the soothing combination of tobacco and fiberglass, and you want to change things?

Will you be calm enough to make a big decision in the clutch? Without nicotine soothing your jangled nerves would you have been able to give Dave Roberts the steal sign in Game 4? Would you have had the presence of mind not to pinch run for Ortiz in extra innings? Maybe…but Jose wonders.

If you absolutely insist on quitting chew, can you at least get something to calm you down? Not valium. Jose thinks we all saw what valium can do to a manager in the Grady era. (Note: Jose: Can’t prove Grady was on valium, but he must have been on something. Right? No one is naturally that slow.) The next time you take to the dugout, you’d damn well better have some Tension Tamer tea, or aroma therapy or some other God damn new age boondoggle…or Jack Daniels…we all know Jack Daniels works.

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

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