Monday, April 11

4/11/05 -- Home Opener, Champs vs. Not the Champs

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

Today is the day. Today is the day that we have waited for 86 years. Empires have risen and fallen, ideologies have been tested, space has been explored and through it all we have waited. We have waited and waited and waited and Godot never quite arrived. And today, today Godot not only arrives, but he sits down and buys us a beer. At long last we wall have our chance to see men fawn over jewelry as though they were women swarming around the desk of a newly engaged colleague.

Everyone is looking forward to the ring ceremony but few know what it actually entails. Yes, the Red Sox will have some star sing the national anthem, and the big American Flag and hopefully WWF Champion John Cena to throw out the first pitch, but none of those events is actually part of the ring ceremony itself. The ring ceremony itself is a holy sacrament where a permanent bond is formed between man and championship a bond that can never be broken. Some of the departed players like Pedro may go to Las Vegas for a quickie ring ceremony, but Jose believes that the players still with the team as well as a few old friends like Ellis Burks, Curtis Leskanic and Megatron Lowe are doing it the right way, surrounded by family and friends.

The ceremony, as one might expect, requires both a flower girl and ring bearer for each player. The flower girl strews rose petals before the feet of the player as he walks down the first base line and the ring bearer carries the ring behind him on a velvet pillow.
The ring is then presented by a minister, rabbi, priest, imam, judge, justice of the peace, major league baseball official or bartender empowered by the state of Massachusetts to bind man to championship. Before receiving his ring, each player recites vows. Some will write their own vows, but the classic version goes:

"I [state your name], do solemnly swear to take this ring , to be the symbol of my championship. To have but seldom to wear, to keep in a safe deposit box except for special occasions, to not sell on my Web site until the IRS is really closing in on me, in slumps and in streaks, on the DL and in active duty, whether starting or riding the pine, so long as I shall live."

At that point the officiant slips the ring on the player’s finger and declares, "And with the power invested in me by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Major League Baseball and Shreve, Crump and Lowe, I now pronounce you man and championship. (Note: Shouldn’t they change the name to Shreve, Crump and Megatron?)

And this will happen once for each player, coach, trainer and management official tomorrow. It should only take six or seven hours. See why Jose isn’t resentful that he doesn’t have tickets?

For today's complete KEYS visit

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