Wednesday, April 20

4/20/05 -- Wells vs. Chen

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

Advocate a full public accounting of the Globe’s ban on reviewing self-published books. Write to ombud@globe .com!!! (Note: If you get a reply, let Jose know at

Congratulations to Tim Wakefield for signing what is effectively a lifetime contract with the Red Sox and far more importantly, for making Jose look like a genius.

It’s easy for Jose to say that Wakefield is his all time favorite Red Sox now that he has ten years of distinguished service with the team including three spectacular innings of relief in Game 5 of the 2004 ALCS, but it was true in 1995 too. It was in 1995, that Jose proudly used his 10 percent Fenway employee discount to drop almost two days pay on an authentic Tim Wakefield road jersey. Who knew at the time that Wakefield would be the last member of the 1995 AL East Champions to remaining with the team? Jose knew, that’s who. (Note: Trot Nixon has been with the organization longer, but not with the Major League club.)

While other fans have been forced to deface or retire their Vaughn, Clemens and Nomar jerseys, Jose has worn his Wakefield jersey year after year after year, secure in the knowledge that he will never have to remove the name or the number, each of which added $20 to the price of the garment.

In fact, Jose can only think of two decisions in his entire life that were as shrewd as the purchase of that jersey. The first was buying a tuxedo for his junior prom. Jose has worn that thing so many times that it’s saved him a fortune. The key is getting the adjustable waist and the shawl cut. While proper lapels get wider and narrow with fashion, the shawl always stays the same. With a shawl cut tuxedo, one is never in style, but one is also never out of style. Actually, this is Jose’s life philosophy. He is never completely in vogue but never completely out of vogue either. Jose’s second shrewd decision was choosing the moniker “Jose Melendez” rather than “Dario Veras.” I’m Dario Veras and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME. See… no rhythm at all.

For the full KEYS, visit

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