Monday, April 25

4/25/05 -- Wells vs. Chen

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

1. A few weeks ago, Jose vowed to develop a change up, in order to counter the fact that his punch lines had gotten as predictable as a Tom Gordon fastball in October. People, specifically the Melendezette, were starting to time his pitches. Jose’s initial thought was that knock knock jokes might be a way to mix it up, but it turns out that knock knock jokes aren’t funny... ever. Jose telling a knock knock joke is a little like a lefty throwing a curve ball to Manny; it might sound like a good idea, but if one thinks about it for more than 30 seconds, it becomes clear that it’s a really bad idea. Then, if one goes through with it anyway, the results are typically disastrous.

Consider this:

Jose: Knock knock.

Straight Man: Who’s there?

Jose: Derek.

Straight Man: Derek who?

Jose: Derek Jeter is a good offensive short stop, but he is a defensive liability who is badly overrated by the New York and National press.

See. While that is true, that is not funny. The only thing even vaguely funny is using the term “straight man” in a joke about Derek Jeter.

So Jose figured he’d need to try something else for his backup pitch, perhaps some riddles.

Q: Why did David Ortiz cross the road?
A: Because Dale Sveum gave him the green light even though there were no outs, the fly ball was way to shallow and a car was completely ignoring a stop sign and rushing forward at 75 mph.

Q: Why did Jason Giambi throw a clock out the window?
A: He wanted to see time... Oh... No, wait. Roid rage. The answer is roid rage.

Q: How many Yankees does it takes to screw in a light bulb.
A: None. If Steinbrenner owns the light bulbs they’re already screwed.

Q: How many Red Sox does it take to screw in a light bulb.
A: Who needs light bulbs, the Red Sox are already well lit by the gentle glow of victory.

Those are marginally better than the knock knock jokes, but the effort was still, as one of Sam Melendez’s professors would say, “slightly worse than abysmal.”

So after that failed Jose really sat down and thought about what is making people laugh these days, and then it hit him– observational humor. Okay, so it was more making people laugh inn 1997ish than now, but it’s all Jose got... that or gross out humor. So let’s give observational humor a try.

What’s the deal with the .406 Club? It’s not really a club. You don’t have to apply for membership. It doesn’t have passwords or secret handshakes. Heck, you don’t even have to have hit .406 to get in. On the other hand, it is better than when they called it the 600 Club. The 600 Club sounded like it was a club for people who are pretty self righteous, but not quite self righteous enough to make it to the 700 Club.

How was that? Not great was it? Well, it’s back to throwing fastballs for Jose. More badly out of date Cesar Crespo jokes and nicknames no one quite gets coming up!

For the full KEYS visit

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