Wednesday, August 31

8/31/05 — Wakefiled vs. Guy We Got Euro For

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

1. Sometime in the second inning of last night’s game, right around the time Jose was cutting into the evening’s first steak tip, the phone rang.

“Euro is all done,” said Jose’s brother Sam Melendez on the other end of the line. “I told you so yesterday.”

“Loothh at way,” replied Jose, his mouth full of meat marinated in soy sauce, brown sugar and Coca-Cola.

As he moved from the steak to the green beans lightly sautéed in olive oil and garlic, Jose began to compose today’s first KEY in his head. It would be a dirge, a lamentation. It would be a reflection Curt Euro’s sacrifice of the 2005 season and perhaps the rest of his career so that Red Sox fans could know the goodness of victory just one time. Jose muted the television, put Mozart’s mournful Requiem on the CD player and began to craft a eulogy of sorts as he shoveled mouthfuls of rice dripping with low quality LaChoy soy sauce into his mouth.

“Corinthians tells us that to every thing there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven,” Jose began. “For Curtis Montague Euro, born Curtis Montague Schilling, that season was Autumn 2004 and that purpose was to deliver a World Championship to the Boston Red Sox. But as time evaporates into memory so passes that season, and the purpose, now met, dissolves into the ether.”

And so it went on and on, a melodramatic stew of tired clichés about the cycle of life. Winter of his career, change of life, given us his all, sacrificed for the greater good, throw them all in the pot and let them marinate in the bitter juices of disappointment and loss.

And then Jose paused from his mourning and looked up and through the foggy prism of his tear filled eyes two numbers slithered through his pupils along his optic nerve and directly into his brain. Six and five. Six and five. It was the sixth inning and Tampa Bay still had only five runs, the same number they had when the inning numbered only two… and still the man with the comically bleached hair stood on the mound. But that must mean… Could it be???

And whispering on the wind Jose heard the line from The Serpent and the Rainbow, “Don’t bury me I’m not dead.” Four scoreless innings. Four fragments of evidence that all is not lost, that good things have not yet come to an end. And today, somewhere in Boston, lies a metaphorical grave, empty, a pile of soggy, rocky new England soil to the side. And on the headstone it reads “The Career of Curtis Monatgue Euro 1988— ” There is no second year. Nothing is over.

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