Friday, May 6

5/6/05 – Antipope Clement XV vs. Moyer

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

Tonight, Jose makes his second trip of the year to both Fenway Park and the Women’s Christian Temperance section. Jose will put his undefeated season once again on the shoulders of Antipope Clement XV, as he battles crafty lefty Jamie Moyer.

Jose is really impressed with Moyer. He never would have guessed when the Red Sox traded him in 1996 that he would become the pitcher he is today, particularly at his advanced age. The fact that even at the age of 71, even after retiring from his duties as the host of NOW on PBS and almost 40 years after ending his stint as special assistant to President Lyndon Baines Johnson, Moyer is off to a 4-0 start is just a testament to the things senior citizens can accomplish in this day and age.

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Thursday, May 5

Cinco de Mayo 2005 – Sitcom Battle: Balki vs. JJ

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

Day game after a night game. Not cool. Historically, Jose hasn’t really understood what the players are griping about because he writes the KEYS early in the morning before he goes in to his “real job,” but yesterday, due to illness the KEYS did not get written until after Jose had left work for the day, creating a true “night game followed by a day game effect.” And let Jose say, it sucks. All of these years he thought ballplayers were just being pansies, but it turns out it’s really unpleasant.

How bad is it? Jose actually had to start writing WHILE HE WAS STILL ASLEEP!!! This is the result:

Jose expects the red hot Johnny Damon to add some power to his game tonight. In his second at bat Jose envisions that Damon will give the bat a mighty swing… and the bat will turn into a snake that grabs the ball in its mouth and spits it into right field.

Then when Damon starts running the bases instead of just stopping at home, he’s going to keep running around and around and around until the infield turns into a vortex or whirlpool or something. And Jose is the third base coach rather than Dale Sveum… did Jose mention that? That’s especially weird, because while Dale Sveum might be expected to keep waving a runner around even if he’s creating a vortex that could destroy the universe, you’d think Jose would know to stop.

So suddenly the vortex sucks Jose and Johnny and Kevin Millar through. When we come out the other side, we’re in Jabba the Hut’s palace from Return of the Jedi. And Jabba is right there, except it’s not Jabba it’s David Wells, but he looks like Jabba. (Note: If fans are pissed that he was at the Celtics game with his injured foot, it’s going to be double ugly once they find out he’s been running all over Tatooine.) Over on the wall where the frozen Han should be is this plastic boot with Curt Euro’s foot in it. Jose doesn’t know how he knows it’s Curt’s foot, but he does.

So Johnny Damon runs over with his snake/bat which is now a lightsaber and chops down the frame that the foot is in and suddenly Curt Euro pops out of the boot, alive and well. But dozens of Jabba’s security guards, who look suspiciously like Fenway Park security personnel start to rush us… and then… and then... well what happened next isn’t important. What’s important is that Jose got more than 400 words of content out of it.

Wednesday, May 4

5/4/05 – Not a Former TB Pitcher vs. Robertson

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

Ugghh… Jose is sick, hence the lateness of today’s KEYS. But they’re still here. And that’s the difference between Jose and guys like Euro Bellhorn or Umlaut Mueller. He’ll be damned if Ramon Vasquez takes any of his swings.

1. A loyal reader stirke4 found this on the craigslist “missed connections” and shared it with Jose.

Jose Melendez, where are you? - w4m -

Reply to: XXXXX
Date: 2005-05-04, 9:18AM EDT

We worked together in the summer of 1999 in downtown Manhattan. We dated
briefly, but then broke up. I was 17, you were almost 19. I've not forgotten
about you. I lost your information and I'm looking to speak with you again, even
just to know that you're well.

Let Jose assures all readers, and by this, he means the Melendezette, that he does not know this woman. (Note: XXXXX, if you’re reading, Jose is fine, and you’re nice to ask.)

Jose has read the “missed connections” in the Improper Bostonian from time to time and found them immensely entertaining, but he’d never really read the ones on line before. What a shame because he missed some great stuff. For instance:

Home Runs Where Have You Gone? – h4s - 33

I met you back in 1999 in
Florida. You didn’t hang around with me a lot, but over the course of a
few years we grew closer, closer to the point that I saw you 25 times in one
year. And now? Where have you gone? I haven’t seen you since
last fall. I miss you… I need you… I can’t shut up about you… or about
anything else…

--Love at first/right in Boston

Where is My Closer? – s4c - 33

We got together last year,
and for the first time in my life I felt able to let go, like I could give up
control and things would work out okay, like I didn’t have to finish everything

But, I moved, my work took me from Boston to New
York, and I miss you so bad. I’m doing really well here, but I have to do
everything myself. There’s no one here I can rely on. And I hear
that you’re struggling, that you haven’t been the same since I left. I’d
love to just be with you again… for just another six months. Call

--Pedro in Queens

And these are just a few of the great “Missed Connections” out there. Look for more in future editions of KEYS.

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Tuesday, May 3

5/3/05 – A Buddha vs. Maroth

In preparation for tonight’s game against the (Mac OS X) Tigers, Jose turns to William Blake’s “The Tiger” for metric inspiration. Jose loves this poem. Admittedly, he was originally introduced to it in a Spiderman comic book and it wasn’t even the real poem – “spider” was substituted for “tiger” every time. Still, it’s a good poem and it is apt.

The Tigers
By Jose Melendez

Tigers, tigers, don’t burn down.
Aged buildings in Motown,
Can’t hit, throw or win a race,
They don’t torch cities for last place.

Tigers, tigers in the field,
Bobby Higginson revealed,
What hand, if it’s made of stone,
Can catch the ball and throw it home?

Tigers, tigers not adroit,
In the forests of Detroit
Ty Cobb’s ghost – always bitter
When D. Young is your best hitter.

Tigers, tigers in the snow,
Playing when it’s ten below,
Although it can seem uncouth,
Your stadium could use a roof.

Tigers, tigers struggling,
Like the cat who plays with string,
John Ha-Lama holds the twine,
Christ. He’s in our starting nine?

Tigers, tigers pale and wan,
Kirk and Sparky both are gone,
Trammel’s back with much to do,
He’s not the same without “Sweet Lou.”

Tigers, Tiger play tonight,
Underneath electric light,
Not the team of ’84,
Tigers please drop three of four.

Monday, May 2

5/2/05 -- "I" vs. "Y"

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

Tonight is a milestone for the Red Sox. It marks the first time in the franchise’s history that they have faced an opponent that has sold not only naming rights for its ballpark, but for the team itself, to a major corporation. Sure the Detroit Tigers have not actually formally changed their name, but according to Jose’s sources they have cut a deal with Apple Computer to become the Detroit (Mac OS X) Tigers. While this is the first baseball team to have sold its naming rights, it is not the first in U.S. professional sports. The (Mac OS X) Tigers join the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and Carolina (Mac OS X) Panthers, as major U.S. teams to sell their naming rights.

The (Mac OS X) Tigers boast more than 200 new features including a “rock solid UNIX foundation,” burnable folders and maybe just a little bit of pitching. They do not, however, include Magglio Ordonez.

Visit for the complete KEYS.

Sunday, May 1

5/1/05 -- Texas Calls May Day

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

1. In a letter to Major League Players Association President Donald Fehr, baseball commissioner Bud Selig proposed that baseball adopt a "three strikes and you’re out" steroid policy wherein players testing positive for steroids on three occasions would be banned for life. Get it? "Three strikes and you’re out" – it’s a baseball metaphor. But if Selig is going to try to replicate baseball’s age old rule in his steroid policy, why not try to duplicate it completely? Since a foul ball cannot be a third strike, it is fully possible to have more than three strikes in an at bat. The question then is what would be the drug testing equivalent of a foul ball? Probably a drug test that was positive but did not conform to every last letter of the collective bargaining agreement, thereby rendering it illegitimate. So Selig should amend his steroid testing program to be "three strikes and you’re out but a foul ball can’t be a third strike." He might as well. Do you really think the players association is going to let someone be banned for life after only three violations? If the players association has it’s way, the drug policy will demand more strikes than perfect game of candlepins.

For the full KEYS visit