Wednesday, August 17

8/17/05 --Wells vs. the Amazing Bonder Man

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

We have a serious problem in Boston, and it’s spreading faster than lice on Jason Giambi. Jose is a big supporter of Mayor Menino and is loathe to bring this up in an election year, but damn it, someone needs to say something. If we don’t take action, it won’t be long before they’ve infested every corner of the city.

Oh…who are they? You don’t know? Really? Jose thought it would have been obvious when he talked about uncontrolled infestations that he was speaking about street mimes.

Let Jose be the first to say that he has nothing against mimes when they are safely locked in invisible boxes, but having them out on the street is just a hazard. In the past week Jose has seen TWO, that’s right TWO street mimes in Boston. That’s an infinite percentage higher than the zero he’d seen in the city previously.

The first time Jose saw a street mime was in New Orleans, The Jazz Machine he was called. He stood there dressed like a hipster with his saxophone and if you dropped a dime, he’d blow a few notes, a dollar would get you a few bars and more might have gotten you a whole song. To be honest Jose isn’t sure. No way he was giving any more than a dollar to any street performance not involving marionettes.

But the two in Boston can’t measure up. There’s one at Fanueil Hall wearing a white tutu and pasty goth makeup who blows fairy kisses using baby powder. She doesn’t even put the baby power in a container that says fairy dust. That’s like Rafael Palmiero taking steroids out of a bottle labeled “illegal steroids” rather than one labeled “mysterious supplement.” She should at least have some plausible deniability.

Then last night Jose saw another woman in white makeup on Boston Common who has some sort of Indian/Hindu thing going. Both mimes shared The Jazz Machine’s “you get what your drop in the bucket philosophy.” They don’t move unless you pay.

The reason Jose mentions this in this space is that the infestation may even have reached Fenway Park. Jose isn’t certain, but he thinks that he has yet to see Kevin Millar move so much as a muscle in right field without someone dropping a dollar first.

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Tuesday, August 16

8/16/05 -- Papelbon vs. Robertson

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

1. Jose went out for beers with some friends at 9:30 last night with the Sox up 6-3 secure in the knowledge that there was no way our bullpen could blow a three run lead to the Tee-zhers for the second time that night. As he and his friends sat outside at the Boston BeerWorks on Canal Street a dirty, confused man sucking on a cigarette walked by and yelled at us “You fags ezhnoy a eyam kozet?”

He continued to walk by so we didn’t think much of it. Then, without stopping, he turned his head and again yelled “You fags ejoy the Needymad conzet?”

Apparently, he was asking us if we’d enjoyed the Neil Diamond Concert. It was an odd question, as the concert, which we had no knowledge of, was in progress as we sat there quaffing malt, hops, yeast and water mixed together and allowed to fester. So effectively he was asking us how we were enjoying something that it was literally impossible for us to be a part of. It’s like asking the Yankees how they’re enjoying the 2005 pennant race. (Note: Blah, blah, three and a half games back blah, blah. As long as the Yankees continue to assemble the best set of pitchers 1995 has to offer—Johnson, Mussina, Brown, Nomo, Leiter—they will never be in this race…umm… right?)

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Monday, August 15

8/15/05 -- 2004 World Champs vs. 1984 World Champs

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

Jose was watching a Major League Soccer game the other night (note: or flipping by it to be more accurate) and noticed that the New England Revolution were competing against a club know as “Real Salt Lake.” Jose has two reactions. First, he questions the viability of any league that would put a team in Utah (note: and no he is not making an exception for the NBA). Second, giving bland, white bread Salt Lake the prefix “Real” in order to make it seem more Euro is both curious and amusing.

Actually, Jose sort of likes this about MLS. They know that soccer is not a particularly popular spectator sport in the U.S., at least in part because the overwhelming majority of the best players are from other countries and play in Europe. Moreover, the game is perceived as being foreign unlike basketball, football or baseball. So how do they deal with it? They give some of their teams vaguely Euro names like Real Salt Lake and DC United. Yup, that should help marketing in middle America. They love Europe there! Soccer already has the interest of Euros living in the U.S., so if MLS really wanted to expand their market, they should have given the teams hearty, American names, like the Salt Lake McNuggets or Law and Order: DC Soccer Unit.

The game that should really adopt the catchy Euro names is baseball. Also, players should start wearing all black uniforms. Baseball has no popularity or even comprehension in Europe, even though Europeans with their short work hours and copious leisure time are the perfect audience for a sport whose matches routinely take three hours. So Jose has a few idea on Euro names that major league teams should consider adopting.

· From now on the LA Dodgers should be known as Real LA. This would be in contrast to the LA Angels of Anaheim, who would be known as Fake LA, since they do not play in Los Angeles. Alternatively, whatever team has Rheal Cormier at the moment could take the prefix. For instance, it would be the Rheal Philadelphia Phillies.

· One of the Chicago teams should become Chicago United. This reason for giving Chicago the United moniker is that United Airlines is based there, so there could be a good marketing hook. Better yet, they should merge the Cubs and White Sox and then having a team called Chicago United. It’s time to end the North Side South side divide and really focus on ostracizing the West Side.

· There has to be at least one team with some letters attached to its name that no one really understands the meaning of. Something along the lines of AC Milan of FC Barcelona. Jose’s initial thought is that the Twins should become AC Minnesota, since they always play in an air conditioned dome. Alternatively the Devil Rays cold become FC Tampa Bay, with the FC standing for f*cked company.

The point is that if baseball wants to have a real world cup, it needs to broaden its appeal and Jose can think of no better way to do that then with empty gestures and flashy repackaging.

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