Tuesday, January 2

Call H&R Block, Because It's Time for Some Accountability

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE.

1. One of the funny things about writing a blog is the accountability involved. Jose knows that sounds weird. After all, the entire point of a blog is that it offers every nimrod with a post-Commodore 64 computer the opportunity to be part of the new media, to pat himself on the back and say “My opinion matters” while remaining untraceable, anonymous hiding from the cleansing, illuminating light of day like so many MIT undergrads. (Note: Being stereotypical about smart people is cool right?)

But the accountability is real, even if the influence is not. Things said long ago remain in print. Even if they disappear from the public realm, victims of a surprise change of domain name, somewhere perhaps, someone still has the incriminating prose on a hard drive, waiting. Which brings us to Julio Lugo. When it comes to Julio, Jose has some accountability problems. But rather than hide it, rather than spend every day hoping and praying that none of the 7 owners of a 2006 KEYS book come’s forward with the incriminating evidence, Jose will lay it on the table now.

On Wednesday, December 2005, as part of a discussion of the Red Sox efforts to bring back members of the 2004 World Series champions, Jose wrote

The solution is to identify new talent, new faces and to fit them into the equation. But not Julio Lugo. No matter how much fun as it would be to hear “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard, four or five times per game next year, Jose would rather pray that ER’s 30 errors was a one year anomaly, than hope that Julio’s 20 plus errors every year is anything other than a simple fact.

Can you see the problem? Now, that the Red Sox have actually signed Lugo, this leaves Jose with a lot of backtracking to do, if he is to return to the comforting bosom of Red Sox fandom and not only say he loves Julio Lugo, but truly mean it. How can it be done? The record is right there in breathtaking black and white. He could try the Big Brother method and change the old record to insist that he has always loved Julio Lugo, loves Julio Lugo today, and always will love Julio Lugo. Perhaps his lament of last December could be… reconceptualized… to read

The solution is to identify new talent, new faces and to fit them into the equation. Specifically, Julio Lugo. And it would be great to hear “Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard,” four or five times per game next year. Jose would rather not pray that ER’s 30 errors was a one year anomaly, and be absolutely certain that Julio’s 20 plus errors every year is something other than a simple fact. P.S. Jose adores you Theo. Seriously, you’re great. And no, this didn’t used to say something else.

See it’s a little clumsy. So Jose will go to his other option which is to cloud his past comments with the iron obfuscation of statistical certainty cloaked in impenetrable verbiage. Thus, Jose wishes to issue the following statement for immediate release:

Noted baseball analyst, statistician, pneumismatist and phrenologist, Jose Melendez, is pleased to announce that tertiary and quaternary statistical analysis of the play and performance of new Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo has reversed, contraindicated and deconstructed the findings of primary and secondary analysis. It has thus been revealed as if my divine intervention as seen in Genesis, Exodus, Kings and Romans that Julio Lugo is a stupendous, astonishing, magnificent, splendiferous, effervescent and ebullient defender and Jose it is in the warmest tradition of hospitality and graciousness that Jose welcomes him to the Boston Red Sox..

While using venerable, heirloom, legacy scientific tools such as error counting and unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence had indicated that Lugo was a bad to dreadful to criminal fielder, more sophisticated analyses done by some other guys, namely range factor and zone rating, paint a portrait of a Julio Lugo who is not only superior to the league average but lords above Alex Gonzales. Jose suspects that further analysis (note: quintenary?) will reveal that Julio Lugo has range that is superior to The Flash, girthier pecs than Fabio and a heart than eclipses even that of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Jose apologies and remonstrates himself for any pain or injury his earlier discourses may have caused Mr. Lugo and his family, excluding his ex-wife, who is a liar and a skank.

Phew… Jose feels better already.

Look, the man
is literally leaps and bounds
better than Orlando Cabrerra

2. CORRECTION: In his previous entry, Jose told the story of a six year old wheeler dealer who held Jose hostage over a 1993 Jose Melendez baseball card. Regrettably, the story omitted one critical detail that changes the context. In the story, Jose described his stone faced bravery in staring down the wheeler dealer and cutting a favorable deal. Missing was the fact that immediately after the transaction was complete, the wheeler dealer offered to trade/sell Jose another card, a Jeff Suppan card. As no one would buy a Jeff Suppan card, not even the Milwaukee Brewers, who recently paid $40 million for the actual Jeff Suppan, Jose can only assume that the Melendez card transaction left the wheeler dealer with the impression that Jose was a sucker. The publishers of this feature apologize for the omission of this critical detail.

3. Have you seen the Globe today? Go ahead and get one. Jose will wait. Got it? Now throw away the front section, the business section, and the arts. Keep Metro if you want, Brian McGrory has another great column today. Jose thinks he calls the people of Hingham douchebags. (Note: Actually, the column is about violence in Boston and is well worth a read.) Okay now, you’re at Sports. Take a quick look. Notice anything weird. Take your time, look at Page E1 all the way through E8. Done? So what did you notice? Yup, that’s right mark it down 1/2/07 there is not a single word about the Red Sox in the Globe Sports section. (Note: When Jose was writing this in his head, he somehow got the idea that it was February 2, so his line was going to be “That’s right, mark it down and call Marla Gibbs and Jackee, because on 2/2/7 there is not a single word about the Red Sox in the Globe Sports section.” Too bad.)

Unbelievably we now have a Boston Globe with more on Boise State football, hell with more on Vanderbilt women’s basketball than on the sun, the moon and the stars that are the Boston Red Sox. Okay, maybe technically Shaughnessy mentions the Red Sox in his column about how Bill Belichick hates Eric Mangini, but god damn it, that’s a football column, and Jose had already written this key when he noticed the mention, so it doesn’t count.

I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE.