It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Today is only the second game of the season, and already Jose needs to run a correction. Absurd and pathetic isn’t it? A skilled journalist like Jose making a terrible error in on of the biggest KEYS of the year? Well, Jose is nothing if not honest about his flaws (Note: For instance, his left hand is almost useless. He can’t dribble with it, nothing. It’s like he’s Casey Fossum.) And unlike newspaper types who would correct their page 1 error on page D35 special advertising supplement for Trans-Dniester “Land of Intrigue,” Jose will correct a first KEY error in a first KEY. Ready? Okay, here goes.
CORRECTION: In the KEYS TO THE GAME feature on Monday, April 2, 2007 Anno Domini, the author wrote “as bad as yesterday may have been, today will be, it must be, better, because today there will be baseball.”
Many KEYS readers sat down to watch Opening Day assuming that the reporting was accurate. It was not. Monday, April 2 was not better because there was baseball. It was worse. You know; you saw the game. The text should have read “as bad as yesterday may have been, today will be, it must be, better, because today there will be baseball. Unless Curt Euro totally implodes, in which case the day and the day after it will be total crap.” The management of KEYS TO THE GAME apologizes for any distress this error may have caused readers. On the other hand, grow up, it’s not like we poisoned any dogs.
2. Today is the season’s first start for St. Josh Beckett as he tries to put a difficult 2006 season, wherein he sent more men home happy than Hazel Mae, behind him. The problem, most have theorized, is that Beckett was so enamored of his marvelous fastball that he couldn’t stop throwing it… ever. Narcissus on the Charles, if you will. Jose thinks there is a lot of truth to this. Doing the same thing over and over again without variation is a) a sign of mental illness and b) leaves one exposed to all kinds of threats. A monoculture crop gets completely decimated by a new pest. An undiversified stock portfolio is rendered worthless by one company’s collapse. And an unwavering fastball, 97 mph though it may fly, is launched into the night.
If you need more proof that variation is essential to success, consider the case of Wade Boggs. Boggs was brilliant hitter, but he was known for his compulsive routines, most famously eating chicken every single game day, without fail. And you know what that got him? Well, into the Hall of Fame. But do you know where it got him after that? To the WWF Hall of Fame. That’s right Wade Boggs, a legend, a master hitter, was reduced to inducting the late Mr. Perfect Curt Henning into the WWF Hall of Fame last week, and all because he only ate chicken before games. Pathetic. An actual Hall of Famer went to the induction ceremony of the only Hall of Fame that would admit Pete Rose (note: in the Hall’s celebrity wing). (Additional Note: Actually, including Rose in the WWF Hall seems like a good compromise. He gets to be in a Hall of Fame, but he’s surrounded with other athletes who fix matches. If just once in a while, Boggs had mixed in a little lamb, maybe some moussaka, this never would have happened. Never.
Though maybe it’s not so bad. Boggs and Henning weren’t so different. They were both elite athletes who relied on finesse rather than power. Moreover, they were both managed by geniuses, Henning by “The Genius” Lanny Poffo, and Boggs by John McNamara.
Anyway, long story short, Beckett needs to mix in his curve ball more effectively this year or one of these days we’re going to see him in a tux talking about how much the legendary Issac Yankem DMD meant to professional wrestling and the dental community.
3. Jose is not, as you know, a religious man. He likes God. He has positive feelings towards God, but sometimes, when he thinks too much, he gets skeptical. Why do bad things happen to good people? Why would a just God allow the Red Sox to make the Bard/Meredith trade? That sort of thing drives doubt into his heart. But Jose has good news on this front. It turns out that God exists. Not only does he exist, but he is just, which is great, because justice in any of its non-David forms is absolutely terrific. And you know how Jose knows? Empirical evidence. That’s right, put that in your Sunday mornings uninterrupted by boring sermons about loving your neighbor but not making love too your neighbor, atheist scum!
“But what’s the proof?” you ask. “Is it Christ’s glorious resurrection? The 2004 ALCS? Billy Dee Williams making a cameo on Lost?” Nope. It’s so much simpler… and more profound.
On August 1, 2006 Jose wrote “How can there be a just God if skinny Jason Johnson has diabetes, and fat David Wells gets to keep stuffing his face with cakes and donuts and pies?”
It’s a great question isn’t it? But God speaks to us. He is still speaking to us. Not in words or visions, not in a burning bush or from atop a mountain, but in simple, every day acts of divinity, like giving David Wells diabetes.
Thank you God, thank you for making Jose believe again. Now, you can seal the deal by taking away Jason Johnson’s diabetes. And after that, you cold really seal the deal by giving Mike Lowell a second testicle again. You could just take it from David Ortiz. That guy’s got more balls than anyone in the league.
(Theological note: As it has been established that David Ortiz is God, would it make Mike Lowell at least a little divine if he got one of Ortiz’s testicles? Which chapter of Leviticus covers that?)
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.