It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.
1. Wow it’s the home opener. Super great. Jose is so excited. Fenway reopening, new Conigliaro’s corner, snazzy new super duper ultra max premium seating with built in massage, blah, blah, blah. It doesn’t get any better than this, or something.
Really, it’s the home opener, what could be more fantabulous? After all, this is, what ,the seventh game of the season? That’s a lucky, lucky number.
Okay, have you caught the sarcasm in Jose’s tone yet? Can you tell that he is less than overwhelmed that it is the home opener. You know why? Because the home opener is a sorry, lazy excuse for a real opener, a man’s opener that begins on the first day of the season. Jose has been to the home opener twice, once in 1987 and once last year and on neither occasion was it the real opener. In 1987, he cried like a little girl, not because of the touching tribute to the defending AL champions, not because spring was back, but because we had trouble finding parking and he missed what was, as best he can recall, Al Nipper’s first inning of work. Sure who wouldn’t cry at lost time with Al Nipper? But still, he was a baby, and all he was crying about what was just another regular season game. Real fans travel to Kansas City or Oakland or wherever to get their fix as quickly as possible. What did Jose do? Nothing. That’s what.
So what is the big deal about today? It’s the Red Sox and St. Josh a Beckett versus a lousy Seattle team with God only knows who on the mound. Whoop–de-freaking-do. (Note: Jeff Weaver. Even more whoop-de-do. Blunts for everyone.)
Sit out in the cold, drinking $7 beers and chomping on stuffed intestines? No thank, you, no thank you at all. Jose would much rather be in his office creating jobs… unlike his boss a Mariners fan who gets to the game. Not that Jose is bitter.
2. This harkens back to the weekend’s series with the Rangers, but Jose still wants to mention it. Has anyone thought about the implications of Sammy Sosa’s return to Texas for national security?
Back in the 2000 presidential campaign, then Texas Governor George W. Bush answered a question about what his worst mistake had been, by saying that it had been trading Sammy Sosa when he was owner of the Texas Rangers. Now that Sosa has returned to Arlington, what is the “after action report” going to teach the President? What will be the lessons learned?
Here’s what Jose fears. What keep Jose up and night is the concern that president will conclude that if we leave the U.S. military in Iraq for 18 years, we can just get them back no problem, and so what if their a lot less strong and effective? Sammy hit a homer against the Red Sox didn’t he?
Jose would urge the President to learn a different lesson. When he traded Sosa along with Wilson Alvarez and Scott Fletcher to the White Sox in 1989, at least he got Harold Baines in return. Harold Baines was ho hum with the Rangers, but he was, over the course of his career, a terrific hitter. So, if we’re going to send something valuable to Iraq for 18 years, lives, money etc. at least try to get something of value in return: democracy, economic security, peace, something. Because right now, the war is looking an awful lot like Jeff Bagwell for Larry Anderson.
3. In a move that seems designed to increase the team’s depth, the Red Sox yesterday acquired Diamondbacks pitching prospect J.D. Durbin. In addition to giving the Sox another live arm in the minor leagues, the acquisition of Jonathan Adam Durbin gives the Red Sox depth in “people named J.D. who’s given first and middle names do not begin with J. D. in sequence.”
The move is reminiscent of 1993 when the Red Sox attempted to bolster a sagging line up and questionable pitching by stocking up on Scotts, combing infielders Scott Fletcher (note: appearing twice in this KEYS!) and Scott “The Worst Two Time All-Star Ever” Cooper, with pitchers Scott Bankhead and Scott Taylor.
The Patriots also attempted the Scott strategy in 1993, carrying quarterbacks Scott Zolak and Scott Secules, running back Scott Lockwood and kicker Scott Sisson.
The Celtics efforts to acquire Byron Scott were, however, unsuccessful.
The end result of this bold strategy was an 80-82 baseball team, a 5-11 football team, and a 45 percent increase in the market price of haggis in Boston.
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.