Wednesday, April 25

Memory Loss

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

1. Every once in a while, there emerges a new medical technology, an innovative surgical technique that radically alters the game of baseball. Once it was arthroscopic surgery, converting season ending procedures to mere weeks on the shelf. Then came Lasik eye surgery giving players formerly constrained by contact lenses, the vision of a young Ted Williams. And then, of course, there was hysterectomy, which allowed Alex Rodriguez to stop becoming hysterical every time something went wrong and settle into perhaps the greatest month in baseball history.

So what’s next for sports medicine? Can we identify the trend now, before it blossoms in full and get the Red Sox an edge? Jose believes he has seen the future of sports and the future looks like lobotomy.

Well, perhaps Jose is being a bit melodramatic. Jose is not suggesting that Red Sox players have full frontal lobotomies. That would be silly, and as the old song reminds us, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me, then have to have a frontal lobotomy.” No, he is just suggesting that it might be a huge advantage to a Red Sox player if he had his hippocampus removed, or at least badly damaged.

Jose got the idea while reading Eric Hinskie’s comments on last night’s 10-3, four error debacle.
“You’ve got to have a short memory,” Hinskie told the Globe’s Nancy Marrapese-Burrell. “We’ve got to try to forget about these two games and move on.”

The hippocampus, as even the dimmest of neuroscientists knows, is the portion of the brain that converts short term memory in to long term memory. By removing it, a player would be assured that rather than lingering on the shame and humiliation of dropping two at home to the Blue Jays, he could give complete focus to tonight’s game in Baltimore.

Jose knows it sounds a little risky for players to remove parts of their brain in order to increase their performance, but Manny seems completely incapable of forming long term memories about things like trade request’s he’s made, times he’s used the death of his grandmother as an excuse and the number of balls in the count, and he hits just fine.

Look Jose is not saying this is a cure all. All he is saying is that his late maternal grandmother, who he loved dearly, had a stroke that damaged her hippocampus and you know what? She didn’t have a single throwing error after it. Not one. (Note: Jose’s Grandma Martha had a wonderful sense of humor and sense of baseball, so he is pretty sure that wherever she is, she is not offended. But if she is, she can send Jose a sign by striking down Vernon Wells.)

2. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Alex Rodriquez shared his thoughts on his red hot start, his potential opt out and the Yankees 0-5 road trip.

Among the revelations in the story was that the difference between this year and last is that A-Rod now loses himself in the resonant sounds of his iPod shortly after arriving at the ballpark.

KEYS’ has obtained A-Rod’s iPod and is pleased to offer you, as a KEYS exclusive, the deepest psychological analysis possible in this modern age, the first ten songs that come up on Rodriguez’s iPod.

1. Nobody Likes Me (Guess I’ll Go Eat Worms)—Traditional
2. Blues Lips—Regina Spektor
3. Slap—Ludacris
4. So Lonely—The Police
5. Loser—Beck
6. I Can’t Win—The Strokes
7. Money –Pink Floyd
8. Thrown Away—Papa Roach
9. April Lady—Queen
10. I Want You to Want Me—Cheap Trick

In addition to discussing his iPod, Rodriguez also answered a question about whether he was a better pilot than departed Yankees Thurman Munson and Corey Lidle, saying "Let's see how far we can fly, then I can tell you. I'm in the middle of flight right now, so I don't want to talk about it.”

3. In perhaps the most shocking news of the young season, three weeks in a Red Sox is tied for the lead league in stolen bases with six, as Jose Lugo’s two steals last night tied him with Kenny Lofton, Gary Matthews Jr. and Brian Roberts.

In fact, the last time any Red Sox player had this much stealing so early in the season was 1992, when Jack Clark had, as of April 25, already effectively stolen the $3 million the Red Sox were ostensibly paying him to hit home runs.

(Note: Jose’s mother has never enjoyed herself as much at a Red Sox game as she did in 1992 when we had seats not far from home plate where she could relentlessly boo Jack Clark. This was unusual, as Jose’s mother likes baseball, but does not have particularly strong feelings about it. What she does have strong feelings about, however, are multi-millionaires whose appetites are so excessive that they file for bankruptcy. Though in fairness to Clark, he probably needed one car for each of the 16 extra base hits in 1992 plus another two just in case.)

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

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