Tuesday, August 14

Eric Gagne's Middle Name is Serge

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

1. Following yesterday’s KEYS, wherein Jose assigned Eric Gagne the middle name Heathcliff because he couldn’t figure out his real middle name, a number of Jose’s astute (note: know-it-all) readers let him know that Gagne does in fact have a real middle name. It is “Serge.”

This raised an obvious question: Does the President know this?

Jose confessed he was not thrilled by the idea of using a serge in Iraq when he thought the President was talking about sending more troops there, but to send Eric Serge Gagne? That just seems crazy. For starters, he’s Canadian, so Jose is pretty sure the President of the U.S. has no authority over him. But just as importantly, is Gagne really the man for the job? What Jose has seen in Gagne’s brief stint in Boston has left him with deep concerns about his ability to preserve a win. If he can’t preserve a win in Camden Yards, how on Earth is he going to preserve one in Baghdad? Even worse, before Gagne came here, Jose was always hearing about how filthy he was. Filthy fastball, filthy change. Is someone so filthy really equipped to deal with Baaths? (Note: KEYS TO THE GAME, winner worst Iraq War pun three years running. No, not really.)

If we were going to hinge our foreign policy to a relief pitcher, Gagne would not have been Jose’s first choice. A far better option would have been Mike Timlin, as he is proficient with small arms and likes to wear camouflage. Of course, the President may be saving Timlin until we have four more years of war. You know, Timlin in the eighth. Then Scott Williamson would take over the war in year nine. Who says Bush can’t learn from past mistakes.

2. Jose loves pork chops. He just loves them. Maybe the best thing about the modern, lean pork chops is that they are at their absolute best with no seasoning more exotic than salt and pepper. From time to time, Jose will lose his senses and sprinkle a pork chop with some exotic rub designed to accentuate its fatty deliciousness, but the result is invariably disappointing. When it comes to pork chops, Ockham’s Razor presides.

Last night, Jose thawed out a couple of pork chops for dinner. Summer grilling, you know. As he prepared to salt and pepper them, he noticed that one of the chops was kind of strange. Rather than having the white-pink hue and smooth texture Jose is accustomed too, it was redder, the grain thicker. At first, Jose was concerned that there was something horribly, cataclysmically wrong with this pork chop, but then he realized the awful truth—it wasn’t a pork chop at all. Instead, it was a piece of sirloin steak cut in a shape that vaguely resembled a pork chop. When cooled to freezing the vast tundra of Jose’s ice box, the slab of cow was indistinguishable from the swine upon which Jose so gleefully digs.

The reason Jose brings this up is that he’s been thinking that Kevin Youkilis is a lot like that steak that appeared to be a pork chop. Maybe he wasn’t exactly what you thought he would be, an everyday third basemen, but what he turned out to be, a slick fielding first baseman is pretty good, though maybe he needed a bit more seasoning than he would have at first. Also, like the steak he is conceivably, though not certainly kosher, while Pork Chop Lowell, most clearly is not.

3. The WWF is working an angle right now wherein it is revealed that Vincent K. McMahon has an illegitimate child and that this, as yet unidentified child, works for the WWF. (Note: Jose bets it’s not someone who works in marketing.)

Jose would sort of like to see the Red Sox try something like this. It would be kind of fun if John W. Henry went down to the pitcher’s mound pregame and declared that someone on the team was his son and that he wouldn’t rest until he identified who it was.

Jose figures it would have to be DJ Dru, because the only way that contract made sense, at least knowing what we do now about Dru being overshadowed by the awesome power of Doug Mirabelli, is if it was some kind of paternity settlement.

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

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