It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.
1.Man, Jose loves sitting in the bleachers. He forgets how much he loves it sometimes, what with the fancy grandstand seats he sits in most of the time these days, but for sheer borderline alcoholic excitement, nothing beats the bleachers.
Jose imagines that returning to the bleachers must be a little like getting behind the wheel of the 1981 Dodge Omni he drove in his youth after driving a BMW for a few years. At first, it would seem like a major come down, but pretty soon those old pleasant quirks would start to feel as comfortable as venerable sweatpants. Jose loved that Omni, or “Oni” as we called it because the “m” had fallen off. It had everything: wheels, a transmission, a gas tank, an engine that sometimes worked—everything. Sure, it wasn’t as nice as a BMW, just as the bleachers aren’t as “nice” as the grandstands, but have you ever had a BMW where a hard right turn with the AC on would give a Christ-like footbath to the passenger side occupant in the form of a good gallon of condensation? Didn’t think so.
And have you ever been in a BMW that struggled so hard to get up hill that you got passed by bicyclists, allowing one to get a glimpse of hard working female posteriors one might have otherwise missed? Again, Jose thinks not.
No, for all the glitz and glamour Jose will take the inexpensive, chaotic fun of the bleachers or the Oni over the elite and refined comfort of the grandstand or a Beamer. Of course, Jose currently drives a 1991 powder blue Toyota Corolla that is technically owned by a bear with a long connection to Transcendental Mediation, so what does he know.
2. Another nice thing about sitting in the bleachers is that more people are drunk and therefore likely to chat than in other sections.
In about the second inning last night, Jose and his brother Sam, saw a fellow in an A-Rod T-shirt sitting between two charming lasses. Now our initial thought was that he wasn’t having sex with either of them, as one can reasonably assume that someone wearing an A-Rod shirt is, like his hero, into more mannish ladies, and both of these ladies were all woman. But he seemed awful friendly with both of them, so our opinions changed quickly.
But which of them was this fellow with? That was a matter of considerable dispute. The brunette with the warm eyes to his left was wearing Yankee white and blue, which would seem to make her a likely target, but she was waving a Sox flag, which convinced Jose that she was not his beau. After all, not only would no Yankees fan ever bring a Sox flag to Fenway, pretty much no Sox fan would either. Flags are a pain in the neck. You can’t put them on the ground while you two-fist beers, you have to fold them into little triangles, and who can remember which flies higher, the Red Sox flag or the U.S. flag? Pain in the neck.
Still, Jose’s brother, based on the blue and white, or perhaps his contrary nature, assumed ol’ soft eyes was the one.
And it was a choice that made sense, as soon as one saw that the curly-haired blonde to the A-Rod fan’s right was wearing a red Sox shirt with blue lettering. What Yankees fan would ever wear that? But then, Jose noticed a problem. It was a Damon jersey. Who in God’s name would wear a completely undesecrated Damon Red Sox shirt to Fenway in this day and age? A die-hard Damon loyalist, who remembers what he did rather than who he has become? No, no! A Yankee fan seeking to taunt her neighbors. (Note: Though why this would be a taunt is unclear. Jose is glad that the Yankees have the ever increasingly arthritic Damon and not us.)
After marinating on the question for a few innings (note: yes that was a veiled reference to the film “Kissing Jessica Stein”), Jose made his move. He took advantage of a few fans getting up for refreshment, to jump down two rows to behind the A-Rod Guy.
“Hey A-Rod Guy,” Jose bellowed.
His head whipped around, surprised to be summoned in the bleachers with anything other than “Hey *sshole.”
“Yeah?” The A-Rod Guy responded nervously.
“Jose is wondering if he can ask you something to settle a bet?”
“Why are you talking like that?”
“Given that they both have Red Sox stuff, which one of these girls are you with?”
The girls laughed… hard. Jose suspected he had his answer.
“Neither,” he answered sheepishly. “Though this one has the blue and white on. My girlfriend’s at Villanova.”
“Is she a Yankees fan?”
“She probably doesn’t care, but would lean Yankees. Though she’d be too smart to wear a jersey here.”
“So you’re really not hooking up with either of these girls,” Jose pressed.
“Nah,” riposted A-Rod guy. “She’s a Sox fan,” he said pointing to the blonde, “And she’s a Pirate’s fan or something,” he said indicating the brunette.
“Well if you do sleep with either or both, you’ll let Jose know right?”
“You’re creepy,” pointed out A-Rod guy.
So Jose gave A-Rod guy his URL, told him to respond to today’s KEYS and then left him be. Of course, he said he wasn’t going with either of them, but Jose has his suspicions. Jose thinks he was just lying because intercourse between Red Sox fans and Yankees fans is illegal in this state. Jose thinks the Massachusetts General Laws call it “The Unspeakable Unnatural Act” When the game was over and Jose and his entourage waited to escape the bleachers, Jose saw the A-Rod Guy with an arm slung casually over each woman’s shoulder. A sign of things to come, perhaps?
Well, we’ll have to see if A-Rod Guy responds. He promised he would, but if he’s anything like his hero, he won’t deliver in the clutch.
3. Mike Lowell is the oldest looking 33-year-old Jose has ever seen. And it’s not just the gray hair, the dude looks grizzled.
This is an interesting factor in whether the Sox are willing to offer him a three-year contract after this season ends. On the one hand, he’s playing great this year, but on the other hand, it seems absolutely possible that if current aging trends continue, by the end of a three year deal in 2010, he will look slightly older than the mummy of Ramesses the II, which is 3,200 years old. Jose says older, because Ramesses, even in his current state still has his natural hair color. Mike Lowell has no such luck.
Will Lowell look this good in three years?
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.