Sunday, October 7

10/7/07--ALDS Game 3: Angles in the Outfield, Flies Over the Wall

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

God in His wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why.
-Ogden Nash "The Fly"

Jose is pretty sure that we know the answer to that one now.

Friday was a big day for those of us who have ever wondered if every thing on our crazy little sphere has a purpose, if each and every act and creature no matter how seemingly random or unimportant is part of some grand design.

If Ogden Nash were still here today, Jose wonders if he wouldn’t add a bit more to his two perfect lines? Jose has noticed lots of hack writers getting rich writing “sequels” to books by other people, as if “Mr. Darcy Presents His Bride” wasn’t just Jane Austen fan fiction.

Ergo, Jose thought he should give it a g

The Fly II
By Jose Melendez, a sequel to The Fly by Ogden Nash
(Note: Name borrowed by the film “The Fly II: Like Father Like Son”

God in His wisdom made the fly
And then forgot to tell us why.

But God’s work’s never out of sight
Not here on this Lake Erie night.

A fly descends and brings his brood
And Joba Chamberlain is screwed.

They bite his face and ears and neck
His pitches turn to wild drek.

He walks a batter, Wild Pitch!
“God damn these bleeping flies they itch!”

A sac to third, he’s wild again
And no one’s warming in the pen?

But if the flies cost him control
How come Carmona’s on a roll?

When he K’d A-Rod with a curve
Was not old Alex quite unnerved

By flies or was it simply that
October still destroys his bat?

While half a continent away
The Sox and Angels start to play.

And flies affect this outcome too,
But not the ones that gnaw and chew

The necks of pitchers thick and stout
Who cannot get a batter out.

The flies in Boston split the night
And shoot up past the tower light

Off rounded bat on 1-0 counts
These flies on to the Mass Pike bounce.

Drosophila Walkoffengame
Is this sort of fly’s Latin name.

It doesn’t bite it doesn’t sting
This fly is naught but towering.

Though one’s a bug and one’s a ball
Both kinds of flies can end it all.

In Erie nights and Boston sky
We know now why God made the fly.

The weird thing is that it seems fully possible that Ogden Nash would love this shoddy bastardization of his work. The man was an Orioles fan, so you at least know he would like the part about the Yankees choking.

2. Before moving on to a third key that will also deal with the Yankees succumbing to insects, Jose feels obliged to do some serious writing about the Red Sox to prove that he is not Yankee obsessed and does not take more joy from Yankee losses than Red Sox wins.

But rather than focusing on the simplest story line, Manny’s home run, which Jose has already addressed in verse, he’d like to focus on a few other story lines from the evening.

• Terry Eurona--Managing Legend: We all know Tito is a good manager in the regular season, maybe even an excellent manager, but in postseason, it is like he is an entirely different guy, as mere excellence elevates to mathematical perfection. It is as if the man is Toyota Corolla, solid and reliable but unspectacular, that suddenly gains the ability to go 220 mph when you need it to take someone to the hospital.

Not a big car person? Jose isn’t either, so let’s try a different one. Maybe Tito’s more like the Hulk. The Hulk, of course is actually puny Bruce Banner when there’s nothing on the line, but when the stakes are high and the adrenaline flows, he becomes the super strong Hulk. So that’s another cut at it.

You don’t like comics either? Great. Why are you reading the KEYS again? Fine, Jose is inclusive, but just one more analogy. Tito in the regular season is like a chess computer program. It plays well, very well, when set to expert, and will beat average or even good players most of the, but in the playoffs Tito becomes Deep Blue, the IBM chess computer that makes millions of calculations per second, thinks hundreds of moves ahead and can beat the best straight up.

• Hideki Okajima--Regularity: As satisfying as Paps’ performance was last night, it was Okajima’s performance that was the most satisfying. After all of his recent struggles, he appears to be back to the way he was.

To give you a sense of the magnitude of relief Jose feels from Oki’s performance think of it this way. Imagine you have a high fiber diet and it keeps everything running smoothly, like clockwork. You know what Jose’s talking about; he doesn’t need to get graphic. Then one day, things just aren’t happening. The next day they aren’t either. You keep trying to use the facilities; you sit and you wait and nothing happens. Then, after a few days, when you are starting to feel genuinely concerned that there is something seriously wrong with your innards, you decide to try one last time before going to the doctor. Suddenly everything goes as smoothly and cleanly as ever. Imagine how satisfying, what a relief that would be? That’s how satisfying, Okajima’s performance last night was.

• Julio Lugo and DJ Dru--To die unsung would really bring them down: Last night, the two most disappointing Red Sox of the year not named Piniero, Romero, Pena, Hinske, Gagne or Mirabelli, did exactly what they were supposed to. (Note: That list is totally unfair. Dru was way more disappointing than anyone except Gagne.) Dru drove in two in the first, and Lugo got a single in the ninth and advanced to second on a well-executed hit and run to set up Manny’s game winning homer. Everyone forgot about the two of them between Manny’s home run and Dru’s brother playing much better than him in the post season for Arizona, but not Jose.

Both of these guys were heroes last night and when they next come to Fenway how about actually yelling “Drrruuuuuuuu” rather than “booooo” for once and yelling “Luuuuuuggggooooo” instead of yelling “Yuuuuggggooo” like you do when you disrespectfully compare him to a Fiat’s poor Balkan cousin.

OK has Jose filled his quota for Sox talk? He has? Now back to the Joba bashing.

3. A couple of days ago, Jose received a press release from a PR drone for a major non-Popeye’s chicken franchise.

The open letter is below, with a few minor changes to avoid promoting a company that has not offered Jose any free chicken.

October 5, 2007

An open letter to Steve Bartman:

As you know, the chatter about black cats, billy goats and curses has returned to the Windy City.

But like you (knock on wood) we don’t believe in hexes. And we don’t play the blame game. In fact, we’d rather lick fingers than point them.

But just to be safe, on behalf of die-hard Cub fans everywhere, we’d like to make you an offer we hope is too good to refuse.

If you promise to watch your beloved team from the comfort of your own couch, [Not Popeye’s] will provide you with the “Ultimate Stay At Home Party Pack.” It’ll include a feast of the Colonel’s World Famous Chicken plus all the side items, and your very own Limited Edition 42" 3-Pixel-Plus High-Definition LCD TV.

Take us up on this offer and maybe the 07 playoffs will be remembered for a feast of fowl at your home, rather than a foul ball at Wrigley Field.

After going 99 years without a World Series title, we think this [Not Popeye’s] offer could potentially be Cubdom’s secret recipe for success. We look forward to hearing from you. Enjoy the playoffs and here’s hoping for some good luck in ‘07!


[Some Rich Jerk]

President, [Not Popeye’s] Corporation

Jose finds this agitating. Who sits around and says “Hey let’s bribe some poor guy to further humiliate himself in order to sell chicken.” . One would hope that they would offer similar deals to Kyle Farnsworth and Alex Gonzales, who actually bear responsibility for the loss.

And you know what? Bartman is a classy guy and has donated all of the schwag given to him by various marketing jerks to support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation out of love and respect for former Cub Ron Santo, a diabetes sufferer and one of the foundation’s major supporters. But he can’t give Fried Chicken to the Foundation can he? Kids with diabetes probably can’t even eat the probably sugar-laden chicken from Not Popeye’s.

And it’s not like it would keep the guy home anyway. If you want to keep Kevin Millar away from a game, sure, offer him chicken, if you want to keep Wade Boggs from a game, take away his chicken, but poor Steve Bartman? Please.

That said, as is often the case with marketing ideas, the problem may be more execution than concept. Except for the obvious criminality of offering bribes in an effort to change the outcome of a game, perhaps a different product offered to a player might be more effective.

Let Jose give you an example of a promotion that could influence the outcome of actual playoff games.

An Open Letter to Joba Chamberlain

As you know when summer turns into fall in Northern Ohio, the winds die down and swarms of flies descend upon Jacobs Field.

And like you, we don’t like getting bit by bugs. Thus, we at the SC Johnson Corporation were disappointed and embarrassed to see you slathering yourself in Deep Woods OFF insect repellent and still being swarmed by flies as you attempted to pitch.

Deep Woods OFF is a powerful insect repellent with 25% deet, and thus is highly effective, unlike that deet free nature crap. Our chemical engineers and entomologists met and concluded that the only way that many insects could have been attracted to you after using our product is if you smell like garbage.

Still, we want another chance to prove to you and the world that OFF is an effective product, so we would like to make you an enticing offer.

Should the series go to five games and you return to buggy Cleveland, we would like to dip you in a tank of 100% deet.

If you accept, we guarantee you will not have any problems with bugs, either because it successfully repels them or because rather than throwing wild pitches, you will be pitching wildly and unable to play, as excessive deet exposure is connected to between 14 and 46 cases of seizure according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

After going the entire agonizing century without a World Series, we think that this Deep Woods Offer could be the suck repellent the Yankees are looking for.

We’re hoping to hear from, and good luck at not catching West Nile Virus.


Some Other Rich Jerk
SC Johnson Corporation

See, that’s a good promotion. It’s timely, not four years out of date, it helps someone who smells like feces, not just some poor sap who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it could actually affect a game.

(Note to SC Johnson: If you would like to use this letter, Jose bill’s at $175 an hour. It took him 37 hours to write it.)

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

1 comment:

westcoastsox said...

Jose, you are awesome! Go SOX!!!