Saturday, October 13

ALCS Game 2: The Strange Story of Fausto

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

1. Part 1 Fausto’s Lament and Mephistopheles’ Offer

‘Twas two thousand and six, at the end of July,
And Fausto was staring up into the sky
At a home run that drifted up into a cloud,
“God, am I truly cursed?” he then wondered aloud.

“My fastball is fast, and it moves when I pitch,
Yet they crush with naught but a flick of the wrist,
And it flies, then I struggle, start losing control,
As I’ve let these damn Red Sox dig out of a hole.”

And he went home that night and he tossed as he slept,
Then he sighed and he struggled and quietly wept.
'Til two days passed and then he had won back the ball
“'Twas a fluke,” then he said. “I am not bad at all.’

‘Gainst these Red Sox, I’ll rear back and show them my heat,
And for us save a win, and for them give defeat.
So he reared back and tossed out a treacherous ball
And nailed a batter and caused him to fall.

The he plunked still another, a walk and a hit,
Thus, the alchemist pitcher was spitting the bit.
As two runs crossed the plate and his team lost the game,
Then he sulked and he felt ignominious shame.

When he crawled into bed and he pouted that night,
He cried to the Lord, “Can I do nothing right?
Then he heard a strange sound, sniffed a troubling smell,
Like the brimstone that smolders in fiery hell.

He looked at the floor, at the foot of his bed,
Sat a fluffy white poodle, with eyes of blood red.
“It’s a dog,” cries young Fausto and rubs on his eyes.
I’ve go to confess, this is quite a surprise,

That a poodle has into my bedchamber crept,
It must be the doorman, he’s kind of inept.”
Then the scent, it grew stronger, the poodle changed shape,
And there stood the devil, with horns, hooves and cape.

“I heard Doctor Fausto, you angrily call,
To the Lord in your search for a better fastball,
But I’m not the Lord, though I’ve power to lend.
Of course, I will want something back in the end.”

“Why’d you call me Doctor?” young Fausto shot back.
“And why would I deal with the powers of black
Ness and evil, as if I’m a simpering fool?
I know all about your dark realm and your rule

Over souls that are damned, thus to bargain with you,
Is really not something I’m looking to do.
Because what could you give me, that now I don’t hold?
I’m strong, and I’m sharp and I’m not very old.”

“Good Doctor,” the devil did calmly respond,
“I’m not here to offer you brunettes or blondes
or redheads or wealth or inferior stuff,
I just heard you yelling about how life’s tough.

And I thought I could offer what you truly need,
Not help with your motion or even your speed,
But something deceptive, a good change of pace,
A pitch from my realm that will help you save face.

A slider from hell, you can throw when as wish,
The batters will struggle like air breathing fish.
It will start like a fastball when leaving your hand,
But when batters swing it will fall to the sand

And leave the embarrassed and looking like chumps,
And you’ll win respect from the fans and the umps.
Yes, I’ll be your servant, your own ‘pitching coach’
On this humble Earth I will guide your approach.”

“And how shall I pay for this service you’d give?”
Said Fausto “I’ll never, as long as I live,
Sign a deal that will make be your stooge or your slave,
And to kneel on this Earth at your feet knave.”

“Well what about this?” then the devil replied.
“I’ll make you an offer and you can decide
If it’s fair or its foul, like an ump on the line,
And if you don’t want, it well’s that’s really fine.

You can give up your hits, give up run after run
Go back to the minors, I’m sure you’ll have fun.
But before, you’re so righteous in sending me off,
I’ll make you an offer, that won’t make you scoff.

I’ll give you this slider, be your coach on this Earth,
And I will take nothing, for what it is worth,
‘Til you come to a moment of unrivaled joy,
Where you’ve pitched a game that will surely destroy,

Your opponent, a game that’s so fine and so good,
That ultimate bliss will be yours, understood?
Then insects shall rain on your joy and your bliss,
Then I’ll come and I’ll snatch up your soul with a kiss,

And you’ll come back with me and have to obey,
Be my servant, and pitch for my team when we play
‘Gainst the Angles, the heavenly team from the sky,
Who I cursed just last week with a case of pink eye.

But, if bliss never comes and if joy’s never reached,
And my rep as a prophet is badly impeached,
Then you will owe my nothing, however you pitch.
And I’ll stay on this Earth and I’ll work as your bitch.

So what say you Fasuto, so vain and so proud,
Will you take my offer and am I allowed,
To give you this gift that will make you an ace,
Or will you reject me and spit in my face?”

And Fausto pondered and thought of the good
Of a slider that left naught but splintering wood,
And imagined that this deal, it might be the one,
As ‘ultimate bliss,’ it cannot ever come.

“So I’ll get a great pitch, and I’ll be Cleveland’s ace,
Since bliss shall not come, I will stay in God’s grace,
And this fool of a devil will not take my soul.
He’ll just sit there and squirm as I get on a roll.”

“Mephistopheles,” Fausto Carmona declared.
“I will take up your offer, for I am not scared.”
Then a thick poof of smoke and a sickening thud
And there was a fountain pen dripping with blood,

And a thick sheet of parchment, outlining the deal,
Satan waited for Fausto to sign, which would seal,
Them in contract together, and sign it he did,
Satan laughed his eyes burning, and said “Then I bid

You goodnight Doctor Fausto, until you next pitch,
And I’ll give you the slider, that will make you rich.”
With a stamp of his hooves, first his left, then his right,
The devil did disappear into the night.

2. Part 2 The Gretchen Tragedy

It was 2007 and Fausto pitched well,
And he lived as we wished and had no fear of hell,
For he knew he would never know ultimate bliss,
Even holding his lover and sharing a kiss,

She’s a groupie who he had met out at a bar,
Then they screwed in the back of his luxury car,
He had seen her before, but she hadn’t seen him,
Because she liked the stars who were bright and not dim.

And he’d struggled last year, and he’d not been an ace,
So if he’d asked her out she’d have smacked up his face,
As she flirted with Hafner and Sizemore and such,
A bit, with Martinez, although not too much.

But this year when he pitched with slider from hell,
She started to see Doctor Fausto as well.
She came up to him and said “Buy me a drink?
I’m Gretchen and you’re Doctor Fausto, I think.”

And he kept pitching well ‘cause his slider had bite,
But then one tragic eve Gretchen started a fight
With poor Fausto, she begged him to come to her house,
And meet her old mother, a miserable souse.

He consented, but not without pouting and hate,
Because, truth be told, he had another date
For that evening, with whom he’d been hoping to score,
But for Gretchen, he guessed he would not start a war.

So they went to her house and they met her old mom,
As mom sucked down a drink that she called a car bomb.
But young Fausto was horny, for he’d planned a date,
So he whispered to Gretchen “Hey why should we wait,

To get busy, I think your mom’s gonna pass out,
Then we’ll go to your room, and I’ll whip it on out.”
But Gretchen was wise for she’d seen her mom drink
Thus responded, “She’ll last for a while, I think.”

But Fausto knew lot’s about drinking the booze,
Thus he thought “I know of a drink I can use.”
So he took some Tequila, some vodka and gin
And mixed in Unicum, Hungarian sin,

And brought it to mama a big frothing glass,
Then mom was unconscious, collapsed on her ass.
So then he and Gretchen snuck up to her room,
And made some remarkable va-va-va-vroom.

Then they came downstairs, and the went to the door,
And saw that the mom had fallen to the floor.
With a frothing of mouth and a drooping of head,
It quickly emerged that old mom, now was dead.

In following weeks, well the story got worse,
As Gretchen began to fall under a curse,
She threw up a lot and she didn’t feel well
Her innards they felt like the fires of hell.

So she went to the doctor to see what was up
And he asked her to go and pee into a cup.
When she asked why the doctor had done what he did
He said “Congratulations, your having a kid.”

Meanwhile Fausto was pitching with low ERA
And the Indians surged and they readied to play
‘Gainst the Yankees in Cleveland in Game Number Two
And then Fausto was pitching, so what could he do,

When he heard from his Gretchen, her medical news?
He said, “I’m the father, I think I refuse
To believe that, after all, you have been around
So no I ain’t gonna see no ultrasound.”

But Mephisto, he sent to look in on his girl,
And he sat near her bed, gave his moustache a twirl
And said “Gretchen, I think you’re in trouble by dear,
Our boy Fausto he is a big leaguer I fear.

And you’re just a woman, his object of lust,
With badonkadonk butt and a hell of a bust.
But you’re kicked to the curb now, you’ve nothing to give,
And I think that young Fausto won’t care if you live
Or you die as long, as you stay quite far away,
And, oh I don’t think I would bother to pray,
For you’ve sinned every day, and that’s rather a lot,
So I think that I’ll take you where fire is hot.”

Though Gretchen was shattered, she couldn’t be budged.
Thus Satan he yelled at her “You are now judged!!!”
And she cried as she thought of her loss of her love,
Then she heard a voice calling her up from up above.

“She is saved!” boomed the voice from the heavens on high
And she smiled although she continued to cry.
“And you devil,” God said, “Now be gone lowly knave
I’m not Joe Borowski, I know how to save.”

3. Part 3 The Pact is Concluded

Young Fausto, by Lake Erie was on the mound,
When he felt a strange feeling, both sad and profound,
Like something was lost, yet a burden was lifted,
So he pitched ‘gainst the Yankees as if he were gifted.

He mowed the Yanks down, he pitched a full nine,
But was troubled as Satan did send him a sign.
The game it was close and he gave up a run,
If his team couldn’t score, then he couldn’t have won.

He would lose, take an “L” in the box score that day
And his heart would grow heavy his mind would go gray,
But the insects descended in sickening clouds,
And with wild pitches a run was allowed

That tied up the game, and gave Fausto a chance,
To twirl with his slider and finish the dance.
So he fought through the flies, cause he knew they were friends
And he pitched to the inning that usually ends,

A ball game, unless the score stays even, tied,
At which point the bullpens will have to decide,
Who will win? Who will lose? Who will conquer Game 2,
And thus Doctor Fausto had nothing to do,

But relax and reflect on his brilliance that night,
How he’d owned the Yankees with throws from his right,
Arm of God. “But wait then” he suddenly thought.
My arm’s not from God it is certainly not.

Oh what have I done, I fear something’s amiss,
Did I just for a second, fell ultimate bliss?
“Yes you did,” said a voice, with its familiar call,
But the body was that of his friend Asdrubal.

“I’m Mephisto, that’s right,” said his teammate in gray.
“Who else could have S-D-R-U in his name?”
You felt perfect bliss ‘cause you mastered the Yanks?
Since I let you do it I expect some thanks.

Of course, you were foolish to feel such great joy,
It’s not like your looking at Helen of Troy.
You mastered a team that is good but not great,
But you felt that great joy, and, well, that sealed your fate.

And now your soul’s mine to do with as I please,
So now’d be a good time to fall to your knees.”
“Don’t send me to hell, cause I can’t stand the heat,”
Begged poor Fausto beginning to concede defeat.

“Oh don’t worry ‘bout fire,” Satan said with a grin,
“I prefer to use irony to punish sin.
So you will go to hell, but it won’t be all flames
No I’ll just let you pitch in ALCS games

Against Boston, with Ortiz and Manny and Lowell,
And laugh as you dig yourself into a hole.
Can you deal with the lightening fast Lugo on Crisp
When I take your slider back. What did you lisp.”

“Oh please Satan don’t take that one pitch from my arm,
These Red Sox are deadly and they’ll do me harm.?
“That’s why it’s called hell, so what can I do?
Except let you pitch against poor J.D. Drew.

But even that fellow who’s struggled so much,
Against you tonight will find the magic touch,
To crush balls to center to left and to right,
And then if you’re lucky, it will end your night.

Perhaps you will learn then, perhaps, you will strive,
And know that you’re not the best pitcher alive.
Perhaps in the spring of the following year,
You’ll play ‘gainst the Angles and they’ll sooth your fear.

They’ll burnish your ego and polish your soul
And take you to heaven and make you feel whole,
And up in God’s Kingdom perhaps you’ll pitch well,
But now facing the Red Sox, well, welcome to Hell.”

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


Dhalgren said...

Damn, that was beautiful.


City of Rosie Palms said...

Goethe could not have done that as well. Holy shit bro, that was impressive.

Kathy said...

Outstanding job, Jose. Best Keys Ever.

Anonymous said...

You hit it out of the park. Roger Angell, watch out

Jose Melendez said...

A great KEYS that does not result in a win is a bad KEYS.

Anonymous said...
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