Saturday, October 20

ALCS Game 6: Open Letter From a Dirty Bastard

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

1. An Open Letter to Curt Euro

Dear Curt,

You began today’s Sons of Sam Horn game thread by saying “Flip it on Jose, you dirty bastard. Keys and mojo as if your life depends on it.”

First of all flip is more of a west coast thing. People there asking for a U-Turn will say “Flip a U-Turn,” where was we East Coast folks will say “Pop a U-Turn.” Except we pronounce “U-Turn” “YEW-WEE.”

Second, Jose is not a bastard. His parents were definitely married when he was conceived. He is also not dirty. His hygiene isn’t perfect, but it’s not like he is Kevin Millar or something.

Long story short, you have made Jose feel bad. Jose had listed all of the nice things he was going to do for you now that we are best pals, and you go and call him a dirty bastard? Well, there goes the KEYS thong for Shonda at Christmas time, or as we Unitarians of Jewish extraction call it, the Winter Solstice with something about the Maccabees thrown in and a Christmas tree because they’re kind of fun. (Note: Maccabees would be a good name for a chain of Jewish delis in the Applebee’s style. They could serve fun drinks and really low quality latkes.)

But here’s the thing. You can make it up to Jose. You can.

First of all, win the game. That’s the easy part. The other part will help with the winning. Jose has created personalized, life-affirming inspirational messages for each and every member of the active roster. Jose is writing them, all you need to do is go to Michael’s or some craft store and get some glue and sparkles and calligraphy markers so that you can make them look nice for everyone.

Don’t act like you don’t have time. Beckett would do it. This is important. We’ll start with the starting line up and work backwards.

Dustin Pedroia: Everyone makes fun of you because you are short, but that’s okay. After all, people made fun of Napoleon for being short too, and look what he did. He conquered most of Europe at the cost of hundreds of more than a million lives.

Wow, you’d better get cracking if you want to catch up. Start with Fausto Carmona.

Kevin Youkilis: With Kapler and Stern gone, you are now left to do the work of three Jews. You’re not even close to a Minyan. Also, you know that in the bible, Sampson got his strength from the long hair on his head, not on his beard right?

David Ortiz: Carry on

Manny Ramirez: You get a huge amount of crap in the media for saying what we all know is true. If the Red Sox lose the world will not, in fact, end. And you deserve credit for recognizing that as much as we love baseball in this town, and as deeply as we care, it really is not the end of the world. Unless we lose the game because the spaceship has beamed you up to take you back to your home planet. Then there’s a good chance that it is the end of the world.

Mike Lowell: A lot of people say you’re the oldest looking 33 year-old they’ve ever seen. And while this may be true now, rest assured that this is only until Lindsay Lohan turns 33.

DJ Dru: DJ, you have taken a bigger beating in this town than perhaps any non-criminal player Jose can remember since Jack Clark. If Jose can offer some friendly advice, try not to go in to bankruptcy this off-season. It wouldn’t look good.

Jason Varitek: Everyone on earth thinks that the “C” on your chest is because you’re the team captain, or maybe, if they’re not hockey fans, they think it stands for catcher. Only Jose knows that it is really a sign of your devotion to the programming language “C.” Thank God, you’re not devoted to Pascal, because that would look really silly on the front of a jersey. (Note: Alternative theory. Varitek wanted the speed of light to be his jersey number but 299,792,458 m/s didn’t fit.)

Jacoby Ellsbury: Try not to ever get fat, because if you do, people will start calling you the Ellsbury Dough Boy.

Julio Lugo: Jose just learned that your first name in Spanish means “July” and that your last name is that of a city in Galicia, Spain, famous for its 3rd century walls. Jose would feel better right now if you would change your name to Octubre Boston. Thanks.

Rococo Crisp: Jose knows that it must be tough being benched for a big game, but look on the bright side, you will have a chance to get to know Eric Hinske a lot better.

Alex Cora: You are the utility man right? So can Jose talk to you about his electric bill?

Eric Hinske: You’re a weird dude. You haven’t played that much this season and yet you have two of Jose’s absolute favorite plays of the year, the diving catch and the Tito Santana style flying forearm to Jorge Posada’s head. If you get anywhere near this game tonight, it had better involve decapitating Kenny Lofton and then making a diving catch of his head with arm outstretched.

Bobby Kielty and Doug Mirabelli: Jose would like to say something nice about both of you, but neither of you wears batting gloves, and you know what the television adds say “no glove, no love.”

Hideki Okajima: You know how you don’t look at the plate when you’re pitching and it works really well? Do you do that in other aspects of your life? Do you find sex is better with your eyes closed? Do you close them when listening to music? Do you look away when your wife is arguing with you? Jose is just asking because he loves your no-look motion so much that it inspired him to try looking the other way while driving. It didn’t work out so well.

Jonathan Papelbon: Everyone says you are a crazy bastard, but Jose just doesn’t see it. Really, who hasn’t done Riverdance in Fenway in spandex?

Mike Timlin: Jose knows you love the cammo, so he was thinking: Would MLB let you use a camouflage glove? It would help you hide the ball right? Or maybe it would have to be white with red stitching to do that?

Eric Gagne, Jon Lester, Javier Lopez, Manny Delcarmen: Just lay down a tight drum groove for the game. That’s it nothing else. Jose wants nothing from you in this game but your best impersonations of Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa or if you have to go rock, John Bonham. If absolutely necessary Lester can learn to play bass, but nothing else.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, Tim Wakefield, Josh Beckett: You guys are all starters, so with the possible exception of Wakefield there is little chance that any of you see action tonight. Still, on the off chance that one of you does have to pitch, Jose wants you to remember that pitching in relief is only different from starting in the same way that doing dishes is different from cooking dinner. It’s still part of the same evening, but instead of getting to experiment and improvise, you spend your time cleaning up after someone else’s mess.

And then there’s you Curt Euro, our starter for the evening. What possible advice, what words of wisdom, could Jose give you? Well, none. But he can quote words of wisdom from a dead German, in this case, Bertold Brecht in his play The Caucasian Chalk Circle

All mankind should love each other,
But when visiting your brother,
Take an axe and hold it fast,
Not in theory, but in practice,
Miracles are wrought with axes,
And the days of miracles are not past.

Hear that Curt? The days of miracles are not past, Kevin Millar is right, the comeback from three to one down can happen, but only, only if you bring what you need to chop down the Indians.

Your pal,


P.S. I predict the Red Sox will win tonight. Just need to work that first person singular magic.

2. Correction: In the KEYS for Game 2 of the ALCS, Jose incorrectly asserted that Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona had sold his soul to the devil in return for superior pitching skills. This is not true and KEYS TO THE GAME would like to apologize for the error.

While a transaction did occur, it was not a direct sale as suggested. Rather the devil purchased an options contract on Fausto’s soul, allowing him to acquire the soul at a future date for an agreed upon price.

However, noted options trader and Red Sox owner John W. Henry is reported to have purchased the option on Fausto’s soul and is expected to exercise it at approximately 8:20 PM this evening.

Again, we regret the error.

3.The good news on Thursday night was that the Red Sox won to bring the series back to Boston. The bad news is that Jose’s mother got a flat tire. The good news is that the tire was replaced for free by the good people at Firestone. The bad news is that since the Red Sox won with a flat tire, we need to stick with it. So yadda, yadda, yadda. Jose is off to slash his mom’s tire.

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


Sister Jean said...

You could be the funniest blogger out there. Curt and the Sox better do it tonight -- I've got a ticket for tomorrow.

P.S. I am not a nun

momula said...

Nice column, Jose. I especially love the visual of Curt with his calligraphy markers & sparkles! I went to Game 6 and after DJ hit his GS, all was well for the rest of the game. Fenway is a beautiful place.
A poignant note: much later, when Mr. Eric Gagne was warming up in the bullpen scant feet away from where I sat, some nasty drunk guy slunk over to the bullpen fence and started saying vile and demeaning things to Mr. Gagne. (All night the bullpen denizens ignored the crowd members who were taking pictures and shooting video of them.)Mr. Mike Timlin whipped his head around and shot daggers through his eyes at the idiot, and shouted "GO SIDDOWN!" Security quickly intervened and the moment was over as quickly as it began.
As one who has been, um, disappointed with some of Mr. Gagne's pitch selections in certain games, I was yet deeply impressed with Mr. Timlin's sure and swift defense of Mr. Gagne. I decided that if Mr. Timlin, whose livelihood depends so much more on Mr. Gagne's performances than mine does, could defend, befriend and appreciate Mr. Gagne, then so can I.
P.S. When those bullpen guys start jamming on the bullpen frame with their water bottles, you want to get up and move! (Dance, not move away.) They were awesome, and loud.