Tuesday, February 27

Early Bird Gets the Spurn

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.

1. What a dick move. There, Jose said it. What a dick a move. He said it again.

Since Manny came to Boston with, in the words of Bill Weld, nothing more than the shirt on his back and 20 tons of gold, he has had no bigger apologist than Jose. But that’s over now.

Jose could handle the questionable injuries, the mysterious family illnesses, the causal canters to first, the perpetual trade demands, but not this. Nope. Jose hates, H-A-T-E-S, HATES when people show up early. It’s so damn inconsiderate.

So when Manny showed up in Fort Myers yesterday on February 26, two full days before the reporting deadline and three days before he said he was going to report, Jose just lost it.

Jose is sure the Red Sox are none too happy either. He can just imagine. Tito’s in the clubhouse shower and suddenly the bell rings. Surprised and confused, he wraps a towel around himself and staggers, dripping, to the door, his scalp still slathered in soap. And Manny’s just standing there, a tub of potato salad in hand saying “Hi, Tito man, hope it’s okay that I came by a little early.”

It’s not okay. Tito is dripping, the food isn’t out yet, there’s no music on and he’s not even done vacuuming the carpet, and now he has to entertain Manny while he gets ready? So he does the only thing he can, he pretends it’s okay, and calls for Doug Mirabelli to entertain Manny with his rendition of “I’m a Little Teapot, while he finishes his shower.

Tito rushes back to wash off what’s left of the lather. No time to wax his head or iron his shirt. Not five minutes later he’s back down and Manny is already into the shrimp cocktail and is playing catch with Doug… in the house. To make matters worse, Doug starts talking about how he wants to get dreadlocks just like Manny. Nightmare.

So that’s it. No more. There are lines in society you just don’t cross. You don’t leave puppies by the side of the road, you don’t crap on the sidewalk and you don’t show up early. It’s just Manny being Manny? No, screw that. It’s Manny being a selfish jerk who doesn’t think that other people might need time for shower a shave and a moment with the Mrs. before the party starts.

2. There was a tough letter to the editor in today’s Boston Globe censuring new Sox reliever Brendan Donnelly for being sexist jerk. Donnelly had told Dan Shaughnessy in a column in Monday’s Globe that the low point in his career had come when he pitched to a young woman in a Frontier League game in West Virginia.

The letter’s author, polemicist Courtney Feeley Karp of Jamaica Plain, scolded

With the strides women in sports have made in the 35 years of Mr. Donnelly's
life, I find it revolting that such a view could be displayed so proudly in the
press by someone wearing the uniform of a team I love so much. Whatever else
professional athletes are, they are people children look up to and aspire to be,
and comments like Mr. Donnelly's send a poor message to boys and girls.

Jose takes exception to this analysis. He thinks it sends a great message to both boys and girls. First, the boys. Listen up men! If you are an aspiring Major League pitcher and not only are you in the Frontier League but women are getting hits off of you, you should absolutely quit professional baseball and go get an education, because you are going to need it. This is not to say women can’t be fine athletes. They can, but if women, children or Cesar Crespo are getting hits off you, it is safe to say you are never going to make it to the show, and you should walk away from the sunk costs and do something else with your life.

Now for the girls. Ladies, Jose knows that some of you, well, at least one of you, were offended by Donnelly’s comments. But let Jose ask you a question? Don’t you kind of like the idea that you could destroy a man, that you could take a young strong guy and rip away his dreams? That’s some serious power isn’t it? Think about it. All this woman in West Virginia needed to do was to bloop a base hit over short and Brendan Donnelly, a future Major League Pitcher would have hung up his spikes for good. This means that you ladies have an important role to play in America’s pastime.

What if a woman had gotten a hit off of Calvin Schiraldi in the minors? Would Game 6 never have happened? What if Marino Rivera had given up a hit to some chica down in Panama? Would there have been a Yankee dynasty? You have the power ladies. You do. Now go get to work getting a hit off of Rudy Seanez.

3. In other news, kudos to former Sox GM Dan Duquette, for taking over as Director of Operations for the newly formed Israeli Baseball League, established with the goal of preparing Israel for the 2009 World Baseball Classic. Jose had advocated for an Israeli team in the WBC last spring, so it is good to see someone go to work on it. Though let’s be honest, if anyone had said a Red Sox GM would be running an Israeli baseball league, we all know who we would have guessed, that’s right noted Zionist Haywood Sullivan. His son Marc could play there and everything.

Still, while the goal is noble, Jose does wonder if the new enterprise might encounter more than a few cultural and geopolitical challenges.

  • Will the pitchers mound be at the 1948, 1967 or 1973 height?
  • Will the Wailing Wall need to be lowered to increase the number of home runs? Should they sell seats on top of it?
  • If baseball becomes a hit in the Middle East what will Arabs play baseball in? The name the Arab League is already taken.
  • Is it really a good idea to give anyone in the Middle East a bat?
  • Since observant Jews are not allowed to complete and work on the Sabbath, will Friday night or Saturday afternoon games have to be 8 2/3 innings long?
  • Won’t some Palestinian Manny Ramirez just use roadblocks as an excuse to show up late?

On the upside, all of the hot dogs will be kosher, which taste better anyway.

I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.