Tuesday, April 8

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

1. Today is opening day at Fenway, and as such, the start of the game will be delayed by the ring ceremony.

As you know, the ring ceremony is an ancient and honorable rite forever binding player with team. Jose did a little historical research on the ring ceremony, and strangely enough all he could come up with was this stuff about rings sealing a marriage. Still, given that this is Massachusetts, Jose is pretty sure that it is legal for a man to marry an entire corporation, so he just adapted some of the man-woman vows for today’s occasion. (Note: Think of Sox owner John W. Henry as the giver of the rings.)
  • This ring is a token of my enormous, ungodly wealth. With this ring, I consecrate the fact that you were part of my weird, vicarious obsession of living out athletic glories through millionaires. Response: I will forever wear this ring as long as I am not at an occasion where I have to shake a lot of hands and it will cut into my skin.
  • I accept this ring as a symbol of your love and my faithfulness. When I am a free agent and other teams come calling for me, I promise to remain eternally faithful to you, as long as you offer at least four years at $13 million per.
  • Special for DJ Dru: I give you this ring to wear with love and joy. As a ring has no end, neither does your contract. I am pretty much stuck with you from this day and forevermore, so I might as well make the best of it.
  • For Tim Wakefield: I give you this ring as a visible and constant symbol of my promise to be with you as long as you are still competent, because I have you under a never ending contract...
  • With this ring, I thee wed, and with it, I bestow upon thee all the treasures of my mind, heart, and hands, but not my wallet. I’m going to keep that.
    Because this ring is perfectly symmetrical, it signifies the perfection of last season. Wait, I borrowed that vow from Bob Kraft…
  • For Kevin Youkilis: Harey at mekuddeshet li b'taba'at zo k'dat Moshe v'Israel (Translation: Behold, thou art consecrated unto me with this ring according to the law of Moses and of Israel).

2. The latest news from Fenway Park today is that Bill Buckner will throw out the first pitch. Let Jose be the first to say that this is kind of cool. Buckner was a great player who took a lot of crap for an error and never, even once blamed in on jet lag.

Jose welcomes this outstanding news. However, it does come with a hint of sadness, as it means that previously scheduled first pitch tossers Dennis Eckersley and Mike Brumley will be throwing out the first pitch for the Cubs.

3. This year’s championship ring features two Red Sox made out of rubies in the center. While this looks cool, it is going to be a disaster for Manny when he inadvertently throws his ring in the washing machine and it turns his uniform pink.

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

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