Tuesday, October 14

ALCS Game 4--My Name is Wakefield

It's time for Jose Melendez's KEYS TO THE ALCS.

1. Jose though a lot about not writing for today’s game.

Why should he? If the Red Sox aren’t going to bother to show up for a critical ALCS game, then why should Jose? The Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit in 2004 and a 3-1 deficit in 2007, so why should Jose even worry until the season is on the line?

In fact, it made sense for Jose to skip out on writing. He had a long day of touring Montgomery (note: move along, nothing to see here) and traveling to Atlanta and he was tired. After sucking down half a burger for dinner with his cousin Chris, Chris’s girlfriend Jen and his fellow travelers, catching a little bit of blues at the Northside and then going to sleep seemed like a perfectly reasonable alternative to writing a baseball blog about a team that was humiliated and didn’t even seem to care.

But something happened at the Northside, a dank Atlanta bar where upon entering one seems about as likely to be murdered as to see some good blues. The band showed up late. They showed up late, but they showed up. On a Monday night they showed up. In front of ten people they showed up. For almost certainly no money, they showed up. And they wailed. In front of ten patrons, half shooting pool or playing Donkey Kong, the other half quietly pulling on Pabst tall boys, they wailed. Johnny Triggers and his accomplices played as thought it were Friday night at CBGB, as if they were Robert Johnson on the Mississippi Delta. They played with all the fire and fury of a Baptist revival.

The patrons showed up too. Not many, but the folks who were there, well three of them anyway, roared into action as the band struck up Folsom Prison Blues. A graying lump of a man, a San Antonio native turned Atlanta long timer, sucked from a pitcher gripped tightly in each fist as a tromped around the dance floor, hopping up on to chairs, making sweet love to a supporting column for the roof and writhing on the floor like a fish on the door of sweet death. He was joined by two other men, younger fellows, but at least as drunk, swinging each other around, gesticulating like an epileptic on crack… convulsing.

“I have seen some crazy things in this bar,” said Jen. “I have seen a couple go at it on the bar. I have seen men who did not know it dance with prostitutes but I have never seen this.”

It was a Monday night.

It was a Monday night and fueled by nothing more potent than beer and Jack with a chaser of self-loathing, these men had shown up and given it their all.

So why couldn’t Jose?

Why couldn’t Jose show up on the proverbial Monday night of the ALCS? Why couldn’t the Red Sox?

What the Red Sox need, what Jose needs, is to go mad. We need to writhe on the floor; we need to convulse; we need to double fist pitchers of watery suds. It’s what Kevin Millar would do. It’s what the Red Sox must do. It’s what Jose will do.

2. You know what? Maybe we don’t understand the Rays? Maybe we have to get inside of their skulls to have a chance at beating them. Jose has done some research and he has turned up some insights from one of the most celebrated Rays of all, Ray Kroc the founder of McDonald’s, which Jose assumes is some kind of Scottish restaurant.

Kroc said, and this is important, that “We take the hamburger business more seriously than anyone else.”

Think about that. Consider the fact that the Rays have had access to that kind of wisdom for the entire year and we just got it now. Wait, that doesn’t seem right. The difference of hamburgers in yesterdays game was at most two runs and we lost by like eight.

“Creativity is a highfalutin word for the work I have to do between now and Tuesday.” There we go, that makes some sense. The Rays know what they have to do between now and Tuesday (note: today). Do the Sox?

We need to hit. That’s creativity. We need to pitch. That’s creativity. We need to catch—creativity. We need to throw—curiously, not creativity. If watching soccer has taught Jose anything, it’s that Kroc is right. Matches are won by creativity, specifically creativity in the midfield, and if the Sox have it Jose has not seen it. It’s Tuesday men, let’s create.

3. It’s up to Wakefield. That’s fine Weezer is down with it.

My name is Timmy
I'm hurling for my team
Haven’t pitched in weeks
But this is now a theme

Come and pitch Game Four
Don’t let Tampa Score
I don’t need the dome
I’ll pitch fine at home
In the LCS
I have pitched my best
On two weeks of rest.
Let me tell you 'bout it

The knuckler can travel through time
A break that makes you lose your mind
The batter said, "Hey man, how’s it move that way"
They couldn’t get the ball into play.

My name is Wakefield
I keep my nails filed real fine
Ain’t got much of a fastball
But this game is still mine
It’s still mine...

“Tell me what to do.
We can’t hit this guy.
Never pitches flat”
And you know what else?
Guess what I received in the mail today
Words of deep concern from my manager

The series goes not as he planned
Big Papi has injured his hand
Beckett can’t throw for a strike
So he grooves them right down the pike.

The Red Sox are playin’ at home
The Red Sox are playin’ at home
The Red Sox are playin’ at home


The Red Sox are playin’ at home
The Red Sox are playin’ at home
The Red Sox are playin’ at home
Yeah yeah yeah

My name is Wakefield.

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

1 comment:

Jude said...

Sometimes Jose, I think you are the only person in the world that gets it, and by it I mean the world.

Jude Hammerle