It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE ALDS.
1. Jose was hungry.
Not hungry like the Yankees after an impossibly long eight years without a championship, but still pretty hungry. He wanted something salty, something savory.
“Tacos!” he thought to himself. “Tacos would be fantastic.” To his great good fortune he no longer lived in the Mexican food wasteland known as Boston, so there was an actual chance of getting some decent Mexican food.
An authentic dive taqueria emerged from the glare of the noontime sun to his left, and Jose lopped a lazy left into the parking lot. Excited, obsessed even, he scampered out of the car and stomped towards the impending deliciousness.
Something wasn’t right. Jose felt too light, empty almost. At first he thought it was only his ravenous hunger but then he realized that he was literally too light. His keys were missing.
Now at first this might not sound too bad. So what if Jose didn’t have his KEYS. Why would he need KEYS for a taco stand? That was not the problem. Even if Jose doesn’t have KEYS, he always has KEYS. Right up here. (Note: Jose is pointing at his head.) Jose had his KEYS, what he didn’t have was his keys. Those were dangling from the ignition of his still running car.
Realizing his mistake, Jose yanked at the door of his Carolina blue Corolla. No luck. The door was locked tighter than an Angels team down two games.
Desperate, Jose turned to the middle aged Latino fellow one spot over.
“Hi, sorry to bother you, but you don’t know how to pop a car door do you?”
The man flashed a sheepish, embarrassed grin. “ No, I don’t know how to. Sorry.”
What he meant, Jose is pretty sure, is “You think that because I’m Latino I know how to pop open a locked car door? That’s racist.”
This would be a reasonable assumption, but Jose isn’t racist, he just really needed to get into his car, and this guy was the closest possible person. Also, how could this guy have though Jose was racist against Latinos? He must somehow not have known that Jose pretends to be a Latino on the Internet.
As panic gave way to calm, Jose noticed that across the street there was a garage. He walked over and approached the two mechanics as they took a break from working on an elevated automobile.
They were two black guys. “Great,” thought Jose to himself. “They will think Jose is racist too. And maybe they will be right. It’s not like Jose pretends to be a black guy on the Internet.”
“Sorry to bother you guys,” Jose began. “But do either of you know how to pop a locked car door?”
“Sure,” chirped the taller one, his short dreadlocks framing a gleaming grin. “He used to steal cars!” He pointed at his colleague, a round-faced fellow with cherub cheeks.
“He’s joking,” the cherub cheeked mechanic added, after allowing enough to for it to be awkward.
These two fellows, Kenyans it turned out, were decidedly not car thieves. They spent ten minutes reading an instruction booklet on how to break into a car, and shoving wooden wedges into Jose’ door before finally managing to wriggle a tool in and depress the window switch. It was not quick work with a slim Jim, but it did the job.
Jose thanked them profusely, gave them $10, all the cash he had on him, and they returned to work, and Jose returned to…. Shit. Jose had given all of his cash to the friendly Kenyans who had earned it. This left him unable to purchase even a single taco.
This brings us to the point, which as you recall, is that this is a Red Sox blog. As Royce Clayton might put it, “Jose ain’t got his taco.” Therefore, the Red Sox absolutely must make the World Series. As Jose recalls, when you get to the World Series, if someone steal a base, you get a free taco, and Jose still really wants a taco.
2. St. Josh a Beckett will pitch tonight despite a strained oblique, which is pretty amazing given that we were all concerned that his season might be over a week ago. What Jose wonders is whether the Catholic Church has started the process of certifying that this is indeed a miracle. Obviously, St. Beckett doesn’t need it to be a miracle. He’s already got the two required for sainthood, the 2003 and 2007 postseasons, still, it seems important that these things be properly documented.
As Jose understands it, the first step of the process takes place within the diocese, so presumably Cardinal O’Malley has sent a team to Fenway tonight to interview the witnesses to this miracle.
Jose feels pretty good about the chances that this will be certified. It’s probably not a first-degree miracle such as resurrection from the dead, we haven’t seen that here since October 2004, but it seems like it could absolutely be a third degree miracle, recovery from an illness in a remarkably short period of time.
Either way, it puts Josh Beckett way above that other St. Beckett, who couldn’t even keep England Catholic four hundred years after his death.
3. In tonight’s do or die game, the Angels throw Joe Saunders against St. Josh a Beckett. Jose is not worried. He has seen the show French and Saunders a few times on Comedy Central, so he knows that Saunders is a slightly overweight British woman. Jose has seen weirder things in the playoffs (note: see Eric “I don’t need to touch home plate, home plate needs to touch me” Byrnes.) but he just doesn’t see the Red Sox being shut down by an aging comedienne.
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE ALDS.