Wednesday, March 5

Count all the Games

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

1. March 5, 2008

Jupiter--New York Yankees President Hank Steinbrenner today called on Major League Baseball to count all preseason games toward the Major League Baseball Standings.

"The people of Jupiter will have their voices heard," screamed Steinbrenner. "We will not allow the tens of thousands of fans who have attended these games in good faith to be told they wasted three hours of their lives."

When asked why the Yankees had reserved their position prior to the pre-season that the games would not count, Steinbrenner responded angrily.

"These are the games that matter. You cannot win the AL East without taking games against important rivals like Toronto. How could a game against Toronto not count, while regular season Red Sox wins against unimportant teams like Kansas City and Minnesota be allowed to count?"

Critics responded harshly to Steinbrenner's claim.

"Hank Steinbrenner wants to change the rules when it suits him," said Red Sox CEO John W. Henry. “He didn’t favor this change until it gave the Yankees a 1.5 game lead over the Red Sox.”

Steinbrenner also, reportedly has been lobbying heavily for the inclusion of “supergames” games that would not be won on the field, but would be determined by a complex formula.

“The supergames should be free to send whoever is the best American League prospect for November,” insisted Steinbrenner.

2. When Jose first posted the press release above, someone suggest that it was from The Onion. Immediately, Jose got incredibly paranoid, because he goes to great lengths to avoid plagiarism. He is the sort of guy who footnotes excessively, and feels obliged, when mentioning batting averages, to point out that he is not the guy who invented the stat.

But that’s how it is these days. With the proliferation of the internet and large numbers of idiots writing at great length, it is exceedingly difficult to write anything that has not been vaguely mentioned somewhere or conceived by someone else.

As a result, Jose gets paranoid, very paranoid. He gets paranoid not least of all because it is often unclear exactly what is plagiarism and what is not. Sure, it’s plagiarism for an academic or a journalist to use someone else’s words or ideas without attribution, but is it when someone in a different profession does effectively the same thing?

Is it plagiarism when someone throws a circle change without thanking Frank Viola for the pitch? Every time Bartolo Colon puts on a pair of 64-inch waist pants this year, should he have to acknowledge Rich Garces for developing the idea of pants with a 64 inch waist?

When an ump calls a phantom tag, shouldn’t he have to cite Tim Tschida? When a pitcher loses a playoff game to Jeff Suppan, shouldn’t he have to cite Roger Clemens?

These are serious issues, and Jose demands a Congressional inquiry.

3. Quick question: Do Hank Steinbrenner and Serb Prime Minster Vojislav Kostuncia have the same speech writers? Let’s compare:

Steinbrenner: "Red Sox Nation? What a bunch of (nonsense) that is. "That was a creation of the Red Sox and ESPN, which is filled with Red Sox fans.”

Kostunica: “For the citizens of Serbia, for Serbia, there is no and will never be a fake state of Kosovo on its territory”

Steinbrenner: “This is a Yankee country. We're going to put the Yankees back on top and restore the universe to order.”

Kostunica “We must focus on decisions of historic importance and annul once and for all any act of the separatist Albanians and confirm that Kosovo is an integral part of Serbia"

It’s not precisely the same, it’s just that if Kostunica had said “"The Republic of Kosovo? What a bunch of (nonsense) that is. That was a creation of the U.S. and Europe, which is filled with Albanians.” Would it have sounded odd to anyone?

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