Friday, August 22

Running Mates

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

1. As Jose has watched Senator Barack Obama stretch out the vice presidential search process, it has made him think about some of the issues in his own life, namely, the fact that it will end. Someday Jose will die, and he needs to think about succession planning for KEYS. If something were to happen to Jose, what would happen to KEYS and all of the people who depend on it? What would become of poor Tiny Tim?

As a result Jose has gone through a lengthy vetting process, for identifying a nominee for Vice Blogger. Here are the leading candidates.

Manny Ramirez

Pros: Funny, beloved, understands the Red Sox, sure thing Hall of Famer.
Cons: Possibly retarded.

Dario Veras
Pros: Obscure Latino relief pitcher, understands what it is like to fail as a Red Sox, cool first name.
Cons: Only second best obscure Veras in Red Sox history.

Grady Little
Pros: Also lives in North Carolina, folksy, no competition for his services.
Cons: Possibly retarded

Gov. Bill Richardson

Pros: Red Sox fan, Tufts alum, savvy diplomat, popular Governor.
Cons: If he’s not good enough for Obama why should he be good enough for Jose?

Gov. Mitt Romney
Pros: Telegenic, charismatic, from Belmont.
Cons: Might only be claiming to be a Red Sox fan in order to get the job, less military experience than Tim Johnson.

Alex Cora:
Pros: Genius, likely to be unemployed next year.
Cons: Should never get time over Jed Lowrie.

Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt

Pros: Must like KEYS since it used to be good and has something to do with the Red Sox.
Cons: Parking lot attendant (note: thanks Plaschke) inadequate training for writing blog.

So as you can see there are a lot of appealing, yet flawed candidates. If you want to know who Jose selects, just sent your number to Obama for President and Jose will be sure to text you as soon as he makes a decision.

2. Jose would like to make (note: gasp) a correction. Well, more of a clarification (note: smaller gasp).

In the previous KEYS, Jose told a story about Derek Jeter having herpes, which some readers may have interpreted as a suggestion that having herpes is shameful. A colleague of Jose’s who works in public health pointed out that this was wrong and inappropriate. Herpes is a very common, non-fatal disease, and people who have it (note: or any other sexually transmitted infection) should not be stigmatized. Except for scabies. Scabies is gross.

What Jose was attempting to do in the piece was not to suggest that people with herpes deserve to be stigmatized. Rather, he was attempting to suggest that they should NOT be stigmatized by the fact that they share a disease with Derek Jeter.

So please allow Jose to be as clear as possible: Just because someone has herpes DOES NOT MEAN that they have no range at shortstop. There are many people with herpes and other sexually transmitted infection who have excellent range to both their left and right.

Jose hopes this corrects any confusion.

3. After pitching brilliantly last year, Clay Meredith has struggled in Boston and has again been send back to Pawtucket. While this is regrettable, Jose thinks it is ultimately for the best. Not only, can he work on his pitching, but with Bartolo Colon there rehabbing, there is the possibility for Buchholz and Colon to form a fat man/thin man comedy team, along the lines of Laurel and Hardy, Spade and Farley or Hatch and Kennedy.

While one drawback to this plan may be that there is no particular evidence that either of the pitchers is funny, Jose is pretty sure that watching Buchholz stand next to Colon will, at the very least, be way funnier than watching him stand on the mound in Baltimore.

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

Wednesday, August 20

Jose is off with Susan Sarandon

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

1. Jose comes to you today live from his brand new home in Durham, North Carolina, where he expects to be engaged in light bondage with Susan Sarandon while listening to Edith Piaf records at any moment.

Truth be told, while Durham (note: disappointingly not named for Ray Durham) seems nice enough so far, Jose is having some trouble adjusting. For starters, Jose is completely unused to living in an environment where he is not surrounded by Red Sox fans. Of the 30 or so people he’s met so far, only 10 of them are Red Sox fans. Seriously, what is wrong with people?

Second, Jose is a bit uncomfortable living in any state that could produce Grady Little. Jose sort of imagined, based on Grady, that North Carolina would be a dangerous place. He expected to see drivers going right through obvious stop signs.

Third, Jose has already had a run in with a Yankee fan a classmate wearing a Derek Jeter shirt.

The conversation went something like this:

Jose: Did you know Derek Jeter has herpes?
Classmate: What?
Jose: He has herpes; he gave it to one of the Jessica’s.
Classmate: How do you know? Have you been looking at his @#$@#$?
Jose: (stunned silence)
Classmate: Have you?
Jose: The herpes probably have great intangibles.

So Jose is off to a great start on that relationship. Jose must have missed the chapter in How to Win Friends and Influence People where it says not to point out that someone’s hero has herpes.

Now many of you may wonder what sort of affect this move will have on the KEYS. Can Jose continue to produce a quality product while so far removed from the motherland? The answer, of course, is no. Denuded of his comfortable stories about how the Red Sox club house resembles the Middlesex County Registrar of Deeds office, Jose is going to have to develop a whole new set of analogies.

For instance, Jose will have to raise important questions such as “How are the Red Sox like biscuits and gravy?” They are both predominantly white and will eventually cause heart attacks.

2. The news emerged yesterday that St. Josh a Beckett’s next start will be pushed back due to a lack of feeling in his pinkie and ring fingers. (Note: Is this a good excuse of adultery? “Honey, I didn’t cheat, I just forgot I was married, because I didn’t feel the ring on my finger.”) In light of this, Jose thinks he has the perfect theme music for Beckett. Jose saw this movie called The Squid and the Whale, and this kid in it wrote a wonderful original song called “Comfortably Numb.” It would be perfect.

While it sound like the numbness is a bad thing, Jose would differ with the conventional wisdom and suggest that this is a blessing in disguise. After all, how will Beckett feel his famous finger blisters if he can’t feel his fingers?

3. In more serious news, Yaz, the Red Sox legend/birth control device underwent emergency triple bypass surgery yesterday. It was the slugger’s first triple in 25 years. While the surgery is distressing and Jose is concerned about the legend, you can rest assured that even in his current condition, Yaz remains a better hitter than Rococo Crisp and a better left fielder than the dearly departed Manny Ramirez. Of course, the same can be said for Ted Williams.

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