Monday, April 26

Too Close to the Sun

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

1. Yeah, that’s not a typo. From now on Jose is only going to do a KEY TO THE GAME. Why? Well has this edition of the Red Sox shown any ability to handle three things at once? Certainly not hitting, pitching and defense. So Jose is just going to simplify it. Think of it as a not writing prevention strategy.

Every day, if Jose is going to post KEYS. He has to do three things:

1. Produce KEY 1.

2. Produce KEY 2.

3. Produce KEY 3.

That’s a lot. Too much really. Every day Jose would look at the burden, sigh and shake his head mournfully, saying “Not today, maybe tomorrow.” So from now on Jose is going to use himself as a short reliever. He’s going to try to be available most days, but only available for a little bit of the game. He will be kind of like Manny Delcarmen, but without the frequent bouts of sucking. Or maybe with them. Who knows? We’ll have to see how Jose adjusts to his new role.

But that’s not today’s KEY. Nope. Coming in with an explanation of what one is going to do and then declaring that the action is done makes no sense. Doing that would be like having to count each time Tito visits the mound as him having faced a batter.

So here is what Jose is going to talk about—John Edwards.

You see John Edwards, former Senator and Vice Presidential nominee and current subject of national scorn crashed the semi-formal function of Jose’s public policy school on Saturday night. We were just sitting around, a group o exceptionally good looking 23-40 year olds (note: Really. There are just terrific looking people in this program) and up comes Senator “I don’t need fidelity, fidelity needs me.” The next thing we know, he and two other middle-aged friends are hanging around at our private party. Now, this in and of itself is not such a big deal. It’s funny, which is why Jose got a snappy photo with Edwards. If Edwards had been walking down the street, no big deal, but when he shows up and your party? Well, it’s so pathetic as to be hysterical. What did bother Jose is that Edwards appears to have drank, albeit it in moderation, on our tab. The guy is worth millions of dollars and yet he goes off of a grad student groups bar tab. Not cool.

He stuck around for about two hours, drinking white wine (note: yes, probably Chablis) and watching people dance until finally he was on his way. All in all, it was among the most pathetic things Jose had ever seen.

But it bothered Jose. There is something sad about seeing someone fall so far, and trust Jose, running with a policy crowd is pretty damn far. You know how exhilarating it was watching Darnell McDonald win the game the other night, how thrilling it was to know you were seeing the highlight of someone’s life? Well, this was the opposite of that. This was watching a man in the throws of wretched defeat, absurdly tanned, perfectly coiffed, extremely wealthy defeat, but defeat nevertheless.

It is Jose’s worst fear.

Oh, it’s not Jose’s worst fear for himself. You have to get awfully high to fall such a spectacular distance, and thus far at least, Jose’s life trajectory is afraid of heights. It’s Jose’s worst fear for David Ortiz. You watch Papi night after night swinging that slow, heavy bat, pile on the positive drug test that we learned about last August, and it is impossible not to feel like you are watching a man fall off a cliff.

But it’s not the same for Ortiz and Edwards. It isn’t. It can’t be. First there is no way Papi would ever show up at a grad student function and go home alone as Edwards did, Jose supposes to his credit. Papi has way too much duende. Second, Papi, as low as he may fall, as far back as his glory days may recede into history, still accomplished great things. What happened has happened. What was, at the very least, used to be. For Edwards what was was that he snookered a lot of people who not only believed what he said, but thought he was a man who could address the evils he described. He wasn’t. Papi, whatever he is now, will also be the man who was as responsible as any other, for bringing a title to Boston.

So weep not for David Ortiz. He can drink white wine to moderation on Jose’s tab any time. On the other hand, if Roger Clemens shows up at Jose’s graduation party, Jose, for one, is not getting a picture.

I’m Jose Melendez and that is my KEY TO THE GAME.

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