Tuesday, June 29

Tha Spanish Flu

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

1. With Victor Martinez joining Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, St. Josh Beckett, Jeremy Hermida, Mike Cameron, DJ Dru, Daisuke Matsuzaka and others among the sick and wounded, more and more people are suggesting that an epidemic comparable to the Black Plague has broken out in the Red Sox clubhouse. Jose thinks that this analogy is false, or worse, inapt. The Black Death wiped out about a third of the population of Europe and Jose is fairly confident that this particular epidemic will ultimately strike well over a third of the Red Sox clubhouse.

Jose suspects that the better analogy is the Spanish flu of 1918. There are three reasons that Jose draws this analogy. First, since a significant chunk of the injuries are caused by Hispanophone third baseman Adrian Beltre, comparing it to a Spanish germ seems appropriate. Second, in 1918, the Red Sox won the World Series, as they will this year. Finally, as Jose has sadly learned from associating with women in their 30s who are a little too in to abstinent vampires, the Spanish Flu marks the origin of America’s sexiest vampire. This current Red Sox epidemic has given us Daniel Nava who is definitely sexy and, thanks to his fixation on the unattainable Erin Andrews, possibly abstinent. Moreover, while Nava is not over 100 years old, he is, like the high school vampire, far too old to be doing what he’s doing. On the other hand, it is not at all clear that he is a vampire, as thus far he has shown no evidence of sucking.

2. Jose is really tired of economics, of the dismal science of dollars and cents, ruining sports. Jose tried to forgive Manny Ramirez. He really did. Actually, he succeeded. Jose wasn’t there for Manny’s return, but had he been, he would have stood and cheered until a mild fatigue set in and he decided to sit down and/or get another beer.

But no more.

Jose learned last night while watching ESPN News that Takeru Kobayashi has opted out of this year’s Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog eating contest due to a stall in contract negotiations. Do you remember where you were when you lost your innocence? Jose does. The Federal on Main Street in Durham, NC sucking down an Iron City Beer. It was one thing when money ruined baseball, basketball, football, hockey, billiards, bowling and scrabble. But competitive eating? It’s supposed to be about the love, man.

Kobayashi being Manny?

3. Whenever Jose’s brother Sam sees Darnell McDonald, he thinks about Darnell from My Name is Earl, aka the Crab Man. Ergo, Jose wants to call McDonald “the Crab Man.” This is not to be confused with the promiscuous Wade Boggs who was, of course, known as “The Crabs Man.”

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

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