Saturday, November 13

What Jose Is

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

Some months ago Jose started a new job, a job he shall henceforth refer to as…



He’s never going to refer to it.


Anyway, Jose was at an event in his new home city of Washington, DC where there was an icebreaker. You know, it was one of those events where either a) boring people offer the one interesting detail in their pathetic little lives or b) interesting people try to one up each other. In this case the instruction was “Tell us something interesting about yourself that we don’t already know.”

Jose had precious few options, either he could reveal he was a Red Sox blogger, declare that he once did pushups and sit ups every day for four years without a single missed day, or he could talk about that time with the Olympic swimmer on top of Mt. Washington, and that’s neither appropriate nor true. So, Jose being Jose, he went with the blogging.

“Jose is a Red Sox blogger,” Jose pointed out. “His blog was named Boston’s best by the Boston Phoenix in 2005.”

And then the baton passed to the guy who went to Space Camp, to the woman who wrote the score to The King and I, and so on. But Jose felt no relief. Taking his turn had not proven to be the Alka Seltzer of self-revelation to the burning indigestion of his anxiety at revealing something interesting. No the anxiety had only increased as acid and base combined to a bubbling froth. But Jose had revealed something about himself, hadn’t he?


He had revealed that he is a liar.

Where does Jose get off saying that he is a Red Sox blogger?

Jose could say he WAS a Red Sox blogger. That would be true. But IS? Jose hasn’t blogged seriously about the Red Sox since 2007. Sure he’s written the occasional piece, but he’s written far more about Africa in the last three years than he has about baseball, and he doesn’t even do that much anymore.

Jose doesn’t want to think of himself as a liar. It’s not a nice thing to be. A liar is someone like Rick Pitino, which would implies that lying is only a step or two away from having 35 seconds of sex with a woman at a seedy Louisville restaurant after closing time, and while calling Pitino “Quick Rick” is hysterical, Jose has no interest in being called “No Foreplay Jose.” Thus, Jose got quickly down to the business of self-delusion and rationalization, which, as Jose has pointed out before, are the Shinotism and Buddhism to his Japan. He would also point out that they are Objectivism and Aqua Buddhism to Jose’s Rand Paul.

So let’s wade into Jose’s case that he is a Red Sox blogger. First, Red Sox blogging is not something one does, it’s something one is. For example, if someone asked Jason Varitek if he is a major league catcher, he would answer yes, even though he clearly hasn’t done the work of a major league catcher for years. It doesn’t matter—it’s just part of his being. By contrast, if you asked Alex Rodriguez if he is a Yankee, if he were being honest, he’d have to answer no, because, as we all know, Yankees are not centaurs—they are more like pigdogs.

Second… Actually, that’s all Jose’s got.

But it’s something he can work with. For four years Jose wrote on damn near every game occurring on a weekday and not when he was tired, bored, antsy or otherwise uninterested in writing. That makes him something—a basement dwelling dork with way too much time on his hands. But it also makes him a Red Sox blogger, and nothing can take that away, not even never writing about the Red Sox, living far away from Boston, and having no idea prior to their Red Sox debut who Daniel Nava or Darnell McDonald were prior to their Red Sox debuts.

Now Jose is not going to make some Bill Simmons style declaration that he is back. Jose is categorically not back. 2004 is not walking through that door; 2005 is not walking through that door 2007 is not walking through that door. (Note: Jose is not even going to talk about 2006. Never.) And if they do… well, it would be awesome. But it’s not going to happen so who cares?

All Jose is going to say is that he needs this and he will try to do this from time to time. It’s who he is and he refuses to change. Jose needs a place where he can write flabby prose, where he can occasionally use the passive voice, and yes, where he can make completely unsupported statements without fear of consequence, and Jose thinks that maybe, just a little bit, you need it too.

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