Never let it be said that Jose isn’t a flawed human being. He can be petty, he can be mean, he can be arrogant, and, worst of all, he can be unfunny. But also never let it be said that Jose lacks knowledge of self. Jose is quite aware of his flaws and is always working to minimize them. He can do this because unlike (presumably) most of the Boston media, Jose is willing to take a hard look at himself, a hard look at his motives and say "Jose, you can do better."
Can you imagine Tony Castrati doing that? Can you imagine him looking in the mirror and saying "Tony, you are a talented baseball writer, with a good knowledge of the game. In fact, you may have more potential than any baseball writer in Boston today, but you can also be incredibly petty. You let insecurity and territoriality lead you into a vendetta against Curt Euro for his interaction with Sons of Sam Horn. Moreover, you are falling into the Boston sports media trap of making your name on creating controversies. You could be the next Peter Gammons or the next Dan Shaughnessey and right now you’re heading towards Shaughnessey, hating sports and everyone in it. Also, your a total pantywaist for taking three weeks off in the middle of the season. You know what? Jose Melendez is right about you."
It is in this spirit of introspection and with the intention of encouraging Boston sports media members to take a serious look at themselves that Jose will apply the "translator" concept, which he stole from Wonkette and typically applies to Tony Castrati, to himself. It may be ugly, but it will be honest. Let’s see if Jose can withstand is own withering sarcasm.
We now go way back to a distinctly mediocre KEYS (the weekend KEYS always are) from
1. What Jose says: "It’s time for Jose to address the Roger Clemens story. Jose considered discussing it yesterday, but frankly he needed more time to think about it."
What Jose means: Jose already had three KEYS in mind for yesterday when the Clemens story broke. He is sufficiently forgetful that if he didn’t use one of them in order to accommodate the Clemens story, he might lose it all together. Today, he had nothing, so he might as well rage about Roger.
What Jose says: "After all, one can not take something of this magnitude too lightly. How would one address the possibility of Hitler returning to the Germans? (Note: Don’t blame Jose for insensitivity; Debbie Clemens made the initial comparison.) How would one address the possibility of Lucifer rejoining the choir of Angels? How would one address the possibility of the Doctor Octopus returning to lead the Sinister Six?"
What Jose means: Is there anything easier to do when writing about the Sox than to rip Roger Clemens? (Note: Aside from ripping Grady or McNamara.) It’s sort of like eating sugar. Yes, it gets you fired up, but after a few minutes you start to drag. (Note: Jose first heard this analogy for the music of John Williams from a friend. If he stole it from someone else, Jose is stealing too. Sorry about that.)
What Jose says: "You oppose it damn it. You take a stand a go into the streets with pitchforks and placards and yell from the ramparts "THIS MAN IS EVIL, THIS TRADE IS WRONG, AND THIS WILL NOT STAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
What Jose means: Demagogue, demagogue, demagogue.
What Jose says: "Have we forgotten what this man did to us? Have we forgotten his expulsion from game four against the As? Has the shame of his sloth diminished with time? Is the contempt he showed upon his departure less painful? He lied and said he would only leave to play closer to home. He engineered an illegal trade to the Yankees. He considers George Steinbrenner a personal friend. To borrow a line from, of all people, Dan Shaughnessy, if you are a Red Sox fan, Roger Clemens is not your friend."
What Jose means: Let’s see how many example of Rogers malfeasance it takes to get Jose to 300 words. 1…2…3…4…5…6. Six examples. Super good.
What Jose says: "But the deal fell through. There is some small justice in the world. Now we will not have to watch as Roger bows to the As in the playoffs yet again. Be it Dave Stewart or Barry Zito, he cannot beat them. The As could start Steve Ontiveros in a playoff game against Roger tomorrow and still win."
What Jose means: When in doubt, throw out some old player that almost everyone has forgotten about. Steve Ontiveros, Nate Minchey…someone like that.
What Jose says: "And then we will be spared watching Roger imploding against the Yankees in the ALCS. You have hurt Red Sox nation too many times Roger Clemens, we will not take you back so you can hurt us again. Rot in Houston with your geriatric team, this time your lies have caught up with you. This time your manipulation will not be rewarded. So, take a long ride in your Steinbrenner funded Hummer and think about what you’ve done, you said spiteful man."
What Jose means: Is this KEY almost over? Jose is dying here.
2. What Jose says: "According to the Globe, DLowe the Paranoid Android has been receiving ideas on how to protect his blistered thumb from dermatologists from around the country."
What Jose means: Jose doesn’t have press access, and he won’t buy the Herald, so he has to rely on the Globe for KEYS ideas. That explains his great creativity and how he finds those unique angles.
What Jose says: "Unfortunately, it is completely useless. Why hasn’t a single mechanic sent a suggestion. Here is Jose’s idea. Why doesn’t DLowe call into Car Talk to ask for some advice? Those guys seem to know a lot about mechanical contraptions. Jose bets it’s a problem with DLowe’s catalytic converter."
What Jose means: Jose has gotten more mileage out of the Lowe is a robot bit than he ever expected. Does anyone even remember how it started? Lowe said he was having mechanical problems. Mechanical… robot… mechanical… robot…get it? Jose, bets that a good 45 percent of all KEYS are about DLowe’s robotic issues.
3. What Jose says: "So long to third basemen Earl Snyder, and we hope to see you again in September."
What Jose means: Thank God for September call ups. Writing about the same guys over and over again, Jose runs out of ideas for stupid jokes about their names and mannerisms.
What Jose says: "Snyder is what is often referred to as a AAAA player, a player who is good enough to dominate in AAA, but not good enough to stick in the majors."
What Jose means: Would some sort of joke about the 4-H Club worked better here? Now Jose wonders.
What Jose says: "Jose applauded him enthusiastically on Wednesday night and would like to give the utmost plaudits to Earl Snyder now. Very few members of the nobility would be willing to toil for years in the minor leagues. So congratulations, Earl Snyder, you are a credit to the first estate."
What Jose means: Jose is now on cruise control. It is warm and sunny outside, and Jose cannot possibly justify sitting around the house writing jokes that are clearly going to bomb on a day like this.
"I'm Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME."
So that is how Jose stands up to his own scathing methods. Did Jose come off as a bored, arrogant callous eccentric? Or did he merely come of as a spoiled, insensitive oddball? Either way, Jose still thinks he came out looking better than Tony Castrati. So Castrati, Jose has taken a look at himself. Now it’s your turn. Jose challenges you to write a column ripping yourself for taking three weeks of the season off. Be a man. Show that you can take your own medicine.
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO INTROSPECTION.