It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE ALCS.
1. There has now been article after article, after article about Curt Euro’s medical condition, the experimental sutures in his foot and his extraordinary game 6 performance in the ALCS. He is being compared favorably to Willis Reed, Larry Bird and Kirk Gibson. And actually, he outdid them all. But there has been another story of injury an anguish overcome because the good of the team demanded it; it is the story of Jose Melendez.
The morning after the Red Sox’s dramatic game 5 victory, Jose awoke with a sharp and intense pain in his left elbow. It was as though someone had struck it with a hammer or possibly a pipe wrench. When he straightened it, it hurt. When he bent it, it hurt. When he did noting, it also hurt. And in the event that anything touched it, it the pain had Jose screaming like A-Rod after a correct call at first base. Over the course of the morning the elbow grew red and swollen. It filled with fluid, became hot to the touch and the pain became more constant and driving.
Jose knew something was wrong, But thankfully he knew what to do, take four Advil and ignore it.
He pounded out the now famous "You are Jon Lieber" KEYS through the pain , and the Sox went on to win game 6 on the strength of Curt Euro’s brilliant effort.
Jose awoke the next morning to even greater pain in the elbow and some evidence that the soreness was spreading. Jose fought through the day again, wrote the KEYS and watched the Red Sox’s greatest win in 86 years. After the KEYS were posted that day, Jose thought about going to the doctor, but determined that the risk that he might be given "medical care" that would stretch into game time was unacceptable. He resolved to gut it out through the night.
Jose knows that the injury affected the KEYS. Twice he used "too" instead of "to" and typos spread like Chicken Pox, but damn it this was the ALCS, and Jose’s team was counting on him. Besides, had Jose not written the second guessing would have been unbelievable. Tony Castrati would have questioned Jose’s heart. Eric Kneel would have questioned his testicular fortitude. "Sixty percent of Jose Melendez is better than 100 percent of anyone else," the critics would say. "If he cared about this team as much as he cares about next year’s contract, he’d be out there."
And so Jose was out there and he delivered. He rejected a preset word count, choosing instead to write until he could write no more eventually working past 1,000 words each day. Frankly, if one looks at the quality of his KEY 3s, he probably should have been yanked after 600. He could seek medical care after the ALCS, and he did. "You have cellulitis," said the doctor. In another day or two it would have been in your blood. Then you’d be very sick and in the hospital. You’re lucky you came in when you did."
"Jose is lucky it wasn’t a best of nine series," answered Jose.
So Jose was sent off to Mass General Emergency Room for three hours for intravenous antibiotics. His stay had two highlights. First, they evacuated the emergency room after a security guard was forced to use pepper spray to restrain a violent patient in the psych emergency ward. It was Jose’s own little taste of playoff pandemonium. Second, while waiting in the hall with an IV in his arm, Jose had a lovely conversation with a young Tufts student in a Red Sox T-shirt, who had broken both feet while celebrating the Sox’s win in Kenmore Square. Apparently, she had climbed atop a sausage stand. Once there, the best idea seemed to be jumping off. It was not the best idea. So let this be a lesson to all of Jose’s fans. When Jose wins the Pulitzer, please riot responsibly.
So the bottom line is that Jose is now on antibiotics for ten days and bed rest until Monday. That means an alcohol free World Series (Note: Isn’t this like an R rated movie with no nudity?) Also, Jose is not supposed to do anything with his left arm, including typing. So Jose is writing this and KEYS for games 1 and 2 one handed, and frankly Jose is no longer the efficient one handed typist he was in his teenage days.
2. But there was a baseball game last night and it had nothing to do with Jose’s medical problems. The big shocker (Note: To almost everyone except Jose) was that DLowe truly was transformed. Now and forever, or at least until the regular season starts next year, he is the Paranoid Android no more. Truly, he is Megatron. In fact, when he comes out to pitch from now on, they should play the Transformers theme. You know "The Transformers, more than meets the eye. The Transformers, Robots in disguise. Red Sox face their battle to destroy the evil forces of the Yankees" (Note: Oops, Jose means Cardinals or Astros now.) Also, every time DLowe gets the third out of an inning they should play the Transformers "change of scene" music …. Da da da da daaaaayyuupppp.
3. Another big story last night was Johnny Damon’s spectacular night at the plate following an awful series. Everyone who had suggested that Terry Eurona should have benched him for "The World’s Most Perfectly Sculpted Jew" or Dave Roberts now admits they were wrong and that Eurona made a wise choice. But let’s be honest, It was an easy choice. Anyone with even the most rudimentary understanding of the New Testament knew that Johnny was going to be resurrected.
I’m Jose Melendez and those are my KEYS TO THE ALCS.