Wednesday, November 10


It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE.

Jose has tried writing about politics, and it’s okay. He’s written about travel; it’s not bad. As he struggles to adjust to writing KEYS without daily Red Sox games to serve as muse, he’s been asking his friends and family for ideas, and boy have the ideas come. Sam Melendez suggested KEYS TO FARTING and the Melendezette offered KEYS TO THE PROPER USE OF LEMON JUICE IN COOKING. These are both fine ideas, but somehow they fail to truly inspire Jose. No, it’s baseball Jose loves, and baseball that drives him, and thus today, Jose returns the national pastime (Note: And more importantly Jose’s pastime) to its rightful place in the KEYS.

1. Scott Boras is so cool. Jose just thinks that his insane demands are awesome. He’s like a super villain taking to the airwaves to demand some insane ransom. The only problem is that unlike in the comic books, some crazed owner will actually pay the ransom. Would the comic book President ever give Lex Luthor $10 million per year for five years with a no trade clause? Hell, no…He’d let Superman work it out (Note: did Jose really just reference DC Comics? Jose has purchased about 5,000 Marvel comics since his last DC Comic, man is Jose being disloyal right now.) But this is not a comic book and in the real world, the super villain seems to win far too often.

But to Boras it isn’t evil. (Note: At least Jose imagines that Boras doesn’t sit in his office cackling about his evil plans. But maybe he does?) No, Boras calls it negotiating. Jose doesn’t know too much about negotiating, but most of what he knows come from a popular little book called "Getting to Yes." "Getting to Yes" talks a lot about making "win-win" scenarios in negotiations. Jose suspects that Boras shares the same approach to "win-win" negotiating as a union guy Jose knows who said "To a company. win-win means I win twice, and you lose twice."

Boras does deserve his reputation for getting absolute top dollar for his clients, but boy it sure looks like he secures that top dollar at the expense of everything that makes life worth living. As Jose recalls from his one semester of micoreconomics, there exists a concept called "utilities," the idea that there are units of pleasure or enjoyment that one can take from certain activities or experience, and that those units must be balanced against money and other values. Jose is pretty sure that for Boras, the only source of utilities is money. To him, a dollar is worth a dollar, and everything that is not a dollar is worth zero dollars. Time with family? Worth zero. Playing in a great baseball town? Worth zero. Winning games? Zeeeerrrooooo. A legacy? Well, that’s worth…let’s see…one, two, three…nope, still zero. His philosophy appears to be – if it ain’t worth a dollar, it ain’t worth sh*t.

We all know Boras got ARod a huge contract that put him in a setting where he was completely miserable. What Jose wonders is, how miserable a situation would Boras put one of his clients in order to get the maximum contract? If the Nippon Ham Fighters offered Varitek $11 million per year for six years, would Boras get him to sign there? What if an eccentric Dominican millionaire (Note: Pedro?) offered him $12 million a year to play on his Dominican League team? Better yet, what if an eccentric billionaire who loves to pitch for fun offered Varitek $15 million per year for seven years to just be his personal backyard catcher? Boras would pressure Varitek to take it right? If the billionaire threw knuckleballs would he need to pay more?

2. And then there is the matter of Pedro’s contract. Jose, of course, saw the offer scrolling across the bottom of a TV screen on Sunday and became convinced that the Red Sox had signed Pedro to the 2 year $13 million per year plus a club option deal. But, he wasn’t completely sure, so he and his brother Sam put on the radio while they were driving to Walden Pond in order to confirm Jose’s suspicion. The lead story was the Patriots.

"I don’t think they signed him," said Sam.

"No, no," replied Jose. "They’re just giving the Patriots their due by mentioning them first on the Sports flash." Then they gave Celtics news.

"See, they didn’t sign him," said Sam.

"Umm…they could just be waiting until after the break," said Jose. Then the announcer moved on to news that BC Football would be ranked number 21 in the country.

"Okay," Jose conceded, "It looks like they didn’t even resign Sandy Martinez today, much less Pedro Martinez."

So that presents the question of the day: Are the Red Sox such a big story today that even resigning Sandy Martinez would beat out BC Football as a headline? Jose says yes. Of course, Jose also thinks signing Senator Elect Mel Martinez would and should beat out BC Football.

3. There has been a tremendous amount of publicity given to Curt Euro’s toughness after he used 12 million dollar man technology to battle through a jellied ankle and pitch brilliantly in game 6 of the ALCS and game 2 of the World Series. While some lunatics had doubted his toughness and claimed he was exaggerating, for instance that woman at the Baltimore Sun who Jose refuses to name (Note: Or who Jose can’t remember the name of), Jose had never doubted it…until today.

According to the Herald, Euro had three hours of surgery to repair the sheath around his ankle tendon and will now be resting the ankle for one month and then undergoing 4-6 weeks of rehab. Three hours of surgery, sounds pretty bad doesn’t it? Well, at least until you consider the fact that Celtics swingman Paul Pierce just had SEVEN hours of surgery was back the NEXT DAY and hit the GAME WINNING SHOT. If Curt Euro was a real tough guy he’d be starting in the Dominican winter league or something tomorrow and throwing a one hitter.

I’m Jose Melendez and those are my KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Melendez/Varitek Conspiracy

Rumor has it that "Keys to the Game" will soon begin a "Bring Brad Home" campaign, as Jason Varitek is cast aside. That's right, New England's own Brad Ausmus, currently a Houston Astro, will soon come to Boston as part of what we shall call the "Melendez pater" conspiracy.

Here's the deal, sources tell us that Jose Melendez Sr., father of the blogger, once held an important state government job working alongside Ausmus' uncle, who would like nothing better than to see the former Tiger return to the American League in his rightful city.

Ok, so Ausmus grew up in Connecticut, but his grandparents were community leaders in the great town of Brookline (and who else is from Brookline???). So who better to replace Tek than a "local" who is a great handler of pitchers (granted, Clemens didn't need much handling) with occasional power (such as when he beat the Sox, 2-1, with a late inning homer).

So the fix is in -- Melendez to Theo to the fans of Boston .....

Submitted for your consideration,

Xavier Hall