THE KEYS BOOK--UNLOCKING YULETIDE CHEER AND METAPHORICAL LOCKS
It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE.
1. When Sox ace Pedro Martinez announced that he would sign with the New York Mets, the clouds burst and the rain fell on Red Sox Nation. Then, when Curt Euro declared the following day that he would not be ready for opening day the rain came down in sheets (Note: But lamentably not Ben Sheets), like God himself, was hurling buckets at the city of Boston.
“When it rains it pours,” moaned the Red Sox fans as their formidable pitching duo disappeared.
Well, Jose hates to be the bearer of more bad news but…well…let’s put it this way…Jose just saw some guy with a beard ushering animals by the twos on to a big wooden boat about 100 cubits in length.
Here’s the news: Jose Melendez may not be ready for opening day. As loyal readers may recall, Jose battled heroically through a painful infection in his left elbow during the second half of the ALCS and the World Series. The first course of antibiotics did a great job of rolling back the infection’s progress, but much like the Yankees pitching staff, it lacked a knock out blow. So Jose took a second course of antibiotics that ended a few days ago. Again, the antibiotics are issuing late game walks and failing to hold runners. One bloop single and the infection may return in full.
The bottom line is Jose cannot guarantee that he is going to be ready for spring training and even opening day. It’s not that Jose can’t write through it, after all, he’s writing right now. But this is different, it’s the off season; the competition and the demands are less fierce. Writing three or four times per week is nothing like the wearing grind of the regular season. Once he starts writing day in day out, that bad left elbow might really hurt Jose’s ability to work the left side of the keyboard. Words with “w” are going to be difficult, and he might have to lay off “q” words completely. Can Jose be effective without the letter “q”? Clearly he can’t be as effective. After all, if he can’t cite Carlos Quintana, does he really have all of his weapons?
The question is whether the Sox can stay competitive if Jose has to take the first month off in order to return to full strength. Can the Sox survive with Dario Veras or Josias Manzanillo writing KEYS? Jose knows that no one wants to contemplate that, so it might be time for Theo to make a move for an obscure Latin reliever. Maybe he can pick up Eduardo Villacis from the Royals.
2. Welcome to the ER, bitch!!! While most Sox fans are sorry to see shortstop Orlando Cabrera go, the signing of Edgar Renteria has been widely heralded as an excellent move. How excited are Sox fans about signing the former All-Star and gold glover? Very excited. So excited, in fact, that according to Jose’s sources, residents of the Martha’s Vineyard resort town of Orlando, Massachusetts have decided to rename their town “Edgartown.” That’s dedication. (Note: It looks like Bostondirtdogs got in an Edgartown joke first. Nuts. Well, Jose has to give credit where it is due.)
In related news, the residents of Martinez, Massachusetts have changed their name to “Belchertown” as part of an effort to encourage the Red Sox to replace Pedro Martinez by bringing righty Tim Belcher out of retirement. Hopefully, their efforts will be less successful than that of the residents of Hudson, Massachusetts.
3. Jose hasn’t said too much about the John Ha-lama signing yet, but basically he likes it. Ha-lama is left handed, he’s versatile and he will increase the profile of the “Free Tibet” issue in the Boston metropolitan area.
Also, this is good for deity diversity on the team. We now have Jesus Christ, a Greek God and a reincarnation of the Budhda all playing on the Red Sox. Now if we can just sign an alien to represent the scientologists, we’ll be all set. Tom Werner is a Hollywood guy; Jose bets he can find one.
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE.