1. Boston, 1999 -- Jose held two tickets each for game 3 and game 4 of the division series. The extra ticket in game 3 went to Jose’s then girlfriend and the extra ticket for game 4 was reserved for Jose’s brother Sam Melendez. After the Indians destroyed Bret Saberhagen in Game 2 and it was revealed that a certain shortstop who was the only bat on the 1999 squad would not play game 3, Jose’s father, who knows nothing about sports, turned to him and said “You’re a helluva guy, giving your brother a ticket for a game that will never happen.”
But it did happen, and a certain rotund pitcher with a tendency to cough up playoff games imploded as the Sox scored 24 runs and went on take the series in five.
Boston, 2004 – Jose holds no game three ticket, but thanks to a kind invitation from lushess255, one of JOSE’S PEOPLE, he does have a ticket for game 4. But there’s one problem. You know it, Jose knows it, lushess255 knows it, the scalpers on Brookline Ave. know it , the barkeeps at Copperfields know it, the Sausage Guy knows it, the rats by the muddy river know it, the Standells know it, the Red Sox know it, and yes, even the Anaheim Angles know it. There ain’t gonna be no game 4. And Jose smiles. His game 4 ticket will become as valuable as a ticket to the Goldwater inauguration, the Clash reunion tour or the Dwight Evans hall of fame induction. It will be only a reminder of what need not be and never was. Yes, for the first time in his life, Jose Melendez is looking forward to not going to a game.
2. Shortly after the season ends on October 31, Jose is planning on putting out a collection of the 2004 KEYS for folks who want to have, in one handsome volume, what they can get out the internet for free and sell it on Jose's Cafepress site.
Needless to say Jose is looking for titles, it will probably end up being Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME 2004, but this morning Jose had a really good idea. In keeping with the idiocy theme that Johnny Damon articulated so well, Jose thought that perhaps the best title would be “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Winning the World Series.” Jose knows there are some “intellectual property issues,” which is ironic given that we’re talking about a series of books with the word Idiot in the title, but you never know what will pass muster.
(Completely unrelated and irrelevant note: Jose has heard that Major League Baseball is leaning towards naming the new Washington team the Grays in tribute to the great Negro League team. Jose thinks this is a rare terrific idea from the League. However, he is a little disappointed that the Washington Senators who failed so miserably twice in the past will not be resurrected. Here is Jose’s compromise: Les Expos become the Washington Grays and the Seattle Mariners, without moving, are renamed the Washington Senators.)
3. The Boston Herald (Slogan: Boston’s fifth most credible newspaper!) (Note: Jose may be stealing the slogan bit from Dave Barry, he can't remember) ran the headline “GO YANKS!” this morning after pulling their initial banner headline “PORN STARS IN HUB BARS?” when it was determined that what sources claimed that was Jenna Jameson outside the Rack last night was actually a Haymarket fruit stand selling cantaloupes. Jose didn’t actually read the story by Gerry Callahan as it is not available for free on the Web and the only way Jose is ever going to pay for the Herald is if it comes with a complementary dollar bill inside. But still, Jose is appalled. If you would like to beat the Yankees on the way to the series, that is fine. Jose understands that, Jose feels that way too. But to actually root for the Yankees is unforgivable. If you must do something root for the Twins to lose, not for the Yankees to win. (Note: Yes they are the same thing, but semantics matter.) And to actually use this as the front page headline on a day when THE RED SOX ARE PLAYING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????? Unforgivable. How about GO SOX for a headline? What about SOX BRING BROOMS? What about ANYHTING OTHER THAN GO YANKS!!!!!
Look, Herald headline writers. Clearly you are not great at this, so Jose will do you a favor and write tomorrow’s headline in advance. Here goes.
MEPOS RIOTS OVER
(Sidebar: “Dance of Joy” claims 40 lives.)
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.