It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.
Now that position players have reported, spring training can begin in earnest. Of course, this is actually the hardest part of spring training for Jose to get through as a blogger. Without a game to serve as a daily focal point, Jose has no choice but to deal in the rumor, innuendo and name calling that serve as news at this time of year. Well, as our Secretary of Defense might say, you blog with the material you have, not the material you wish you had, so let’s dive right in.
1. Did anyone notice that the Boston Globe City Weekly section premiered a new feature this week that features snippets from some of Boston’s premiere blogs? And get this, in the first installment, the historic North End’s own Jose Melendez was NOT featured. So here we are, five days into spring training and Jose is already in Oil Can Boyd mode. The piece featured a guy from Brookline, a proud father from the South End, a theater buff from Jamaica Plain and…get ready for it…A GUY FROM IDAHO, but no Jose Melendez. Hell, they even had a guy talking about watching the repeat of Game 7 of the ALCS on NESN, and still, no Jose.
Who picks these things? Jose thinks that the reporters just have it in for him because he’s not a good interview. Or maybe it’s fan balloting; they only go for the big names not who’s having the best year. Either way, Jose is outraged and is seriously considering going an Oil Can-style bender in protest.
2. An open letter to Alex Rodriguez.
Hi. It’s Jose. Jose Melendez. No not the DJ, the blogger. I know you’re going through some tough times right now, you know discovering that all the money in the world can’t buy you friends, but Jose is here to promise you that it will get better. Okay, that’s a lie, it won’t get better, but chin up anyway, or not. At least you’ll always have your beautiful money that you love so much. Still, it’s got to be hard being alone and friendless. It’s one thing that the Red Sox don’t like you, that’s to be expected. After all, you’re the enemy, so Jose isn’t surprised that that doesn’t bother you so much. But your Yankee teammates don’t seem to like you that much either. That’s got to hurt just a little bit, doesn’t it? Everyone tells us Derek Jeter is the greatest human being since Jesus Christ, so if he doesn’t like you, that must say something about you. Heck even Dan Shaughnessy doesn’t like you anymore, and just a little over a year ago he was talking about how great you were because, unlike Nomar, you wanted to visit the Harvard campus. I guess the moral is that you’re an easy guy to like, until someone gets to know you.
So you rolled into Yankee camp yesterday and had a really good press conference, as best Jose can tell from reading the Globe, addressing all of the big issues of the day. And while you said you only got a yellow belt in karate, you must have had a black in ju jitsu the way you side stepped those questions. The fact that your teammates won’t back you up is evidence of what a "classy organization" the Yankees are? Hi-ya. Whenever anyone uses the word classy to describe the Yankees, Jose has the same reaction as when Donald Trump uses the word "classy."
"Oh, you must think classy means grotesquely expensive, horribly tacky and an affront to decent people everywhere."
But Jose is a little worried about you. You said the slap was "a brilliant play. We almost got away with it." Alex, you need to watch the game tape again. Aside from the fact that you sounded like a Scooby Doo villain in that statement, you just got it wrong. It was not a brilliant play. The result of your brilliance was that Jeter was left at first rather than advancing to second. If that is your idea of brilliance, Jose hopes you have a brilliant season.
You also said "I think over time, when I look at my career after 20 years, Game 6, the slap, will all be very trivial compared to what I accomplished." You think it will be trivial? You think it will be forgotten? Forgotten like the reign of Napoleon or World War II perhaps, but surely not forgotten like the Fox program "Women in Prison," or Marvel Comics’ "New Universe."
Alex you aspired to be Cal Ripken or Ernie Banks or Honus Wagner. You have their stats; in many ways you are their superior, but you are not one of them. When you make a foursome for some charity golf tournament in the baseball afterlife, you’re going to look over and find yourself in a cart with Fred Merkel, Fred Snodgrass and Bill Buckner. Mitch Williams can caddie.
But Jose will give you credit for one thing. You ended your press conference taking responsibility for the unprecedented Yankee collapse. "Blame it on me," you said. "If there’s one guy to blame, blame it right here." Very well. You, Alex Rodriguez, the best player in baseball, are the reason the Yankees lost last year. You are single handedly responsible for the biggest choke in baseball history. Forget about, Kevin Brown, Mariano Rivera and Paul Quanrtill; it is all your fault. And you know what? It is all going to happen again.
Doesn’t it feel good to take responsibility?
Your pal (Note: Not really, remember, you don’t have any friends),
3. Last night, Jose saw reliever Matt "Seacow" Mantei on Fox 25 announcing his hope to get injured this season. Apparently, after stating his desire to remain healthy the previous few seasons and then getting injured, Seacow thought some reverse karma was in order. Jose can’t be totally sure, his Korean is spotty at best, but he could have sworn that he overheard B.K. Kim expressing hope that he could get his fastball up to 65 in that same segment.
I’m Jose Melendez and those are my KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.