It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.
1. Apparently, Sox right fielder Mosey Nixon will not start in the season opener against Randy Johnson on April 4th. Manager Terry Eurona, reportedly told Nixon, who has struggled against lefties in the past, "Get ready for the fifth." Chris "12 Inches of" Snow reported that this comment was a reference to April 5th, the second game of the season." Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Jose has liked 12I Snow’s work thus far, but this, frankly, is just shoddy reporting. In fact, it wasn’t even reporting, it was assumption, which is really bad. Hasn’t he ever heard the old saying? "When you assume, you make and ass of Yumi." Does Snow really want to make an ass of some poor Japanese girl? Jose hopes not. That was Shaughnessy’s first step towards the dark side, if Jose remembers correctly. (Note: He does not.)
You see, Eurona was not urging Mosey to prepare for the second game of the season. No, no!!! Rather, he was warning Nixon to be ready for the fifth inning of the first game. After all, the Sox will knock Johnson out in the fourth, so there won’t much of a reason to keep Nixon on the bench.
2. Today appears to be Tim Wakefield day at spring training. Both the Globe and Herald featured articles about the aging knuckleballer, who just happens to be Jose’s all-time favorite Red Sox. (Note: Does the Red Sox PR machine offer up one player a day to all papers for feature stories? It sure seems that way. It is statistically improbable that both Boston dailies would profile identical players on four straight days at random, though not quite as statistically improbable as the Yankees blowing a 3-0 series lead.)
Jose would recommend the Globe piece as it is in English, not Castratese. But for those of you who only have access to the Herald (note: presumably this is only the people who run the actual presses at the Herald) Jose offers the following translation.
Tony Castrati: Yearning for the Good Old Days
What TC says: Even here, on the blessed training ground of the reigning world champions, there is a cost of doing business."
What TC means: The cost is more than $120 million.
What TC says: "The Red Sox make decisions that are hard and shrewd and devoid of all emotion, and they are more interested in handing out championship rings than gold watches."
What TC means: The Red Sox are technically sociopaths. Also, gold watches are more expensive than championship rings.
What TC says: "The only men in front of [Wakefield] will be Cy Young and Roger Clemens, one man for whom pitching's most prestigious award is named and another who has won that honor a record seven times.
What TC means: This line is so unbelievably obvious that both Chris Snow and I thought of it at the exact same time.
What TC says: "Wakefield now is in what has become familiar territory for those who wear the Red Sox uniform."
What TC means: Wakefield is in Fort Myers where spring training has been since before he joined the team.
What TC says: There currently seems little chance of him securing a new deal before November. A surprise? Hardly. A year ago at this time, the Red Sox entered spring training with Nomar Garciaparra, Martinez, Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek entering the final year of their contracts, and the Sox signed none of them before Opening Day."
What TC means: The Red Sox signed no one and it ruined last season. Instead of going to the World Series they bowed to the Yankees in four, at least I assume so, as I stopped watching after the 19-8 game three drubbing.
What TC says: "The new-age ownership and management of the Red Sox"
What TC says: Did you know they play Yanni in the Executive Offices? It’s true.
What TC says: "And when they depart, the Sox pop someone else into the jersey as if they were changing bulbs on a strand of Christmas lights."
What TC means: "February’s a good time for a Christmas metaphor right? That resonates doesn’t it? What I worry about is that the Red Sox are like those Christmas lights where they are all on one circuit, so if David Wells burns out, the entire team will suddenly be unable to play.
What TC says: "Until recently, of course, it never used to work that way here."
What TC means: Ahh… those were the days. No Monster seats, no decent concessions and no World Championships.
What TC says: "Producing more spin-off ventures than `All in the Family.'"
What TC means: Maybe the Sox should sign a 12 year old Asian girl to the team. That seemed to work in Archie’s Place.
What TC says: "Still, it is difficult to think that we have not lost at least a little bit of something here."
What TC means: And still most people think we have won a little bit of something. Perplexing.
3. Sox starter Wade Ohne Umlaut is up to throwing the ball 200 feet (note: that’s almost 67 yards) as he struggles to return from a frayed rotator cuff. While Red Sox officials are reportedly enthusiastic about his progress and are hopeful he will be ready to play by May, Jose remains unconvinced. After all, any pro should be able to throw that distance; the challenge is doing it under a heavy pass rush.
I’m Jose Melendez and those are my KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.