Tuesday, March 1

3/1/05 - KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.

1. San Diego Padres GM Kevin Towers said that he "felt like he knew" that 1996 National League MVP Ken Caminiti was using steroids. Sox President Leisure Suit Larry Lucchino, who was then with the Padres, apparently felt like he did not know. Lucchino today plead ignorance of Caminiti’s steroid use. It is an odd situation for a man who seems to know everything that lingers beneath the surface of the days events.

It’s a funny turn of phrase, "I felt like I knew." It’s not an acceptance of responsibility; it is only an acknowledgment of a feeling. At the same time, it is not a rejection of responsibility either, it hints that there was an obligation unfulfilled, that one could have and perhaps should have done something. It is surely a rejection of logic and reason. "I felt" was probably never uttered by the Enlightenment thinkers. It is the classic non-denial, denial. Towers could not prove that he knew, or reason that he knew, he could only feel like he knew.

Jose would like to use this technique. Rather than doing a special predictions KEYS, perhaps Jose will instead write, next November a KEYS on the things that he felt like he knew at the end of spring training. Jose can write:

"Jose felt like he knew that Wade Ohne Umlaut will win 16 games and have an ERA of 3.20."

"Jose felt like he knew that the Yankees would win only 88 games."

"Jose felt like he knew that A-Rod will be accused of tax fraud in July."

"Jose felt like he knew that Carlos Quintana would make a shocking return to spell Kevin Millar at first, and make a Jeff Stone style key hit down the stretch before being left off the playoff roster."

Will these things happen? Won’t they happen? Who knows.? Just remember, if they don’t happen Jose never said they would. Jose would never risk a jinx (note: not that he believes in such things) nor would he put himself out front like that. He is only saying what he felt like he knew.

2. Jason Vartiek’s younger brother Justin, the real JV in the Varitek family, was at Red Sox camp yesterday. (Note: JV stands for junior varsity. Get it?) Jose was relieved to hear that Justin was not trying out for the Red Sox. Jose has watched enough pro wrestling to know that no good can come from two brothers competing together. One performs better than the other, jealously grows, parents play favorites and the next thing you know Christian is cracking a chair over Edge’s head or Pedro is slashing the tendon on Ramon’s elbow. The last thing Jose wants to see is Jason grappling with A-Rod next April and Justin coming out of the dugout with a bat…and breaking it across Jason’s back. Only years later, when the Sox are trying to perk up sagging TV ratings and Doug Mirabelli’s contract is long since expired, will we learn that Kelly Shoppach actually put Justin up to it in order to crack the Sox roster.

The unexpected, nonsensical twist. That is what we learn from pro wrestling.

3. Finally, there has been some concern that Manny Ramirez might be jinxed by appearing on the cover of EA Sports’ MVP baseball game. Cover boys for other EA games, such as Michael Vick, Marshall Faulk and Eddie George have all gone on to face serious injuries. Jose is not particularly worried about Manny, karma doesn’t really seem to affect him, but he is worried about himself.

You see, Jose appeared on the cover of the SoSH Game Threads 2005 video game, and Jose, while not believing in karma, does worry about it. (Note: The game is going to be great. You can chose to be kevlog with a whole array of fireworks at your disposal, ManillaSoxFan and pound away with insane optimism or even SexyBanana and start long losing streaks with inopportune posting. There’s also a franchise mode where you can start your own SoSH knock off thread and have the same three people post again and again. Unfortunately, Cabrera Era is not included because he is not a member of the Posters Association since he was a scab during the last work stoppage.) It’s not that Jose worries that he will get injured; he does not. What he worries about is that the first time he misses a game with a resurgent elbow infection or a jammed finger the "EA cover jinx" talk will begin. Jose just doesn’t have a whole lot of interest in writing out the season under that kind of scrutiny.

I’m Jose Melendez and those are my KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.

2 comments:

Rob said...

Gotta love the Carlos Quintana reference. Even though Millar recorded The-Single-Most-Important-Base-On-Balls-in-Red-Sox-History, if you could offer me a healthy, in-his-prime CQ I'd be very tempted to trade you the chemistry cowboy straight up.

For SoSH Game Threads 2005, I'm definitely picking Manila. Easily the coolest game thread poster.

Sexy Banana, on the other hand, is a wonderful reminder to all of us unwashed, passwordless lurkers to be content with our lot, because maybe SoSH membership isn't quite the standard of coolness we imagine it to be.

Friends of Hudson said...

Jose, it's your editor here again.

1) Never pass up a chance to use the future perfect tense. The future perfect tense is oh-so-sought-after in the blogosphere. Spotting a use of the future perfect tense, for grammar cogniscenti, is like a birdwatcher spotting some extremely rare yellow-tufted-something-or-other on an exceedingly crisp Spring day.

So when you write, "He [Jose] is only saying what he felt like he knew," your editor is crestfallen... since Jose could have taken this golden opportunity to write instead that "He is only saying what he feels like he will have known." Perfect the future perfect, Jose, and the Pulitzer is yours.

2) Your editor notes that the comma-inside- vs. comma-outside-the-parentheses problem seems to be clearing up, but that a few blemishes remain, if you'll pardon the dermatological metaphor.

3) Keep up the good work.