It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.
1. Apparently, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz offered to make a recruiting call to pitcher Brad Radke, his former Twins teammate, during the off season. Ortiz offered to do so despite the fact that he hadn’t ever really spoken with Radke when they were teammates. So in effect, Ortiz agreed to cold call Radke.
Jose knows a thing or two about cold calling. His second job out of college was as a "fundraising associate" on a Massachusetts congressional campaign, and his job consisted of calling people off of a fundraising list for eight hours every day and saying "Hello are you available to take a call from Elvis Costello." (Note: Okay, so Elvis Costello wasn’t actually the candidate Jose worked for, but it is a hint as to who he did work for.) About one out of every ten people would agree to take the call. Most of the other nine would just pretend to be unavailable. Very, very few would actually say no. So of course, we called them again, and again, and again. If we can’t win ‘em over, we can at least wear ‘em down was our motto. And what was amazing is that rather than say no, dozens and dozens of people would agree to write checks on the sixth, seventh or even tenth call.
So Jose imagines that Big Papi’s effort went like this.
Ortiz: Hello. Mr. Radke? This is David Ortiz. Can you take a call from Theo Epstein?
Ortiz: Thank you for your time.
See, that’s why Brad Radke is not a Red Sox right now. Ortiz probably only made that call once rather than every day for ten days or until Radke broke into a sobbing mess desperate to make the calls stop. (Note: Apparently Ortiz never made the call. It is very hard to recruit someone if you don’t call them.)
2. Last night, Jose tuned in to what he just assumed was an intrasquad game because everyone was wearing the same uniforms and noticed that the Red Sox appeared to have acquired Sean Casey and Adam Dunn. Fantastic!!! Of course, it turns out we were just playing the Reds but everyone showed up wearing the same outfit. In all Jose’s years of watching baseball, he has never seen such an embarrassing fashion faux pas.
3. Jose spent about 90 minutes last night waiting outside of a club called Ned Devine’s in Fanueil Hall, because he is an idiot. When he got in, he was angered to find that the club was not even close to capacity. In other words, Jose had been kept waiting simply to generate hype for the club, because they were trying to make it look like the place was far more popular than it actually is. Passersby see the long line and assume that if people are waiting to get in, it must be fantastic. Aside from just wanting to rip this establishment and urge his readers not to go there (note: their cover band also played the worst cover of Cheap Trick’s "I want you to want me" Jose has ever heard.) Jose thought there might be a lesson in this for some of baseball’s less popular teams. The Royals, Brewers, D-Rays and others should strongly consider making it harder to get tickets. Why not save money on ticket vendors and just have one fellow at the box office, let the line grow, let people know that folks are lined up out the door for a chance to see D-Rays baseball. Negotiate a deal with Ticketmaster to have the phone busy the first 30 times people call in, and then when Ticketmaster does answer, tack on a $10 "answering fee." These small market teams like to cry poor, but sometimes Jose thinks they just aren’t creative enough.
I’m Jose Melendez and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.