Saturday, May 28

5/28/05 – Antipope Clement XV vs. Pavano

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. After he single handedly killed the Red Sox by getting two runners thrown out at home in the sixth inning last night, it is clear that third base coach Dale Sveum needs to be sent down to work on his fundamentals. But given the level of his performance last night, Jose thinks that Sveum is not performing well enough for Triple A, Double A or even Single A ball. Jose thinks he should be sent down to some pre school to work on playing red light/green light with pre schoolers. Hopefully, that would teach him that there are times when you should go, and times when you should stop. Jose’s fear is that this is what a game of Red Light/Green Light called by Dale Sveum would look like:

SVEUM: Okay kids, ready… Green light……….

(Sound of children running into the wall.)

Actually, we should be happy that he’s a third base coach. Imagine if he was a crossing guard, there would be kids splattered all over the crosswalk. (Note: Yes this is a variation on the famous Sveum, or was in Wendall Kim, as air traffic controller joke, but it still works.)

For more visit

Friday, May 27

5/27/05 -- The Charge of the Red Brigade

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. These are desperate times friends, desperate times indeed. Ad in these times of anguish and uncertainty, it is helpful to recall that we Red Sox fans have a glorious past.

So in these dark days, we honor those who came before us, honor their sacrifices, honor their glories. So Jose Melendez is proud to present, in blatant rip off of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, the following poem.

The Charge of the Red Brigade

Two and three, two and three,
Two and three behind,
All in the filth of the Bronx
Strode the twenty five.
"Forward, the Red Brigade!"Grab for the bats!" he said:Into the filth of the BronxStrode the twenty five.

"Forward, the Red Brigade!"Was Ramirez dismay'd?Not tho' Francona knewThey fought to survive:Their's not to make reply,Their's not to run and slide,Their's but to hit a fly:Into the filth of the BronxStrode the twenty five.

Yankees to right of them,Yankees to left of them,Yankees in front of themFailed to strive;Storm'd at with bats and balls,Fighting the bad umps’ calls,Into the filth of the Bronx,Hitting the ball off walls,Strode the twenty five.

Boldly they took a swing,Bidding for champion’s ring,Yankees can’t do a thing,Battling an empire, whileTrying to survive:Plunged in electric lightYankees in left and right;A-Rod and JeterReel'd from baseball’s flightThe Red Sox are alive.Then they strode back, for e’re’r “the twenty five.”

Yankees to right of them,Yankees to left of them,Yankees behind them Failed to strive;
Swinging deep for the walls,
Pitchers that throw no ballsErasing prior Falls,Came back from three to none,
Earning their curtain calls
All that was left of them,
Was “the twenty five.”

When can their glory fade?O the wild games they played!All the world alive.Honor the way they played,Honor the Red Brigade,Noble twenty five.

Thursday, May 26

5/26/05 - Miller vs. Oh... Who Cares

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

Jose is mailing it in today, and even that seems like way too much effort, as all he has are 34 cent stamps. Seriously, where are the f*cking 3 cent stamps. Why shouldn’t he? If the Red Sox can do it, so can Red Sox bloggers. No, it’s not fair to you the fans, and it’s not right, but that’s how it is.

It’s raining, it’s miserable and the Sox loss last night was boring and gutless. So Jose has only two choices, write an angry rant or go to the post office. It’s just no fun to write KEYS when the Sox are playing like this, and it’s probably even less fun to read them.

One might ask, why, in this situation, Jose bothers to write KEYS at all? Why not take the day off and go sulk in corner or relax with a bottle of scotch?

Why? Because Jose has an obligation to post something… anything… every day he possibly can for his readers, his fans and even his detractors. But does Jose have an obligation to try? In the words of Bart Simpson, Jose “can’t promise he’ll try, but he’ll try to try.” It’s like asking why the Red Sox bothered showing up on a night like last night when it was clear that none of them had even the slightest intention of working. You do it because you have to and then muddle through.

For more visit

Wednesday, May 25

5/25/05 -- Balki Returns

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

According to the New York Daily News, Yankees liability Alex Rodriguez has been seeing not one but two and occasionally three psychotherapists. This is a tricky issue for Jose. On the one hand, the mentally ill should not be ridiculed. Jose has seen any number of people he cares about struggle with mental illness, and he understands fully that it is no different than a physical condition. Moreover, Rodriguez’s donation of $200,000 to a mental health program for children is downright admirable. On the other hand, A-Rod, as a rule, should be ridiculed for pretty much anything he does. So, as you can see, this puts Jose in quite the bind.

So here is Jose’s plan. First, Jose offers public congratulations to A-Rod on supporting mental health programs. Congratulations Alex!!! Second, Jose condemns A-Rod for going public with news of his therapy. Jose is all for taking the stigma out of mental illness, but does attaching A-Rod’s name to it really help? Across the country scenes like this are likely unfolding.

Husband: Honey, we need to talk... I’m in therapy to deal with some problems.

Wife: WHAT??? Therapy! What the hell kind of person are you? I used to think therapy was okay, but now that I know A-Rod goes, I think it is only for cheaters, divas and men with strange bluish lips.

See… Jose knows you were trying to do something positive, just like when you slapped Arroyo, but once again your effort will do the exact opposite of what you are trying to accomplish.

And to get in one last cheap shot, Jose doesn’t know specifically what disorder, if any, A-Rod is being treated for, but there are reports that he spent his last off day staring into his reflection in a pond for about 20 hours. You Greek scholars should be able to connect the dots from there.

For more visit

Tuesday, May 24

5/24/05 – It’s Not a Tumor vs. Bush

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. Jose attended a Sons of Sam Horn lunch in the Back Bay yesterday with a few stalwarts from the organization. When Jose introduced himself, one attendee said “Jose Melendez of the always clever KEYS TO THE GAME.”

Jose and another attendee replied at the same time “Not always clever.”
And, it’s true. The KEYS are not always clever; they are not always funny, nor does Jose expect that they will ever be so. All Jose’s hopes for is to be known as the author of the “often clever KEYS TO THE GAME.” And frankly, these days he would settle for being the author of the “occasionally clever KEYS,” because Jose is struggling.
There has been a lot of talk early in the season about why Jose can’t find last year’s form. Clearly, he’s typing slower than last year, his syntax is a little bit off and he’s going to the Tony Castrati bit a little more often than he should.

Everyone has their theories. Maybe Jose can’t take the pressure any more. Maybe he’s distracted by domestic problems. (Note to the Melendezette: Jose is not distracted by domestic problems.) Maybe he’s just not used to the cold weather. Maybe he’s getting too much work. Maybe he’s not getting enough work.

Some people have even suggested letting Matt Mantei write KEYS for a while.
To this Jose says “FEH!!!” Jose is not the problem here. No, no. Jose is never the problem. If Jose has learned anything from watching George Steinbrenner and Donald Rumsfeld, it is that he is not the problem, or to paraphrase an excellent button “Jose’s okay. You’re a sh*thead.”
So Jose’s official, pass the buck explanation is that this team is simply not funny enough. They traded the hysterical, handshaking OC for the shy, retiring ER. The replaced a Yoda mask wearing pitcher with a fat tub of goo… And they did this in a year where there was a Star Wars movie coming out. Acquiring Wells would have been fine if they were re-releasing The Blob or making Daniel Pinkwater’s Fat Men from Space into a movie, but they’re not. See. Context matters.

So the Sox need to make some moves to get funnier, and if this means reacquiring Ricky Henderson, so be it. Because it’s not Jose’s fault. If you need to boo someone, boo Kevin Millar instead.

For more visit

Sunday, May 22

5/22/05 – Antipope Clement XV vs. Smoltz

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. Jose missed most of last night’s game when he took the Melendezette to see Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Still, the evening was not without baseball value, as Leisure Suit Larry Lucchino has often compared the New York Yankees to the Empire from Star Wars.
After careful review and analysis, Jose finds this analogy lacking. Let’s think about this analytically.

The Emperor executed a plan to seize power over the course of 15 years. The Yankees plan changes depending on Steinbrenner’s mood on any given day.
There can only be two Sith lords and any given time. The Yankees can only have one Boss… and he’s crazy. (Note: So if the Yankees motto is “There can be only one” the correct sci-fi analogy is really Highlander.)

The empire has an army of clones at it’s disposal. Actually, this one is sort of similar, as the Yankees will soon be composed almost completely of Raul Mondesi and Kevin Brown clones.
The point is that the Empire was this well-organized, smooth functioning machinery of evil, whereas the New York Yankees are this clunking inefficient machinery of evil held together with tape and $100 bills. To put in another way, if George Steinbrenner ran the empire, they’d probably end up getting their butts whooped by some teddy bears in the forest… oh… so maybe the Yankees are like the Empire after all.

For more visit