1. When Jose woke up this fine, clear morning, perhaps the coldest old Boston has seen this year, he was treated to the agony and… well… agony of a cold shower. There are times when a cold shower is appropriate, even enjoyable: outside after a long swim on a hot summer day, any time when one is a teenager. Eight in the morning when it is nine degrees out, however, is not one of them. No, in these circumstances, said type of shower is a classic example of taking a bad thing (note: being cold) and making it worse (note: becoming cold AND wet).
Which brings us to Roger Clemens. Jose’s relationship with Roger Clemens, the relationship of all of Red Sox nation with Roger Clemens is a lot waking up to nine degree weather. It is unpleasant, it is agitating, and it makes one think back on the past, not fondly about the good times when the sun was warm and the air was fragrant with dogwood blossoms, but about how those happy days, that comfort, were snatched away.
Think about it this way. If your boiler died, would you sit around happily recalling the good old days when you had heat, or would you be angry that it had left you cold and alone? At the same time, we humans are an adaptable species. We change, we adjust. If the warmth were truly gone forever, fur would again seem fashionable, we would huddle under wool blankets or perhaps build igloos. The new status quo would become manageable but not downright comfortable. But now imagine that your old boiler was going to get fixed. So you throw away your furs, they’re cruel you know, give your blankets to the homeless and hop in for a nice, hot shower. And then… ice water. Your lungs spasm; your heart twitches; you cry out. You feel fooled, deceived. Does it feel like closure? Like coming full circle? No, it feels like ice, like pain, like death.
And this is what we are in for if we sign Roger Clemens. We will turn the faucet of memory, expecting the heat to flow like honey. But instead it will flow like Martian rivers, which is to say not at all, the cold water of Clemens’ dotage will hit us square in the face chilling our bones and sending our private parts into humiliating retreat.
If this is this winter of our discontent, the January of our agitated griping, let us put up the weather stripping, stock up on blankets and burn IKEA catalogues and back issues of Pro Wrestling Illustrated for warmth. The boiler has belched its last hot water; it is dead and gone.
Or maybe it just needs to have the air drained out of it, and then it will work fine again. Either way, Jose really hates Roger Clemens.
2. In today’s New York Times, Manhattan area pinhead Murray Chass (note: not to be confused with the Matthew Perry character “Chazz” from early Fox sitcoms “Second Chance” and “Boys Will Be Boys”) suggested that if the Red Sox and DJ Dru are unable to meet terms, the Sox could look to Barry Bonds as an alternative. Under the Chass Doctrine, Bonds would play left and Manny would return to right field, where he played with the Indians.
While at first blush, this proposal appears to be “insane,” “unconscionable,” “grounds for impeachment” and “stunningly incompetent” maybe Chass is on to something. Despite being a lighting rod and appalling defensive liability, Bonds can still swing the bat, and Jose thinks there is a scenario wherein the Red Sox could play bonds and Manny in the corners without giving up too much in terms of ground covered. The key is for Rococo Crisp to be really, really fast. He’s already fast, but like way faster, like the Flash or Quicksilver or Carl Lewis with diarrhea. Of course, that may not be possible, but that’s where Bonds can contribute defensively. You know he could score Crisp some speed.
3. Buenos tardes, caballeros y senoras...
And that concludes
Jose’s entire performance in Spanish.
Where were you last night?
Someone accused Jose
Of being an illeist.
Do you know
What that means?
Is one who,
Or that which,
Refers to itself in the third person.
In vulgar parlance...
But Jose is not an egomaniac
At these prices...
Jose is an illeist!
And that concludes today’s adaptation of Gypsy, with music by Jule Styne, book by Arthur Larrents and dictionary research by KEYS reader Jack Roy.
Truth be told, Jose is overjoyed to learn that such a word exists. Not for selfish reasons, of course. No, Jose likes having a word that describes him, but he doesn’t need it. Rather, Jose likes the word because for the first time, there seems to be a word grand enough, strange enough, funny enough, to describe Ricky Henderson, perhaps the greatest illeist of them all. When Ricky finally goes into the Hall of Fame, which given his penchant for not retiring will be five years after his death, Jose demands that the plaque read
RICKY HENLEY HENDERSON
MORE TEAMS THAN YOU COULD IMAGINE
STOLE 1,406 BASES TO BECOME MAJORS’ ALL-TIME STEALS KING.
1990 A.L MVP. ALL TIME RUNS SCORED LEADER.
ONCE WAVED TO THE MELENDEZETTE AFTER JOSE MELENDEZ SHOUTED OUT TO HIM. ILLEIST.
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE HOT STOVE.