It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.
1. It’s Papelbon.
That’s the word out of Florida this afternoon according to ESPN. Faced with the prospect of Piniero, Tavarez, Donnelly or any of the other cast of thousands closing, the Red Sox have decided to go with what worked in the past, even if it costs them over the long term.
Jose isn’t too fond of this move. He thinks Little Papi’s value as a starter will ultimately exceed his value out of the pen, but he can’t say that he’s surprised. Going with what used to work, even at the expense of the future is all the rage these days. The WWF’s having trouble getting new talent over with fans? Have the Undertaker wrestle for the title at WrestleMania, after all, it used to be a good idea. The Democrats can’t win the White House? Nominate a Clinton, it worked the last time they tried it. The U.S. is stuck in a military quagmire with no end in sight? Why not try escalation? It worked when we tried it in Vietnam. Err…
No, the number one admonishment to all those who play the stock market—past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results—is being ignored. It’s not that Jose thinks Papelbon will be bad in the bullpen. Quite to the contrary, Jose expects that he’ll be excellent. He’s got two great pitches and a middling third, that’s closer stuff. It’s just that Jose believes, in his heart of hearts, that Papelbon would be a terrific starter by the middle of this year and forever thereafter, that the prospect of facing Euro, Beckett, Mr. Matsu and Papelbon, would wear down any team, and that a closer, by trade or from inside, would have emerged with time.
But are we sure returning Papelbon to the closer spot will work? Are we really? What if a pitcher is like a woman (note: or a man Jose supposes)? What if? What if? What if? A woman can be a closer. Nothing wrong with that, no moral judgments here. She can be the person for those tense situations, when one just needs a high intensity expenditure of energy to close out an evening. And she may be really good at it. She may excel. Hell, she may be so good, have so much promise, that you try to convert her to a starter But what happens then? What if, rather than just asking her to close out your nights, you ask her to start out your mornings and make it deep into the day? Maybe it will work out maybe it won’t. Maybe she get’s bombed early in the day? You don’t know. But if it doesn’t work do you think you can ask her to go back to closing and everything will be the same as it was? Can you rely on her to still bring the heat at the end of the night, get the job done expeditiously and then shake hands and walk off the mound? Maybe it can be done, but Jose hasn’t seen it happen too often. Of course, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.
A woman scorned?
2. Red Sox riddles, courtesy of KEYS TO THE GAME
Q: What does Jason Varitek have in common with Christopher Cross?
A: Neither of them have had a hit lately.
Q: How many Red Sox relievers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: It doesn’t matter they can’t even close a circuit.
Q: How many fifth starters does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Let’s see Snyder, Lester, Hansack, Gabbard, Tavarez… five. Five! They each take a turn in the rotation.
Q: Why did Manny Ramirez throw a clock out the window.
A: Just Manny being Manny.
Q: Why did Grady Little throw a clock out the window?
A: Because he was incredibly bleeping stupid.
Q: What has wings but can’t fly.
A: Cory Lidle’s plane. (Note: Boooooooooooooooooooooooooo.)
Q: If a tree fell in the forest would Curt Euro make a sound?
Q: He who has it doesn't tell it. He who takes it doesn't know it. He who knows it doesn't want it. What is it?
A: The next Ken Ryan.
3. OK. Fine let’s talk about the grill. Everyone else is. So what if Manny Ramirez was selling a grill on E-Bay. Big deal. Everyone acts like it’s such a story that the legendary enigma Manny Ramirez would try to sell a cooking appliance. “Does he really need the money?” some asked. “Isn’t it kind of pathetic?” others queried. Does he claim that the grill needs a new home every year and then he leaves it exactly where it is?” inquired still more pundits.
But why are we acting like it’s so weird. Would it be weird if he bought stock in Texaco, invested in a mutual fund, purchased real estate or secured no-bid military contracts? No, it would be a normal, sane investment for a wealthy man. And so is selling grills.
You remember; we all laughed when George Foreman started selling grills, and you know what happened with that. That’s right, he went insane and named all of his kids George. But he also made a ton of money. So why shouldn’t Manny sell grills. He’s already crazy, so what does he have to lose?
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO SPRING TRAINING.