Monday, July 2

On the Auction Block

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

1. During yesterday’s telecast, Meg Vaillancourt, the former Globe reporter who converted her aggressive coverage of the plan to build a new stadium and the sale of the Red Sox into a cushy job as head of the Red Sox foundation (note: Hooray journalistic integrity!), revealed that as part of the “picnic in the park” auction, fans will be able to bid on “one of a kind” Red Sox items such as a game of Scrabble with Jonathan Papelbon or a quail hunting trip with Mike Timlin and Tim Wakefield.

While playing Scrabble with Papelbon might be fun, Jose is not convinced that hunting with Timlin and Wakefield is the best idea. Jose sort of imagines Wakefield out there hunting, just pumping bird shot into quail after quail, nice and easy. Then all of a sudden, not only is he unable to hit any quail he’s inadvertently shooting other hunters, airplanes, that sort of thing. Timlin, Jose would be less worried about, because if his shot is anything like his fastball, it’s arrow straight.

While the other items have not yet been made public, Jose’s crack reporting team has uncovered a number of items that will be available for bid
  • Chance to strike out Julio Lugo.
  • Bowling with Julian Tavarez.
  • Work on proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem, with noted genius Alex Cora.
  • Karaoke with Matsuzaka and Okajima
  • Opportunity to kick Doug Mirabelli in the nuts.
  • Have Kevin Youkilis sing Kiddush at your Shabbat dinner.
  • Pap smear by Papelbon
  • Tour of Hyde Park with Manny Delcarmen
  • Buy Manny’s grill or car or whatever he’s got this month.

There are a lot of great items to bid on, way better than the Yankee auction. The best thing there is a pool party with Mariano Rivera. (Note: Wow, that is maybe the worst thing Jose has ever written. Should he have gone with marriage counseling from A-Rod instead?)

2. Recently Jose learned that he has gotten a link on the Web page of Tim Wendel, author of Castro’s Curveball, a book that Jose assumes must be about San Francisco’s famed gay baseball league.

But seriously, the book, is a fictionalized account of the Cuban leader’s baseball playing days. Since Castro was known to be a pitcher of some skill during his days at Belen College and the University of Havana (note: though he never played professionally) , it has often been wondered what might have happened if he’d had the stuff to compete at a major league level? Would history have turned out differently?

Jose, to be honest, finds the discussion a little trite. Sure, it’s fun to imagine, but Jose suspects that even if Castro had livelier stuff, it wouldn’t have made a lick of difference.

A far more interesting question is what might have happened if Papa Doc Duvalier had been an excellent drag bunter? The implications would have been stunning. As a tyrant and, Papa Doc was all too eager to sacrifice others for his own benefit. Perhaps if he had learned the honorable art of the sacrifice bunt, he would have understood that self-sacrifice is, in its own way, worthy.

Another interesting question is what would have transpired had Nikita Khrushchev been a baseball player? On any of the number of occasions when he banged his shoe on his desk during the UN General Assembly, perhaps his spikes would have gotten caught in the desk, embarrassing the Soviet leader and decreasing his prestige. Perhaps, so chastened, he would have lacked the courage to send missiles to Cuba.

Regardless, it seems like now might be a good time to start teaching Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to field a position.

Kruscheve Comes in spikes high


3. It’s not fair. It’s just not fair. After tonight, Khe-Sahn Gabbard will have started just three big league games this year, and Jose will have ended up at two of them. That’s just not right.

Jose supposes it could work out okay. A few years ago, Jose thought he was so smart in his annual season ticket draft. He carefully selected games five days apart at the beginning of the season in order to get as many Pedro starts as possible. The only problem was that he miscounted, and instead got a healthy helping of Brian Rose starts, though one of those included a game winning single by Manny off of Mariano Rivera on a Friday night, so it wasn’t all bad. Similarly, the Sox won the first Gabbard start Jose saw this year.

Still, Jose cannot help but be a little disappointed that he is seeing Gabbard. It’s a little like buying tickets for AC/DC and expecting to see Bon Scott and then finding out that he died and that Brian Johnson will be singing instead. Wait… Brian Johnson was still kind of good. Maybe it’s more like expecting to vote for George McGovern and Tom Eagleton and then discovering the day before the election that Eagleton’s been replaced by Sargent Shriver. Wait, that’s no good either, Gabbard’s got a much better chance of winning tonight than either Eagleton or Shriver did of becoming Vice President.

Okay, Jose’s got it. Getting Red Sox tickets and then ending up with a Khe-Sahn Gabbard start is a lot like ordering kung pao chicken and then discovering that it’s the version of kung pao that’s 80 percent celery. Sure, it might be pretty good, but even if it is, you’re still going to be kind of disappointed.

I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.

3 comments:

RS Bat Boy said...

Saw Meg yesterday also. I love your ideas for auction items!

How about

- Learning how to slide with Julio

- Whiffing lessons with Willy

- learn how to give up at least one run everytime you pitch an inning with Mike Timlin

- Learn how to screw a team out of a whole boat load of money with JD Drew (including break-out sessions with Julio, Manny and special guest Roger Clemens (although the last one is not on the Red Sox dime, just that the Rocket thought he would be any good is funny enough on its own))

I'd bid for all of those!

Jose Melendez said...

That's a nice idea, but wouldn't the Rocket want a personal cut to teach people his money stealing secrets?

Anonymous said...

How about hair styling/grooming lessons with Manny and Tavarez?