Wednesday, August 29

Off to St. Helena

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

1. Jose supposes it had to end sometime. Napoleon had his Waterloo, the Empire had its Ewoks, Bruno Sammartino had his Superstar Billy Graham, and now Jose has his 315 foot BS Johnny Damon short porch home run. Such are the cycles of history.

But before Jose is taken in manacles to his own St. Helena to spend out his days writing standing up and being slowly poisoned with arsenic, he’d like to take a moment to reflect on his five glorious days on top of the world.

Remember when the Red Sox scored more than 10 off the White Sox?

Then remember when the Red Sox scored more than 10 off the White Sox again?

Then remember when the Red Sox scored more than 10 off the White Sox a third time?

And then recall how the Red Sox scored more than 10 runs off the White Sox for a fourth straight game?

Good times, happy days.

But Jose’s happiest memory of the whole galloping adventure was last night when the Red Sox lost to the Yankees and it did not matter at all. Was it mildly annoying, sure? Did it create feelings of anxiety and perhaps even a tinge of resentment, yup. But these are conditioned responses, and as soon as you realize that it no longer is your burden, that the bulk and mass of a century is no longer on your shoulders, the stress evaporates. It’s like running into an old girlfriend while she’s arm and arm with a new beau. Perhaps it feels weird and uncomfortable at first, but as soon as you accept the fact that her decision has no relevance whatsoever to your life going forward, that your responsibility has long since ended, that feeling of calm like valium mixed with gin spreads from your heard to your hands. In fact, Jose would advise against operating heavy machinery under these circumstances.

Consider this example. Jose is going to the wedding of his college girlfriend in a few weeks. And do you know what? He doesn’t feel weird about it at all. She’s a good friend, her fiancĂ© is a pleasant chap and she is far happier with him than she ever was with Jose. Super good. Moreover, Jose is happier too. And thus Jose will go to the wedding full of joy for the happy couple and unburdened by the overfull rucksack of past emotional turmoil.

That is sort of how Jose feels about the Yankees winning last night. He’s over it. It is no longer relevant to his life, because it is no longer relevant to the Red Sox. The Red Sox are going to the postseason, and the Yankees? The Yankees are not our responsibility. Of course, there are some critical differences. Jose genuinely wishes his college girlfriend and her soon to be husband happiness. By contrast, even though the Yankees are equally powerless to cause Jose emotional distress, he still wishes pain and agony upon them. That said, Jose and this bride to be have been split up for seven years, so it’s easy. Maybe in 2014 when the Yankees are in their seventh season of finishing behind the Red Sox and 14th season with out a championship, Jose will be able to feel good for them if they get a wild card so they can get swept by the Angels. Who knows? Time heals right?

2. One of the quirky consequences of Jose’s meteoric rise to borderline relevance is that PR flacks send him press releases on events that he has no interest in and will never go to.

The latest example is the Captain Morgan sponsored competition between Red Sox and Yankees legends.

Captain Morgan: Drink like a pirate and wake up feeling like you’ve been keelhauled.

Apparently there was some sort of showdown in Manhattan, among Dave Winfield, Goose Gossage, Dewey Evans and Jim Rice. The four aging gentlemen battled it out in “an obstacle course (including ball toss, dart throw and accuracy bunting), bottle knock-down and Pose Off.” (Note: Jeez, writing really is easier when you just borrow directly from press releases. Back when Jose was a PR guy, everyone always told him that reporters would frequently just run press releases, but he never really believed it. After all, wouldn’t that make them nothing more than corporate mouthpieces utterly without integrity? But it turns out that they really do it. And Jose totally gets why. Because it’s so easy. So, so easy. Never mind that rum is his arch enemy and the only liquor that routinely causes him serious illness. Never mind that Captain Morgan was the culprit in a particularly dangerous batch of hurricanes in 1997. Jose didn’t have to come up with an original third key which is awesome. Jose does have a question though, if the Captain Morgan people want to be accurate shouldn’t the Captain be reconfigured as a Somali guy or an Indonesian. Don’ those guys do most of the high seas piracy these days? Or maybe they should remake him as a pimply teenager pirating music?

In all seriousness, Captain Morgan is apparently named after Sir Henry Morgan a Welsh privateer who, among other activities, burned much of Panama to the ground and slaughtered its inhabitants. Sort of makes you wonder if George H.W. Bush was drinking a bit of the Captain in 1989. Among the possible reasons for his death is—get this—heavy drinking. Seems like an ideal spokesman for an alcoholic beverage to be enjoyed responsibly.)

(Additional note to the PR Flack who sent this to Jose: Put it in your clips file. Jose dares you. Go on, send it to your client. Will you count it as positive or negative media? On the one hand, Jose is promoting your event. On the other hand, he pointed out the dangerous vomit inducing properties of your product and its affiliation with the sack of Panama. Tough call.)

Any way, the Red Sox apparently prevailed in the final event, the pose down. (Note: Why didn’t we send Gabe Kapler to this?) And George Steinbrenner immediately responded by hiring a private investigator to follow losing Yankee Dave Winfield.


The Yankees best chance for a win comes up short.

3. Continuing with his fixation on the complete irrelevance of last night’s loss, Jose cracks out the fake book to and flips to the songs of Lady Ella. Gather round the piano and sing along.

It Don’t Mean a Thing





What good is winning, what good’s a win
If it ain't a meaningful defeat
It ain't the Red Sox, it ain't the Yanks
When you know the Yankees can’t compete

It don't mean a thing, cause we’re gon’ get a ring
Jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-baaaaaaa

It don't mean a thing, Yankees wait until next spring
Jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-ba, jo-baaaaaaa
It makes no diff'rence if the Yankees win
Seven games? They sure ain’t closing in.
Don’t mean a, don’t mean a, don’t mean a thiiiiiiing,
It don't mean a thing, It don't mean a thing, cause we’re gon’ get a ring

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

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