Wednesday, September 12


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

1. The Red Sox are going to the post-season.

There. Jose said it. It’s okay to say it. Yes, yes, they haven’t technically clinched anything, and yes the division title is maybe vaguely in doubt still, but the Red Sox are up about a million games on the wild card second place Tigers, and there ain’t no way, they’re falling that far.

This means that as much as Jose would like to rant and worry about the upcoming Yankees series, he just can’t muster the energy. He has other concerns— namely, how to get playoff tickets.

It used to be that Jose could get tickets through sheer force of will, rising early on a Saturday morning and dialing the phone until his fingers were sore and chaffed. In 1999, Jose was at every single home playoff game. But that era ended with the birth of the virtual waiting room and the rise of the pink hats, and now Jose is stuck scheming like everyone else.

But Jose has a plan. It’s a time honored strategy, ancient and refined. What is it? Well here it goes: blackmail. That’s right blackmail! Or wait, blackmail is illegal right? So let’s call it… uh… negotiation. Jose is going to “get to yes” on the ticketing question.

But with whom is Jose going to negotiate? Why, with someone on whom he has information of course—his ticket supplier. Jose has had a cut of a friend’s season tickets for the past two years, but the friend, let’s call him Mr. M for now (note: Mr. M does not stand for mentally retarded male) understandably plans to keep the playoff seats that come with the season passes for himself.

That’s where the negotiation comes in. Mr. M is recently married, and Jose wonders if his wife knows that Mr. M is one of only two people to ever purchase a KEYS thong, ostensibly for his “research assistant.” If you are reading this Mr. M, be prepared to hand over playoff tickets unless you want your wife getting a KEYS thong in the mail, with a note saying.

Dear Mrs. M,

Congratulations on your nuptials. Jose
understands that Mr. M really likes to see all of his women in KEYS delicates,
so Jose thought he would give you one as a wedding gift.



So what will it be? Give Jose the tickets or have your wife get that awkward letter? The choice, as rap duo Black Sheep would say, is yours.

(Preemptive note against Jose getting his ass kicked/marital discord in the M household: Okay, so Mr. M is someone Jose regards as a friend, but Jose doesn’t really know him that well, and has never met his wife. This creates a problem, as Jose has no idea if she’s the sort of person who would take this seriously. Jose thought about asking Mr. M for permission to do this bit, but what if he said no? Then Jose would be completely stuck without a first KEY and would have to write some lame Kevin Cash thing, and no one wants that. So Jose decided that he would go ahead and write the bit, but add this disclaimer. So Mrs. M, if you’re reading this, this is all a big joke and your husband has nothing to hide… that is unless he fails to hand over playoff tickets, in which case Jose is pretty sure he saw him buying black market KEYS thong knock offs in Chinatown to give to Swiss hookers.)

2. After hearing about a friend of a friend eating a $700 for two people meal in London, which included bacon and eggs ice cream, Jose has started thinking about excess. What is reasonable to spend on one’s personal pleasure and what is unreasonable? In a world where a billion people live on less than one dollar per day, is it truly reasonable and responsible to drop $700 on ice cream with pork in it?

Jose is of two minds on the issue. The first mind says “No, are you crazy. That’s wrong, wrong, wrong.” After all, who in God’s name needs to spend $700 to get a spectacular meal? Is it that different than the spectacular meal one would get for, say $300? But then Jose is of a second mind. We all have our weaknesses, our hidden passions that drive us to the supple madness of excess. Jose, for instance, spent, $5 on a Jose Melendez baseball card. That’s crazy. Perhaps for some people, the $700 dinner gives equivalent pleasure to what Jose gets from a flight to Europe. And who is Jose to judge?

After mulling over the ethics of it all, Jose reached a few conclusions. First, excess in moderation is okay. There is nothing wrong with going nuts once in a while, but if you eat $700 dinners often, you are a total jerk. Second, waste is intolerable. If you pay $700 for a meal, you’d better not leave any crust on the plate or fat on the bone. Hell, you should eat the bone and then lick the plate just to be sure. Jose concluded this because he has his own excesses. He spends hundreds of dollars every year on baseball tickets, and just this year alone he’s spent $160 on tickets for games he never even went to. Does that make him a bad person? (Note: Yes.)

So the point is that the occasional splurge is okay if it is worthwhile (note: $20 million per year for Manny) but not if it is wasteful ($14 million per year for DJ Dru, $5.75 per hour for Cesar Crespo.)

3. Jose feels obliged to weigh in on the Patriots sign stealing scandal. Yes, it has nothing to do with baseball, but neither to world poverty and blackmail, and it didn’t stop Jose from writing about them.

While it is pretty clear that the NFL has a rule against electronic surveillance of an opponent’s defensive signals and that the Patriots broke that rule, Jose contends that there should be no punishment. That rule is clearly superseded by the federal law permitting warrantless wiretapping. See, there’s a reason they called it the Patriot Act rather than the Jets Act.

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


Anonymous said...

In case your classy with a capital "K" readership is interested in recreating the molecular gastronomical experience of "bacon and eggs ice cream" without the $700 price tag you should warn them that dropping chopped up bits of burnt hot dog into Mr. Softee doesn't work. The recipe is here:,3858,4424440-103425,00.html;

Anonymous said...

Why don't you just harass Pseu into giving you the secret backdoor number? That's not a reference to anal.