It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.
1. It is quiet here. It is painfully, relentlessly quiet. Denuded of the cracks and cheers the air is empty of vibration. All that remains to tickle the tympanic membranes, are those other sounds, the sounds so subtle, so remote, that they do not even exist to a man who is free from anything but the most monastic solitude. The heart thumps its regular rhythm, a metronome, infinite and plodding. Beneath the percussion is the slow gargle of blood tickling arteries and veins on its journey through the French horn of the circulatory system. And then there is the buzz. Like the whir of fluorescent light or the flapping of a mosquito’s wings, the buzz annoys, high and harsh, even as it calms by providing evidence of one’s continued existence.
Jose heard these sounds described once in a radio story about a composer who wrote a piece of music consisting entirely of rests. The composer went deep into a subterranean isolation chamber to hear true silence, the silence that burns like acid in one’s ears, and there, alone, he heard these sounds.
But Jose needs no subterranean cavern, no layer of the Morlocks, to succumb to this bitter silence any more than he needs an orchestra at rest. To him, silence is nothing more than the absence of baseball. And on the treacherous Wednesday off day Jose was left to its cruel neglect, given a taste of what shall come should the Red Sox lose again to Cleveland.
Simon and Garfunkel were wrong; silence does not “like a cancer grow.” Silence is not some foreign growth crushing organs with sheer bulk. It is more insidious than that. Silence like a virus spreads. It infiltrates just a few cells at first, then turns those cells into breeding grounds for its minions of quiet and despair. With each off day, the silence of the off-season penetrates more deeply, overwhelms more perniciously until there is naught but void.
But Jose will not yield to the silence. He will not bow to the bitch goddess inevitability; the silence cannot yet come. He will not allow it.
Sometimes even those sworn to silence, those who’s very being is defined by the absence of sound, must break their vows, must deny their essence to stave off the abyss. In 1976, Marcel Marceau, a man more famous for silence than any other, uttered the lone word “non” in Mel Brooks’ “Silent Movie.” More recently, Darryl and Darryl, the silent woodsman in the television program Newhart, are, in the series finale, so infuriated by the grating chatter of their wives that they scream their first word in the series “QUIET!!!” And in comic books, even the Inhuman King, called Black Bolt, who dares not speak because his voice can level cities, will utter a word when the situation is so dire that the silence must be shattered.
Jose cannot fall back upon the shock of the spoken word to rend the silence. Jose is verbose, and a word spoken would have no impact among the hundreds of thousands he has written.
All Jose has to tear apart the shroud of void, is one word, one slender syllable, that can have the impact of the mime aloud, or the mute come to speak. The day is dark, the silence is encroaching and the time for action has come.
I predict the Red Sox will win tonight.
2. The epic poems were nice, perhaps they were even actually epic, but they haven’t brought the Red Sox any wins, so away with them.
Perhaps, as Granny Melendez often suggests and Jose’s brother Sam confirms, these KEYS have been simply too long to read. So to hell with the verses as long as Dustin Pedroia’s swing and as plodding as Doug Mirabelli. Those days are gone. Rather than offering you one grand epic, Jose will offer a few short distinct poems, some merry little couplets for Game 5.
Roses are red, violets are blue,
Thank God we’re not starting D. Jonathan Dru.
Roses are red, dead ones are black,
Where is Millar? Let’s break out the Jack.
Marigold’s orange, lilies are white,
Why isn’t Ellsbury, playing in right?
Begonias are red, or their white or pink,
Seriously guys, you should start with a drink.
Grass it is green, bark it is brown,
You will come back, from three to one down.
Outfield is green, in, a burnt umber,
The bats will arise from their postseason slumber.
Poppies are red, they’re used to make smack,
It’s time for Pedroia to show us some sack.
Maples have leaves, in winter they’re bare,
Do you really think Manny just doesn’t care?
Pine trees have needles, oak trees have leaves
We need for our shortstop to pull up his sleeves.
Daises are red, when slathered in paint
Tonight young Josh Beckett will prove he’s a saint.
Hyacinth’s blue, except when it’s not,
Like back in ’04, let’s go drink a shot.
3. The Cleveland Indians’ Casey Blake was sharply critical of Manny Ramirez for celebrating by stretching his arms toward the sky after hitting a home run to pull the Red Sox within four runs in Game 4.
What a jackass. Does Casey Blake not recognize not only step 2, but also step 11 of the yoga movement the Sun Salutation? Or maybe he does recognize it and he just hates the sun. Does he know that the sun is where we get light and heat from? Does he know that plants need it for photosynthesis? It’s like, really, really important. And there he is just pissing all over the sun, like he’s so much better than it.
All, Manny does is give a friendly greeting to Ra or Apollo if you prefer, and Casey Blake gets all self-righteous.
Blake went on to say that Manny’s sun salutation was “so opposite of how I am.” So how is he exactly? Jose’s supposes that means that rather than offering a salutation to the sun, he would say so long to it after hitting a home run. Would he just say but and storm out the door? Would he sit down and have a long talk with the sun? Nah, he seems like the sort of guy who would send a text message to the sun. “SRY I CANT SEE U. KC.”
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.