It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.
1. One of you asked, on Friday, where Jose had gone, why he had forsaken you, if you will.
It’s a good question, and as is the case with many good questions, there are a variety of reasonable answers. For instance, if one were to ask why Joe Borowski is still the Cleveland closer, the answer could be that he is Eric Wedge’s illegitimate son (note: this is not that realistic as the WWF has taught Jose that most illegitimate sons are midgets), that someone got confused after hearing his name only through the first syllable of his last name and thought they had Joba rather than Jobo, or something as simple as Eric Wedge suffering from a severe form of retardation. In the case of the good question of why Jose missed an all important April series against the hated New York Yankees, he can, likewise, offer a variety of answers. Perhaps it’s because of something you did or perhaps it is because an April series against a team that hasn’t won a championship in eight years seems unimportant.
Either of those answers would be a good answer, but neither of them would be a true answer. The true answer is that Jose is preparing for a major change of life. How big a change? Think of it as bigger than converting from catcher to first baseman, but not as big as menopause. (Note: Jose really didn’t want to bring up menopause, but as soon as he used the phrase “change of life” he kind of had to.)
Jose is leaving Boston.
Okay. Maybe it’s bigger than menopause, or even bigger than Menopause the Musical.
Jose is not leaving Boston because he wants to. Far from it. He is leaving Boston because he has to. He is doing it for you.
When Jose started this blog in May 2004, he was armed with nothing but the stunning grasp of cross-cultural minutia that only a liberal arts education combined with tens of thousands of hour of watching television ranging from the cartoon “Wheeled Warriors” to “Cop Rock” can provide. (Note: This is a lie. Like everyone else who ever lived, Jose never watched Cop Rock.) These tools served him well. They served him long. But, to stick with the tool metaphor, with repeated misuse cutting low branches off of Christmas trees, even the sharpest steak knife will grow dull.
The KEYS, and frankly the Red Sox, have grown tired and redundant. Year after year, it is the same. Jose makes quips about wrestling and comic books; the Red Sox win the World Series after a spectacular ALCS comeback. Lame. Just boring, repetitive and lame. (Note: Not lame.)
Thus, Jose has made a decision that it is time for him to get some new tools, possibly a jigsaw of allusion or a nail gun of enjambment. Jose is going back to school.
Staring this fall, Jose will be attending one of the several worthwhile universities in the country that is not in Boston and studying new and varied fields, reading texts exotic and subtle so he can more accurately compare their authors to Alex Cora.
But what does this mean for the KEYS? How will this affect you the reader? Well, there are a few ways this could play out. The one that appeals the most to Jose is the Keyser Soze option wherein Jose simply walks away and then all of a sudden starts talking in the first person, thereby undermining everything you thought you knew about him, and then gets in a car with Indians reliever Masahide Kobayashi and is never heard from again. The other possibility is that Jose will simply cut back to a reduced schedule, writing a couple of times a week, rather than at his current, grueling pace.
The truth is, Jose is not sure what will happen between now and the end of the season, or even when he will leave Boston. Perhaps he’ll stay until September, or perhaps he’ll open a small mission is rural Laos and teach the villagers that David Oritz is more powerful than their so-called gods. It could really go either way.
2. Among the stories emerging from the first 2007 World Series Champion Red Sox vs. 2000 World Series Champion Yankees series of 2008 was the strange tale of a David Ortiz jersey churned in with the concrete at the new Yankee Stadium. Apparently, a Bronx construction worker who was a Red Sox fan mixed it into the concrete in order to curse the new building. After an absurd five hours of jack hammering, the Yankees found and removed the jersey.
While the news reports have largely fixated on the mystical aspects of the story, Jose is far more interested in the architectural angle. What this story reveals is the dramatic conceptual flaws in Yankee architecture. The biggest single flaw is the decision to build the stadium out of concrete. That is just foolish. By building the structure out of hard, heavy, inflexible concrete, the Yankees guaranteed that any response to this sort of mischief would be a debacle.
Compare this to when the Red Sox built the new Fenway Park. By refraining from using concrete and instead opting to use supple, flexible abstract as the principle building material, the Red Sox ensured that they would avoid all of the problems that the Yankees are facing and would not place a burden on the taxpayers.
If some idiot Yankee fan tried to mix a Jeter shirt in with the abstract that makes up the new Fenway, you can be certain that it wouldn’t take nearly five hours to find it.
3. Jose keeps seeing advertisements for this new vaccine called Zostavax which prevents shingles. Why anyone would invest money in a drug that is specifically designed to help lisping pitchers combat base hits is beyond Jose, but he will confess that he doesn’t really understand the pharmaceutical business.
I’m Jose Melendez and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.