1. Careful readers of KEYS may have noticed a distinct lack of intensity in Jose’s Yankees columns this year. The standard bile-laced invectives have been curiously absent, as have the demand that all identify “Whose side are you on.”
The reason, of course, is that Jose has been saving the anger and invective for the series beginning today with the ancient and hated rival the Tampax Bay Rays.
Already, Jose is slipping on his “Kazmir Sucks” shirt, and placing orders for ones that read, “Crawford is a Little Bitch,” and “Pena Sucks Hinske.”(Note: Those guys are traitors, damn dirty traitors. How can you leave the Red Sox and go to the Rays? It’s like defecting from Paraguay to Uruguay in the War of the Triple Alliance.)
So to get fired up Jose is going to review some of the great-moments in the Rays-Red Sox rivalry.
September 6, 2000: Pedro Martinez hits ham ‘n’ egger Gerald Williams on his fourth pitch of the evening, prompting Williams to charge the mound. A cowed Martinez then shows his fear by refusing to hit any of the next 24 batters, or let them hit him.
Opening Day 2003: Rays beat Red Sox on walkoff—In what remains the greatest win in Rays history, the then Devil Rays come back on opening day to beat the Red Sox, as Chad Fox blows a save. Tampax starter Joe Kennedy is so emotional that he dies four years later.
March 27, 2006: Julian Tavarez cold cocks a sliding Joey Gathright at home plate in an exhibition game, moving him past “Rockin” Robbie Simms on the list of Massachusetts’ greatest pugilists.
Can’t you feel the history? Can’t you smell the animosity? Screw Fred McGriff! Wade Boggs is a traitor! It’s like Istanbul or was it Constantinople. It’s like Salonika or is it Thessaloniki? This rivalry is where history ends, where possibility clashes with reality. It’s Rays-Red Sox. And this time, it counts.
2. Sine the Rays have enjoyed such wonderful benefits from abandoning the devil and embracing the Ray, Jose thought it would be nice to pay tribute to all of the great Rays by cracking out the old, Top 10 good and evil bit. Today, the Top Ten Good Rays of all time, later this week, the bad
1. Ray Charles—Even if he did nothing else in his career, the man was in Blues Brothers. (Note: Ray is dead, when Stevie Wonder goes, who will continue the chain of blind black pianists who are awesome?)3. The Red Sox are at last getting healthy, with Mike Lowell, Sean Casey and St. Josh a Beckett returning to the team, and even DJ Dru talking about playing against the Rays. There is even good news on the Big Papi front as the designated hitter told the Globe “My Hand is Not OK.” Now, Jose knows what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “That sounds like bad news.” But you are totally wrong. Being not ok, doesn’t necessarily mean bad, it could mean really good.
2. Ray Robinson—Pound for pound the best ever… except for Julian Tavarez.
3. Ray, X—Much better than the old system of cutting the leg in half to see if it is broken.
4. Ray Allen—A champion! Also, number two on the top ten good Jesus list.
5. Ray Magliozzi—Leads Dane Cook in the race to be Arlington’s funniest person by 42,387 people
6. Ray Bradbury—Even in his futuristic novels, could not imagine the Rays in the playoffs.
7. Ray Babbitt—The man was a gambling genius!
8. Ray Jay Johnson—OK, Jose will be honest, he has no idea who this is, but he’s been mentioned on The Simpsons a few times. Of course, if Simpsons mentions were a good metric for skill, Steve Sax would be in the Hall of Fame.
9. Stevie Ray Vaughan—He died in a plane crash. That makes him the Corey Lidle of rock.
10. Allan Ray—Maybe the Celtics couldn’t be bothered to play Ray Allen and Allan Ray, together, but Jose will be damned if he misses the chance.
For instance, let’s say you won the lottery and someone asks you “Are you ok?” You’re going to answer “no” because, you’re not ok. You’re awesome. And Jose can only assume that the same thing is true of David Ortiz.
In related news, Jose is pretty sure that when they say Tom Brady has suffered a catastrophic knee injury, they mean that it’s not that bad and therefore will catastrophic for Patriots opponents.
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME.