Itís time for Jose Melendezís KEYS TO THE GAME
1. That was bad. Really bad. B-A-D bad. If last nightís game was a German city it would be Baden-Baden. If it was an English aristocrat it would be Lord Baden Powell. How bad was it? Well, we can measure it a few ways. We can look at it quantitatively and say the Red Sox lost to Cleveland by 12 runs 15-3. Thatís 50% worse than the 9-1 loss the night before. Or we can look at it qualitatively and say the Red Sox pitched worse, hit worse and defended worse than the Indians. Or, we could look at it comparatively. We can note that as early as the bottom of the first inning, Jose stopped monitoring the game, choosing instead to catch up on the news of the day. Thatís right. Pending nuclear Armageddon in the Middle East? Less frightening than watching good Saint Beckett pitch. Internationally inactivity in the face of genocide in Darfur? Less horrifying than Red Sox inactivity in the face of 2-4 start to the road trip.
Jose is not saying that the performance of the Red Sox last night is actually worse than the slaughter of thousands or an Iranian madman getting the bomb. (Note: Okay, Jose knows the U.S. is adamantly opposed to Iran developing an atom bomb, but how would we feel about them developing a Mota Bomb? If Iran developed their own Guillermo Mota would it put our international dominance of middle relief at risk?) Jose is just saying that untold human suffering does not make him feel half as powerless as watching a pitching staff that canít get anyone out.
So now the Red Sox, once off to such a good start, have lost 4 of 6 to good teams on this road trip. Their confidence is shaken, and they are beginning to doubt their ability to score runs as the bottom of the lineup struggles. They are tentative, wary. They have the baseball equivalent of Vietnam syndrome. On the upside, they now have three games against Tampax Bay which is the Major League Baseball equivalent of an invasion of Grenada. It will be quick, it will be easy, it will build confidence, and it may well result in individual Red Sox bringing home buff, underachieving medical students.
2. Last week, Jose got a comment from the son of a high ranking state official. Letís say it was State Comptroller Martin J. Benison. It wasnít, but the Comptroller Perkins character on the Simpsons has convinced Jose that Comptroller is far and beyond the funniest state office, so letís say it was the Comptrollerís son.
Jose saw this sudden indirect access to an influential public official as the perfect opportunity for him to start lobbying for some critical state decisions. His initial thought was that he should lobby for the declaration of a ďJose Melendez DayĒ in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Since Joseís lifetime ERA was 3.47, Jose though that perhaps the day could be March 47th, but then he remembered that there are only 30 days in March so he scrapped the whole idea.
Then Jose thought that maybe instead of looking for ways to promote himself, for once, just once, he should try to use his influence to help someone who is down on his luck. Thatís how Jose got the idea to lobby the Comptrollerís son to declare it ďJosh Bard Day.Ē Joseís theory was that Josh Bard Day should be January 1, New Years Day because of the synergy there. We wouldnít even have to come up with any new traditions since people already pay tribute to Bard on New Yearís by watching the ball drop.
3. According to Keith Reed of the Boston Globe, a Maine-based blogger is being sued by the tourism department of the former Massachusetts province for defamation. Leaving aside the fact that taking the time to create and update a blog dedicated to attacking a State Tourism Agency is probably grounds for commitment to a psychiatric institution, Jose is concerned that this case could have a chilling effect on his rights and the rights of bloggers around the country to defame, libel and character assassinate public figures, acquaintances and obscure government bureaus in very cold states.
Itís not that Jose would worry about losing a case. He is quite comfortable that he could prove any of his claims in court. There is plenty of evidence that Johnny Damon is a treacherous, picocephalic and that David Wells is largely made of benign, yet useless fat cells, so the precedent established by the acquittal of John Peter Zenger, Printer of the New York Weekly Journal in 1735, that truth is a defense from charges of libel, should hold. But could Jose possibly bear the legal costs of fighting a team of high priced lawyers set on proving that Grady Little is not dumber than a rock? Just the cost of giving both Little and a rock IQ tests would consume far more money than this blog has ever made. Then there would be the cost of expert psychologists to debate whether Gradyís emotional intelligence counts as actual intelligence. (Note: It doesnít.) And the next thing you know Jose is living in shopping cart under that Comm Ave. Overpass just East of Kenmore Square holding a sign reading ďwill compare baseball player to Enguerrand VII de Coucy for food.Ē
Iím Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME