9/28/05 -- Sox vs. Makings of a Squamish Pritz
It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Call me Wakefield. Some years ago - never mind how long precisely - having little or no money in my purse, and being the losingest pitcher in AAA, I thought I would travel about the Boston Red Sox system a little and see the northeastern part of the country. It is a way I have of driving off the demons, and regulating the mindset of indifference vital to success throwing knuckleballs. Whenever I find my nails growing long; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily throwing fastballs down the middle; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the streets of New York, and methodically knocking people's Yankee caps off - then, I account it high time to get to Boston as soon as I can. I think to the grand failures of men like me. This is my substitute for pistol and ball. With a philosophical flourish Donnie Moore cocked the hammer and pulled the trigger; Mitch Williams was driven to a silent madness, I quietly take to the Fenway mound. There is nothing surprising in this. If they but knew it, almost all men in their degree, some time or other, cherish very nearly the same feelings towards the mound with me.
(Note: Adapted from some book, by some guy.)
2. Tonight, the Red Sox face Blue Jays pitcher Ted Lilly, who Red Sox fans famously taunted in a 2003 playoff game with the chant of Liiii-llyyyyyyyyyy, Liiii-llyyyyyyyyyy. In the past, Jose has told you of how he has used this chant to taunt Lily Tomlin during a production of “The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe” and the scientists at Eli Lilly pharmaceuticals. Tonight, Jose fully plans to start the Li-ly chant when the lefty first takes the mound sometime after seven and continue it incessantly until 10 PM. Admittedly, it will be much, much less effective from the living room of Jose’s tenement apartment in Boston’s Historic North End than at the 35,000 seat tenement on Yawkey Way, but as Jose noted early in the week, there are vague meaningless, pseudo-scientific indications that these sorts of karmic actions can impact events, so chant he shall.
Perhaps you are concerned by Jose’s statement that he will be chanting Li-lly until 10 PM, as it suggests that Ted Lilly might last deep into the game? Surely Jose wouldn’t chant Ted Lilly at Brandon League or Scott Shoenweiss? (Note: Schoenweiss means “beautiful white” in German. Can the Anti-Defamation League— not affiliated with Brandon League—or the Southern Poverty Law Center look into this guy? Is it just a coincidence that when he strikes out the side, all swinging, the scorecard reads “KKK?”) But fear not. Starting at 8 PM, ABC is reairing last week’s episode of “Lost,” followed by an all new episode at 9. (Note: “Lost” is the Boston Red Sox of television shows. It is at the same time addictive, puzzling, infuriating, mysterious, exciting and better than anything else available. Moreover, it features a group of strangers who ostensibly share the same goals, yet are plagued by suspicion and backbiting.) “Lost” stars, among others, Canadian actress Evangeline Lilly, who Jose can only assume is Ted Lilly’s sister. The way Jose sees it, Ted Lilly should be disappearing from action about an hour into the game, after three innings or so, right about the time Evangeline Lilly is showing up on TV, so Jose can flow naturally and easily from taunting him to taunting her.
3. While it remains unlikely, there is still a possibility that the season could end with an unprecedented four way tie among the Red Sox, White Sox, Yankees and Indians. Everyone knows that a two way tie is settled by a one game playoff, and a three way tie is settled by a triple threat match (note: which Jose documented last year), but how, oh how is a four way tie settled?
There are lots of theories out there but precious few facts. Some say it is a simple single elimination tournament (note: Boston vs. New York, Chicago vs. Cleveland with the losers battling for the final spot). Others suggest that it involves adding three people to the forty man roster for each team and playing a game called 43-Man Squamish
documented in a 1965 Mad Magazine, that involves shepherds crooks, a "pritz" or ball stuffed with Blue Jay feathers and in the event of a tie, impersonations of Barry Goldwater. Still others insist that the tie can only be broken by an act of a new Iraqi parliament elected under a completed constitution, which would mean we might wait for a long, long time.
Fortunately, all of these people are wrong. A four way tie is actually broken by simple game of four square, which anyone who though about this logically would have realized anyway. Our best man vs. Cleveland’s best man vs. Chicago’s best man vs. A-Rod. Why A-Rod? Because as the T-shirts available in Kenmore Square remind us, he’s very, very good at slapping balls, and that is the essence of four square.
I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS TO THE GAME