10/22 AlCS Game 6– I’m Jose Melendez, and I’m starting this thread.

jose melendez

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Oct 23, 2003
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It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE GAME.

1. Jose likes to think that his three-year-old daughter is becoming a bit of a baseball savant. Born in the glorious summer of 2018 on a day when Chris Sale struck out 12 (note: remember that!), she arrived under a blessed sign. She saw the Sox win it all before she hit three months on this good Earth. (Note: Jose now has a three week old son who has never seen the Sox win it all. He would like that corrected.) In 2019, she went to her first spring training (note: for the Nationals--the Melendezes are a blended family.), sat on manager Davey Martinez’s lap and seven months later the Nationals won their first championship. Her second spring training ended before she saw a game due to Covid, but she can hardly be blamed for that. We all know that was the fault of (note: checks notes) lizard people or communist pangolins. (Note: Covid is not caused by lizard people or communist pangolins.) She’s already been to see the mighty Wareham Gatemen of the Cape League (note: notable alumnus Kyle Schwarber.) She’s got a foul ball hit by home run derby king Pete Alonzo, and she’s already both run the bases in a big league ballpark, and watched the Barber of Seville (note: And The Rabbit of Seville) while relaxing in a major league outfield. She is doing things in the world of baseball thatJose has, perhaps, dreamed of, but has certainly never done. She’s also been to half a dozen major league games in DC, and though she’s seen the Sox play in Baltimore, she has not yet been to the Cathedral in the Fens--a major omission in her education, to be sure, and almost certainly the first complaint she will have about her father in therapy some day.

Growing up in a blended household, she sees a lot of games, both Sox and Nats. Baseball is the sight and soundscape of the summer in the Melendez house, as it should be. But baseball is a long game--too long these days--so Jose has developed ways to focus her on the contest. One is to ask her to name each of the numbers constantly on the screen in a modern broadcast. Another is to tell her to look at the magic box on the screen for each and every pitch that shows the strike zone. Initially, she could just say whether the ball was inside or out of the box, but now she knows outside is a ball and inside is a strike, and she can call balls and strikes at least as well as Laz Diaz. (Note: Better than Laz Diaz.) (Additional note: It seems unfair that with umpire seniority rules, she won’t be calling ALCS games for at least another 40 years, and he gets to call them now despite similar competencies.)

Yes, when it comes to baseball, she is wise beyond her years, wise in the way only children can be. She can see what we adults, in our analytical myopia, cannot. And so when such wisdom comes from the mouths of babes, we wretched adults do well to listen. So it is in that spirit that Jose shares this pearl from his daughter’s mouth in the midst of a game this summer.

“Baseball,” she said, “is a different kind of Peppa Pig”

“Baseball is a different kind of Peppa Pig.”

Think about it.

Yes, maybe she only said it because baseball and Peppa Pig are the only thing on TV in Melendezville when she’s awake. Nevertheless, it works. It works on so many different levels. The angles, the ebb and flow, the endless, endless endless content…. And the sounds! Who at the first sign of spring doesn’t long for the crack of the bat and the snort of the pig!

On a physical level do not an official Major League Baseball, and Peppa Pig consist of the very same stuff that emerged from the big bang? On a metaphysical level what is the relationship between Peppa Pig if not… Aristotlian maybe? Let’s go with Aristotilean.

Jose’s favorite character on Peppa Pig is Super Potato. He reminds Jose a lot of Game 6 starter Nathan Eovaldi. Mr. Potato, Super Potato’s, secret identity, like Eovaldi, is a mild-mannered figure, well-liked and inoffensive. But when there’s trouble, Mr. Potato transforms into Super Potato, a masked hero with the awesome powers of fruits and vegetables. (Note: Yes, Jose knows that it now seems that Mr. Potato and Super Potato are actually different potatoes, but if you really want to argue Peppa Pig cannon with Jose, things will get ugly. Jose can and will retcon us into a world where, through a combination of a shady business deal between Miss Rabbit and Mr. Bull and a dark secret in Miss Gazelle’s past, Mr. Potato and Super Potato are in fact the same potato.) And what we’ve seen time and time again this season, is that when the Red Sox are in trouble, Eovaldi ducks away and returns wielding a frightening variety of 100 mph fastballs and knee-buckling offspeed pitches like so many fruit and vegetable powers. Again Jose has a three week old, so in his sleep-deprived brain this analogy works perfectly!

Jose’s fired up, the season’s on the line.

Now let’s go win this Peppa Pig!


2. In the years since Jose stopped writing KEYS as a daily feature, he has had to develop new pastimes. One of these pastimes is being a husband and father--see above. Another is reading endless volumes about Africa--see any conversation with Jose for the last 15 years.. A third is birding.

Jose adores birding. It fits his lifestyle and personality. Birders stare for hours as little to nothing happens, waiting for something, anything the least bit interesting to occur. Birders take endless notes and keep tedious lists of minutia of interest to no one save other birders. Birders talk to each other on the internet about where birds might be going and what birds might be doing. Birding, in other words, is a lot like being a baseball fan.

Jose tracks where birds are migrating on the internet as if they were each a tiny, winged Daisuke Matsuzakas planning to sign in Boston or a Doug Mirabelli trying to make it back to Fenway to catch Tim Wakefield. Jose reads about the love triangles between the Bald Eagles in the national arboretum as if each eagle was nothing more than a majestic feathered Heidi Whatney or Will Middlebrooks. Jose rages when his beloved cat disappoints and betrays by killing a sparrow in his backyard, as if he is Curt Euro (nee Schilling) whose cruel nature was concealed for so long by his aesthetic value.

Yes, when you get beyond just watching the Blue Jays, Orioles and Cardinals, the ornithological world is as vast and diverse as the minor leagues.

3. As Jose sees more and more birds--he’s seen 551 so far!--he begins to notice that they bear similarities to people. Some of those people are baseball players playing in this series! For example:

  • Martin Perez is like a house sparrow: He is annoying, you see him way too much, and he is impossible to get rid of.

  • Christian Vazquez, Alex Verdugo, and Christian Arroyo are like house finches: Nothing about their names suggest that red should be a primary color in their hair/plumage, yet there it is.

  • Jose Altuve is like a red-billed quelea: Tiny but a notorious pest.

  • Carlos Correia is like a northern mockingbird: He looks cool, but he talks so much trash so loudly that after five minutes, you wish he’d just go away.

  • Framber Valdes is like a kori bustard: He has a name that seems completely made up

  • Adam Ottavino is like an ostrich: He spends a ton of time with his bare feet on the ground.

  • Matt Barnes is like a wild turkey. At first it seems pretty cool that he’s around, but after a while it just seems dangerous

  • Or maybe Alex Verdugo is like a wild turkey: Flashy and useful, yet prone to doing things so stupid on the basepaths you think he could drown from staring into the rain.


  • Kike Hernandez is like an bald eagle: Splendid, magnificent, and a symbol of everything decent and noble in our country.

  • Or maybe Nathan Eovaldi is like a bald eagle: After years in jeopardy, he’s off the endangered list and thriving



  • Chris Sale is like a Wooly-Necked Stork: Tall, has a neck beard, and can’t get righties out.

  • Alex Cora is like an owl, any owl: Wise enough to know how many licks it takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop, yet really needs to avoid trash cans.



I’m Jose Melendez, and those are my KEYS to the game.
 
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RedOctober3829

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Jul 19, 2005
51,123
deep inside Guido territory
“We did it before,” Red Sox catcher Christian Vázquez said. “We won three games in Houston in 2018. We need to win two, so why not this year, too? They have a great team, but I like my team. I don’t doubt my team.”

“This is our story,” Martinez said, speaking with reporters in a conference room. “We’ve been written off all year; I don’t think anyone in here, either, thought we were going to be here. We know what we’re capable of, and I think no one is not believing in themselves or not believing in our team that we can go out there and go off.
 

Archer1979

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We don't need a two game winning streak. We need two one game winning streaks. It starts again tomorrow.

Welcome to the American League Championship Series - Game Six. Population: YOU!
 

ObstructedView

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Aug 1, 2001
2,487
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They had to win three straight road games to end the regular season. Just need two now - and this time they'll have a DH.
 

Zososoxfan

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Jul 30, 2009
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What? Over? Did you say over? Nothing's over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!? Hell no! It ain't over now, because when the goin' gets tough, the tough get goin'. Who's with me? What the fuck happened to the SoSH I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. Ooh, we're afraid to go with you, Zoso, we might get in trouble. Well, just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Correa, he's a dead man! Bregman, dead!

LFG
 

Sausage in Section 17

Poker Champ
SoSH Member
Mar 17, 2004
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I just did some “research“. It turns out Jose Melendez and Dusty Baker were once both ejected after a bench clearing brawl during a game in 1992. Jose was pitching for the Padres, Dusty was the hitting coach for the Giants. Could this seemingly meaningless crossing of their paths almost 30 years ago provide any clues to what might happen over the next two days? Jose‘s readers want to know…
 

mr_smith02

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Nov 29, 2003
2,982
Upstate NY
What? Over? Did you say over? Nothing's over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?!? Hell no! It ain't over now, because when the goin' gets tough, the tough get goin'. Who's with me? What the fuck happened to the SoSH I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. Ooh, we're afraid to go with you, Zoso, we might get in trouble. Well, just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Correa, he's a dead man! Bregman, dead!

LFG
Hell to the yes with this post! "You tell 'em I'm coming, I'm coming and hell's coming with me...hell's coming with me!"

Game threads should have a penalty box like in hockey.
 

dasit

lurker
Apr 7, 2021
2
your team won games 6 and 7 on the road against my team
the nationals won games 6 and 7 in houston
eovaldi dominates then it's anything goes on saturday
beat these a-holes so i can go back to hating you