Archived News & Information Archived April 30, 2002

Archived News Items

April 29, 2002
Cosmic Baseball Coaches
Bohemians Owner Turgenev Fires Thackeray, Hires Dostoyevsky
Link to Fyodor Dostoyevsky Biography
The Russian Realists are coming; the Russian Realists are coming! First Ivan Turgenev buys the Eden Bohemians and now he's replacing team coach and English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray with ex-Bohemian coach Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Dostoyevsky was a Bohemian coach during the 1997 season. In fact, Thackeray was the one who replaced Dostoyevsky the following season. The well-liked and respected Thackeray found out about his termination when field manager Fielding Dawson called him into the office late Sunday afternoon after the Bohemians lost 9-3 to the Psychedelphia Woodstockings. According to sources, Turgenev decided to can Thackeray and hire his fellow Russian writer sometime last week. One gets the impression that Mr. Turgenev is not done fiddling with his management team. Manager Dawson, skippering his team to a fairly dismal 16-21 record so far this season cannot be sleeping too well at night. The whereabouts of Leo Tolstoy might be of some concern. A nasty rumor had Bohemian G.M Henry Miller meeting Count Tolstoy at the Cosmic Delmonico Club for dinner last Thursday night.

Russian writer and pitcher for the Armageddonia Anarchists, Peter Kropotkin, remarked that, "the artistic qualities of his [Dostoyevsky's] novels are incomparably below those of any one of the great Russian masters..." This doesn't tells us much about the kind of cosmic baseball coach Dostoyevsky is. However, this tidbit might: in 1997 Dostoyevsky left the Bohemians as a disgruntled and angry man unable to communicate effectively with the players. If team owner Turgenev's motives are nationalistic and not focused on what's best for the team on the cosmic baseball field, we can kiss the Bohemians goodbye for awhile.

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April 23, 2002
Cosmic Baseball Players
Ex-Superba Robert Blake Arrested & Charged With Murdering His Wife
Blake as Baretta, 1975
Former Telecity Superbas secondbaseman Robert Blake was arrested on April 18 and charged with killing his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley on May 4, 2001. At the time of his arrest, the 66-year-old movie and television actor was wearing his Cosmic Baseball LogoCap.

Link to Logocaps
Blake Wearing Logocap
Blake won an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series category in 1975 for his television portrayal of an unconventional police detective in ABC's television drama Baretta. The television show debuted on January 17, 1975 and ran for three and a half years (the last episode aired June 1, 1978.) Prior to that gig, Blake had turned in an outstanding performance as Perry Smith in the movie version of Truman Capote's haunting tale of murder, In Cold Blood. Blake's character, ominously enough, was a cold-blooded, pill-popping, killer who, along with an accomplice, murdered the Clutter family in Kansas during the 1950s. Perry Smith eventually paid for his crime by being hung to death.

Robert Blake has been in show business practically his entire life. Born Michael James Vijencio Gubitosi in 1933 in New Jersey, Blake's show business parents had him performing by the age of two. The Gubitosi family moved to Southern California in 1939 and young Michael Gubitosi (the name change occurred in 1942) began acting in the Our Gang comedies (also known as The Little Rascals on television.)

Bonny Lee Bakley
Blake was drafted by the Telecity Superbas, the Cosmic Baseball Association's team of television personalities, in 1983. He played secondbase for ten seasons and compiled a career batting average of .269 in over four thousand at bats. He batted .319 in 1989 and .305 in 1990. Blake was deactivated after the 1992 season.

Blake with Daughter
at Bakley's Funeral
Concerning the pending murder charges, Blake and his accused accomplice Earle Caldwell, pleaded innocent on April 22 in a Los Angeles court. But the police surmise that Blake killed Bonny Lee Bakley because he felt contempt for her and because he felt trapped in their marriage. Blake married Bakley in November, 2000 after it became clear that he was the father of her daughter Rose Lenore Sophia born in June 2000. Blake's contempt for Bakley might have had something to do with the fact that Bakley ran a mail-order business whose business as described in media accounts was "soliciting money from lonely men who answered her ads in magazines and newspapers." Blake met Bakley at a Los Angeles nightclub in 1999. On May 4, 2001, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, Blake shot and killed his wife just after they had dined at Vitello's restaurant in Studio City.

Blake in 1985
Based on the available information, a panel of Cosmic Baseball Research Alliance (COBRA) Scholars has pre-concluded that most likely Robert Blake did kill his wife. However, the panel notes that we do not likely know all the motives for the Bakley murder at this point. Based on this preliminary finding by the COBRA panel it is unlikely that Blake would be reactivated as a cosmic baseball player any time soon. If convicted of murder or homicide in a recognized court of law, Blake could become eligible to enter the Cosmic Baseball Association's Umpire Draft Pool.

April 21, 2002
Cosmic Baseball Players
Jack Kerouac Baseball Game on Display
Link to Kerouac 1998 Cosmic Player Plate
Last summer the New York Public Library's Berg Collection* acquired a sizeable portion of the archive of American writer Jack Kerouac. Included in the acquisition were materials related to Kerouac's imaginary baseball league (see "Jack Kerouac's Summer League"). Beginning April 26 as part of its periodic "New in the Berg Collection" exhibition series, some of Kerouac's baseball game materials will be on display.

The Berg's press information statement for the exhibit entitled Victorians, Moderns and Beats- New In the Berg Collection, 1994-2001 explains that available for public viewing will be,

an array of fascinating materials [Kerouac] created in relation to his passionate interest in baseball. As a youngster, Kerouac devised an intricate fantasy baseball game that required the use of hundreds of cards that allowed for very specific descriptions of each play. These card sets, along with related team rosters, and newsletters he wrote to report on the results of his fantasy games, are displayed in the exhibition and give a sense of the vivid imagination he had as a youth and which later found expression in his literary work.

Special Note to Our Members & Visitors...
If you visit the exhibition and would like to write about your experience please consider letting the Cosmic Baseball Association print your words. We would like to get a wide variety of reactions to the Kerouac baseball materials in the Berg Collection. And then we would like to include them in the next issue of the Journal of the Cosmic Baseball Association. For more information, please email

Exhibition Details
April 26-July 27, 2002

Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 10 a.m - 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday: 11 a.m. 7:30 p.m.
Closed Sundays and national holidays.

New York Public Library
D. Samuel and Jeane H. Gottesman Exhibition Hall
Humanities and Social Sciences Library
Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street
New York, New York
Telephone: 212.869.8089

Admission to the Exhibition is FREE

*The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature includes collections of literary first editions, rare books, autograph letters, and manuscripts. It was assembled and presented to The New York Public Library in 1940 by Dr. Albert A. Berg, New York surgeon and trustee of the Library, in memory of his brother, Dr. Henry W. Berg.

April 15, 2002
Cosmic Baseball Owners
Ivan Turgenev Buys Bohemians from Simone de Beauvoir
Ivan Turgenev Remote Link
With the new season only a month old, a major transaction has taken place. The Eden Bohemians, a team of writers in the Cosmic Baseball Association, has been sold. French author Simone de Beauvoir sold the team, for an undisclosed amount, to Russian author Ivan Turgenev. At the time of the sale the team had a record of 11 wins and 14 losses and was in fifth place in the eight-team Middleleague.

Turgenev was born in 1818 into a wealthy family that lived in Oryol, which is in the Ukraine region. He had a strict domineering mother and spent most of his life in love with a married opera singer, Pauline Garcia Viardot. He went to school in St. Petersburg and in Berlin, Germany. He was a contemporary of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Leo Tolstoy. Among his most famous work is the novel Fathers and Sons. He also wrote short novels, poems and plays. Several subsequent writers and filmmakers have used his novella "First Love" with its "boy meets girl, father steals girl" theme as a model for their own creative expression. Compare Charles Simmons' 1998 novel Salt Water. Maximillian Schell directed and starred in the 1970 movie called First Love and as recently as 2000 the filmmaker Reverge Anselmo made Lover's Prayer (also known as All Forgotten.) The poet Anna Marie Kersade has announced her own version of the tale tentatively titled, "The Wild Child is Father to the Wild Man."

Note:   Kersade's approach is novel:   she examines the theme from the point of view of one character. The boy that meets the girl becomes the father that steals the same girl.


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April 8, 2002
Cosmic Baseball Coaches
Severino Antinori Replaces David Hume as Ionians Coach
Severino Antinori
The Alphatown Ionians, the Cosmic Baseball Association's team of philosophers and scientists, announced today that longtime team coach David Hume has retired and has already been replaced by Severino Antinori, a medical scientist specializing in embryology. Antinori is expected to join the team on Monday. Hume has already departed the team and returned to his native Scotland where he reportedly will play golf and write a memoir of his association with Cosmic Baseball.

Antinori, who has no known prior experience with baseball of any kind, is a controversial figure in the science world. He was born in 1945 in the village of Abruzzo located in central-southern Italy. In 1972, he received a medical degree from the University of Rome. Sometime in the early 1970s, his interest in human fertility was sparked by the research of Patrick Steptoe, a British embryologist. He began focusing on the plight of usually well-to-do infertile couples. In the 1980s Antinori achieved recognition for pioneering the so-called subzonal insemination technique (SUZI) which led to the development of the so-called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) process whereby a single sperm cell is directly injected into an oocyte (female egg.) In 1989, he helped a 47-year old woman become the first woman to give birth after the onset of menopause. In 1994, Rosanna Della Corte, with Antinori's help, set a world record as the oldest woman to give birth; she was 63 years old. Antinori's research has led him into the minefield that is sometimes referred to as "genetic engineering" or more popularly, "cloning." In 2001, he announced his intention of "cloning" human beings. Bioethicists have raised many questions regarding this technology. While the process of "genetic reprogramming" as Antinori calls it does not produce a perfect or identical clone, critics wonder, for example, what the psychological implications are for a child born a biological twin of its father. Freud's notion that the "child is father to the man" takes on an even more uncanny connotation.

Related Links

April 1, 2002
Reality Baseball
Major League Baseball Notes- 2002 Season
Link to MLB Website
  • IS MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PROFITABLE?    In December, 2001 MLB Commissioner Bud Selig testified before the U.S. House of Representative's Judiciary Committee. His testimony stated that MLB had operating losses of US$232 million. Based on figures submitted to the committee it appears teams like the Toronto Blue Jays (operating loss of $52.9 million), Los Angeles Dodgers ($45.3 million loss) and the World Series winning Arizona Diamondbacks ($32.2 million loss) are not in good fiscal health. This week Forbes Magazine published an article contradicting the Commissioner's figures. Forbes analysis suggests MLB actually made $75 million in 2001. Forbes Senior Editor Mike Ozanian said, "A few teams are struggling, but baseball as an industry is in strong financial shape." Both Forbes and MLB are in the ballpark together on the sport's revenue (MLB claims 2001 revenues were $3.55 billion and Forbes sets revenue at $3.57). The differences occur in calculating expenses. MLB claims $3.58 billion in expenses and Forbes calculates expenses at $3.50 billion. Both Forbes and some congressional critics claim MLB's breakdown of the expense numbers is not nearly detailed enough. Rich Levin, an MLB representative, claimed the Forbes' analysis was "dishonest."

  • GAME TIME    Last season's average game time, 2 hours, 54 seconds was four seconds less than the prior season's average. Still, since 1997 the average time has escalated seven seconds and the powers-that-be in Major League Baseball want to reduce average game times. In our opinion, three-hour baseball games do not have to be a drag. Leave the issue alone...

  • BASEBALL ON TV    There will be more Major League Baseball on the television set. ESPN/ESPN2 will telecast 160 games, up from 111 last season...

  • MORALITY PLAYS    We do not look to Major League Baseball for paradigms of morality: San Francisco Giants secondbaseman Jeff Kent apparently lied to team officials about how he broke his wrist. He said it happened while he was washing a truck. However, it really happened while he was performing "wheelies" on a motorcycle. His motive for being dishonest? There are contract clauses that prohibit Kent from riding his motorcycle...Ruben Rivera stole teammate Derek Jeter's bat and glove from his Yankee locker and sold the items to a memorabilia dealer. The Yankees kicked his ass off the team on March 11. The Cleveland Indians decided not to make a deal with Rivera after he talked with a team psychologist. But the Texas Rangers are giving him a tryout...On March 22, former Major Leaguer Tom Paciorek revealed he had been sexually molested by a priest while he attended parochial school outside of Detroit. Gerald Shirilla, the priest, was removed on March 20, from his current position as pastor of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Alpena, Michigan...

  • ATTENDANCE    Reports indicate that attendance at Spring Training games is up 10% this season over last...

  • TICKET PRICES    Average ticket prices have gone up again, but at a much slower rate of increase. $18.31 is the average ticket cost this season. That's a 3.8% increase from last season. (Last year's increase over the prior year was 12.2%.) $18 per is not too bad if you are the only person going to see the game. But many of us prefer to go with our children and friends and all in all, it's going to cost more than $100 to do that. (Cosmic baseball games are, of course, virtually free at all times.)

  • WORK STOPPAGE    Hanging over the season is the Labor/Management talks about a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. The old agreement expired on November 7, 2001. The Player's Union rejected the recent proposal offered by the Owners. Bob DuPuy, the owner's negotiator remarked last week that the two sides "appear to be as far apart today as we were yesterday." Will Major League Baseball endure a ninth work stoppage?



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    Archived: April 30, 2002
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