April 24, 2005
Cosmic Game Report: Pisces @ Beats
The Dharma Beats won this game in the first inning when they scored all of their four runs. The Paradise Pisces sputtered out three runs but could not overcome the deficit. It is an old and sometimes bitter rivalry and so far, this season, the Beats have the Pisces beat. Starting pitcher nd experimental writer, William Burroughs, pitched seven strong innings. He remains one of the dominant pitchers in the CBA.
April 4, 2005
2005 MLB Season Starts
The sport has never been more popular. I think the numbers prove that. The business of baseball is doing very well.-- Bud Selig.
Bud Selig is the commissioner of Major League Baseball (MLB). And he is right. The numbers show baseball as a business is booming. Game attendance was over 73 million in 2004. World Series TV ratings were up 23 per cent over 2003. The numbers indicate the sport has recovered from the crisis created by the 1994-1995 MLB players strike. Team values have increased, player salaries are up and so are ticket prices. The numbers look good.
What Selig doesn't speak of is the sport's spirit. The spirit of baseball is in decline. There are several factors in support of this disappointing news. The most current factor is baseball's "steroid" crisis. The season will open with a player suspended for, presumably, steroid use. Alex Sanchez, recently signed by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and scheduled to be their opening day center fielder, has been suspended for ten days. Sanchez is the first MLB player to be disciplined under the new policy baseball implemented in March. Reacting to the suspension, Sanchez said, "I'm going to fight it because I've never taken steroids or anything like that." Barry Bonds is 52 homeruns away from Hank Aaron's 755 record. But Bonds has been implicated, as has Mark McGuire, and other sluggers, in the steroid scandal. This means baseball historians need to consider using the asterisk (*).
Steroid abuse isn't MLB's only problem. The sport has been losing appeal with American youth, especially black youth. In 1971, 25 per cent of major league baseball players were African-American; by 2004 that number had dropped to less than 10 per cent. In 2005 there are four black baseball managers, one black general manager and zero baseball team owners that are black. This problem of the sport's lost appeal in the African American community is not about to be resolved. Consider this: At Bethune-Cookman College, an historically black institution of higher learning, only five of the 28 members of the baseball team are African-American. The return of major league baseball to Washington, D.C., a city that is 56 per cent black, seems like a bold corrective step.
The spiritual problems afflicting MLB are serious. It's folly to call baseball America's pastime in the 21st century. Fortunately, baseball's spirit dwells in other places, if not on Major League Baseball fields.
By the way, don't worry about last night's season opener. The Red Sox will beat the Yankees for the American League pennant again this year. As for the Bosox' return to the World Series, who cares? Beating the Yankees, again and again, as every citizen of Red Sox Nation knows, is all that matters now.
April 3, 2005
Cosmic Game Report: Poetics @ Procoders
Bolex Poetics pitcher Mary Ellen Bute struck out eight in seven innings for one of her best outings as a Poetic. But it is Adolfas Mekas, veteran Poetic secondbaseman, with his three hits, including two doubles and three RBIs, who garners the MCP award for this game. The Omegatropolis Procoders, typical of new teams in the league, are suffering from unsteady starting pitching. Procoder starter COBOL lasted less than four innings but gave up six earned runs.
April 1, 2005
NHPA Executive Director Apache Attacks
One month after taking over leadership of the Non-Humanoid Players Association (NHPA), Apache Helicopter has come out firing. On March 1 Helicopter replaced the Toaster as Executive Director of the advocacy organization. Some had speculated that a "detente" between the Cosmic Baseball Association and NHPA would develop when the CBA named the Omegatropolis Procoders, a non-humanoid team, to replace the deactivated Bigtopia Barnumstormers in March. The Procoders are the second non-humanoid team to join the CBA since it contracted in 2004. In February 2004 the New Ceutical City Pharmers, a team of drugs manufactured by pharmaceutical companies joined CBA.
While acknowledging that the CBA has taken strides in its non-humanoid relations, Helicopter questioned the CBA's commitment to advancing former non-humanoid players into positions of cosmic baseball management. There are no non-humanoid field managers, general managers, coaches, or owners active in the CBA. Helicopter also pointed out that there are no non-humanoid umpires in the CBA. "Why are there no non-humanoid umpires? What are the humanoids afraid of?" Helicopter asked rhetorically during a recent speech to NHPA members and supporters.
Stella Sweetner, an assistant in the CBA's Commissioner's office pointed out that the NHPA represents "players" not managers and that the Helicopter was perhaps just trying to garner some publicity as he begins his tenure at the NHPA.
The Apache Helicopter, a twin engine attack machine, was initially built by McDonnell-Douglas (now part of Boeing.) It entered into service in the United States Army in 1984. The Apache was first used in combat during the U.S. military action in Panama in 1989 and it was in service during both Persian Gulf Wars (although its performance in Gulf War II was controversial.)
The Apache Helicopter uses a two-man crew: a pilot and a co-pilot/gunner. It can move through the air at maximum speeds around 200 miles per hour. Its fuel capacity can keep it airborne for 3 hours. The more advanced model (AH-64D) makes use of digital communications within a tactical internet.
The Apache Helicopter's weapons capability includes a 30mm automatic chain gun capable of firing 650 rounds of ammunition a minute. A typical weapons configuration includes 16 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles mounted on four rail launchers. The Apache Helicopter makes use of the Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (once known as "Hydra"). The APKWS provides Army aviation with a low cost, highly accurate weapon for engagement of light-armored and soft point targets.
Formidable in the field of battle, although not without its vulnerabilities, the same will likely be true of the apache Helicopter's tenure as NHPA's top gun.