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April 1999 Archives

April 18, 1999
Walter Freeman and Wilhelm Reich Feud

Reich, above
Freeman, below
Veteran starting cosmic pitcher Wilhelm Reich and rookie centerfielder Walter Freeman had a sharp disagreement that turned physical according to sources close to the Mindland Brains.

Reich apparently has been making snide comments since spring training about the highly touted but untested rookie from the American Psychosurgery League. Freeman, inventor of the so-called "ice pick" lobotomy in the 1940s, has not had a stellar start so far this season despite the hype that he was going to be the next great cosmic batter. And in 26 games starting in centerfield he has committed two throwing errors. Both errors occurred while Reich was on the mound.

Wilhelm Reich has, according to people close to the situation, been feisty and crotchety since joining the team in December. The much-maligned founder of "orgone" energy, Reich is a controversial psychobiologist who played 13 seasons for the Nude Island Erotics (1984-1997). When the Erotics were deactivated, Reich sat out the 1998 season hoping the Alphatown Ionians would give him a call. The Ionians never called and Reich reluctantly accepted a deal with the Mindland Brains, a new cosmic team for 1999.

Nobody close to the situation would comment on the record about the tension between the lobotomist and the orgonomist. But field manager Jean Piaget is known to be growing impatient with the two players. You might say the team, currently playing .500 ball (13-13) is headed for some cloudy, emotional plague days as the season wears on.

Click Here for the 1999 Mindland Brains Roster

April 7, 1999
Sonata for Kosovo

The crisis in the Balkans over who should live in the area known as Kosovo provides yet another example of the human community's inability to discern right from wrong. The United States-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) intervenes with a destructive military response to Serbia's ethnic cleansing of Kosovo's Albanians. The failed diplomacy and the confused political leaders wreak havoc on innocent human beings. In the name of what?

The SONATA FOR KOSOVO wails for the star-crossed and unfortunate victims of ethnic cleansing and for the innocent souls who take cover from the hard rain falling on top of them. And it wails for the misbegotten men and women who no longer can discern what is right from what is wrong.

Click Here for the SONATA FOR KOSOVO

20K MIDI File. Duration: 5:00 minutes

April 5, 1999
1999 Major League Baseball

The March deaths of Joe DiMaggio and Cal Ripken, Sr., two men who represented the purest of baseball traditions, symbolically underscore the status of Major League Baseball in 1999. Something more than just the corporeal bodies of two men who exemplified the game-as-it-used-to-be has been taken away.

The overtly selfish baseball owners, in a frenzy because their sport faces a financial meltdown, are frantically trying to capitalize on the excitement generated during last season's homerun festival. Combined with the overtly greedy players, the owners are fast driving the so-called "national past-time" into the ground. Baseball as-it-used-to-be will soon be as out-of-sight as the average cost for a nice family of four to attend a Major League baseball game ($121.36). [Note: Figure is based on the Fan Cost Index, which includes two average-price tickets, two average-price child tickets, four small soft drinks, two small beers, four hot dogs, parking, two programs and two adult caps. The Fan Cost Index for Major League Baseball has increased 6.8 percent this season.]

Rather than seeking out ways to curb their spiralling greediness, owners and players look for new methods of satisfying the desire for mo' money. The latest idea floated by Major League Baseball to raise revenue is to use advertising patches on player uniforms.

Not surprisingly, money has severely skewed the competitive balance of the sport. Analysts point out that a team's payroll must be at least $52 million if there is any hope for a playoff bid this season. And while the season has just started, it is already easy enough to predict which teams will be around in September: The Yankees ($87 million payroll), Orioles ($79 payroll), Dodgers ($77 million), Rangers ($74 million), Braves ($73 million) and the Indians ($68 million) are assured of making the playoffs based on their payrolls. This competitive imbalance based on team revenue/expense tables will not be solved by turning the players into walking billboards.

It has been said that the heart and soul of American culture can be discovered by understanding the game of baseball. If Major League Baseball is the paradigm used to divine the core values of the culture than perhaps it is time to radically alter the model.

Owners and players are unlikely to be motivated to enact changes that do not satisfy their own self-interest. It would be unwise to expect "government" to have any meaningful impact on how the game is structured, it is afterall, part of the problem. That leaves only one segment left to do the dirty but necessary work of changing the game for the better: the Fans.

It is the fan, sitting at the ballpark or in front of a television set that is the ultimate source of the game's revenue. It is time for the fans to seize the day and rid Major League Baseball of its selfish and destructive tendencies.

Unless Major League Baseball really is a reflection of the way we are, fans can change the game. Fans really do have the power to restore the game in such a way that Joe D. and Senior would be proud.

The question is: Are Major League Baseball fans ready to play ball or not?

1999 American League Team Schedules

1999 National League Team Schedules

April 4, 1999
1999 Cosmic Player Fields

The more than 500 cosmic players, managers, coaches, etc. active during the 1999 season represent 31 fields. For the first time in CBA's 18-year history the field of Politics sits atop the list representing almost 12% of all cosmic players. Literature (11.5%), Art (8%), Beat Generation personalites (6.3%), and Music (5.7%) round out the top five categories...Two new fields are included on this season's listing: Motherhood (4.3%) and Mathematical Curves (3.8%)... Women represent 21% of all cosmic players, managers, coaches and owners and there are 147 rookies playing cosmic baseball this season.

Click Here for the 1999 Table of Cosmic Player Fields

April 1, 1999
Cosmic Game Report- DRAGONS @ VANGUARDS

This was an outstanding cosmic game as befits the contestants. The Delta Dragons, CBA's team of talented musicians, and the Bhutan Vanguards, CBA's team of interesting artists, have one of the most enduring of all cosmic team rivalries. Neither team has played very distinguished cosmic baseball during the last several seasons and it is doubtful that either team will be at or near the top of the final Middleleague standings next Fall. Nevertheless, when the two teams play against each other, it's always exciting.

Musicians and artists (painters, photographers), who naturally share so many internal characteristics, compete on a more subtle level, that, at first glance, may seem strange or remote to people who would consider themselves non-creative. Many creative people will affirm the idea that everybody is innately creative. Some block it, some have it blocked, some are distracted. Modern end-of-the-century life certainly puts more demands and constraints on individuals. This makes it difficult to negotiate and navigate the intense but often unsettled seas of creativity and imagination.

Aside from Elvis Presley's double in the first inning and Jasper Johns' double in the second inning the first three innings were basically a pitching contest between Laura Nyro and Frieda Kahlo. The Vanguards opened up the heavens in the fourth inning and let rain three runs, chasing Nyro out of the game. Charlie "Bird" Parker got the Dragons out of the inning and kept the Vanguards quiet in the fifth but two more runs came across in the sixth as Bhutan took a 5 to 0 lead. Dragon manager Janis Joplin replaced Parker with Jerry Garcia who uses only nine fingers to get the ball ready to be thrown. As usual, Gerry quieted down the artists. But the damage had been done and despite a brave but failed comeback attempt in the eighth and ninth innings, the Vanguards held the lead and prevailed.

While neither team figures to be a contender this season the future looks bright, especially for the Vanguards. Rookies Jasper Johns (this game's MCP) and Wolfgang Paalen look to be future stars. The Dragons rookie secondbaseman, Noah Lampert, young though he is (at 15 he is the youngest starting secondbaseman in CBA history), also looks promising.

These two teams won't meet again until the dog days of summer. They are scheduled for a grueling five game series which is worth looking forward to regardless of where they stand in the standings.

Click Here for the Game Report (Boxscores, etc.)

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April 1999 News & Information Archive
Archived: May 1, 1999
Copyright © 1999 by the Cosmic Baseball Association