May 28, 2001|
Peter Drucker Names Karl Weick General Manager
Heartland Capitalists team owner Peter Drucker was fuming. His team was a game out of the Middleleague cellar (see Current Standings), morale was nose-diving, losses were mounting. Something had to change. So, a week ago in a Heartland Airport conference room Drucker met with general manager Ted Turner and field manager Ayn Rand. Rumors were flying about. Was Turner or Rand going to get the axe? Turner and Rand once had a very close relationship. Perhaps because of the team's poor performance the relationship has suffered. Now there is obvious acrimony between the two. Drucker, who wrote the book on post-industrial management theory is known as a no-nonsense decision-maker. Everyone expected a significant change. But the meeting ended with no announcements.
Drucker will tell you that he hires smart people to run the baseball operations. He likes to keep away from the day to day details. But failure has a way of making revisionists of the best of us. It turns out that Drucker actually fired Turner last week. At the airport meeting Drucker told Turner he was being replaced by Karl E. Weick. Weick is a notable academic in the field of organizational behavior. Drucker asked Turner to stick around for a week to help Weick out with the transition. Turner obliged the owner. Drucker also insisted that no public announcement or comment be made until the formal appointment of Weick took place yesterday.
Karl Weick is the Rensis Likert Collegiate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Psychology at the University of Michigan. He has been on the Michigan faculty since 1988. In 1969 he published a book called The Social Psychology of Organizing. In 1990 he received from the Academy of Management the Irwin Award for Distinguished Scholarly Contributions. Among those contributions was an article published that same year in the Academy of Management Review entitled, "Theory Construction as Disciplined Imagination." To some he is an articulate and innovative social behavior theorist. To others he is a windbag also called a consultant. According to his biography published at the University of Michigan's website, Weick's current research interests include:
Although little is known of Mr. Weick's interest in baseball, his theoretical work in the management of uncertainty through sensemaking and improvisation should prove to be invaluable as he helps stop the sinking of this stinking ship of Capitalists.
By the way, do you think Ms. Rand is sleeping any better tonight? Her team just lost three games in a row including today's 12-2 drubbing by the cellar dwelling Delta Dragons.
- Collective sensemaking under pressure
- Medical errors
- Handoffs in Extreme Events
- High Reliability Performance
- Continuous Change
May 23, 2001|
Cosmic Baseball Game
Speed City Velocitors @ Phaetown Cars
In this game between things that move one of the movers was the round orb called a cosmic baseball. Eighteen hits and six homeruns provided enough excitement. In every inning but the ninth there were hits, baserunners and runs. As might have been expected this was a game of deliberate and nearly ceaseless movement.
The Velocitors and the Cars are locked in a taut battle for first place in the cosmic Underleague. This head to head game, won by the Cars, locks them back up in a tie. There are two more games left in this series at Phaetown. The two teams will meet again in Speed City at the end of July.
May 21, 2001|
Cosmic Baseball Players
Frederic Chopin 2001 Cosmic Player Plate
Frederic Chopin spent most of his life composing and playing expressive piano pieces for the bourgeois salons of Europe. Although born in Poland, political conditions and personal ambitions led him to France where he lived most of his life. Associated with the Romantic movement of the 19th Century, Chopin's work is among the best known and best loved
of all musical composers.
Frederic Chopin joined the Cosmic Baseball Association as a utility infielder for the Paradise Pisces in 1999.
May 7, 2001|
Cosmic Baseball Umpires
Three New Umpires Named to Roster
Three new individuals have been placed on the Cosmic Baseball Umpire Roster for Season 2001. Timothy McVeigh the 33 year-old convicted murder/terrorist who blew up an Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 was activated as an umpire on April 9. Marilyn Kay Plantz, 40, convicted of conspiracy in connection with the 1988 murder of her husband was activated as a cosmic umpire on May 1. This occurred moments after her execution by lethal injection by the State of Oklahoma at 10:11 PM (EDT). The third new umpire is Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
who has been called "the leading inventor of execution technology." Leuchter is a purveyor of death machines such as the Modular Lethal Injection Machine. In his capacity as an expert on gassing and gas chamber technology he wrote the notorious "Leuchter Report." This document has become a leading text in the libraries of Holocaust Revisionists.
McVeigh faces execution by drugs by the United States government on May 16. On April 19, 1995 he blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. 168 people died in the blast, including 19 children. A former member of the United States armed forces McVeigh had developed into a stridently radical anti-government activist. Expressing no regret for his actions McVeigh recently wrote in a letter to a newspaper in Great Britain that he had borrowed "a page from U.S. foreign policy, I decided to send a message to a government that was becoming increasingly hostile, by bombing a government building and the government employees within that building who represent that government." McVeigh wrote further that the bombing was a "retaliatory strike, a counter-attack. I again became the hard-core soldier who was trained to kill by my own government.'' McVeigh, who will be injected with poison will be the first person executed by the federal government since Victor Feguer was hung at 5:30 AM on March 15, 1963. Sister Helen Prejean, author of the book ``Dead Man Walking'' has said that a more fitting punishment for Timothy McVeigh than execution would be to keep him locked up for the rest of his life surrounded by pictures of Oklahoma City bombing victims. Prejean, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Medaille, considers capital punishment hypocritical.
Marilyn Plantz arranged the death of her husband of 11 years Jim Plantz, a pressman for the Daily Oklahoman newspaper on August 26, 1988. Early in the morning on that day two men beat Jim Plantz with baseball bats in his home. Apparently surviving the baseball bat beating Plantz's assailants drove him to the outskirts of town and set him on fire in his pickup truck. One of the batsmen, William Clifford Bryson, was convicted of Plantz's murder and executed on June 15, 2000. Another accomplice, Clinton McKimble became a prosecution witness in exchange for a life sentence. A jury convicted Marilyn Plantz for conspiracy to have her husband murdered. Apparently, one of the motives was the $300,000 life insurance policy on her husband's life. Her love affair with Bryson might also have had something to do with the crime. While waiting to die in prison, Marilyn, the youngest of six children from a rural town near Oklahoma City, turned to Christianity. She was baptized in August 2000. In her final statement from her death chamber gurney Plantz said, "What God has given me is love I have overcome the world. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God.'' According to prison officials, for her last meal, Plantz had requested a chicken taco salad, a Mexican pizza, two soft chicken tacos, two cinnamon twists, a piece of pecan pie and two cans of Coca Cola.
The naming of Fred Leuchter to the Cosmic Baseball Umpire Roster is bound to be controversial. He is not a criminal. To some he is more a victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by those who oppose his views. Leuchter's notoriety comes from his involvement in the trial of Ernst Zündel, a German-Canadian publisher. Zündel wrote and published a pamphlet called "Did Six Million Really Die?" which denied the concept of the Jewish Holocaust. Zündel was convicted in a Canadian court under a law that forbids the spreading of false news. Leuchter was contracted by Zündel's defense team to examine the alleged gas chambers at Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Majdanek Leuchter's findings were published in a 196-page report. In that report Leuchter writes, "the author finds no evidence that any of the facilities normally alleged to be execution gas chambers were ever used as such and finds, further, that because of the design and fabrication of these facilities, they could not have been utilized for execution gas chambers." (Leuchter Report.) In addition to Leuchter's controversial association with holocaust revisionists, his profession as a specialist in the design and manufacture of execution equipment also made him eligible for a position on the Cosmic Baseball Umpire Roster. Between 1979 and 1988 he was a consultant to most of the states that carry out capital punishment. He provided his clients with knowledge about electrocution systems, lethal injection equipment and gas chamber hardware.
Umpires at the Cosmic Baseball Association are selected because they have usually acted in a markedly anti-social way. Since the job of the baseball umpire requires keen judgment, expert self-control and dedication to objective observation, the cosmic umpire has a chance for redemption by being placed in a highly responsible and moral position.
May 22 Update|
May 1, 2001
Cosmic Players in the News
Kerouac's On the Road Scroll Sold for US$2.2 Million
May 22, 2001 Update
The son of the man who sneaked the Baltimore (born Dallas) Colts football
team out of town to relocate them in Indianapolis bought Jack Kerouac's On The Road scroll at an auction for US$2.2 million. Jim Irsay, Robert Irsay's son, wasn't born when Kerouac created the scroll manuscript.
The younger Irsay has been the owner of the Indianapolis Colts since his
father died in 1997. The Irsay family money originally comes from Robert's
success in the heating and air conditioning business years ago in Chicago.
Robert Irsay will forever be reviled in Charm City for having moved the
city's football team under cover of night and a snowstorm in 1984 to the land
of the Hoosiers.
The price tag for the scroll apparently set a new record for literary
manuscript sales surpassing the $1.9 million paid for Kafka's The Trial. James Joyce's Ulysses manuscript sold for $1.4 million and a few days ago Celine's Journey to the End of the Night sold for more than a million and a half dollars.
Kerouac was a football star in Lowell, Massachusetts during his high school years. But for
an injury he may have become a football star for Columbia University.
Instead he sired the Beat Generation.
In published reports Jim Irsay said he probably will put the scroll on
display "somewhere in Indiana."
May 1, 2001
The "scroll" manuscript created by veteran Dharma Beats leftfielder Jack Kerouac, when he wrote On The Road is up for sale this month at an auction house. The scroll itself is 119 feet long and is part of the estate of Anthony Sampatacacus (a brother-in-law of Kerouac.) Some have estimated that the scroll will sell for over one million dollars in the auction on May 22 at Christies in New York City.
Kerouac created the scroll between April 2 and 22, 1951 in a New York City apartment. Physically it is a continuous scroll of semi-translucent paper. Kerouac pasted and taped separate 12-foot strips together so that he could feed the paper continuously through his typewriter thus allowing him to write without interruption. It took Kerouac six years to get the book published. After it was published in 1957 fame came showering down on the "king of the Beats."
The sale of the scroll to the highest bidder has created controversy among Kerouac fans and scholars. Some believe the scroll is a national treasure and should not be auctioned off as if it were an old raincoat worn by an increasingly famous author. Instead, these fans and scholars would like to see the scroll in a library or museum. It is, of course, possible that the eventual owner of the scroll will make it available. The decision to sell the scroll was made by Tony Sampas, a nephew of Mr. Sampatacacus who died in 1999. Mr. Sampatacacus had rights to the scroll by virtue of being the brother of Kerouac's third and last wife, Stella, who died in 1990. Stella had inherited the rights to the scroll when Kerouac's mother, Gabrielle Kerouac passed on in 1973. When Kerouac died in 1969, his estate, then valued at less than one hundred dollars, became the property of his mother.
One wonders what Kerouac would have wanted. In the "238th Chorus" of Mexico City Blues (written in notebooks in 1955 and later typed on scrolls) Kerouac wrote,
Money is the root of all evil
For I will
In my will
"I regret that I was not able
To love money more."
Less then a year before his death, in a letter to Keith
Jennison, his editor at Viking, Kerouac addressed the issue of the disposition of the scroll explicitly. According to Ann Charters' annotation in Selected Letters, Volume 2,
Kerouac thought Jennison was going to donate the scroll to a library.
Annoyed, Kerouac wrote to Jennison,
It is presumptuous to donate a
manuscript that is not your personal property. It's my personal
property...I'll be needing this to tide me over middle age in a very
surprisingly unlucky literary career, from the financial standpoint...(Letter of December 3, 1968)
Since 1993 the scroll has been part of the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library. In a newspaper article Tony Sampas said that "Taking the scroll out of the library goes against what I believe in, but I have to answer to the debts of the estate." (Lowell Sun, March 29, 2001.) Reporter Kathleen Deely reported that Sampas hopes the scroll will be bought by a foundation and made available to the public. Sampas claims that his decision is not motivated by profit and that he and the other beneficiaries probably will not realize any profits after the estate's tax debt is settled.
Not being privy to the financial affairs of the estate we have no idea what is what. But we are reminded of baseball balladeer Tony Cashman's new song called "The Money Doesn't Matter To Me." In that song Cashman laments the cynicism of baseball players who sign mega-million dollar baseball contracts and then claim money had nothing to do with it.
The money doesn't matter to me boys
The money doesn't matter to me
Just give me some love and a ball and a glove
The money doesn't matter to me
Didn't wanna leave the old team,
but I had no choice you see
I wanted to remain and you know I love the game
And the money doesn't matter to me.
Remember folks, the name of the game is commerce and gain.
April 23, 2001|
Commerce & Gain
Cosmic Baseball Collectibles E-Store Opens
The Cosmic Baseball Collectibles online E-Store is open for bizness with two unique items for sale.
Edition 2 of the Casey at the Bat T-Shirt is available in Large and Extra Large sizes. The first edition of the Casey T-Shirts sold out quickly last Fall. The 2nd Edition has a new design by graphic artist Karen Funk. The shirt is 100% cotton and costs US$20 (price includes shipping & handling.)
Snappy looking Cosmic Baseball Logo Caps are also for sale at the E-Store. This baseball cap is a two tone (sand and hunter green) all cotton affair with a sturdy metal adjustment buckle for a wide variety of head sizes. The Cosmic Baseball Association logo is embroidered on the front. This elegant cap sells for $US25 (price includes shipping & handling.)