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May 30, 2006

Diane Varsi- 2006 Cosmic Player Plate

Link to Varsi's 2006 Cosmic Player Plate Diane Varsi played the role of Allison MacKenzie in the 1957 hit movie Peyton Place. For her debut work, the high school dropout who signed up for Jeff Corey's acting class, received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Hailed by gossip columnists as a female Marlon Brando, Varsi would star in two other notable films (Ten North Frederick and Compulsion) before deciding that Hollywood was not her cup of tea. She left the west coast and headed east. Several years later she returned to Hollywood and signed a contract with Samuel Z. Arkoff's American International Pictures (AIP) company. At AIP she took on the role of Sally Leroy, an LSD-taking congresswoman in the 1968 cult classic, Wild in the Streets.

Varsi (born February 23, 1938) was drafted by the Paradise Pisces in 2005 and had quite a successful rookie year, especially at the plate where in 470 official at bats she clobbered 26 home runs, knocked in 90 runs, and batted .315 for the season.


May 21, 2006

Doctor Sax To Manage Dharma Beats

Link to Jack Kerouac 1997 Cosmic Player Plate Perhaps as a result of their recent four-game slide, the league leading Dharma Beats have decided to change field managers. Or maybe the recent flooding of the Merrimack river in New England, a river of some considerable importance to Jack Kerouac, the so-called "father of the Beats" is at the bottom of this managerial change. Effective today, Doctor Sax steps in and Peter Orlovsky is out, again.

Just before the start of the 2005 season team owner Allen Ginsberg fired Orlovsky for the first time and replaced him with Patricia Richcreek. Richcreek led the team to the 2005 Cosmic Universal Series. However, after the Beats lost the seventh game to the Dragons, Richcreek abruptly quit. Ginsberg asked (some say begged) Orlovsky to come back and manage the team for the 2006 season.

Orlovsky first began managing the Beats in 2002, replacing the poet Robert Kelly who had managed the team since the 1997 season.

Why fire Orlovsky again? Especially since the team, despite losing four straight games last week, has led the league since the start of the season. And why replace Orlovsky with a fictional character created from the depths of Jack Kerouac's imagination?

Kerouac began conceiving of Doctor Sax: Faust Part Three in 1948 although a notebook journal entry made on November 2, 1948 makes reference to a "Doctor Sax mad short-story of 1943" (Windblown World, p. 159). Before completing the book in 1952 Kerouac had written, "Doctor Sax will be the greatest book I have ever written" (Notebook/Journal of October 20-23, 1949, see (Windblown World. p. 238). Kerouac's first vision of "Doctor Sax" occurred in 1933 when he was eleven years old, a child in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Doctor Sax at Kerouac biographer, Gerald Nicosia calls the novel Doctor Sax, "the first postmodernist novel in America" (Memory Babe, p. 393). Biographer Tom Clark calls Doctor Sax Kerouac's "finest novel" (Jack Kerouac: A Biography,). David McNally, author of Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, the Beat Generation, and America, calls the novel a "masterpiece." Another observer calls Doctor Sax a "postmodern phantasmagoria" (James T. Jones, Jack Kerouac's Duluoz Legend, p. 42).

Doctor Sax contains "wonderful descriptions of boyhood fancies that shape the cause of a man's desires" (Robert Hipkiss, Jack Kerouac- Prophet of the New Romanticism, p. 135). "Starting the novel hunched over his notebook in the toilet, Kerouac imagined [William] Burroughs as the physical model for the character of Doctor Sax" (Ann Charters, Kerouac: A Biography, p.164).

In May 1952 Neal Cassady and his wife Carolyn drove Jack Kerouac to Nogales by the Mexican-American border. Kerouac had perhaps over-extended his four month stay with the Cassadys in California. Kerouac's destination was Mexico City, specifically Apartment 5 at 210 Orizaba where William Burroughs was then living alone, after having shot his wife Joan dead. In Mexico City, according to Kerouac biographer Ellis Amburn, "Kerouac smoked marijuana, shot morphine and worked furiously on Dr. Sax; sealing himself in Burrough's toilet...On the title page he wrote 'A Novella of Children and Evil, The Myth of the Rainy Night.' Then he crossed it out and wrote Doctor Sax“ (Ellis Amburn, Subterranean Kerouac, p. 175).

Doctor Sax is about boyhood fantasies, growing up, confronting death, and dealing with pubescence and its attendant sexuality. It addresses the enigma of existence and provides the mythic content for the other novels in the legend. Count Condu in the novel is a vampire. Doctor Sax is modeled on William Burroughs and himself. And there is a monstrous snake.

Published in May, 1959 the initial reviews were not favorable. "Dr. Sax is not only bad Kerouac; it is a bad book. Much of it is in bad taste, and much more is meaningless. It runs the gamut from the incoherent to the incredible, a mishmash of avant-gardism (unreadable), autobiography (seemingly Kerouac's) and fantasy (largely psychopathic)." (David Dempsey, "Beatnik Boogeyman on the Prowl", New York Times, May 3, 1959).

There are the psychoanalytic analysts who see the Doctor Sax story as a shrouded tale of mother-son incest.

As Leo lay dying of stomach cancer in 1946, his last request was that Jack look after Mémêre--an irony, surely, since right up to the end it was she who took care of Jack, providing the emotional security that allowed him to indulge his wanderlust. "I got all my boyhood in vanilla winter waves around the kitchen stove," Kerouac recalled in Dr. Sax. In later years, however, his dependence of his mother was regarded by Kerouac's friends as not entirely natural. Kerouac himself recalled a faintly incestuous childhood idyll during a flu epidemic: "My mother and I were semi quarantined in bed for a week where (mostly it rained) I lay reading The Shadow Magazine, or feebly listening to the radio downstairs in my bathrobe, or blissfully sleeping with one leg thrown over my mother in the night." ("Jack Kerouac: The Beat Goes On", By William Plummer, December 30, 1979)

The Shadow, presumably, represents Doctor Sax, the implication being that this imaginary companion is, among other things, the secret place where mother and son merge...(Jack Kerouac, Duluoz's Legend: The Mythic Form of an Autobiographical Fiction by James T. Jones, p. 48).

Some like it...some like it not.

But can Doctor Sax manage a cosmic baseball team?

Commercial Link...Doctor Sax at Barnes & Noble (Booksellers)


May 8, 2006

Amtrak Regional Train Game

Link to Game Report Baseball and train history have a rich tradition in the northeastern United States. In 1970 the US Congress passed the Rail Passenger Service Act which led directly to the operation of the Amtrak entity the following year. Amtrak became the quasi-government rail passenger service operating over 21,000 miles transcontinentally. Amtrak inherited 400 train stations in 43 states. Also in 1970 fans of Major League Baseball won back the right to vote for all-star players. (That vote had been lost as a repercussion from the 1957 Cincinnatti ballot box stuffing caper.)

Researching the United States Code we found the word "baseball" to be included in five of the fifty code titles (15, 20, 26, 28, 36). The word "railroad" was found in 36 code titles (2, 4, 5, 7-12, 15, 16, 18-26, 28-31, 33, 39-43, 45-50).

This game was unusual. Based on the route taken daily (Monday-Friday) by Amtrak Regional Train No. 177, the players represent the various station stops along the route from Boston's South Station to Washington, D.C.'s Union Station. The home team New Englanders beat the visiting MidAtlantics, 43-40 in 10 innings of play. That's unusual score in itself.


May 1, 2006

Regional Cosmic Baseball

Northeast Region The cities and towns served by Amtrak's Regional Train No. 177 in the Northeast region have amalgamated and petitioned the Cosmic Baseball Association to play a game. If the petition is accepted, such a game between cities from Boston, Massachusetts to Washington, D.C. would be welcomed. 23 locations in the form of Amtrak Stations would be eligible for roster positions. Apparently the petition divides the locations geographically, north and south, with New York City being the dividing line. Stay tuned for more on this potential cosmic game...


April 30, 2006

Selected Cosmic Game Linescores

Season 2006 Main Plate


April 24, 2006

Personal Game Report
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia Game

Link to Game Report The Garcia Actors won this game because they scored more runs than their Garcia Characters. Beneath that truism, the relationship between Peckinpah the field manager managing both competing teams is of some interest. Did he manage fairly and objectively in all cases or did his in game activities, even upon reflection, suggest there might have been some bias in his tactical and strategic management decisions. And if we find such bias, can we conclude that Sam Peckinpah is more realist than romancer? Some will interpret the cosmic baseball game data in connection with other biographical and cinematic data in a novel way. It will ultimately get down to basics...


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