December 27, 2004

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Cosmic Game Report

The Washington, D.C. City Council and its leader, Linda Cropp, riled everyone. Local sports columnist Thomas Boswell called the council "infuriating, disingenuous," and Cropp's behavior was "absolutely not acceptable." Michael Wilbon sniffed that because of Cropp and the council, baseball "very likely won't be here long-- if it gets here at all."

Major League Baseball announced on September 30 that the Montreal Expos, the financially troubled team that it owns, would move to Washington for the 2005 season. The proponents of baseball's return were ecstatic.

One of the terms of the deal Mayor Williams agreed to was that the city would build a publicly financed baseball stadium along the Anacostia waterfront in the city's southeast quadrant. On November 22 a gala event in the great hall of Washington's Union Station was the official birth of the "Washington Nationals." (The name itself was something of a compromise.)

On December 2, Bud Selig made a $100,000 donation to a local recreational facility so it could refurbish its baseball field. And Selig told the gathered crowd that, "This is just the beginning of what we hope is a long and successful relationship between baseball and your great community."

But on December 14 that "successful" relationship was put in jeopardy as Chairwoman Cropp and her council colleagues endorsed legislation that changed the original terms of the deal negotiated by the Mayor. The Council voted to require private financing for half of the new stadium's construction. Major League Baseball said that condition was a deal breaker. MLB, acting more like a spoiled rich kid, shut down the team's business and marketing operations. They cancelled a scheduled event to unveil the team's new uniforms. They threatened to leave town. Weird news articles about how the sex trade was involved in trying to keep baseball out of Washington appeared.

Economists on Publicly Financed Stadiums A week later, the City Council voted to amend the private funding requirement. A few potentially meaningful concessions were approved by Major League Baseball and the "successful" relationship between the District of Columbia and Major League Baseball resumed.

In this cosmic baseball game, the executives and team owners of Major League Baseball beat the District of Columbia's City council. And in the real world, it might be true that the small fraternity of rich team owners have exploited the citizens of the District. As Igor Greenwald writes at the website, "the lords of baseball have become real pros at the sport of separating non-fans from their money."

During the "week of rage" the Washington Post newspaper took a poll of 601 randomly selected District residents to find out what the people felt.

  • 53 per cent of the respondents supported the private funding initiative of the City Council even if it meant losing baseball
  • 40 per cent said they wanted baseball even if it means building a baseball stadium without any private financing.

December 6, 2004

Warriors Pick 2 New Pitchers

Fresh off their Cosmic Universal Series victory, the Wonderland Warriors sought to inject some new blood into their pitching staff for next season. Apache warrior Chief Victorio and Captain Silas Soule of the Colorado Cavalry are now cosmic baseball players.

Chief Vittorio Link Chief Victorio (c.1825-1880), also known as Lone Wolf, was likely born in what is now New Mexico and a member of the Warm Springs (Mimbreno) Apache tribe. He rode with Geronimo in the 1850s. He earned a reputation as a sound tactician and a leader of men. Between 1869-1877 Victorio lived peacefully on a reservation. However, in 1877 when ordered to relocate to a new reservation, a result of the Grant's administration "Peace Policy" and the Indian Bureau's policy of "concentration," Victorio led his people off the reservation in frustration. His band of Apache warriors then began an offensive that "terrorized most of the Arizona and New Mexico territories, killing prospectors and herders." On October 15, 1880 the Mexican militia found Chief Victorio and his band encamped in a mountain range known as Tres Castillas. They proceeded to massacre the group, killing Chief Victorio, 60 of his warriors and 18 women and children. Chief Victorio replaces the deactivated General Kvashnin, a former Chief of the Russian General Staff. (Note: Victorio's sister, Lozen, who was not in the camp at the time of the massacre, is a rookie with the Cosmic Baseball Association's team of interesting women, the Vestal Virgins.)

Silas Soule Link Silas Stillman Soule was born in 1838 in the state of Maine. His family, devout anti-slavery activists, moved in 1855 to Kansas where Silas became active in the Underground Railroad movement that helped slaves escape to the North. But Silas Soule's most heroic act came on November 29, 1864 when as a Captain in the 1st Colorado Cavalry he led D company during the "Chivington Massacre" also known as the Sand Creek Massacre. What made Captain Soule's actions so heroic on that day was his refusal to let his troops participate in the slaughter of innocent Apache men, women and children. Less then six months after the massacre and after he had written a letter about the true events of that day and testified about the tragedy, Soule was assassinated by Charles W. Squires, a member of the 2nd colorado Cavalry and, presumably, an operative of the disgraced John M. Chivington, who ordered and led the massacre. Soule is replacing Field Marshall Erwin Rommel who was deactivated last week.

December 5, 2004

Virgins Draft Lafave and Lozen

The Vestal Virgins picked a teacher accused of having sex with a student and a native American warrior to replace the deactivated M. Mason (Infielder) and B. Boisellier (Pitcher).

Debra Lafave Link
Debra Lafave
Debra Lafave (b. 1981) is a suspended middle-school teacher currently charged in the state of Florida with a total of 4 counts of lewd and lascivious battery and one count of lewd and lascivious exhibition. These are felony charges. Ms. Lafave was arrested in June for having sexual relations five times between June 3rd and 17th with one of her students, a 14 year old boy. Her attorney indicated she will use an insanity defense to escape conviction. The arrest came just a year after her marriage to Owen Lafave who has since filed for divorce. The Virgins chose Lafave after considering two other women accused of inappropriate sexual activity with younger boys, Amy Gehring and Beth Friedman. Lafave will play third base for the Virgins.

Lozen Link
Apache Warrior
Lozen, born sometime in the late 1840s, was a heroic warrior with one of the fiercest native American bands, the Warm Springs Apache (also known as the Chiricahua). She was the younger sister of the great Apache Chief Victorio (who has been drafted by the Wonderland Warriors); Victorio called his sister, in a famous quote, "a shield to her people." She escaped the massacre in the Tres Castillas Mountains in northern Mexico, where her brother died. Eventually, Lozen would surrender to the "white eyes" and she died at age 50 in the Mt. Vernon barracks in Mobile, Alabama, far away from her ancestral home. Lozen, is today remembered for her acts of bravery and her clairvoyant ability to guide her people away from danger as they fled the settler armies in Arizona and into Mexico. Lozen will be a middle reliever on the pitching staff.

December 3, 2004

Pisces Draft Lance Reventlow

Lance Reventlow Link
Lance Reventlow
The Paradise Pisces rounded out their 2005 roster with the drafting of American race car builder and driver Lance Reventlow. Reventlow fills the spot vacated by infielder Dr. Seuss, who decided at the end of the 2004 season to deactivate himself from cosmic baseball so he could go play for a team of medicine men in a different league.

Reventlow was born February 24, 1936 and was the only son of Barbara Hutton, the "poor little rich girl" who inherited the Woolworth fortune. Lance was the issue of Hutton and her second husband Cort Haugwitz-Reventlow, a member of Denmark's upper class. At age 12, Reventlow was introduced to car racing by his mother's fourth husband, Prince Igor Troubetzkoy, himself a race car driver and the winner of the 1948 Targa Florio. During the 1950s Reventlow built and raced Scarab, which were Chevrolet-powered race cars.

In 1962 Reventlow's passion for building and racing cars evaporated and he spent much of his time hiking and skiing. He also engaged in a variety of self-indulgent behavior including drinking and womanizing. He died accidentally in 1972 when the Cessna 206 airplane he was riding in, crashed into the mountains near Aspen, Colorado.

December 1, 2004

Pisces Draft Diane Varsi

Diane Varsi Link
Diane Varsi
as Sally LeRoy
in Wild in the Streets
The Paradise Pisces selected the actress Diane Marie Antonia Varsi (b. February 23, 1938) to replace right fielder Jessica Love Hewitt, who was deactivated last month.

Diane Varsi achieved success and stardom with her role as Allison MacKenzie in the 1957 movie Peyton Place. Columnist Joe Hyams called Varsi the "Marlon Brando of actresses." Others in the press called her a "feminine James Dean."

In 1959, after appearing in several more films, including Ten North Frederick and Compulsion Varsi decided a Hollywood career was not really in her blood. She gave up movie stardom to go live in Vermont with her young son. "I'm not reconciled to being in movies. I'm only reconciled to being a mother."

Declaring that "acting is destructive to me," Varsi, in many ways, reminds us of another independent actress (and cosmic baseball player) who eschewed the glitter of Hollywood. We speak here, of course, of Frances Farmer. Like Farmer, Varsi would return to films. In 1968 she played the role of Sally Leroy, an acid-tripping member of the U.S. Congress in the movie Wild in the Streets.

As to Varsi's baseball prowess, little is known. Apparently somebody in Pisces management knows something the rest of us don't.

December 1, 2004

CBA News & Information Plate Re-designed

CBA's website unveiled a re-designed news plate today. The re-design was directed by Jessie Numata, CBA's Senior Graphics Editor.

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Published: December 6, 2004