Is Baseball for Men?
All Star Baseball
Poets @ Philosophers
Signs @ Planets
Presidents @ Beats
Dr. Sax to Manage Beats
Train Game Report
Recent Linescores (April)
Garcia Game Report
On Deck Notes
Recent Linescores (March)
Baseball is Cuba's Pastime
Dragons Beat Presidents
Season 2006 Begins
8 Teams Deactivated
Kerouac Memorial Game
China Strikes Out
Where Have You Gone
July 30, 2006
The Gibson Umpire Petitions: Is Child Father to the Man?In 1997, American-born, Australian-raised movie actor Mel Gibson played a baseball player in the movie I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. The brief, inconsequential part was unaccredited according to the Internet Movie Database.
In the movie Signs, Gibson's character is a brother of a minor league baseball player. There are not, however, a lot of baseball/Mel Gibson intersections.
Therefore, when the Cosmic Baseball Association received a petition to elect Mr. Gibson into the CBA as an umpire, the significance and magnitude of the supporting criteria had to be reviewed carefully. Summarizing the petition's argument, Mr. Gibson was to be elected to the Umpire roster because he is a "drunken bigot." Evidence of this was provided in a fragment of a police report identifying Mr. Gibson as inebriated and vocally offensive in his mean-spirited comments about individuals of the Jewish faith.
In a sincere attempt to not rush to judgment, the Umpiring Nomination Committee that elects Cosmic Baseball umpires has voted to consider and reconsider the matter until a more thorough investigation of the issue can be accomplished. As one member of the committee said, "Perhaps it is Mr. Gibson's father, Hutton, who deserves to serve as a CBA umpire and not Mad Mel."
Moments after Mel Gibson issued a formal apology for driving while under the influence of alcohol and his subsequent abusive behavior when detained by Los Angeles County law enforcement sheriffs, ("I acted like a person completely out of control when I was arrested, and said things that I do not believe to be true and which are despicable. I am deeply ashamed of everything I said"), the Cosmic Baseball Association received a petition requesting that Hutton Gibson be elected a Cosmic Baseball Umpire. The two Gibson petitions are not mutually exclusive but does one deserve the distinction more than the other?
The discussion advanced in the Hutton Gibson petition refers to Mel being under the influence of his father and that the root of the issue lies less in alcohol consumption but in the complexity of the relationship between father and son.
Hutton Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York on August 26, 1918. He served in the United States Army, married and fathered 11 children. As a young man, Hutton Gibson studied for the priesthood, but balked when offered a choice between a parish in New Guinea or another in the Philippines. He briefly delivered telegraphs for Western Union, and then worked for decades as a railroad brakeman, until a work injury forced his early retirement. He won a lot of money on the Art Fleming version of Jeopardy in 1968 (some accounts say $20,000, others say $25,000), and spent his winnings relocating his family to Australia, to help his sons avoid the Vietnam War draft. Hutton Gibson is a devout believer in Roman Catholic Traditionalism. Roman Catholic Traditionalists object and reject the reforms expressed in the doctrines promulgated by the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Among other areas of contention, Traditionalists do not repudiate Jewish responsibility for the death of Christ (Vatican II: Nostra Aetate.) [T]raditionalists are a contentious and divided lot. Most agree, however, that the Second Vatican Council was “false” and that its fruits have been a catastrophe. The most radicalized traditionalists savor an array of bizarre conspiracy theories, the most striking of which is “sedevacantism”—the conviction that the See of Peter is vacant and that all of the popes since Pius XII have been false ones. These views of Hutton Gibson received a public airing in a March 9 article published in the New York Times. Entitled "Is the Pope Catholic . . . Enough?" the New York Times piece also indicated that the elder Gibson is a holocaust revisionist and does not believe that the holocaust occurred as dramatically as history reports. Following the theories of Fredrick Töben revisionists do not believe that anything close to six million people, Jewish or not, were slaughtered by the Germans in the 20th Century.
Neither strong radical, subversive political belief nor traditionalist, sedevacantistic religious faith are sufficient reasons to elect an individual to the Cosmic Baseball Umpire Roster. Anti-Semitism and other forms of racist bigotry are sufficient, so it will be interesting to see what action is taken on the Gibson petitions.
Is Baseball a Man's Game?It is on the fields of Major League Baseball (MLB). There is no specific rule prohibiting female professional baseball players in Major League Baseball. There are, however, zero (0) women playing on MLB teams. There are zero (0) women managing or coaching MLB teams. There are zero (0) women head trainers on MLB rosters. There are zero (0) women umpires working in MLB. In addition, zero (0) women hold a majority ownership of any MLB team.
Women do fill approximately six per cent of the CEO/President positions on MLB teams. Women fill 13 per cent of MLB team vice-president positions. Women fill approximately 26 per cent of the senior administrative positions at MLB's central office. 34 per cent of the managerial staff positions inside MLB are occupied by women. Two per cent of MLB on-air broadcasters are women. (Reference: The 2005 Racial and Gender Report Card: Major League Baseball by Richard Lapchick with Stacy Martin. April 20, 2006).
In 1999 MLB Commissioner Bud Selig initiated the Commissioner's Initiative on Women and Baseball to help MLB and the 30 major league clubs build stronger relationships with female audiences. Nevertheless, traditions and attitudes are difficult to adjust. As recently as May 19, 2006 a blog contributor named "Darko" wrote,
July 9, 2006
Major League All-$tar BaseballMajor League Baseball's 77th All-Star Game takes place on Tuesday July 11 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
The first "Midsummer Classic" was played in Chicago, not 77 years ago, but 73 years ago in 1933. No All-Star Game was played in 1945 and two All-Star Games were played in 1959, 1960, 1961, and 1962. The idea to play two All-Star Games in a season was related to the efforts to raise money for the players' pension fund. As a columnist for The Sporting News notes in 2006, Baseball is not the primary focus of the All-Star Game. If it was, the game would be presented with a little more subtlety than a brick thrown through a Tiffany's storefront. No, entertainment is the focus of the All-Star Game, and entertainment will bring you a fat stack of cash.
The 2006 All-Star Game will generate an estimated $25 million in advertising revenue. [O]fficial Major League Baseball sponsor Bank of America unveiled plans to use the All-Star events to launch a new credit card rewards program called Extra Bases that will offer everything from tickets to baseball games to the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
All-Star PoliticsPresident Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the first president to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at a Major League All-Star Game. This occurred at Griffith Stadium on July 7, 1937. (A president did not throw a ceremonial first pitch again at an All-Star Game until July 10, 1962 when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy threw the ceremonial ball in the newly built DC Stadium in Washington DC. (DC Stadium was later renamed RFK Stadium in honor and memory of JFK's brother, Robert.)
Always there is controversy over who gets (s)elected to the All-Star rosters. Between 1935 and 1946, the manager of each All-Star squad selected the entire team. Fans received the right to vote on the eight starters (excluding the pitcher) starting in 1947. In 1957, fans of the Cincinnati Reds stuffed the ballot box because of a promotion by a local newspaper which printed pre-marked ballots, and elected a Red to every position except first base. Commissioner Ford Frick stepped in and removed two Reds from the lineup. As a response to this fiasco, the right to elect the non-pitching starters was taken away from the fans until 1970. From 1958 through 1969, players, coaches, and managers made the choices....One of the most controversial aspects of the player selection process is a rule that each team has to have at least one representative on its league's All-Star roster.
The weakness in the (s)election process is apparent this season. Mark Redman is probably a nice guy. He just isn't an all-star. Yet the Kansas City pitcher will be in Pittsburgh for next week's Major League Baseball All-Star Game. Redman is on the American League roster because of the stupid rule that every team must be represented...No other professional team sport does it...[T]he All-Star Game is supposed to be a showcase for the best players in baseball. Redman (5-4) doesn't fit that description. His 5.59 ERA is one of the worst among AL starters who have pitched at least 74 innings. He did go 5-0 in June, but he was winless in his previous 17 starts.
The Cosmic Baseball Association discontinued its Cosmic All-Star Game in 1984. There have been periodic attempts to reinstate the Cosmic All-Star Game. The last reinstatement effort was defeated by the CBA's Board of Directors at their Summer Meetings in Boston, Massachusetts on June 28, 1998.
Woody Guthrie- 2006 Cosmic Player PlateWoody Guthrie's parents named him after Woodrow Wilson. Less then two weeks before Woody was born in Oklahoma, Woodrow Wilson had been nominated to run for United States president by the Democrats at their national convention in Baltimore, Maryland. Woodrow Wilson would win the election and become the 28th president. Woody Guthrie would reject his parents political philosophy and leave home to become a protest musician.
Guthrie was drafted as a pitcher by the Delta Dragons, CBA's team of interesting musicians, in 1997.