November 30, 2005
Dragons Win Cosmic Universal Series, 4-3
It took seven games to decide this season's best cosmic baseball team. The 2005 Cosmic Universal Series was a very exciting affair. At first it looked like the Delta Dragons would walk away with the championship but then the Dharma Beats got focused only to ultimately lose the big one.
November 22, 2005
Globalizing Baseball...The Spring Classic
According to its founders, the World Baseball Classic "was created to provide a platform that will increase worldwide exposure of the game of baseball and further promote grassroots development in traditional and non-traditional baseball nations. The tournament's primary objectives are to increase global interest and introduce new fans and players to the game. The World Baseball Classic will acknowledge and pay tribute to the tremendous growth and internationalization of the game." (Major League Baseball Statement)
Major League Baseball (MLB) collaborated with the Major League Players Association (MLPA) to bring this decade-old idea to fruition. Getting the cooperation of the International Baseball Federation was also key since the IBAF represents many of the countries that do play baseball. There are over 100 nations with some form of baseball association entity overseeing the organized playing of baseball in their respective lands.
Making baseball globally popular is a fundamental reason for the World Baseball Classic, which we prefer to call the Spring Classic. But is it a classic before its time? Playing the tournament in March, amid Major League Baseball's spring training season has generated some local controversy. Can it compete or be as important as the mostly annual Fall Classic, also known as the World Series?
"Maybe I'm missing something, or too much a purist, but why does baseball need a world cup or the World Baseball Classic as it's going to be called?
Spring training is a sacred time on baseball's calendar, but now the best players are going to be flitting around the globe, representing their countries in this world affair. Will winning this be more important than a World Series title? I hope not...If I were a manager or a general manager, I'd be concerned about the impact the tournament will have on spring training. Players could be lost to their teams for nearly three weeks, although MLB insists it's more like two weeks. Spring training is vitally important for getting players ready for the season." (On Baseball Column by Hal Bodley, May 12, 2005)
American professional baseball player Gary Sheffield (New York Yankees) wants no part of the World Baseball Classic. He thinks it is just a pretend event. "My season is when I get paid... I'm not sacrificing my body or taking a chance on an injury for something that's made up." (Associated Press, July 12, 2005).
The timing of the spring classic was also of concern to the Japanese who initially agreed to the format but later questioned whether March was the right time for it. The Japanese baseball establishment in the form of the Nippon Pro Baseball (NPB) organization had other concerns as well. One high-ranking Japanese team official told [Jack Gallagher sports columnist], "This whole thing smacks of imperialism on the part of the MLB. Why didn't they build a consensus on this before announcing their plans?" (The Japan Times, June 8, 2005) The Japanese eventually came around and agreed to the plan.
Some have great expectations for the World Baseball Classic. It "should be the greatest event in the up and down history of international baseball, as it will bring together the world's best players for the first time in a true international competition." (Allan Simpson, Baseball America, May 11, 2005). The inaugural World Baseball Classic begins on March 3, 2006. The teams will compete for a trophy (not a medal.) The final championship game between the two best teams takes place March 20 at PETCO Field in San Diego.
The following sixteen national teams will compete in the first Spring Classic:
- Dominican Republic
- Puerto Rico
- South Africa
- United States
November 14, 2005
Capitalists Owner Peter Drucker Dies
Peter Ferdinand Drucker, until recently a Professor of Social Sciences and Management and since 1998 the owner of the Heartland Capitalists at the Cosmic Baseball Association died on Friday, November 11 in Claremont, California. He was 95 years old.
His friend, billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad said Drucker "saw the future."
Born November 19, 1909 in Austria, Drucker came to the United States in 1937. He spent time teaching at Sarah Lawrence College, Bennington College and at New York University before moving West to the Claremont Graduate School in 1971. The online magazine MarketWatch describes Drucker as the man "largely credited with creating the school of thought that governs most modern corporate management styles." The Associated Press called Drucker "the father of modern corporate management" in its obituary; but he earned that honor years ago.
Key business concepts such as "management by objectives" and the identification of the "knowledge worker" are two examples of Drucker's mind. His management ideas
stressed the decentralization of organizations. Mr. Drucker pioneered the idea of privatization and the corporation as a social institution. He coined the terms "knowledge workers" and "management by objectives." His seminal study of General Motors in 1945 [Concept of the Corporation] introduced the concept of decentralization as a principle of organization. This was in contrast to the practice of command and control in business...Central to his philosophy was the belief that highly skilled people are an organization's most valuable resource and that a manager's job is to prepare and free people to perform. Good management can bring economic progress and social harmony, he said, adding, "Although I believe in the free market, I have serious reservations about capitalism." (Patricia Sullivan, Washington Post Staff Writer, 11-12-2005)
There is a Hegelian dialectic: a free market without capitalism.
Mr. Drucker is survived by his wife Doris Schmitz Drucker, who recently published a memoir entitled Invent Radium or I'll Pull Your Hair. There are four children: son Vincent Drucker and daughters Audrey Drucker, Cecily Drucker and Joan Drucker Weinstein. Mr. Drucker is also survived by six grandchildren. In 2002, Drucker was awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest civilian honor by U.S. President George W. Bush. It has been reported that among the American presidents he favored Harry Truman and Ronald Reagan.
"Managers have to learn to know language, to understand what words are and what they mean. Perhaps most important, they have to acquire respect for language as our most precious gift and heritage. Without the ability to motivate by means of the written and spoken word or the telling number, a manager cannot be successful."
—Peter F. Drucker, Marie Rankin Clark Professor of Social Sciences and Management, Claremont Graduate University.
The school of business at Claremont Graduate University began in 1969. In 1971, Drucker arrived. In 1987, Claremont renamed its business component to the Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management. Later, in the 21st Century, the school was re-designated the The Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management. Masatoshi Ito was also a billionaire friend of Mr. Drucker's. In 2002 Ito was Forbes Magazine's 138th richest person in the world with a net worth of $2.4 billion. He is owner and "honorary" chairman of the Ito-Yokado retailing group, which includes more than 9,000 7-Elevens in Japan and the U.S. He has been a significant donor to the Claremont Graduate University.
Dean Kees de Kluyver of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management observes, "What distinguishes Peter Drucker from many other thought leaders in my mind is that he cared not just about how business manages its resources, but also how public and private organizations operate morally and ethically within society. He respected the values of education, personal responsibility, and business' accountability to society. His true legacy is his insistence on this value system, and its effect on business, society, and individual lives." This is the concept of business management for the common good, an approach distinctively formulated by Drucker.
Drucker wrote a foreword to a book of collected writings by Robert Greenleaf. The book On Becoming a Servant Leader is about the social responsibility leaders in all realms and contexts should assume. Alas, more is the pity that these lessons are not always learned by the learned. Drucker has also been credited with the emergence of the rule of consultants in the business world. While some view consultants as post-modern sophists...taking your watch to tell you want time it is...Drucker, like Greenleaf's "Servant Leader" was aiming to educate and develop an enlightened class of leaders.
Drucker at the CBA
On January 8, 1998 Peter F. Drucker took over as owner of the Heartland Capitalists from famed National Basketball Association player, Michael Jordan (see this January 1998 News Item). In seven years under Drucker's ownership, the Capitalists have compiled a 601-534 won-loss record. This means the team has played just over .500 baseball. During the 2004 season, the Capitalists made their third trip (their first under Drucker's ownership) to the Cosmic Universal Series. Getting to the championship was the completion of a plan that Drucker orchestrated in December 1998 when he announced Ayn Rand would be the team's new field manager. (Actually, Drucker had fired manager Karl Marx on February 24, 1998 and then led the team on the field himself during the 1998 cosmic baseball season. In that season the Capitalists compiled a respectable 89-74 record.) (see this December 1998 News Item).
When Drucker named Rand as the team's new field manager, there were concerns, even sme snickering that the old man had finally sold out. Drucker has been identified with a process of thought that innately understood the need for workers to be empowered. He was also convinced by his experience of fascism in Europe that big government was futile. His sense that business was best when it was for the common good seemed a bit too humanitarian if not altruistic for the likes of Rand and her philosophy. However, managing a cosmic baseball team should be no different then managing a corporation like General Motors. Rand got the team two games over .500 in 1999 and three games over in 2000. But in 2001 the team lost more games than it won racking up a .451 winning percentage (73-89). Everyone expected Drucker to get Rand out of the dugout. But the management guru held his ground. In 2002 the team compiled a winning record (89-73). In 2003 they only played .500 (81-81). Still, the man, who in 1981 called the Girl Scouts of America the best run organization in the United States, stood by his field manager. That loyalty paid off. The Capitalists won 103 games during the 2004 season . The team made it to the biggest series of them all. Unfortunately, they lost grasping the big prize, in four straight games, to the Wonderland Warriors.
Drucker's corporeal death will have no immediate impact, direct or indirect, on his ownership of the Capitalists.
Rest in peace Mr. Drucker.
November 2, 2005
2005 Cosmic Universal Series
When the Dharma Beats meet the Delta Dragons in the DeltaDome for Game One of the 2005 Cosmic Universal Series, women will dominate the pitcher's mound. The Dragons announced that the singer/songwriter Laura Nyro will be their Game One starter. The Beats followed suit and gender and announced that Beat poet matron Diane di Prima will be their starting pitcher for Game One.
Game One Pitchers Announced
Diane di Prima posted some good figures this season with a 15-9 won-loss record and a 3.51 earned run average. She was a prime contributor to the Dharma Beats pennant winning season. Outside of cosmic baseball she is well known for her participation in the Beat Generation movement from the late 1950s. Her book Memoirs of a Beatnik an autobiography published in 1969, is distinctive for its sexuality. As one of the luminous women in a movement sometimes ridiculed for its exclusion of females, di Prima has become a leading voice for the feminist wing of the Beats. The book details the poet's life beginning at the point she dropped out of college at the age of 18. The book opens with a roiling sex scene only to back up and tell of how she met this man and how she ultimately dumped him to please the woman she was truly in love with…the one she dropped out of college to move in with.(Kathryn Petruccelli) Born in August 6, 1934, di Prima is nearly fourteen years older than the opposing pitcher, Laura Nyro (b. October 18, 1947). At the age of 17 Nyro wrote the song And When I Die that was popularized by the folk singing trio, Peter, Paul and Mary. Nyro's numbers this season weren't phenomenal but she always came through for the Dragons when they needed her to. Nyro won 14 and lost 14 games and compiled a 4.18 earned run average. It is two women on the mound...but the comparisons stop there. Okay, two remarkably creative souls will be on the mound to start this season's Cosmic Universal Series. But there the comparisons should stop. One of them might win Game One, but only one of them can. Despite the numbers, despite the weight of popular and public opinion, we have put our faith in the pure musician. We think the Dragons, behind Ms. Nyro, will prevail on Thanksgiving day. We'll see.