December 27, 2004
DC City Council @ MLBCosmic 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.
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 SmartMoney.com 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.
Warriors Pick 2 New PitchersFresh 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 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 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.
Virgins Draft Lafave and LozenThe 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).
December 3, 2004
Pisces Draft Lance Reventlow
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.
Pisces Draft Diane Varsi
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.
CBA News & Information Plate Re-designedCBA's website unveiled a re-designed news plate today. The re-design was directed by Jessie Numata, CBA's Senior Graphics Editor.