Friday, April 16, 2010

Cubs 2010 Song

Hey, the Cubs 2010 song is getting some play on the radio.

The Baseball Project is the name of a band that includes ex-Dream Syndicate leader Steve Wynn, Scott McCaughey of the Minus 5 and Young Fresh Fellows, R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck and Wynn’s wife, drummer Linda Pitmon. They play baseball-themed songs. Their first album was Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails, released in 2008. Their second album is a work-in-progress called Broadside Ballads that will span the entire baseball season with one song being released each month until November. The second song released is Cubs 2010 – ESPN has it available free to download at http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/thelife/news/story?id=5053976. Cubs 2010 is an upbeat positive song for Cub fans that begins:

This is the Cubs year 2010
One hundred and two years
This drought has to end
Everybody from 1908 is dead
Like Merkle's boner it will be heaven-sent
Time to win it again Cubs
Time to win it again!

We will avoid commenting here on the Merkle boner line, other than to say that we don’t concede it was a boner at all – see www.sportingchancepress.com Public Bonehead, Private Hero. However, the tune for this one is very catchy and it is apparently getting some air time. To me the music sounds a little English invasionesque, but the singing sounds a little like the Beach Boy – one of the boys without the harmonies.

No doubt there are many opinions on the various Cubs songs. Just like there are so many choices in caps these days, we’ll have a selection of songs and everyone can chose their own favorite. But I find Cubs 2010 less embarrassing than some of the others. Not that there aren’t a few lines to cringe at, but hey, it’s not bad.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Merkle Was Bullied by Press

Fred Merkle Card
Much is being written about bullying today, especially cyber bullying and the tragic consequences to young people who are victims of it. According to two researchers who spend their time researching and educating people on the harmful effects of cyber bullying, Professor Smeer Hinduja and Professor Justin Patchin, the most common form of cyber bullying offending is "posted something about another person to make others laugh." Sadly, the professor’s research indicates that the victims of cyber bullying were twice as likely to have attempted suicide than those who had not experienced such bullying. (http://www.cyberbullying.us/)

It seems like the public has been very slow to understand the sinister nature of ridicule, which has been part and parcel of our culture for a long time. At Sporting Chance Press, when we think of the victims of ridicule, we think of our hero, Fred Merkle.

Of course, back in 1908 when Merkle fell victim to intolerable abuse, the Internet didn't exist, but the newspapers were passionate about ridiculing public figures for cheap laughs and newspaper sales. As Mike Cameron details in Public Bonehead, Private Hero, Fred Merkle (www.sportingchancepress.com) was perhaps the greatest victim of such ridicule in history. Some would suggest that Merkle was a public figure, a highly paid athlete and was fair game for such attacks. But, the 19-year old ballplayer was barely out of High School, substituting for an injured veteran and called out for violating an obscure rule that had not been enforced before. For all his trouble, the unfortunate Fred Merkle would never hear the end of it – the shameless press even bullied the poor man in his obituary.

If there is good news that comes out of the Merkle story, it is that those who become familiar with the circumstances and the impact on the Merkle family ought to be more cognizant of the impact of ridiculing others. The lesson for those who are bullied today might be that it is possible for them to hold their head up and get on with life as Fred Merkle did. Those of us who know better need to do what we can to support those who are victims.

Those who are bullied online today by their circle of acquaintances may want to see how Merkle was nationally ridiculed. Merkle was blasted not just once in a string of coast to coast articles, but many times over, again and again unfairly, when he happened to make a bad play or even when someone else may have made one and was compared to “bonehead” Merkle.

At Sporting Chance Press, Merkle is one of our heroes. We are inspired to overcome the problems in our own lives when we think of what Merkle was able to accomplish in light of his challenges. We like to see the good in sport, and Merkle certainly exemplified good in his battle to overcome the odds against him in baseball and life (www.sportingchancepress.com).

 Copyright 2010, Sporting Chance Press

Friday, April 9, 2010

SCP Author Mike Cameron on WGN


Sporting Chance Press author Mike Cameron was interviewed on WGN's Noon Show today by News Anchor Steve Sanders. With Public Bonehead, Private Hero in his hand, Steve asked Mike about the 1908 pennant race, the "Merkle game" and the aftermath of the bonehead branding that has been discussed on this site at some length. Watchers could easily see Mike's enthusiasm for the subject and the Sanders-Cameron interview was a great intro for our book.

You can see the entire interview at the WGN site below:

http://www.wgntv.com/news/middaynews/wgntv-author-mike-cameron-fred-merkle-book,0,6348311.story

Mike's book, Public Bonehead, Private Hero, is for sale on our site at www.sportingchancepress.com and you can see Mike in person at the Howard Inn at 6700 West Howard Street in Niles, Illinois on May 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.