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BCB After Dark: A Giant surprise

The night spot where all the cool cats hang, along with night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad, asks you if Buster Posey belongs in Cooperstown.

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v San Francisco Giants - Game Five Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the meeting spot for cool cats, night-owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. So glad to see you on the first night of the off-season. There’s no off-season here as the jazz is still cool and waiting for you. I hope you brought your own beverage. The hostess will seat you now. Sit down and relax. There’s no more baseball until spring.

BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.

Last time I asked you who you thought would be the final member of the 2016 Cubs still on the team. Kyle Hendricks won the vote easily with 56% of the vote. In second place was Jason Heyward with 25% and Willson Contreras finished in third place with 19%. I generally don’t vote in my own polls, but I probably would have voted for Contreras. If he signs an extension this winter or spring, then he’s likely a Cub for life. Of course, the same could be said for Kyle Hendricks and he’s still got an extra year to go on his contract.

Here’s the part where I talk about jazz and movies. Feel free to skip to the baseball question at the end if you wish. You won’t hurt my feelings.

I was searching for a jazz track on YouTube earlier tonight and I listened to several pieces of music that would have fit here well. But for the end of the season and for every team but the Atlanta Braves, it just seemed like the jazz standard “Darn That Dream” fit the mood perfectly. Written in 1939 by Jimmy Van Heusen and Eddie DeLange, “Darn That Dream” is one of those “Great American Songbook” tunes that has been recorded by dozens of jazz artists.

So I picked this one recorded in 1964 by saxophonist Dexter Gordon. With Kenny Drew on piano, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pederson on bass and Art Taylor on the drums, here’s “Darn That Dream.”

I generally limit myself to one movie essay a week because they’re so time-consuming, although maybe in the off-season I’ll have a little more time. Not tonight, however, as I still have a teenage daughter that demands a whole lot of my time.

I try to ask a movie question for discussion on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, but tonight I thought I’d try something a little different, since the baseball season is now over. My question is inspired by this Tweet by baseball writer Craig Calcaterra.

So the question for discussion tonight is what are you going to do until spring? I assume everyone reading this site is a pretty intense baseball fan who now has a few hours a day freed up until March or April, depending on how you feel about Spring Training.

It would be especially nice if you’d tell us what movies or TV shows you want to catch up on with the extra time, but it’s not necessary. Are you going to just move over to football, basketball or hockey? Or are you one of those hipsters like myself and Calcaterra who are all into this English Premier League thing? Are you going to spend more time with your kids and are they going to ask you “Who are you, again?” since they haven’t seen you since March?

Tonight’s question for discussion is simply what are you looking forward to doing now that the baseball season is over. And if it’s just staring out the window and waiting until spring, then you can tell us that as well, you miserable old curmudgeon.

I think it’s pretty clear what I’m going to be doing. Watching soccer, old movies, listening to jazz and continuing to write BCB After Dark three times a week. I hope you’ll continue to join us.

Welcome back to all of you who skip all that jazz.

The news came out earlier this evening that San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey will announce his retirement on Thursday. (That’s today for most of you.)

The news is shocking in one sense, in that Posey still seemed to be at the top of his game after hitting .304/.390/.499 with 18 home runs in 113 games. He also looked like he was much younger than his 34 years after he opted out of playing the 2020 season. And while a lot of baseball players hang it up at 34, not many of them do after having the season that Posey just had.

On the other hand, the retirement makes quite a bit of sense if you’re familiar with Buster Posey. First, he’s accomplished pretty much everything he could accomplish, with an MVP Award and three World Series Championship rings in his trophy collection. He’s also suffered quite a few injuries, including a couple of concussions, in his career. And while Posey no doubt loves baseball, he loves his wife and his four young children a lot more. He sat out last season because he wanted to spend more time with them and he didn’t want to possibly expose any of them to COVID-19. He’s made enough money in baseball for the six of them to live comfortably for the rest of their lives. He owes the Giants and the game of baseball nothing. He’s getting out while he’s still in shape to enjoy the rest of his life.

To me, Buster Posey is a clear first-ballot Hall-of-Famer as the best catcher in baseball for the 2010s. But surprisingly, a lot of people on line don’t think he is destined for Cooperstown. They point to Thurman Munson, who has similar stats and a similar career length and Munson isn’t in. Joe Mauer is another player who had a similar career and while Mauer isn’t eligible for the Hall yet, I don’t think anyone thinks Mauer is a slam-dunk certainty for Cooperstown. He may get in and he may not, but it’s not a clear slam dunk.

Of course, to those who say that Munson had a similar career, I’d disagree. For one, the bWAR stats give Munson a lot of credit for other catchers of the 1970s being lousy hitters. Baseball-reference gives Munson a slight edge in WAR because they set the replacement value for a catcher for the 1970s so much lower than they do for the 2010s. Fangraphs, on the other hand, has Posey as better than Munson in WAR and it isn’t really very close. (57.6 to 40.9)

On top of that, you can ask yourself “Was this player the best player at his position in his era?” For Posey, he was clearly the best catcher in baseball over the past decade. (If you say Yadier Molina was, I’ll laugh in your face.) On the other hand, Munson is behind Johnny Bench, Carlton Fisk and probably Ted Simmons as the best catcher of the 1970s. Maybe you disagree on that. Maybe you say that Munson shouldn’t be punished for playing at the same time as Bench and Fisk. I’d agree with you on that last point, but I’d also say he shouldn’t be rewarded for playing at the same time as Bill Nahorodny, Butch Wynegar and Buck Martinez as well.

I’ve made my case for Posey. I’m curious how many of you agree with me. Maybe you think I’m all wet. Make your case in the comments. Also vote: Does Buster Posey belong in the Hall of Fame or not?


Does Buster Posey belong in the Hall of Fame?

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    (256 votes)
  • 9%
    (27 votes)
283 votes total Vote Now

Thank you so much for stopping by. It’s going to be cold out there, so be sure to button up, Let us call you a cab if you need one. And please come back again next week for another edition of BCB After Dark.