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BCB After Dark: Always be closing

The coolest hangout for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad asks who will be closing out Cubs evenings in September.

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

It’s time for another edition of BCB After Dark: the hippest club for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. So glad you could make it. As always, bring your own beverage.

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 in to the afternoon.

Last time I asked you which team do you most like to see the Cubs beat. We knew the winner was going to be the Cardinals, and indeed they did take first place with 62% of the vote. The Brewers, my choice, finished in second with 15% of the vote and third place is still the Mets, with 9%. It’s good to see that Cubs/Mets rivalry that was so big from the sixties to the early nineties still has a little juice.

Next up is our look at jazz and movies. As always, if you want to just skip down to the baseball question at the bottom, be my guest. You’re not going to hurt my feelings.

Certainly the jazz artist that’s gotten the biggest response around here is Miles Davis, which is not surprising because he’s, you know, Miles Davis. If Louis Armstrong is the Elvis Presley of jazz, then Miles is the Beatles. Certainly the sextet that Davis put together in 1959: Davis, John Coltrane, “Cannonball” Adderley. Bill Evans, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb, are the 1927 Yankees of jazz.

“So What” is the opening piece on the album most Davis fans consider the pinnacle of his career, 1959’s Kind of Blue. I’m not going to try to explain what Davis and the group are doing here because, as I’ve said before, I’m not really an expert on jazz and musicology. But I do know that it’s amazing the way that Davis has all the players play off of each other. Davis is also a master of knowing when not to play his trumpet and you can see some of that here as well.

Kids, smoking is not cool. But Davis deciding to take a smoke break in the middle of Coltrane’s sax part (see 3:12) in this live performance is something you’ve just got to say is quintessentially Miles.

If you want to listen to the entire album, here it is. If you’ve decided to get into jazz, Kind of Blue should probably be the first purchase on your list. (Or stream. I know I’m old and I still purchase music. At least I’m not still buying 78s.)

My movie watch of the week was Preston Sturges’s The Lady Eve, a screwball romantic comedy from 1941. I almost didn’t write about it because I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I don’t watch anything other than Barbara Stanwyck films, but I couldn’t think of anything else off the top of my head and going back and researching something I watched last summer would take work.

Stanwyck stars as a con artist who, along with her father, ensnares rich young men and cleans them out of all their money. On a ship voyage back from South America, Stanwyck and her father (played by Charles Coburn) decide that a rich beer heir, played by Henry Fonda, is the perfect mark.

Fonda’s character, Charles Pike, is a herpetologist who was in South America studying snakes. As he boards the ship, Stanwyck’s character, Jean, drops an apple, hitting Fonda on the head. Subtle, this is not.

Stanwyck and her father get close to Fonda and start their con operation. (Spoiler Alert for a 80-year-old movie!!) The plan goes awry when Jean discovers that she’s fallen in love with Pike and she calls off the con. Her father keeps trying to fleece Fonda anyway, and she keeps making him stop or give the money back. Eventually Fonda’s character discovers that the two are grifters and breaks off his relationship with Jean.

Jean is heartbroken and decides to take revenge. She concocts a scheme where she will become the “Lady Eve Sidwich,” fresh off the boat from England. She decides to make Fonda fall in love with the Lady Eve so she can break his heart in return and hopefully take him for a ton of money as well.

Believe it or not, Charles Pike falls for it!

Here’s a scene from the movie, shortly after Pike meets “The Lady Eve.”

Fonda’s character has been completely thrown for a loop by how much Eve looks like Jean. In other words, he can’t believe how much Barbara Stanwyck looks like Barbara Stanwyck. She was the Tony Hawk of her time.

Do these two kids get together in the end? If you guessed no, you clearly have never seen a rom-com before in your life. (Spoilers over.)

The movie is considered a classic and while the plot is absolutely ridiculous, the cast is terrific and the jokes are mostly pretty good. It wouldn’t be the first classic Hollywood rom-com that I’d recommend (that would be Bringing Up Baby), but I would recommend that you get around to watching it eventually if you’re a fan of the genre.

And my question for today is do you have a favorite romantic comedy?

Welcome back to everyone who skipped ahead to the baseball stuff. Today’s question concerns the Cubs bullpen. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that Craig Kimbrel has struggled since signing with the Cubs to be the closer. I know some of you right now are saying that I’m understating how poorly Kimbrel has pitched in Cubbie blue. But it’s also important to note that Kimbrel did pitch very well last September and he reclaimed his closer job over the final month of the abbreviated season. Kimbrel didn’t allow a single run in September, over eight appearances and 7 13 innings. He struck out 13 and walked just three that month.

So there is little question that Kimbrel is going to start the season as the Cubs’ closer. But the question I’m asking is who is going to finish the season as the Cubs’ closer? If the Cubs manage to make the playoffs this year, who is manager David Ross going to call on to pitch the ninth in those games? Or more simply, who will be closing in the heart of a pennant race in mid-September?

If you think Kimbrel is going to hang on to the job all season, then be sure to say so. But If you think he’s going to either be bad and lose his job, or that he’ll be good and the Cubs will be so bad that they trade Kimbrel at the deadline, then who do you think will take over? And will that pitcher hold the job the rest of the year? Brandon Workman has previous closing experience. Or can Rowan Wick get healthy and take over? Will Dillon Maples or Brad Wieck step up? Can Ryan Tepera be an MVP-candidate again in 2021? Or will someone else come out of the minors or in a trade and take the job?


Who will be the Cubs closer at the end of the season?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Craig Kimbrel
    (98 votes)
  • 4%
    Dillon Maples
    (7 votes)
  • 3%
    Ryan Tepera
    (6 votes)
  • 9%
    Rowan Wick
    (15 votes)
  • 2%
    Brad Wieck
    (4 votes)
  • 11%
    Brandon Workman
    (18 votes)
  • 1%
    Brailyn Marquez
    (2 votes)
  • 5%
    Someone else (leave in comments)
    (9 votes)
159 votes total Vote Now

That’s all for tonight. I’ll see you again Monday night/Tuesday morning.