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BCB After Dark: Happy surprises

The night spot for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad asks you which Cub player has been the most pleasant surprise this year.

Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the nightclub for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. In honor of the Cubs sweep, we’re waiving the cover charge tonight. Bring your own beverage. Be sure to tip your waitstaff.

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.

Everyone who thought the Cubs would sweep the Dodgers, raise your hand. Look around the room. Everyone with their hand up is a liar. But I’ve got to say, that was an impressive show against the defending World Series champs. Also, this article by Zach Kram from April 22 looks pretty foolish now that the Dodgers are just two games over .500 and in third place.

Last night I asked you what you thought of the seven-inning games in doubleheaders. The vote was closer than I thought it would be. Forty-six percent of you said “Nay!” to the shorter games, but 35% said “Yay!” and 19% were ambivalent like me.

Here’s where I talk about jazz and movies. As I said last night, with minor league games back and the Minor League Wrap returning, I’m not going to have the time to go into the same kind of depth that I had been. Maybe on Monday when there aren’t any minor league games.

You’re free to skip ahead to the baseball stuff now. You won’t hurt my feelings.

The Minneapolis jazz group The Bad Plus are known for two things: Playing jazz covers of rock standards (although they do write their own material as well) and playing jazz music really loudly. It’s that second thing that has kept me from featuring them before now. Their normal volume doesn’t go really well with a “late night” vibe.

But this live version of David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” from 2008 is pretty restrained for them. It starts out quiet and slow and slowly increasing in tempo and volume until a crescendo at the end that still isn’t as loud as they can be in studio.

I don’t really have a movie to recommend tonight. I watched 1949’s The Set-Up last night to relax before I went to bed, which starred Robert Ryan and Audrey Totter. (The Criterion Channel is featuring a collection of Robert Ryan films this month, if you’re wondering why I’m talking about him in two straight films.) I thought the film was just OK. Ryan is playing an aging boxer who is supposed to throw a fight. This is a story that can be done well or done poorly and this one is done just “meh.” The twist here is that the boxer’s manager is so sure he’s going to lose anyway that he doesn’t bother to inform him that he’s supposed to take a dive. Of course he wins the fight anyway and the mobsters who fixed the fight are not happy.

Totter plays his wife, who is also convinced he’s going to lose the fight so she wanders the city alone and refuses to go into the arena to see her husband pummeled.

I looked up Totter’s career, and I had no idea she played a nurse on the seventies TV show “Medical Center.” Then it struck me. When was the last time you thought of “Medical Center”? If ever? This was a show on CBS for seven seasons and was a top-ten show early in its run. Yet as far as I can tell, no one is talking about “Medical Center” on the internet. If it’s running on some obscure digital sub-channel, I haven’t heard about it. I remember it starred Chad Everett and that’s about it. I was too young at the time to be interested in it. Other than that, in a modern culture in which nothing ever seems to disappear, “Medical Center” seems to have fallen in a black hole.

Can you think of any other TV show like that? I’m not talking about some show that got cancelled after 13 episodes. I’m talking about TV shows that ran multiple seasons to good ratings on the number one-rated network and have absolutely been forgotten in modern culture. I can’t think of any other ones, but of course, I guess if I could think of them then they wouldn’t be forgotten.

Welcome back to all the baseball fans who skip the stuff in the middle. I’m thinking that everyone is in a pretty good mood today after taking three in a row from the Dodgers. The Cubs are still a game under .500, but they’ve got Pittsburgh over the weekend and they could certainly be back over .500 by Saturday. Even two out of three over the weekend would put the Cubs at .500.

So I’m going to ask you to be positive. I’m going to ask you which Cubs player has been the most pleasant surprise for you today. By this I mean the player whom you had little or no expectations for going into the season but so far has exceeded your expectations the most.

So if you thought Kris Bryant was going to have a bounce-back season, then he’s not a pleasant surprise. But I’m pretty sure that few of you had high expectations for Jake Marisnick, for example.

So which Cubs player has been the most pleasant surprise for you so far this season?


Which Cubs player has been the most pleasant surprise for you this year?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Javier Baez
    (2 votes)
  • 19%
    Kris Bryant
    (40 votes)
  • 34%
    Matt Duffy
    (71 votes)
  • 16%
    Jake Marisnick
    (34 votes)
  • 0%
    Eric Sogard
    (2 votes)
  • 10%
    Adbert Alzolay
    (21 votes)
  • 0%
    Andrew Chafin
    (2 votes)
  • 13%
    Craig Kimbrel
    (28 votes)
  • 0%
    Trevor Williams
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Someone else (leave in comments)
    (2 votes)
203 votes total Vote Now

I’ll see you again Monday. And keep reading the Minor League Wrap.