Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the late-night dive for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Thanks for joining us again tonight. We’ve saved you a good table in the second row. Bring your own beverage. The main show will start shortly.
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.
No baseball tonight except for the minor leagues. I’m used to the Triple-A All-Star Game happening on the night after the MLB All-Star Game, but that’s not happening this year. But there was a slate of minor league games to follow.
Yesterday I asked you about what the Cubs should do about Matt Duffy. Only 9% of you thought the Cubs should trade him—probably primarily because they wouldn’t get much for a guy who didn’t play last year and just came off the 60-day IL this season. Another 22% of you thought the Cubs should let him play out the season and leave. But 70% of you want Duffy back in 2022, presuming that he’s going to sign for a contract in the neighborhood of the $1 million he is playing for this season. I think he’s probably in line for a raise, but not much of one. I don’t think any other team is going to offer him $5 million, for example.
Here’s the part where I talk about jazz and movies. You’re free to skip to the baseball question at the end if you’d like. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Tonight’s jazz track comes from pianist Horace Silver and the Horace Silver Quintet. It appears to be from 1959 and it’s a live performance of “Señor Blues.” [VIDEO] I think you’ll find this to be a swinging tune with a Latin beat that will have you either tapping your toes or bobbing your head. At least, that’s what it did to me.
I don’t do full movie essays on Wednesday night/Thursday morning anymore, but I do like to give you some movie question to generate discussion.
Tonight I’m going to ask you about your all-time favorite comedies. Comedy is a a tricky thing because something that’s funny to one person (or one culture) may not be funny in another. And context matters a lot in comedy. I’m reminded of that scene in Wandavision from this past spring where Wanda and Vision are watching Malcolm in the Middle together. An entire backyard covered porch falls on the dad in that show and Vision asks “Is it funny because of the grievous injury the man just suffered?” and Wanda replies “He’s not really hurt.” Vision (an android, for those who don’t know) is still puzzled and asks “How do you know?” Wanda just calmly replies “It’s not that kind of show.”
And that’s really one of the keys to comedy. Slapstick is only funny because we know the person isn’t really hurt. I’m sure you can think of a lot other examples. What We Do In the Shadows is only funny because we know that vampires aren’t really living in New Zealand or Staten Island and living off the blood of their victims.
So what I’m asking is for you to put yourself out there and list some of your favorite comedy movies. What is something that is going to make you laugh no matter how many times you watch it? I’m not asking you to list them all—I tried to make a list of my five favorites and I realized that there are dozens I could list and I can’t choose between them. But I will list some movies that I’ll watch again and again, even if I’m not going to swear that they’re my absolute favorites.
Young Frankenstein (Could really list all the early Mel Brooks films)
Heathers (The ultimate cynical Gen X comedy)
This is Spinal Tap
Some Like it Hot
Bringing Up Baby
Monty Python and the Life of Brian
Dr. Strangelove (The ultimate cynical everything comedy)
His Girl Friday
What’s Up, Doc?
And honestly, I could name a dozen more.
So now that I’ve opened myself up to ridicule for my bad taste, it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite comedies?
Welcome back to all of you who skip the music and movies. Tonight’s question is a philosophical one. There’s also a bit of “The Lady, or the Tiger?” tossed in. We are all assuming that the Cubs are going to start trading away talent over the next two weeks and that they are going to get young players in return. So what do you want to get back?
Now clearly, what the Cubs would love to do is trade Craig Kimbrel to the Rays for Wander Franco. That, my gentle readers, will never happen in a million years. Generally teams have to make a choice. In option one, they can get one or more high-risk but high-reward prospects from the low minors. An example of this would be the Yu Darvish trade from this past off-season. Players in these deals may be a long ways away and the trading team may get nothing in the end. Or, like when the Padres traded away James Shields, they could end up with a Fernando Tatis Jr.
Or teams can ask for a lower-risk player from the upper minors, but one with a generally lower ceiling. An example of this would be the Ryan Dempster deal, where the Cubs got Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva. Now the Cubs were extremely lucky that Hendricks turned out like he did—Hendricks is a rare unicorn who learned to succeed with velocity that is well below average. When the Cubs got him, he projected out to be more of a Zach Davies type. Maybe a better example would be the Matt Garza trade when the Cubs got back Justin Grimm, Carl Edwards Jr. and Mike Olt. These types of deals will provide players who will contribute in the next year or two, but probably won’t be stars.
Finally, teams can ask for major league talent that the other team no longer wants. These are guys who are playing in the major leagues but not playing very well. They can join your major league team immediately, but you’re just hoping that a chance in scenery turns them around. In such a deal, who could end up trading Scott Feldman for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. Or, even though the Cubs didn’t get him in a deadline deal, you could end up with Ian Stewart.
So which is it? Yes, we all want the best player available. But if you were Jed Hoyer, would you be targeting long-term assets like in the Darvish deal? None of those players will likely play for the Cubs for at least three more seasons, but they could be difference-makers. Or they could never play above Double-A.
Or would you like some lesser prospects who are closer to the majors like Grimm or Hendricks? Or how about a major league reclamation project like Jake Arrieta—as long as you remember that the Cubs are more likely to end up with the next Ian Stewart?
All other things being equal, which type of player should Jed Hoyer ask for from other teams?
This poll is closed
Young, high-risk prospects with big upside
Medium-upside prospects ready to contribute soon
Flawed (but maybe fixable) major leaguers who can play now
Thanks for another week of BCB After Dark. Be sure to tip your waitstaff and the girl in the coat check room. We’ll see you again next week.