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BCB After Dark: Nerves of Steele

The hip night club for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad asks you what you think of Cubs rookie Justin Steele

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Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the secret hangout for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cub fans abroad. Glad you could join us tonight. We’re waiving the cover charge for you. Sit wherever you want. Please 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.

The Cubs lost both ends of a doubleheader with the Brewers today, 4-2 and 6-3. It’s depressing, but at this point I’m just hoping the Cubs don’t embarrass themselves. I don’t think they did in either game (except in one inning in game two), but in the final analysis, losing both games of a doubleheader is always embarrassing. But you can talk about these games here if you want.

Last night I asked you your opinion of the movie “Field of Dreams” and it turns out 55% of you have no taste and like it. (And as always, “having no taste” means disagreeing with me.) Another 37% were “meh” on the movie and another 8% of you agree with me and hate it.

On Tuesday night/Wednesday mornings, I don’t do a full movie recap or movie debate or anything. But I can find a jazz video easily enough, and I came across a really nice one today.

Bud Powell was one of the great bebop pianists of the post-war jazz age. I’m not going to go deep into his biography—you can look up about all the adversity he faced in his life yourself easily enough. But in the late-50s, tired after numerous run-ins with the police and mental institutions in New York, Powell fled to Paris and set up shop there. And here is an incredible video of Powell playing with Clark Terry, Barney Wilen, Pierre Michelot and Kenny Clarke at the Club Paris Saint Germain in November of 1959. The video is colorized, so that may affect your enjoyment of it one way or another. But this kind of intimate jazz club is exactly what I picture in my mind when I set up BCB After Dark. If I had a time machine, I’d definitely hang out in jazz clubs in Paris in the late-50s and early-60s.

There’s some introductions in French, but the music starts at the 2:22 mark.

Welcome back those who skip the music. Today’s poll questions concern Cubs rookie Justin Steele, who had his first major league start today. He got the loss, primarily because he gave up two home runs in the fourth inning. But what did you think of his performance?

Steele made his major league debut pitching out of the Cubs bullpen in April. He pitched well out of the pen, but Steele went on the injured list in May. He made a quick return to the Cubs bullpen in early July, but the Cubs sent him back down to Iowa in short order to stretch him out into becoming a starter.

Starting was not something new for Steele—in fact, he’d never pitched out of the pen except for a few games in rookie ball before 2021. But after making five successful starts for Iowa, Steele made his first major league start today.

So I’ve got two poll questions for you. The first one is simply to give Justin Steele a grade for his performance today. He pitched five innings and allowed three runs on five hits. Two of those hits were home runs. He walked one and struck out one.

If you have a subscription to The Athletic, you can read this piece by Sahadev Sharma about Steele and his first start to help you answer both questions if you’d like.


Grade Justin Steele’s first major league start:

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    (9 votes)
  • 65%
    (128 votes)
  • 25%
    (50 votes)
  • 2%
    (5 votes)
  • 1%
    (3 votes)
195 votes total Vote Now

The second question is a bit unfair, because we don’t really have enough data from just one game. But there’s no point in putting off the debate, if only because we need something to talk about. Do you think Justin Steele can be a valuable member of the Cubs rotation over the next few years? Or do you think he’s just an emergency fill-in for a team that’s run out of starting pitchers? No one is expecting Steele to be an ace, but would you pencil him into the 2022 rotation (and maybe beyond) after Kyle Hendricks and (presumably) Albert Alzolay? (By the way, Alzolay and Steele are great friends from their years in the minors together.)


Will Justin Steele be a regular member of the Cubs starting rotation over the next few seasons

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    (164 votes)
  • 13%
    (26 votes)
190 votes total Vote Now

I’m not giving a “maybe” option. Take a stand, dude. But you can be more ambivalent in the comments if you want to be.

That’s it for tonight. Thanks for stopping by. We’ll be back tomorrow with another edition of BCB After Dark.