Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the speakeasy for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. So glad you could join us again tonight. The hostess has saved you a prime seat. It’s bring your own beverage. I hope you can make it a habit to stop by.
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 were rained out tonight. Feel free to discuss the weather here if you so wish.
Last time I asked you where the Cubs would end up picking in next year’s draft, which is just a sneaky way of asking you how many teams you think will finish with a worse record than the Cubs this year. The winner, with 48% of your votes, was 6th or 7th, or pretty much where they are now. Another 37% thought that the Cubs would fall to the 4th or 5th pick in the draft next year.
Also last time, we discussed actress Gloria Grahame and punk singer Su Tissue in the comments as this space is coming dangerously close to becoming a forum for women artists that I’m obsessed with.
I do an abbreviated version of BCB After Dark on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, although this one got a little long. Still, no movie talk unless you want to in the comments. But I do normally include a jazz cut so that you have something to listen to should you so choose. Or not. You won’t hurt my feelings either way.
We lost Charlie Watts today (or yesterday, depending on where you are), the legendary drummer for the Rolling Stones. He was 80. Anyone who knows the background of Watts knows that his first love was jazz, not rock or blues. In fact, you could argue that the most popular rock band in the world had a jazz drummer. Watts wasn’t a drummer like The Who’s Keith Moon or Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham who would just blow out the speakers with bombast. He left the bombast to Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. Instead, Watts provided a more skilled and more subtle backbeat for the Stones greatest hits. Of course, Watts could blow the roof off the joint if he wanted and sometimes he did. But he’d rather use his drums like scalpels and not like machetes.
As I said, Watts’ first love was jazz and over the past few decades, Watts used his time away from the Stones to make jazz recordings and play jazz concerts. So here’s one from the BBC from 2019 where Watts and friends play the jazz standard “Night Train.” After the tune, Watts and his childhood friend Dave Green talk about what jazz meant to them growing up.
Rest in peace, Charlie Watts.
I don’t know whether or not Patrick Mooney is on to something or whether he’s just searching for a story, but yesterday he talked to Rockies shortstop Trevor Story about Wrigley Field and the possibility of playing for the Cubs. (The Athletic sub. req.)
Story is a free agent at the end of this season and is pretty much certain to leave the Rockies. I would think that there would have to be a sale of the team and new management from top to bottom for Story to stay in Denver.
The Cubs don’t really have a shortstop since trading Javier Báez, although I’d argue that they have two second basemen in Nick Madrigal and Nico Hoerner and both of them are injured. The Cubs are likely to be in the market for a shortstop this winter and with the Rockies in town, Mooney found an angle for a story by talking to Story.
If you don’t have a subscription, Story calls Wrigley Field a “special place” and says he’d listen to the Cubs offers if they called him. (Of course, that comment was made in the context of free agency and that he’ll listen to any team.)
But the money quote from Story was:
From afar, it’s such a historic organization. I love playing here. The fans are great. Just coming here over the last six years, it’s a place you look forward to coming, for sure.
Clearly Story can see himself playing for the Cubs next year. Of course, money talks in this game and he’s not going to give the Cubs a discount to sign here. But it certainly sounds like he’d be excited if the Cubs called.
Now do you think that’s a good idea? From 2018 to 2020, Story was one of the best players in baseball. He hit 83 home runs over those 2 1⁄3 seasons and stole 65 bases. He also hit .292 with a .355 OBP. Story is also a very good defensive shortstop.
But there are some things to worry about. For one, he has gotten quite a bit of help from Coors Field. He only hit 28 of those 86 home runs on the road over those past few years. His career triple-slash line at Coors is .303/.368/.607. His career road stats are a much more run-of-the-mill .243/.311/.437. Now yes, he’s had to play a lot of road games at good pitchers parks like Dodger Stadium, Petco Park and Oracle Field, so those road numbers may not be as discouraging as they look. But he’s also hit poorly at Wrigley over the years, no matter what he says about the place.
Story is also having a pretty mediocre 2021 season with an OPS+ of 100, which is league average. You do have to think that the overall situation with the Rockies might be affecting his play. He took himself out of the lineup for one game when he wasn’t traded at the deadline because he was having so much trouble mentally dealing with that whole kerfuffle.
On top of all that, Story is going to be looking for a lot of money and a lot of years. I doubt he’ll get the ten years and $341 million that the Mets gave Francisco Lindor, but he’s going to get at least six years and probably something close to $30 million a year. (Collective bargaining talks could make this number wildly off, but let’s not worry about that now.) Story is going to be 29 next season. Do you want the Cubs to pay him $30 million a year when he’s 35?
Additionally, Story is not going to be the only free agent shortstop on the market. (That might keep his price down) There is Corey Seager, Carlos Correa and of course, Javier Báez. All three of those players are younger than Story as well, although Báez only by a few weeks. But Báez wouldn’t likely need as many years to sign as the other shortstops.
So do you think the Cubs should sign Trevor Story? I’m giving the normal “Yay, Nay and Meh” options that we often use around here, but I am going to define them further:
“Yay!” means you think Story should be a top option fo the Cubs this winter. It doesn’t mean that you’d give him a blank check, but it means you think the Cubs should make a strong effort to sign him.
“Nay!” means you think Story is in decline and he’s not going to be worth what he’s asking for during the length of his contract. You wouldn’t touch him unless he agrees to some kind of cheap, short-term deal. Otherwise, you think the money could be spent better elsewhere.
“Meh” means that he’s not your first or your second option on the free agent market, but if those targets go elsewhere and Story is willing to sign a reasonable contract (defined by you), then sure. Sign him. But you won’t be excited.
Should the Cubs sign Trevor Story this winter?
This poll is closed
Thanks again for stopping by. We’ll see you again tomorrow with another edition of BCB After Dark.