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BCB After Dark: Just to keep myself interested

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The hip spot for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad asks if there’s another team you’re following now that the Cubs are out of it.

Tampa Bay Rays vs Kansas City Royals Set Number: X162613 TK1

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the secret night spot for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Thanks for stopping by again. We’ll take your hat and coat for you. (It’s still August. Why are you wearing a hat and coat?) I hope you brought your own beverage. Take a seat and join us.

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 did not play today after dropping two of three to the White Sox over the weekend. The ACL team lost to the Diamondbacks, 8-6. You’re free to discuss that or the Brewers or Padres or any other game you want. Better than talking about the Cubs, I guess.

Last time I asked you a couple of questions about Patrick Wisdom, one of which seems silly right now. The one that seems a bit ridiculous is whether or not you thought Wisdom would hit six more home runs this season and break the Cubs’ rookie record for home runs. At the time, he was on 21 home runs and I thought that there was probably a 60-65% chance he’d get six more home runs this year to break the record. Of course, Wisdom went and hit four home runs against the White Sox over the weekend and now there’s probably a 95% or better chance that he’ll get to 27. In any case, 69% of you voted that Wisdom would get the record. I have no way of knowing how many of you voted after he hit four home runs, but I don’t think a lot of votes came in late.

The other question is still valid and it was how many home runs do you think Wisdom will hit next season? On that, the most popular pick was the middle one, in which 59% of you thought that Wisdom would hit between 21 and 30 home runs next year. In second place was 11 to 20 home runs with 20% of your votes. Third place with 12% were the ones who thought Wisdom would hit between 31 and 40 home runs. I like the optimism of the 4% who thought he’d hit more than 41 home runs in 2022. I don’t like the pessimism of the 5% who thought he’d be at ten or fewer, but I can’t see the future so I can’t say you’re wrong.

Here’s the place where I talk about jazz and movies. You’re free to skip ahead to the question at the end. You won’t hurt my feelings.


Today’s jazz tracks are the classic hard bop album Clifford Brown & Max Roach, by (checks my notes) trumpeter Clifford Brown and drummer Max Roach. That’s quite convenient the way that worked out.

I’ve mentioned Roach before in these pages, but Clifford Brown was one of the young rising stars of bebop in the early 1950s. His dedicated himself to a music career after a car accident in 1950, switching his college major from math to music. Within a few years, he’d made his way into Lionel Hampton’s touring group. Jazz greats like Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and many others praised him. He formed a group with drummer Max Roach and their first LP together (presented here) is still considered a classic.

Unfortunately, Brown was killed in another car accident in 1956, cutting his promising career short. His wife, who was driving, also died along with pianist Richie Powell, who also plays on this record. Brown was only 25 years old. Automobiles in the 1950s were really death traps. It’s amazing that anyone survived that decade.


Here’s where I normally talk about a classic piece of cinema, and I did have an interesting one prepared. It’s a racially-problematic classic from the 1930s and no, it’s not Gone With The Wind. I wouldn’t inflict that one on you. I guess you could say every film made in the 1930s is racially-problematic, but this is one that the racial aspects really can’t be ignored.

In any case, I watched the film over the weekend and spent some time re-reading the source material and doing research on the film. I was just about to get started on writing when some family matters that I couldn’t put off came up. Nothing serious, just stuff that parents have to do for school-age children. In any case, I didn’t want to just throw up a quick summary and then add in my impressions for a film like this one. I wanted to treat it with the sensitivity that it needs, so I’m putting off my comments until the Wednesday night/Thursday morning edition of this column. Don’t worry. I will get to it. (Some of you are saying right now “I really wasn’t worrying, Josh.”)

I did watch the finale of the craft competition TV show Making It over the weekend and I was a bit stunned to see Dave Kingman on it. His son, Adam Kingman, was one of the final contestants, so that why he was on the final episode. But it was cute to see Cubs fan and co-host Nick Offerman being star-struck at the chance to meet his childhood idol.

I won’t offer any spoilers on the show, but definitely track down the episode if you want to see what Dave Kingman looks like today. Or just watch it anyway because it’s a fun show that makes people feel good. It’s available on both Hulu and Peacock.


Welcome back to everyone who skips the jazz and movies. Except I skipped the movies today as well.

The big news on Monday was Javier Báez, but I think Sara handled that as much as it needed to be handled on Monday. It’s certainly an interesting question whether the Cubs should welcome Javy back. I don’t think many Cubs fans have a problem with Báez telling Mets fans not to boo, but there are certainly problems with Báez’s striking out a ton and not getting on base that often.

The Cubs season is obviously lost at this point. I’m still watching because I want to see how Wisdom, Frank Schwindel, Justin Steele, Michael Hermosillo, etc. are doing. But then again, I’m the guy who watches hundreds of minor league games every year.

But I’ve got to admit that I don’t care that much if the Cubs win or lose. I’m certainly cheering for them to win (I’m not in favor of tanking for draft slots) but I certainly don’t feel the highs and lows that I would have felt had the team been chasing a playoff spot.

So in this case I move on to watching the Giants, who besides being the National League team closest to my current location, are also in a divisional title battle as well. I certainly don’t feel the same highs and lows of the Cubs in a pennant race when I watch the Giants, but I get at least some approximation of it.

Back when the Cubs were rebuilding earlier in this decade, I had the great fortune to follow the Giants teams that were really, really good. They won three World Series titles in five years, in case you forgot. And they had to good timing to have their dynasty crumble at about the exact same time that the Cubs were on the rise. There’s one particular game in San Francisco that sticks out that symbolizes that. You probably remember it.

Do any of you have a team in contention that you’ll follow while the Cubs are stinking up the place? I’m listing every team that has at least a 10% chance of making the playoffs. Are you temporarily cheering for any of them? Or do you just say “It’s the Cubs or I’m going down with the ship.” This isn’t about changing your favorite team—it’s just about having a rooting interest in a lost season.

Poll

With the Cubs out of it, I’m cheering for

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    Braves
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Phillies
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Brewers
    (5 votes)
  • 14%
    Giants
    (18 votes)
  • 4%
    Dodgers
    (6 votes)
  • 4%
    Padres
    (6 votes)
  • 6%
    Rays
    (8 votes)
  • 1%
    Yankees
    (2 votes)
  • 3%
    Red Sox
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Blue Jays
    (4 votes)
  • 19%
    White Sox
    (24 votes)
  • 0%
    Astros
    (0 votes)
  • 3%
    Athletics
    (4 votes)
  • 31%
    It’s Cubs or it’s on to football season! (or something else. Explain in comments)
    (40 votes)
126 votes total Vote Now

Thanks for stopping by. We’ll be back tomorrow night with an abbreviated version of BCB After Dark. Be sure to tip the valet when you leave.