Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the cool spot for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Thank you so much for stopping by. Please let us take your hat and coat. We’ve saved you a table in the second row. Bring your own beverage.
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 tonight lost their seventh-straight game and recorded their 90th loss of the season, 8-6 to the Pirates. Yeah, I think we were all hoping for better than that at the start of the season. If for some reason you want to discuss tonight’s game, you’re free to do so here.
Last time I asked you to grade the Cubs’ coaching staff and a “C” was the runaway winner with 47% of the vote. It seems like most of you aren’t blaming them for the miserable season, but you’re also not giving them a lot of credit for not making things worse. A “B” was in second place with 36% and a “D” got ten percent. Both “A” and “F” got just 4%.
On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I do an abbreviated version of After Dark without the movie talk. But I always have time for a little jazz, so if you want to skip that, now’s your time. You won’t hurt my feelings.
I was listening to Christian McBride’s show on SiriusXM The Lowdown, which is a great show to listen to if you want to learn about jazz. This week he had on pianist Bob James and I learned a lot about Bob James from his conversation with McBride. So I thought I’d feature James today.
James is one of the most-sampled musicians of all time, often without permission. His work is also familiar to anyone of a certain age or anyone who watches classic television sitcoms. His song “Angela” is better known at the theme song to the 1978-to-1983 show Taxi.
Here is the Bob James Trio playing a funky little number, “Submarine” in 2018. James is 81 years young and still going strong. Give some credit to Billy Kilson on drums and Michael Palazzolo on bass as well.
Welcome back to those that skip the jazz. A debate that has shown up on the baseball interwebs lately has been the debate over the American League Most Valuable Player Award. A month ago, pretty much everyone agreed that Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani should win the award. There really wasn’t much debate.
But since then, Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. has gotten red hot. There was some talk of Guerrero winning the Triple Crown, which caused some to argue that anyone who wins the Triple Crown (batting, home run and RBI titles) should get the MVP Award. Especially since the Blue Jays are in the thick of a Wild Card race and the Angels have been out of it since May.
The Triple Crown argument strikes me as weird because it relies on what other players did. What that argument is basically saying is that hitting .313 with 46 home runs and 105 RBI (which are Guerrero’s current stats) is enough to win the MVP if Salvador Perez hits 45 home runs and Yuli Gurriel posts a .312 batting average but not if Perez hits 47 home runs or Gurriel posts a .317 batting average.
In any case, Guerrero is not likely to win the Triple Crown because with five games left, Guerrero has 105 RBI and Perez has 117 RBI.
But what about the MVP? The arguments in favor of Guerrero is that he plays every day and the Blue Jays are in the playoff hunt.
The argument in favor of Ohtani is that in addition to hitting .256/.370/.592 with 45 home runs and 24 steals in 519 at-bats, he’s also posted a record of 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 130 innings. He struck out 156 batters and walked 44. People say we haven’t seen that since the days of Babe Ruth in Boston.
Another argument in favor of Ohtani is that his bWAR is 9.0, which leads all of baseball. Guerrero’s bWAR is 6.7, which, thanks to defensive adjustments, isn’t even the highest on the Blue Jays. (That would be Marcus Semien with 7.2)
So the question is simple. Who would you vote for as AL MVP?
Who should be AL MVP?
This poll is closed
Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Someone else (leave in comments)
Thanks for stopping by. We’ll bring your car around. We hope to see you again tomorrow with another edition of BCB After Dark.