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BCB After Dark: The road not taken

The late-night/early-morning spot for Cubs fans asks you about the nixed Willson Contreras trade.

Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the late-night party for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’re so glad you could join us for the first show of the off-season. Baseball may be over, but the party goes on. There’s no cover charge. There are still a few good tables available. The hostess will seat you now. 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.

There’s no more baseball for 2022, but we are now 120 days away from the 2023 World Baseball Classic. And I suppose there are the Caribbean Winter Leagues, the Australian Baseball League and the Mexican Pacific League. For that last one, former Cubs minor league legend Anthony Giansanti was just named Player of the Week.

Last week, I asked if you thought the Cubs should keep designated hitter Franmil Reyes around for the 2023 season. By an overwhelming margin of 87 percent to 13 percent, you think the Cubs should thank Reyes for his time and send him packing.

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

I’ve made it clear that I was a fan of pianist Robert Glasper’s first two Black Radio albums, so clearly I was pretty happy that Glasper released Black Radio III last month. The Black Radio albums are some pretty creative fusion of jazz and hip-hop, as well as a few other genres thrown in there.

This is Glasper’s new version of Tears for Fears’ classic “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” from the new album. I’ve played jazz covers of that song before and this version offers yet another, different take on that eighties radio staple.

This features the great Chicago legend Lalah Hathaway on vocals and some words of wisdom by Common at the end. You’ll probably either love it or hate it.

I watched the new Patton Oswalt comedy special on Netflix this past weekend and I have to say that I was quite offended by what I heard. Oswalt was riffing on the music channels on SiriusXM and pointed out that channels like “40’s Junction” have gotten moved down the dial because all of their listeners are dying. He said that there are five people listening to 40’s Junction and they are two World War II vets and three urban hipsters. He then mocked the hipsters by shouting “Artie Shaw is punk!”

First of all, this is incorrect. All five listeners to 40’s Junction are urban hipsters. The few remaining World War II vets don’t waste their money subscribing to satellite radio. They wouldn’t know how to anyway.

Secondly, while I don’t really ever listen to 40’s Junction, I do listen to “Radio Classics,” which is basically the same thing except with radio shows and not music. And there’s a lot of music on Radio Classics as well. So I feel I’m being unfairly maligned as a hipster.

Finally, Artie Shaw was definitely punk.

But seriously, your hipster movie writer is going to ask you to pick a film for me to write about this week. Or maybe next week. I’ve seen all these films, but some of them I’m going to have to re-watch before writing about and I can’t guarantee I can do that by Wednesday. But I will write about the winner, either this week or next. And I may write about some of the losers as well at a later date.

The candidates are:

After the Thin Man (1936). Starring William Powell and Myrna Loy. Nick and Nora Charles return to make wisecracks, drink copious amounts of cocktails and solve a murder. The second of six “Thin Man” movies. Also featuring James Stewart in supporting role in one of his first big parts.

Cry ‘Havoc’ (1943). Margaret Sullavan, Ann Southern and Joan Blondell star in a war picture about the women who served as nurses in the doomed Battle of Bataan. Also in a supporting role was Marsha Hunt, who just passed away this past September at the age of 104.

The Blue Dahlia (1946). Alan Ladd, Veronica Lake and William Bendix star in a noir about a returning soldier trying to clear his name after his wife is murdered and he is the primary suspect. Famously, Los Angeles tabloid writers named famous murder victim Elizabeth Short “The Black Dahlia” in reference to this film.

Call Northside 777 (1948). James Stewart, Richard Conte and Lee J. Cobb. Stewart is a Chicago Times reporter who tries to prove the innocence of a man convicted of murdering a police officer 11 years years earlier. Based on a true story.

So there’s no guarantee I’ll write about the winner on Wednesday, tell me which one you’d most like me to write about. And I will try my best in any case.


Which film should be featured next?

This poll is closed

  • 32%
    After the Thin Man
    (15 votes)
  • 4%
    Cry ‘Havoc’
    (2 votes)
  • 28%
    The Blue Dahlia
    (13 votes)
  • 34%
    Call Northside 777
    (16 votes)
46 votes total Vote Now

Welcome back to everyone who skips the music and movies.

Today we are going to do a bit of alternative history. As Al mentioned this morning, the big Cubs news over the weekend was the revelation that the Cubs had agreed to trade Willson Contreras to the Astros for pitcher Jose Urquidy. The trade was called off when Astros owner Jim Crane refused to approve it.

There were lots of rumors about the Astros trading away a starting pitcher at the trade deadline, as they had more good ones than they could really use. The Astros really didn’t need Urquidy and he only pitched three innings of relief in the game 3 blowout loss the entire postseason.

Contreras likely would have contributed more than that as a catcher and DH, but the Astros clearly didn’t really need him either as they won the World Series in six games. They ripped through the playoffs with an 11-2 record.

As far as the Cubs go, Urquidy would have made regular starts in the last two months. I doubt they would have finished any better or any worse in the standings had the deal gone down, but we’ll never know. Urquidy is a solid major league starter, but he’s definitely not an ace.

Al summed up how well Urquidy pitched in 2022, so there’s no need for me to go over that again. But what I am asking you is to give us your opinion of this trade that was never made. More than that, I’m going to ask you to give us what your opinion of the vote would have been had I asked this question on August 2. Just put yourself back in the mindset of the trade deadline and give us your best guess as to what your take would have been had this trade been completed.


Had the Contreras for Urquidy deal gone through, you would have voted . . .

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    (56 votes)
  • 27%
    (36 votes)
  • 29%
    (39 votes)
131 votes total Vote Now

Thank you so very much for stopping by this evening. I hope you make it a habit this off-season. Please tell your friends. If you checked anything, let us get that for you now. Please tip your waitstaff. Drive home safely. And join us again tomorrow night for another edition of BCB After Dark.