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BCB After Dark: Top of the Central

The happening joint for night owls, early-risers and Cubs fans abroad ask you who is winning the NL Central

MLB: New York Mets at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the informal club for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’re so glad that you stopped by for a break during this hectic week. We’ve saved you a prime table and waived the cover charge tonight. 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.

It’s always difficult to come up with a good question that will stir discussion and I know that some nights I’m more successful than others. But when I decided to ask you a question about Alfonso Rivas last night, I had no idea the good reaction and discussion that I would get out of you. Whether you are a believer or skeptic on Rivas, you all made your cases well and had a great discussion and we got a lot of votes in the poll. I was not expecting that. I’m betting I don’t do as well as that tonight.

But the actual question I asked you was “How many games will Alfonso Rivas play for the Cubs in 2022?,” which was a proxy for asking you if you think Rivas will play well enough to force his way into the lineup. In the end, 47 percent of you thought that Rivas would play between 60 and 89 games, which to me indicates that you think he’ll be a part-time platoon player. Another 24 percent of you thought he’d play between 30 to 59 games, which I interpret as him spending much of the season on the Des Moines shuttle (or getting injured). In third place, 20 percent of you thought that he’d play between 90 and 120 games, which I see as him being a valuable bench player all season, rotating in and out of the lineup on a regular basis, mostly sitting against left-handers.

On Tuesday night/Wednesday night, I don’t do a movie essay, although you can look back at what I wrote about In A Lonely Place last night. I hope to be able to finish my thoughts on that piece of classic film noir tomorrow night, but no promises since as you can probably guess, I’ve got a lot of writing to do around here this week. (Next week will probably be much better.)

But I always have time for some jazz, so if you’re going to skip that, do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.

Tonight’s jazz selection isn’t purely jazz, but I think you’ll like it anyway. It’s one of those NPR Tiny Desk Concerts, featuring Jon Batiste, who just won five Grammy Awards over the weekend. This performance of four songs goes through a lot of genres, which you know that Batiste can handle since that’s what any bandleader on a late night talk show has to be able to do. Or anyone who writes and performs on film soundtracks, for that matter.

But Batiste is always at his best when he’s speaking from his own soul rather than making other artists look good, although he’s pretty terrific at that as well. So here is Batiste, along with Sarah Thawer on drums, Negah Santos on percussion, Endea Owens on acoustic bass and Celisse Henderson on electric guitar.

This was recorded in November of 2019, which seems like decades ago.

Welcome back to everyone who skips all that jazz.

Tonight we’ve got a simple question: Who is winning the National League Central? The season starts on Thursday (which may be tomorrow, depending on when you read this) and inquiring minds want to know: Who ya got?

Are you placing your metaphorical bets on the defending division champion Brewers? Do you like the veteran, tested talent in St. Louis to win one last one with Albert Pujols? The Pirates looked bad last season, but they’ve got some young talent reaching the majors this year and last. The Reds sold off a lot of veteran talent, but they’ve also got a lot of young, talented and major league-ready kids. And then there are the Cubs, whom I shouldn’t have to tell you much about. Can the Cubs be this year’s Giants and shock everyone?


Who will win the NL Central this year?

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    Chicago Cubs
    (40 votes)
  • 2%
    Cincinnati Reds
    (4 votes)
  • 56%
    Milwaukee Brewers
    (103 votes)
  • 2%
    Pittsburgh Pirates
    (5 votes)
  • 16%
    St. Louis Cardinals
    (29 votes)
181 votes total Vote Now

Thank you again so much for stopping by. I hope you’ve enjoyed yourself this evening. Pick up after yourself, if you would. Please get home safely. And please join us again tomorrow night for another edition of BCB After Dark. It’s our final one of the offseason!