Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the coolest spot for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’re so glad you can join us for our final show of the week. Come on in and relax. We’ve got a prime table reserved for you in the second row. Bring your own beverage. Call a friend to come and join you.
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.
This afternoon the Cubs beat the Padres, 7-5 and came within one dead ball off the bat of Frank Schwindel on Tuesday of sweeping a very good San Diego team. Let’s hope this is a sign of better things to come.
Last night I asked you who you thought was the MVP of the Cubs season so far. With 25 percent of the vote, you said the veteran Willson Contreras has been the Cubs MVP. In second place was Seiya Suzuki with 21 percent and Ian Happ was in third place with 18 percent.
Here’s the part where I talk about jazz and movies. Feel free to skip to the baseball question at the end if you wish. You won’t hurt my feelings.
I know I played a jazz performance by The Bad Plus of Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” before, but that song has become a modern jazz standard, so I think there’s room for another one. Besides, this one has a vocal performance whereas the last one didn’t. Here’s a performance of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Robert Glasper from this past March.
In order to settle myself down and drown out all the stupidities of the day, I sat down and rewatched Jacques Demy’s 1964 classic The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies de Cherbourg) last night. I’ve written here before that I’m a big fan of Demy and especially of his “romantic trilogy” of Lola, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and The Young Girls of Rochefort. Although I prefer to call those three films “The Jacques Demy Cinematic Universe” because all three of those films take place in the same “world” and the plot and characters from one film show up or are referenced in the other ones.
I don’t normally do a film essay on Wednesday night/Thursday morning and I don’t have the time to do one tonight. Maybe I’ll write about Cherbourg next week. I will note that The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is famous for its brightly-colored world and the fact that every word of dialog is sung rather than spoken. It’s a musical and technically, it’s an opera. The film made stars of Catherine Deneuve and the film’s composer, Michel Legrand.
But I thought I’d use my love of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg to open up a discussion about movie musicals. In general, do you love them or hate them? Do you get caught up in the singing and dancing or do you roll your eyes and ask “Why are these people breaking out into song and dancing for no reason?” Do you have some that you love and some that you hate?
Most of my life, I have not been a fan of musicals. I used to be more of a “why are they singing” guy. I’ve always had exceptions and I’m sure I said something like “Oh, My Fair Lady is good, but most musicals are terrible.” I did first watch The Umbrellas of Cherbourg back in the 1990s and I liked it back then, although not nearly as much as I like it today. I guess I liked The Wizard of Oz when I was a kid, but I don’t think that registered with me as part of a genre called “musicals” back then. The flying monkeys were scary though.
As I’ve aged and as I’ve made an effort to give myself an education in film studies over the past few years, my antipathy towards musicals has changed. Sure, I still dislike some and I caught a bit of Gigi last week and thought “Yeah, that’s not very good.” But I love the Busby Berkeley-choreographed pre-code musicals from the early 1930s—42nd Street, The Gold Diggers of 1933 and Footlight Parade. There’s Cabaret and An American in Paris. I’m not as wild about Singing in the Rain as most are, but I don’t think it’s a bad movie by any means. It’s good, it’s just not my favorite. All That Jazz is a good watch, and I always find it amusing that Bob Fosse made a movie musical about what a complete jerk he was.
The Nightmare Before Christmas usually gets re-watched in my house around either Halloween or Christmas. Not both in one year though. I don’t love it that much.
A Hard Day’s Night qualifies and as much as I like to pretend I hate the Beatles, it’s a good film. And yes, I like Hamilton.
So share with us your opinion about musicals in the comments.
Welcome back to everyone who skips the jazz and movies.
The Cubs record currently stands at 11-19, which is the 25th-best record in baseball. That’s not good. The only teams worse that the Cubs at the moment are the Royals, the Red Sox, the Nationals, the Tigers and the Reds.
The Red Sox? The same Red Sox team that’s in Boston? The team that has a $214 million payroll (or so) for 2022? That Red Sox?
Yep, things are even worse in Boston than they are on the North Side. I linked to a few articles on what’s gone wrong for the Red Sox in Wednesday’s Outside the Confines and if you’re confused, you can look up some of those articles.
So tonight’s question is simple. Who is going to finish with a better record this year, the Cubs or the Red Sox?
Before you say that the Red Sox have a lot more talent that is better than they’re playing right now and that they’ll come around, consider a few things. For one, compare the divisions the Red Sox are playing in and the one the Cubs are playing in. There are three legitimate World Series contenders in the AL East with Yankees, Rays and Blue Jays. The Orioles are improved and are likely to get better. Whereas the Cubs play in a division with the Pirates and a truly-wretched Reds team that they haven’t even faced yet. You’d think the schedule would favor the Cubs at least.
Also, if the Red Sox are out of it by July, there are just as likely to start trading veterans for minor leaguers as the Cubs are. Xander Bogaerts is almost certain to be traded if the Red Sox aren’t contending, for example. Nathan Eovaldi could go too. I’m sure Boston would be willing to eat some contract to get some prospects for other underperforming veterans.
So who’s going to have the better record at the end of the year: The Cubs or the Red Sox?
Which team will have the better record at the end of the year?
This poll is closed
Boston Red Sox
I’d like to thank you again for being such a loyal patron of the arts. We consider baseball to be an art around here. If you checked anything, we’ll get it for you now. If you need to have us call a ride for you, just let us now. Get home safely. Enjoy the upcoming weekend. And join us again next week for another edition of BCB After Dark.