Welcome back to BCB After Dark: your swingin’ spot for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend. We hope we can keep a little bit of that weekend spirit going tonight. Please come on in and get out of the heat. There’s no cover charge tonight. There are still a few good tables available. 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 lost to the Blue Jays, 5-4 in 11 innings. They wasted a really good start by rookie Javier Assad and blew a 4-0 lead. There were a lot of baserunning mistakes tonight as well.
Last week, I asked you what you thought of the new balanced schedule. You don’t seem to be too keen on it as 46 percent of you voted “Nay!” I’m guessing you want more games with the Brewers and Cardinals and fewer with the Blue Jays and Mariners. But 30 percent of you said “Yay!” because, I guess, you think variety is the spice of life. Then the other 24 percent of you voted with me, because I’m a “meh” voter in this case.
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.
Last Thursday, just after the last edition of After Dark, we lost one of the contemporary jazz greats and a giant of the Hammond organ, Joey DeFrancesco. He was an all-too-young 51 years old. So this week is going to be dedicated to the memory of DeFrancesco.
You can read this obituary from NPR here, but I’ll just mention some highlights. Growing up in a family of musicians South Philadelphia, DeFrancesco was a prodigy, playing his first professional gig at age ten. When he was 13, he met the then 12-year-old bassist Christian McBride, with whom he formed a lifelong friendship. They attended the performing arts high school together—along with drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel (there was a lot of talent in Philly in the eighties). McBride would later say that DeFrancesco took up both trumpet and saxophone because the keyboard had become just too easy for him.
DeFrancesco also had a major break when his high school jazz combo played for Miles Davis. As you can see from the clip embedded in this tweet, Miles stopped the show to ask who the organist was. Right after this, Davis took the high school senior on a tour of Europe with him as his organist. Miles always did have an eye for talent. (On the other hand, Christian McBride is standing right there and Miles didn’t say a word, so he wasn’t infallible. Or maybe Miles just didn’t need a bassist at the time.)
When Joey DeFrancesco was a teenager, Miles Davis took him on the road for a European tour. This is the moment Miles first noticed him - on a Philly TV show. Check out baby @mcbridesworld too.— Jessica Webster (@A2Jess) August 26, 2022
Very sad news tonight about Joey D. pic.twitter.com/AdR0HHUCgp
This is a performance from DeFrancesco for Seattle radio station KNKX. The station posted the video right after the announcement of his death. I don’t know when the concert was recorded, but from the six-minute interview that precedes the music, it must have been sometime in the last six months. So with Lucas Brown and Anwar Marshall, here’s the Joey DeFrancesco Trio.
I’ve got a confession to make here. I’ve watched several films this past week and I haven’t gotten around to writing up any of them. I’ve certainly had my hands full with the news around here and some personal issues at home, so I’m going to use that excuse because it’s the truth. But another reason is the one film that has stuck in my head is a very difficult one to write about. I may end up not writing about it at all, even though I have a lot to say about it.
So instead, I’m going to throw it open for discussion of your favorite war movies. War movies have always been propaganda of one direction or another. Either it is something to glorify the cause of war and soldiers or they’re designed to condemn the folly of war. A few, like Patton, manage to do both.
Vulture has this list of the top 50 war movies and while I haven’t seen all of the pictures here, I think it’s a pretty good list, although I can’t for the life of me see how the author left out Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.
The ones that did make that list that stick out to me are Grand Illusion and Paths of Glory, both set in the First World War and are broadsides against the folly of war. Apocalypse Now is deservedly considered a classic, but if we are honest with ourselves, it is a mess of a classic.
I wrote about Roberto Rossellini’s “Neorealist Trilogy” before, and Paisan, the second one of the trio, made that Vulture list. (Germany: Year Zero wouldn’t qualify because the author excluded films about the aftermath of war. Rome: Open City, the first one, should qualify and should be on the list.)
I saw Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk when it came out in theaters—I watched in in IMAX—and I enjoyed it, although my wife found the Nolan-esque time- and space-jumping to be too jarring. She did like each story individually.
There are a lot more films I could mention from that Vulture list and a few more of my own that I feel deserve special recognition. But instead, I think I’ll just throw the question open to the floor. What do you think of war movies? And what are your favorites?
Welcome back to everyone who skips the jazz and movies.
Tonight I’m just going to engage in a bit of fantasy. A magic genie has granted you one wish for the Cubs. You can get one of the greatest players in the game to play for the Cubs next season. Which one do you pick?
Your first option is outfielder Aaron Judge, who is a free agent at the end of the year. He also hit his 50th home run of the year this evening and is looking to break Roger Maris’ American League home run record of 61. Judge doesn’t just hit home runs, either, as he has a .294 batting average, a .396 OBP and 14 steals. He’s the top offensive threat in the game this year.
But maybe you’d rather have some pitching? Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher on the planet. Yes, he’s been hurt a lot lately, but since coming off the injured list this year, he’s 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA over five starts. Also, deGrom has struck out a whopping 46 batters and walked just two in 29.1 innings. It just doesn’t get more dominating than that. deGrom can be a free agent at the end of this season if he opts out of the final two years of his deal.
Can’t decide? There’s been a lot of talk that the Angels might try to trade two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani. Ohtani isn’t as good a hitter as Judge nor is as good a pitcher as deGrom. But he can do both. This season, Ohtani combines a .265 batting average and a .358 OBP with 28 home runs, with an 11-8 record and a 2.67 ERA over 22 starts. He leads the American League with strikeouts per nine innings with 12.8.
I’m not going to ask you to weigh contracts or who the Cubs would have to give up to get Ohtani. For the sake of this discussion, assume all of them will be expensive and assume that the Cubs only get them for the 2023 season on a one-year deal.
I want to make clear that I don’t think any of these three stars will be Cubs next year. This is just a fun exercise.
So which superstar to you want on the Cubs for 2023?
Which player do you want for the Cubs for the 2023 season?
This poll is closed
Thank you again so much for stopping by. I hope to see you again sometime soon. Bring some friends. Tell us if you need us to call a ride for you. Please get home safely. Tip your waitstaff. Recycle your empties. And join us again tomorrow night for another edition of BCB After Dark.