Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the swingin’ spot for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Thank you for stopping by this evening. We’re all in a good move after tonight’s Cubs game, so come on in and celebrate. There’s no cover charge. There are still a few good tables available, so grab them while you still can. 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.
Tonight the Cubs beat the Mets and Jacob deGrom, 4-1. I think we all expected Adrian Sampson to outduel Jacob deGrom. In all seriousness, deGrom pitched a lot better than Sampson, as you would expect. But he and the Mets lost . . .’cuz baseball. Ian Happ turned on a nasty pitch and hit a home run. The Cubs were the beneficiary of a bad call on Michael Hermosillo’s bunt. And then David Bote took reliever Seth Lugo deep. If not for a home run in the bottom of the ninth by Pete Alonso off of Brandon Hughes, it would have been a shutout.
In bad news, outfielder Rafael Ortega broke his finger trying to bunt and he’s out for what’s left of the season.
Last night, I asked you if the Cubs and Mets were still rivals. Most of you feel that there’s not much left there as 53 percent of you said the Mets were “just another NL East team” these days. Another 44 percent said the Mets are still a minor rival of the Cubs, just not what they were when they were both in the NL East. I’d be curious to see how the voting broke down along age and geographic location. I’d think older voters and voters who live in the NY Metro area would be more likely to say the Mets are still rivals of the Cubs.
Normally on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning I don’t write about movies, but I do have a quick note on that tonight. But you can go back and see the start of my thoughts on the 1981 movie Thief, directed by Michael Mann in his film debut. I’ll finish my thought on it in tomorrow’s essay. But if you want to skip the arts section, now the time.
We lost the great pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis at age 87 on Monday. He was also a Chicago icon, and you can see this obituary piece that ran on WBBM-TV yesterday. As a jazz musician, Lewis was an innovator for the way he introduced elements of soul and gospel into the genre. He’s also one of the few jazz acts to have crossover hits onto the pop charts, including his smash number-two hit from 1965 “The In-Crowd.”
In that light, here’s The Ramsey Lewis Trio doing a live-performance of “The In-Crowd” in 1990. This version sounds a bit different than the 1965 single version with the whoops and hand claps.
Here’s the hit version.
Here’s Lewis playing “Sun Goddess,” a hit that he had in 1974 with Earth, Wind and Fire. There’s no Earth, Wind and Fire here, just Lewis and his band in 1980.
Rest in Power, Ramsey. And thanks for all the tunes.
The great French new wave director Jean-Luc Godard died today in Switzerland at age 91. He passed away from an assisted suicide. Even in death, Godard insisted upon doing things his own way.
I don’t have the time and the energy to say everything that Godard meant to cinema. You can go back and see what I wrote about his first feature film, the masterpiece Breathless last year. I wrote that the history of cinema can be divided into two eras: Before Breathless and After Breathless. It was that revolutionary. Godard made several good films after Breathless and even more bad ones, but he never compromised his vision. If he never made a picture again as good as Breathless, I’m reminded of what Joseph Heller said when he was told that he never wrote a novel as good as his first one, Catch-22: “Neither has anyone else,” Heller replied. You could say the same thing about Godard and Breathless.
We also lost the actress Marsha Hunt over the weekend at age 104. Hunt was more of a supporting actress in her time than a lead, but she was in several important films such as the 1940 version of Pride and Prejudice, 1943’s The Human Comedy and 1943’s Cry ‘Havoc,” which I really should write about one week. That is one bonkers of a “women’s” war movie about a group of nurses in the Philippines as the Japanese army is taking over in 1941. It’s got a terrific cast and Hunt was one of them along with Margaret Sullavan, Ann Southern and Joan Blondell. Even though the Japanese are about to overrun their hospital and take them off to a POW camp, the girls on Cry ‘Havoc’ still have time to be in a soap opera.
But Hunt was also an activist and she was blacklisted in the 1950s—not for any communist or subversive connections of her own, but simply because she spoke out against the blacklist of others. She spent much of her time when she wasn’t working as a humanitarian with various causes and charities she endorsed. Marsha Hunt was a good actress and a better person.
Welcome back to everyone who skips the jazz and movies.
Tonight I’m going to ask you about Cubs’ rookie pitcher Javier Assad, who has pitched to great results since his August 23 call-up. Most notably, Assad got his first win of the year on Monday after allowing only one run on six hits against the Mets.
The 25-year-old Assad has made four starts and one relief appearance. He’s posted a 2.53 ERA over 21 1⁄3 innings. He’s allowed zero or one run in three of his four starts.
The Cubs have hailed Assad as one of the successes of the Cubs new approach to developing pitching, as noted in this article in The Athletic by Sahadev Sharma.
So tonight’s question is: Will Assad be on the Opening Day roster in 2023? Do you think a spot on the team is his to lose at this point? Or do you think that he still has a lot to prove and will probably need to prove things in Iowa, at least for the start of the season?
Now I’m not counting injury today. Let’s assume that Javier Assad is healthy on Opening Day in 2023. Is he on the roster?
If healthy, will Javier Assad be on the Cubs 2023 Opening Day roster?
This poll is closed
Thanks to everyone who stopped by tonight. If you need anything before you go, let us know. Be sure to tip the waitstaff. Recycle your empties. Drive home safely. And join us again tomorrow night for another edition of BCB After Dark.