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BCB After Dark: A Reyes sunshine?

The late-night/early-morning hangout for Cubs fans asks if DH Franmil Reyes is a building block for a winner.

Chicago Cubs v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the groovin’ happening for night owls, early-risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. It’s good to see you at the end of this holiday weekend. I hope you were able to enjoy yourself and spend some time with friends and family. Invite them here. There are still several good tables available for tonight’s show. Please let us know if we can do anything for you. Settle in and relax. 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 were off today. They are home tomorrow night against the Reds.

Last week, I asked you if the Cubs would break their own record by having 70 players get into a game this season. They’ve already used 60 and Hayden Wesneski will make it 61 when he gets into a game. But by a margin of 73 percent to 27 percent, you think the Cubs will fall short of that number.

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.

Here’s a treat that I found on the web this weekend. It’s a performance from the legendary drummer Roy Haynes in 2019, at a mere 94 years old. He’s 97 now and it’s amazing to think this man has had a musical career that has lasted 80 years. I don’t know how many people are still alive who played with Charlie Parker and Lester Young, but Haynes is one.

So here’s Haynes at the Blue Note in New York City with Martin Bejerano on keyboards, David Wong on bass and Jaleel Shaw on sax.

There is about a two minute and fifteen second introduction before they actually get to the music, if you’re wondering when Haynes will actually start playing in this video.

I know today is a holiday and an off-day for the Cubs and that means a low-traffic day on this site. So I’m not going to write about any movie that people are going to feel sorry about missing. That means tonight’s topic of conversation is the 1989 classic comedy Weekend at Bernie’s, directed by Ted Kotcheff and starring Andrew McCarthy, Jonathan Silverman and Terry Kiser.

I’m picking Weekend at Bernie’s today because it’s a Labor Day movie. The entire plot takes place in a one-week span leading into the Labor Day weekend. Most of the film takes place out in the Hamptons in eastern Long Island over the Labor Day weekend. I was going to say that Weekend at Bernie’s is the greatest Labor Day movie ever made by default, because I couldn’t think of any other ones. But a little research tells me that Stand By Me takes place over Labor Day weekend and Dirty Dancing ends during the Labor Day weekend. So throw that out. Let’s just say that Weekend at Bernie’s is one of the greatest Labor Day movies by default.

(If you search for Labor Day movies, you’ll get stuff like Norma Rae or Matewan or other films about the labor movement. Those are all well and good and you should see them. But what I’m really talking about is movies that take place during Labor Day weekend and how there should be more of them. Groundhog Day isn’t a movie about rodents and the weather, after all. It’s just a hook for a larger story.)

I’m going to assume that everyone knows the basic hook of Weekend at Bernie’s, since it’s an internet meme and in fact, it’s part of the promotions for the film. Two wannabe eighties yuppies, Larry (McCarthy) and Richard (Silverman), have to pretend that their dead boss Bernie (Kiser) is still alive. That means this is a film that you have to check your brain at the door. Larry and Richard have to drag Bernie’s corpse around all weekend and convince everyone that he’s still living. Luckily, no one else in the film is any smarter than Larry and Richard and easily fall for the gag. This is a dumb film about dumber people.

Weekend at Bernie’s has become a bit of a punchline, both because of its idiotic premise and the horrible sequel that was worked into the plot of an episode of Seinfeld. But while I’m not going to pretend that Weekend at Bernie’s is any great piece of art, I will tell you that if you haven’t seen it, it’s better than you probably think it is. This is in large part to the physical comedy by Kiser (and presumably some stuntmen) as the corpse.

The gist of the plot is that Larry and Richard, working on the weekend before Labor Day, discover some fraud going on at the insurance company that they work for. Well, mostly Richard discovers it because Larry is too busy goofing off. But they are both office drones who hope to climb the corporate ladder and the two of them think that discovering this fraud will get them promotions.

Richard also has a crush on Gwen (Catherine Mary Stewart), who also works at the company, but he’s too shy and awkward to ask her out. This is a romantic subplot that goes on through the movie that doesn’t serve a lot of purpose other than to differentiate Richard from Larry. Which is good because these two doofuses are a lot alike otherwise.

Larry and Richard go to their boss, Bernie Lomax, with evidence of the fraud. Unbeknownst to them, it’s actually Bernie who is stealing the money and he’s working for the mob. Bernie pretends to praise them for their discovery and he invites the two out to his house on the beach in the Hamptons for Labor Day weekend as a reward and to discuss this further.

Bernie’s actual agenda is to have Larry and Richard killed by a hitman working for his boss in the mob. (Why? I have no idea. Wouldn’t it just be easier to fire Larry and Richard if you’re trying to cover up evidence of your crimes?) But the mob boss decides that it’s just easier to kill Bernie instead.

Larry and Richard show up at Bernie’s place and he’s already dead. They wonder what to do until beautiful women start showing up at Bernie’s place because he has a party there every Saturday. The characters who show up for the party are all stock caricatures of rich party-goers of the 1980’s. They are also all so self-absorbed (and stupid) that they talk to the dead Bernie and never even notice that he’s dead.

Larry wants to stay around for the party and then call the police about Bernie’s death afterwards. He thinks they at least deserve a party for their misery. Richard is reluctant until Gwen shows up and he sees this as his big chance with her.

So Saturday is all spent with Larry and Richard tying to pretend Bernie is alive for the party to keep going. But by Sunday, they discover that Bernie was actually murdered and that they were supposed to be murdered too. They think they only way to stay alive is to make the killers think Bernie is alive, when in reality they are only in danger because the two of them have convinced the hit man that Bernie is still breathing and he needs to finish the job.

Yes, it’s every bit as stupid as it sounds. And the characters of Larry and Richard are not really appealing enough in any way for us to want to root for them. They are struggling young pretty-boy white professionals whose ambition is to be a pair of vapid, rich playboys like Bernie.

But the film is really saved by the performance of the very-much-still-alive Terry Kiser as Bernie. The physical comedy of McCarthy and Silverman dragging Kiser around the beach is quite good and I admit I laughed at dumb gags like the pulley system that Larry sets up so it can look like Bernie is waving to people. Or when they staple Bernie’s toupee back onto his dead skull.

Look, you either lean into how stupid this film is or you don’t. As they said in This is Spinal Tap, there’s a fine line between clever and stupid.

Here’s a scene where Larry and Richard drag Bernie’s corpse around the party.

Welcome back to everyone who skips the music and movies.

Franmil Reyes now has 25 games under his belt as a Cub and he’s hitting .281/.320/.510 with four home runs and 13 RBI. That’s not too far from his career-norms—the batting average is too high but the OBP is close and the slugging percentage isn’t too much higher—but it’s a huge improvement over what he did in Cleveland this season before the Guardians designated him for assignment.

I think it’s fair to say that Reyes has earned a spot on the Cubs roster for 2022. I can’t say that for sure he’ll be back next year—after all, we don’t know whom the Cubs will sign this winter and we know there’s going to be a 40-man roster crunch—but with him only being arbitration-eligible for the second year and not being eligible for free agency until the 2025 season, it doesn’t seem like much of a risk to keep him around.

But tonight’s one of our questions on whether Reyes is just someone to tide the Cubs over until good times return or if he’s a building block for the future. Reyes is only just turned 27 years old (This is Reyes’ 26-year-old season) and he hit 30 home runs for Cleveland last year and 37 between San Diego and Cleveland in 2019. On the other hand, at least with the Cubs he’s been a DH-only and there was a reason the Guardians put him on waivers in August.

I guess your answer to this question depends in large part on how far away you think “the next great Cubs team” is. You can put your two cents in on that in the comments.

So is Reyes a building block for the “next great Cubs team” or is he just a stopgap until the Cubs get there?


Will Franmil Reyes be part of the "next great Cubs team"?

This poll is closed

  • 49%
    (107 votes)
  • 50%
    (108 votes)
215 votes total Vote Now

Thank you so much for finishing up the long weekend with us. Be sure to check and make sure you’ve got anything. Stay cool out there. Be sure to tip your waitstaff. If you need a ride home, let us know if we can call someone for you. Get home safely. Enjoy the rest of the week. And join us again tomorrow night for another edition of BCB After Dark.