Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the raddest roadhouse for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Glad you could stop in on this lovely Wednesday evening. Come on in and out of the fall chill. We’ve still got a few tables available. Your name is on the guest list. Bring your own beverage. (I’ve got tea.)
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.
Last night, I asked you to give fired Cubs manager David Ross a letter grade for his four seasons managing the Cubs. Many of you said you were in the B-/C+ range, but since I didn’t give the option of pluses or minuses, you had to choose between a B and a C. In the end, 49 percent of you gave Ross a “B” and 43 percent gave him a “C.” So there appears to be a real consensus on your opinion of the David Ross years.
Here’s the part about the music and movies. Feel free to skip ahead to the end if you’d like. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Tonight’s music is a selection from the new album by drummer Makaya McCraven. The album is called In These Times and the song is “This Place That Place.” This is a video from an in-studio performance from last year. I’m sorry I don’t have performer credits for this one, because there is quite an extensive number of clearly talented musicians here—including a string section.
Tonight I’m going to reveal 12 more films that have made the final cut for the BCB Winter Western Classic. I’ve decided on a 28-film field, with the four number-one seeds announced two weeks ago getting byes into the second round. I’m kind of revealing the films like they would the NCAA Basketball Tournaments.
As I type that, I realize that “Winter Western” is actually a sub-genre of the Western. We’ve got a couple of those in the field. But this is a tournament that takes place over the winter about Westerns, not a tournament about Winter Westerns.
The previously announced top four seeds are:
- The Searchers
- High Noon
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
- Red River
When I announced these four top seeds, I hesitated about Red River, thinking that the critical consensus on the film might rank it a bit lower. (The ending hurts it.) But I really love that film and I’m making up the list. I don’t think it is out of place as a top-four Western. It’s the film that made Montgomery Clift a star and made John Ford say about John Wayne: “I didn’t know the big son-of-a-bitch could act.” There’s also a Cubs connection to the film, however tenuous it is. If you think it doesn’t deserve to be there, you can vote for the other film, whatever that turns out to be.
The number-two seeds are:
6. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
7. Once Upon a Time in the West
The number-three seeds are:
9. Winchester ‘73
10. The Ox-Bow Incident
11. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
12. The Wild Bunch
And the number-four seeds are
13. True Grit (1969)
14. The Magnificent Seven
15. McCabe and Mrs. Miller
16. Ride the High Country
So there is room for 12 more films in the tournament. If you’ve got a suggestion for those, I’m still taking them. And if you are looking for something to watch over the Veterans Day Weekend, you could do worse that checking out one of these films.
You’re free to comment on the movies already revealed and offer your thoughts about whether they are ranked too high or too low.
Welcome back to everyone who skips the music and movies.
Tonight’s question is about where free agent Shohei Ohtani will end up signing. Ohtani is the most-anticipated free agent signing of all time, really. He’s both an elite hitter, for both average and power, although he is limited to designated hitter in the field. Except, of course, when he’s pitching. And as a pitcher, he’s an elite number-one starter, albeit one who has had trouble staying healthy. He’s not expected to pitch again until 2025 after off-season surgery to strengthen an elbow ligament from an earlier Tommy John surgery.
Ohtani is going to get paid. Every prediction for his final contract is over $400 million and several think it’s going to be over $500 million. I’ve even seen one anonymous team executive say it’s possible that he gets over $600 million. Which makes sense, since he’s probably worth over $200 million as a hitter and over $200 million as a pitcher (if healthy). When you add in that Ohtani does that only taking up one roster spot and all the international publicity that Ohtani brings his team, $500 million does not seem silly at all.
But which team will that be? Will it be the Cubs? There have been several rumors over the past few days that the Cubs are going to be “in” on Ohtani and not just in a “kick the tires” kind of way. They are going to make a serious push for Ohtani, according to these reports. Now there is certainly a point where the Cubs would tap out on Ohtani and he may prefer to stay on the West Coast. But the bookmakers odds on Ohtani to the Cubs are going down.
Still, that doesn’t mean the Cubs are the favorites. They are not. The Dodgers have been the favorites for a long time and either New York team could reach into their vast financial resources and just blow everyone else’s offer out of the water.
This article in The Athletic from Tuesday listed the top 12 teams likely to sign Ohtani and how he fits in with the team. (sub. req.) Your task is simple. Make your prediction as to where Ohtani ends up. (Link for Apple News readers.)
Which team will sign Shohei Ohtani?
This poll is closed
Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets
New York Yankees
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
Toronto Blue Jays
Other team (leave in comments)
I can’t imagine Ohtani signing with someone other than those 12 teams, but I included an “other” for those of you who really think he’s going to sign with Oakland or Tampa Bay. But you’d better be prepared to defend your choice in the comments.
Thank you so very much for stopping by this evening. The off-season is better together. If you checked anything, we can get that for you. Get home safely. Tip your waitstaff. Tell your friends. And join us again next week for more BCB After Dark.