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BCB After Dark: Opening Eve

The late-night/early-morning club for Cubs fans asks who will be the Cubs MVP this year.

San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs

Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the hippest get-together for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’ve done it folks. We’ve made it through another off-season. Come on in and celebrate with us. There’s no cover charge and we’ll always find room for you. Your name is on the guest list for our exclusive party. 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.

Last night I asked you who should have won the utility spot on the Cubs roster. It looks like Miles Mastrobuoni has the job, but we wanted to know who should have gotten the job on Opening Day. It seems like most of you agree with Jed Hoyer and the gang as 66 percent of you think it should be Mastrobuoni. Thirty-four percent went with Christopher Morel.

Here’s the part where I talk about jazz and movies. You’re free to skip ahead to the baseball question at the end. You won’t hurt my feelings.

The great Brazilian vocalist Astrud Gilberto turns 83 years young today, or yesterday depending on where you are and when you’re reading this. Gilberto will probably be forever known for “The Girl from Ipanema,” but she is so much more than just one song.

Of course, Astrud Gilberto had one of the greatest origin stories in music history. Although she was a singer, she had never recorded anything before her then-husband João Gilberto and American saxophonist Stan Getz had recorded “The Girl from Ipanema” for their album Getz/Gilberto. The song sounded great and someone suggested that if it were only in English, it might be a big hit in America. So some English lyrics were hastily written, but the only singer in the studio who spoke English well enough to sing it was Astrud. The rest is history.

I can’t have you thinking that Astrud is a a one-hit wonder. So here’s Gilberto singing “Agua De Beber” from her 1965 solo debut album. This is also a snazzy animated music video.

And because we can’t ignore the whole worldwide smash hit single, here’s Astrud singing “The Girl from Ipanema” in the 1964 movie Get Yourself a College Girl. I want to know where these ski lodges are where international singing sensations just break out in song at any moment.

I have a film that I’m itching to write about, but with Opening Day tomorrow, I think anything that I wrote about it would be lost around here tonight. We do have to put our priorities in proper order. So I’m going to hold that off until next week.

Since we’re all excited about baseball right now, I thought I’d throw it open for you to recommend some baseball movies. But I’m putting in a catch. I’ve asked for your favorite baseball movies before, so tonight I’m going to ask you to dig a little deeper. I want you to recommend some of your favorite lesser-known baseball movies.

So I don’t want you to tell us about how much you love Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, The Bad News Bears (1976), A League of their Own, The Natural, Moneyball, Major League or anything of the classics of the genre. Probably throw in Damn Yankees and Pride of the Yankees in there too.

Instead, I want to know if you recommend a film like The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings. Or maybe you are a big fan of Sugar. How about Bang the Drum Slowly? Rhubarb? It Happens Every Spring? The original Angels in the Outfield? Mr. Baseball? I suppose Eight Men Out is obscure enough these days for tonight’s purposes as well, although that one is borderline for how well-known it is. I guess the same goes for The Rookie.

Documentaries count too. I know a lot of people love The Battered Bastards of Baseball. I’d recommend Ballplayer: Pelotero about the signing of Miguel Sanó. I’d also recommend Koshien: Japan’s Field of Dreams.

If you want to recommend Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch, I’m going to give you ten BCB After Dark points. I’ll make fun of you (even though I’ve never seen it, but I’m pretty sure I know how it goes), but I will give you my utmost respect for the guts you have in defending your taste.

So give us some of your off-the-beaten-path baseball movie recommendations.

Welcome back to all of you who skip the music and movies.

So Opening Day is a time for optimism and predictions. Al has already asked you today for your picks on how many games the Cubs will win this year and how you think they’ll end the season. So if you haven’t voted in those yet, do so now.

So tonight I’m going to ask you who the Cubs’ MVP for the 2023 season is going to be. I’m going to let you define “MVP” the same way the BBWAA defines it: by letting you come up with your own definition.

Because I don’t want to make up a poll with 26 options, I’ve picked ten candidates that I consider to be the most important players on the Cubs this year. If you have someone else in mind, you can vote “Someone else on Opening Day roster” and tell us about it in the comments. If you think it’s going to be someone like Matt Mervis, Brennen Davis, Ben Brown, Caleb Kilian etc, vote “Someone not currently on the roster.” Also vote for this category if you think the Cubs are going to trade for Chris Sale or someone and he’s going to do a Rick Sutcliffe-impersonation for half a season. (And if you think that would make him the most valuable Cub.)

So who will be the Most Valuable Cub in 2023?


Who will be the Cubs MVP in 2023?

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    Cody Bellinger
    (13 votes)
  • 0%
    Michael Fulmer
    (0 votes)
  • 5%
    Ian Happ
    (8 votes)
  • 23%
    Nico Hoerner
    (33 votes)
  • 0%
    Trey Mancini
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Justin Steele
    (5 votes)
  • 3%
    Marcus Stroman
    (5 votes)
  • 23%
    Seiya Suzuki
    (32 votes)
  • 23%
    Dansby Swanson
    (32 votes)
  • 2%
    Jameson Taillon
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    Someone else on the roster (explain in comments)
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    Someone NOT currently on the roster (explain in comments)
    (3 votes)
138 votes total Vote Now

Thank you so much for joining us on the eve of the most holy day in sports. We’re glad to have you around. Be sure to recycle any cans and bottled. Check around to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Get home safely—we want to see you at the game tomorrow. And join us again next week for more BCB After Dark.