Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the swingin’ spot for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. Thank you so very much for stopping in. It’s our last show of the week, so we’ve waived the cover charge. 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.
Last night, I asked you which Cub has been the most pleasant surprise so far in Spring Training. I actually phrased it has who has been the “most encouraging” in Mesa. You people are on the Hayden Wesneski train as 36 percent of you picked the rookie pitcher. In second place was infielder David Bote, who got 21 percent. First baseman/outfielder Trey Mancini was third with 14 percent.
The World Baseball Classic got underway earlier today (or yesterday, depending on where you are) and the Netherlands beat Cuba and Panama got their first ever win in WBC competition with a win over host Chinese Taipei. Korea and Australia probably just finished by the time this article was published. There’s a photo from that game at the top of this article.
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.
As we remember the late, great saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter this week, I’m going to finish with one of the newer videos of a Shorter performance that I could find. This is from Poland in 2014 and it really features bassist Esperanza Spalding in the lead.
But that’s really something that doesn’t get mentioned enough about Shorter. Yes, he was a tremendous talent, but he never hogged the spotlight. Throughout his career, with the Jazz Messengers, the Miles Davis Quintet, Weather Report and elsewhere, Shorter eagerly stepped out of the limelight and let other musicians shine. Often even while they played music that Shorter wrote.
There is an impressive collection of talent at this concert here. Besides Spalding and Shorter on soprano sax, there’s Herbie Hancock on keyboards, Terri Lyne Carrington on drums and Leo Genovese on keyboard.
There’s no way this past week has done justice to Wayne Shorter’s life and career. But we’ll feature him many more times in the future, I’m sure.
I’ve an apology to make. I was intending to go back to writing up movies that I’ve seen tonight, but I’ve been so tied up with the World Baseball Classic this week that I just haven’t had the time. I watched many movies during the time that the BCB Winter Noir Classic ran and on many of them, I thought that I should write them up in this space. But I didn’t at the time, so that’s left me here.
The Academy Awards are on Sunday and as I’ve said before, I really don’t care about them except as trivia. I do find them interesting in that sense. In the same way I’d ask “Who won the American League batting title in 1997?”, I’d ask “Which film won Best Picture in 1997?”
(Answers: Frank Thomas and The English Patient.)
But if you want to make your case for what films should take home Oscar this weekend, be my guest. I don’t really have an opinion because I haven’t seen all the films. I’ve seen some of them, but I’ve still haven’t even gotten around to watching Tár, for example. Should I?
I have seen Everything Everywhere All At Once and I liked it. Everyone seems to think it will take home Best Picture honors and I don’t have a problem with that. It’s certainly creative. It’s certainly odd to think that the Academy is going to give a Best Picture award to a movie that is basically a sci-fi martial arts flick. (Sure, it’s more than that, but if we’re going to put it into a genre, that’s what it is.)
I will say that I’ve also seen All Quiet on the Western Front and my opinion of that film is that you should watch the 1930 version instead. Heck, just watch the 1930 version anyway.
If you’d like to campaign for whatever film or performance from the past year struck you the most, please do so. Or if you just want to recommend one of these nominated films a film for us all to watch, we want to hear from you.
Welcome back to everyone who skips the jazz and movies.
I’m going to publish the last two WBC previews on Thursday and Friday ahead of Pools C and D beginning play on Saturday. But that just leaves one question: Who ya got?
Just vote for the team that you think is going to win the WBC. There are 16 teams and I’m going to let you vote for the eight that I think have the best chance of taking home the title. But if you want to take “the field,” you can vote for “other” and tell us who your dark horse favorite is to take home the trophy.
So who is going to win the WBC?
Who will win the World Baseball Classic?
This poll is closed
One of the others (leave choice in comments)
In case you’ve forgotten, Japan won the WBC in 2006 and 2009. The Dominican Republic won in 2013 and USA won in 2017.
Thanks for stopping by this evening. The place isn’t the same without you. Please pick up around your table. Recycle and cans and bottles. Stay warm and dry. Get home safely. Tip your waitstaff. And join us again next week for more BCB After Dark.