Welcome back to BCB After Dark: the swingin’ spot for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’re so glad you decided to end the holiday weekend with us here. Come on in and take a seat. If you brought barbeque, all the better. We’re all in a much better mood tonight and seeing you here is just a bonus. The show will start shortly. 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.
Today, the Cubs got a masterful performance from Marcus Stroman, who threw a complete game 1-hit shutout as they topped the Rays, 1-0. Last week, I promised that if the Cubs swept the Mets or the Reds, I’d break out Judy Garland. Well, not only did the Cubs not do either of those things, but they lost four games in a row. But they won today and Stroman was the hero that we were waiting for. So in honor of today’s performance, here’s the first appearance of Judy Garland for 2023. In case you are new here, it’s from the 1950 film Summer Stock and this scene was the absolute last thing Garland ever filmed for MGM.
Last week, I asked you if the Cubs were in a winner-take-all game at the end of the season, which pitcher would you want to take the mound to start the game? The vote was very close, with 50 percent saying you wanted Justin Steele and 48 percent saying Marcus Stroman. I have a feeling that had I ran that poll after today’s game, Stroman might have won by a comfortable margin. But hey, let’s have Justin Steele throw a similarly good game to even things out.
Here’s the part where I talk about jazz and and movies. You’re free to skip ahead to the baseball question at the end. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Tonight, in honor of Memorial Day, we have the Airmen of Note, the official jazz ensemble of the United States Air Force. They’re not only good at protecting our skies, they can also play some mean jazz.
This song is called “Skyscrapers” and it’s an original tune that one of their members wrote himself. And it’s pretty darn good too.
I’m not going to waste a film essay on a holiday, but I will tell you to expect something on director Jean Renoir’s 1937 masterpiece about prisoners of war, La Grande Illusion. This film is regularly listed among the greatest films ever made. It also has two scenes that played a direct influence on films you may be more familiar with: Casablanca and The Great Escape.
So I’ll just throw it out on this Memorial Day for anyone to list any of their favorite war films. TCM has been showing war movies all weekend, and I generally have that channel on in the background when I’m doing something if I don’t have a baseball game on.
Obviously La Grande Illusion is one of my favorites. As are Paths of Glory and the 1930 version of All Quiet on the Western Front, both of which similarly puncture the heroic stories about war that other films take. Stanley Kubrick, who directed Paths of Glory, also directed Dr. Strangelove, a war picture that is one of my favorite comedies of all time.
I suppose I need to mention Apocalypse Now, even though it probably goes without saying.
On the other hand, there are some very good films that do take a more heroic look at war. Glory (1989) is a terrific film. I could go on forever about how deft that film is as a historical teaching tool. And it has some terrific performances as well—including Denzel Washington’s first Academy Award. Christopher Nolan’s 2017 film Dunkirk emphasizes the heroics of war. It’s also very, very good—especially once you figure out the timeline tricks that Nolan is using. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Saving Private Ryan. I remember liking it, but I really need to go back and watch it again with a more critical eye.
I’ve seen Patton (1970) more times than I care to count. I used to not be able to figure out if it’s a pro-war or anti-war film, but I’ve recently decided that it’s both and that contradiction is what makes it a great movie. Catch-22? A better book than a film, but the film is pretty good too.
I’m sure there are many that I’ve forgotten. (M*A*S*H) But that’s what you’re here for.
Welcome back to everyone who skips the jazz and movies.
Tonight as I write this, there is an open public hearing about the bill before the Nevada state legislature to give $380 million to the Athletics for a new stadium in Las Vegas. It may still be going on by the time you read this.
I’m not going to go into the details of that hearing, although some of the arguments in favor of it are absolutely ridiculous. Examples: The A’s will draw 2.6 million fans to a 30k stadium (which doesn’t add up), that 760,00 fans a year will be from out-of-town (They must be counting Henderson and North Las Vegas as “out-of-town”) and that the A’s will bring 2000 jobs with them from Oakland (The A’s have about 200 full-time non-player employees and at least a quarter of them are scouts or minor league personnel that don’t actually live in Oakland. Although I’d guess some of them might live in Las Vegas already).
But that’s not what tonight’s question is. Tonight is simply “Would you rather have the A’s in Oakland or Las Vegas?” I’m pretty clear that I think the A’s should stay in the East Bay, but I can see why some of you would want them to move to Las Vegas.
Don’t take into account the stadium situation. Let’s assume that the A’s can get a stadium built in either city. (Oakland’s final offer on public financing was actually higher than what Las Vegas is offering, but Vegas can probably get a stadium built faster.) Which city do you want to A’s playing in?
Where do you want the A’s to play?
This poll is closed
Thank you so very much for stopping by tonight. We hope you had a great weekend and we hope that we made the end of it a little bit better. Please get home safely. Tip your waitstaff. Tell your friends. And join us again tomorrow night for more BCB After Dark.