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BCB After Dark: The indispensable man

The late-night/early-morning spot for Cubs fans asks who will be the Cubs’ MVP by the end of the year.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Chicago Cubs David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It’s another evening here at BCB After Dark, the swinging-est spot for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We’re all drinking off our hangover tonight. Or maybe that’s the Cubs’ hangover from returning home from London. Please come in and join us. There’s no cover charge and the dress code is casual. Bring your own beverage. There’s no corkage fee.

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 looked flat tonight as they got ripped by the Phillies, 5-1. As Jim Deshaies said on the broadcast, I can’t tell you if it was because the Cubs were recovering from the plane flight back or whether Ranger Suarez was just that good. Someone can put the “Why not both?” meme in the comments.

Last night, I asked you which “special event” spot you’d like the Cubs to play in next. Winning the vote, with 17 percent, was the Dominican Republic. That would certainly be an event if there was an MLB game in the DR.

For those of you who also read my work of the Minor League Wrap and missed it tonight, I’m just letting you know that there were no full-season minor league games tonight. The 4th of July fireworks celebrations are always the biggest event of the year in the minors with guaranteed sellouts, so every team gets to play at home on either July 3 or July 4. But this year, July 3 falls on a Monday, which is usually an off-day throughout the minors. So basically, Minor League Baseball are playing Wednesday through Monday series this week rather than Tuesday through Sunday. And next week’s travel day has been eliminated.

However, if you really want some minor league notes, the ACL Cubs played Giants Orange this evening. Brailyn Marquez threw a scoreless inning in this game. He allowed one hit, walked one and struck out one.

On Tuesday night/Wednesday morning, I don’t normally write any movie stuff. But you can always go back and see what I wrote about the 1939 Ginger Rogers vehicle, Fifth Avenue Girl. But I always have time for jazz, so those of you who skip that can do so now. You won’t hurt my feelings.

I was searching for a video to play on YouTube and I came across this one with saxophonist Sonny Stitt playing “Everything Happens to Me” in Denmark in 1971. I thought—yeah—I don’t think I’ve ever featured Stitt before, so it would be a good choice for tonight.

When I played the video, oh my. What a group Stitt has backing him here. It’s Thelonious Monk on piano, Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet, Art Blakey on drums, Al McKibbon on bass and Kai Winding on trombone. I assume this was part of some “Monsters of Jazz” festival where they all took turns leading the group, but Stitt is definitely the featured player on this song.

Welcome back to everyone who skips all that jazz.

Tonight I’m just going to ask you for your pick for the Cubs Most Valuable Player at the end of the season. Not who is the MVP of the first half, but rather who will be the most valuable player by the end of the season.

If you’re going by WAR (Wins Above Replacement), the top players on the Cubs are, according to Baseball-Reference

Marcus Stroman 3.5

Dansby Swanson 3.0

Justin Steele 2.5

Nico Hoerner 2.4

Drew Smyly 1.7

Ian Happ 1.6

Fangraphs figures the numbers differently. Their assessment of the top players on the Cubs are:

Dansby Swanson 3.0

Justin Steele 2.4

Marcus Stroman 2.2

Nico Hoerner 2.1

Ian Happ 1.8

Drew Smyly 1.2

Cody Bellinger 1.2

I’m going to allow you to vote for any of those seven players, or I’ll throw in Christopher Morel, who has a bWAR of 1.0 and an fWAR of 1.1, despite only joining the team midway through the season.

You can also vote for “other” if you think it’s someone else. The main candidates would be Adbert Alzolay, Mark Leiter Jr., Mike Tauchman or Yan Gomes. But you might also think it will be someone else.

The nice part of this poll is that everyone can vote and no one can be proved wrong, because there’s no set definition of “most valuable.” If you want to argue it will be Eric Hosmer—well, you’re wrong but there’s no objective way of proving that you’re wrong. You will be mocked, however. Or perhaps checked for impairment.

So give us your prediction on who the Cubs end-of-the-season MVP will be.


Who will be the Cubs’ MVP at the end of the year?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Cody Bellinger
    (1 vote)
  • 3%
    Ian Happ
    (5 votes)
  • 32%
    Nico Hoerner
    (50 votes)
  • 5%
    Christopher Morel
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    Drew Smyly
    (0 votes)
  • 14%
    Justin Steele
    (23 votes)
  • 22%
    Marcus Stroman
    (35 votes)
  • 20%
    Dansby Swanson
    (32 votes)
  • 0%
    Someone else (leave in comments)
    (1 vote)
155 votes total Vote Now

Thank you so very much for stopping by. I hope we’ve picked your spirits up a bit. I know you’ve brightened ours. Be sure to get home safely. Recycle any cans and bottles you may have brought. Tip your waitstaff. And join us again tomorrow for more BCB After Dark.