It’s Wednesday night here at BCB After Dark: the hippest hangout of night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. I’m so glad you decided to stop by. It’s been a long night before we go dark for the weekend, but you’ve just made it a little better. Come in and take a seat. Introduce yourself to the person at the table next to you. 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.
The Cubs were within a game of .500 on Saturday, so they’ve naturally run off three losses in a row with tonight’s 8-5 loss to the Phillies. I don’t have much to say about this game other than I turned it off and paid attention to the minor leagues after Nick Castellanos’ home run.
Also, Yankees hurler Domingo Germán threw a perfect game against the Athletics tonight. It almost seems like it shouldn’t count against the A’s? Still, it’s a tremendous achievement and a lot of other perfect games were thrown against crappy teams. They all count.
Last night, I asked you who you thought would end up as the Cubs’ most valuable player by the end of the season. The vote wasn’t particularly close, as fan-favorite Nico Hoerner got 34 percent of the vote. In second place was Marcus Stroman with 23 percent and Dansby Swanson got 19 percent.
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.
I missed the 91st birthday of Argentinian pianist/conductor/composer Lalo Schifrin last week. Although Schifrin is a great jazz artist in his own right, his best-known stuff is from movie and television soundtracks of the sixties and seventies.
I’ve featured his most famous piece—the theme to Mission: Impossible before, but there are lots of other great jazz soundtrack jazz pieces by Schifrin. Here’s another one he’s well-known for, the main theme to the 1968 Steve McQueen picture Bullitt. I suppose that’s a film I could write about one day as well and talk some more about Schifrin.
Tonight, I’m just going to ask one of the most famous questions in movie history: Which is the better movie—The Godfather or The Godfather Part II?
The 1972 original, directed by Francis Ford Coppola (as all of them were), featured Marlon Brando in the role of Vito Corleone and Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, the war-hero son who believed himself to be apart from the family crime business. The 1974 Part II managed to be both a prequel—showing the rise of young Vito Corleone, this time played by Robert De Niro, and a sequel, which traces Michael’s descent into becoming a cold, ruthless criminal.
Both films won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Screenplay. Brando won the Oscar for Best Actor for the original and De Niro won a Supporting Actor nod for the second film. Coppola won Best Director for Part II.
We’re not getting into The Godfather Part III tonight. I think that film gets a bad rap—it’s not that bad. Well, parts of it are that bad and parts of it are very good. It’s just that people tend to remember the bad stuff in that film because they’re loud and stand out like a siren, whereas the good stuff is quieter and more subtle.
I guess if you haven’t seen them, you can’t vote. Well, you can because I have no way of knowing if you’ve seen the two films or not. But I’m not sure why you would.
So which film is better? And be sure to offer your thoughts on your vote below.
Which is better?
This poll is closed
The Godfather Part II
Welcome back to everyone who skips the music and movies.
Tonight’s question is about Cubs’ outfielder Mike Tauchman, who has been one of the more pleasant surprises of the 2023 season. Sara Sanchez wrote a terrific profile of Tauchman and what he provides on offense earlier in the week. On defense, Tauchman provides a much better glove in center field than Cubs fans have seen for a while. Except maybe Cody Bellinger, who is filling in at first base to let his legs get better. (And because no one else seems to be running off with the position.)
Tonight’s question is “Will Mike Tauchman play for the Cubs in 2024?” The Cubs signed him to a minor league deal this off-season after he played the 2022 season In Korea. He went there after parts of five seasons with the Rockies, Yankees and Giants.
But Tauchman is not eligible for free agency at the end of the year, so the Cubs would be able to keep him if they want to. But he doesn’t have any minor-league options left, so the Cubs would have to keep him in the majors. And he does appear to be arbitration-eligible at the end of the year, so the Cubs would likely have to give him a big raise to keep him around.
On top of all that, if the Cubs fall out of the playoff hunt, Tauchman is the kind of player that several teams looking for a fourth outfielder for the stretch drive will come calling for.
So do you think Mike Tauchman will be on the Cubs next year? I’m not asking if you think he’s going to be a starter—just a player on the 26-man roster. And I’m not asking if you think he’ll be on the team all season—just the Opening Day roster would be fine. Or if he’s injured on Opening Day, that he plays at least some games for the major league team.
Will Mike Tauchman play for the 2024 Cubs?
This poll is closed
Thanks to everyone for stopping by this evening. We hope we made your evening a little better. Please get home safely. Recycle any cans or bottles. Tip your waitstaff. And join us again next week for more BCB After Dark.