Aug. 4 STL sports chat with Ben Frederickson

Aug. 4 STL sports chat with Ben Frederickson

Bring your Cardinals, Blues and St. Louis sports questions, and talk to Post-Dispatch columnist Ben Frederickson in a live chat starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

    Greetings, chatters. Sorry for the delay. Thanks for your patience. Some news happened. If you have not heard yet, Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is one of the team's positive tests for COVID-19. He made the announcement just a few minutes ago on his Instagram page. There's a story up on the site now. OK, let's roll.
    The other positive COVID-19 cases the Cardinals are confirming at this time: Paul DeJong, Junior Fernández, Rangel Ravelo, Edmundo Sosa and Kodi Whitley have tested positive for COVID-19. 
    Molina, we mentioned earlier.
    Cardinals media relations director Brian Bartow has also shared that he received a positive test.
    That's six of seven players who have agreed to share the news of their positive tests. One is still choosing to remain private at this time, it seems.
    So the Cardinals must have a good idea where and when they got it, no? If any of them violated protocol, are there repercussions? I am not looking for anyone to get punished, just wondering if MLB will start enforcing violations of protocols.
    They seem to have a pretty good idea, yes.
    Asked yesterday if they could pinpoint it directly, as MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the Marlins can, president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said not with 100 percent certainty, but that he believed the virus was on the plane with the team when it left St. Louis for its first road trip of the season.
    We are seeing the repercussions -- the team is without key players for the immediate future.
    I understand fining players for not following protocols is a non-starter because of the MLBPA, but why wouldn’t MLB fine the Cardinals organization (and Miami) many millions for the impact the organization’s actions have had on the MLB season.
    How would that work, exactly? Major League Baseball created a flawed system that is showing some serious signs of derailing after the first rounds of road trips, and the teams attempting to play the season are going to be fined? How is a company that is asking its businesses to report to work during a pandemic America is not handling very well going to then fine the businesses when the virus does what it does?
    Yadi is positive per his Instagram page. Can you report his status now?
    I respect players' decisions to decide whether or not they want their COVID-19 status revealed. Some might not choose to operate that way, and that's up to each reporter. But yes, Molina has made it public. And the Cardinals have confirmed all but one other positive test from the player side, if my numbers are correct. The list is meshing with the names I heard yesterday. So far none of the coaches and staff other than Cards media relations director Brian Bartow has announced his positive test, so I will not be naming those names unless they agreed to be named. That's what I think is right.
  • I think its in everybody's interest to just pull the plug on MLB. Its a disaster. How do the Marlins and Cards going to make up all these games. Are they going to be forced to play double headers every day? What a mess!!
    The season starts to look pointless pretty fast when the team you follow is caught up in something like this. The Cardinals have had more games postponed than they have played. They are now without their All-Star shortstop and All-Star catcher, five others and a chunk of staff members critical enough that they were on the road with the team. But certainly the 28 teams that have not had an outbreak like this are still seeing the 60-game season as one worthy of being played. I think that's what will determine if the season continues or stops -- how many teams are left with a semblance of a true season. Two down so far. Hopefully it stops there but I doubt it will.
    so prominent players are out with covid. Yadi is first out. Which means goldy or carp is out too. Yikes and face cubs
    We're not going to turn this into a guessing game, at least not here.
    Guys who are comfortable with their names being out there will agree to be named.
    The injured list will tell us the rest soon enough.
    So , now I hear a lot of the Cubs players don't want to come to town this weekend. Will MLB force them into these games if the Cards are ready?
    There have been some comments made in Chicago about the Cubs being concerned about the state of the Cardinals. That's no surprise. Everyone is concerned. However, if MLB gives the Cards a green light to resume play Friday, and there seems to be some good news on that front today as the team has not announced any new positive tests from the Milwaukee quarantine, then the Cubs need to come to St. Louis to play. If MLB commissioner Rob Manfred is not going to enforce the schedule, then this whole thing is a bigger joke than it seems today. Teams don't get to pick when and where they play. If they don't show, it should be a forfeit. Plain and simple. In fact, what Manfred should do is rewire the schedule right now so teams are done taking multiple trips to the same cities. Longer series. Fewer trips. This is an obvious change that would help, as we are seeing the increased risk of travel, and I don't know why there has been no movement on it.
    HI Ben. Wow Yadi steps up! I think it takes a lot of leadership to put yourself out there first. What are your thoughts?
    I imagine that was planned by the catcher, yes.
    He was the first to announce, meaning he would take the most criticism -- or soften the tone of the criticism.
    Smart call on his part, and a big part of why he's the captain of this team.
    He's the obvious answer, yep. He's more familiar there than his lack of MLB experience there suggests, and the Cards were planning on getting him more reps there this year. Probably not this many reps planned, though.
    Thoughts on Gary Parrish picking SLU as his next Cinderella team to make the final four? Hoping this basketball season happens with the team SLU is expected to have.
    Not a bad pick. 
    SLU will need to get over the hump of winning the big game before that can happen, but this team should be capable.
    Dayton was a big Final Four favorite for many last season.
    SLU doesn't have Obi Toppin, but Ford's team is loaded with talent and experience. Veteran-laden teams tend to excel in the tournament. I hope there is one. Every pandemic-altered season hurts, but this SLU basketball season would be near the top of the list on most painful, considering the breakthrough the Billikens seemed poised to make.
    I’m not sure what continuing the season will accomplish, the winner is whoever gets lucky and doesn't get hit by the virus. Is the money really worth it?
    For those who want to keep going, yes
    For those who have opted out, no.
    We could see more of the latter the longer this goes on, but baseball's made it clear it wants to keep moving forward, and it will unless something else derails things.
    Any chance any of these are false positives or would we know that by now?
    The inconclusive tests were cleared up by more testing. The positives are positives, per the Cardinals, and they have been separated from the team until they wait the mandatory seven days and receive two negative tests needed to return. There's also some physical testing that has to take place before a player can return, something to check out the heart, because this virus is specifically causing damage to hearts.
    On the players side is this the entire list? Or is their more players who didn’t want their names mentioned at this time?
  • The Cardinals had seven players test positive.
    Six have been named: Molina, DeJong, Fernandez, Ravelo, Sosa and Whitley.
    That leaves one unnamed at this time.
    You know MO will never confirm that the virus may have come from a casino outing. He doesn't want the Cards to be infamously known as the team that ruined the 2020 season (not that is wasn't ruined to begin with)!!
    I know he was asked directly if there was truth to the report/rumor that the outbreak started from a player or players attending a casino, and he said that he received no information that suggested that. So, if there's proof that is not the case, then he's going to be asked why he didn't tell the truth. And he should. But unless there's proof that he's lying, I'm not going to say he's lying. For all of this talk of certain Cardinals being in a casino, you think there would be some evidence. Especially now that the Cardinals have pushed back on that claim. What I have viewed are photos of Dexter Fowler and Harrison Bader with former Cardinal Jim Edmonds at a concert that was held at a casino amphitheater. That was more than two weeks ago, and two weeks are believed to be the maximum time of the virus incubation period. If there's proof of casino-going beyond that, I'm all ears. That would not mean, though, that this is how the virus outbreak happened. It could have happened from a player going to a gas station. It could have been passed to the team second-hand through a player's family. It could have been someone on the staff. That's the big problem with this situation baseball created. The virus has a flood of entry points into the equation every time the team leaves the ballpark every day.
    MLB clearly plans on keeping the season going, at least for now, so I will ask my questions with that assumption in mind.

    1. Since Molina has confirmed he has tested positive and he will miss some games, is it likely we’ll see weiters fill in at catcher or will knizner get some playing time? The last few years going back to kelly, the team has said that if Molina were out for an extended period of time, either kelly or knizner would get an extended run but that hasn’t happened.

    2. Has the service time mark for Carlson passed or is it based on how many games the team has played? With the uncertainty of the season being finished the fans should be glad that Carlson didn’t start the season on the team. We could’ve lost a full season of control for a season that might not even make it to the finish line.
    I'd like to see Knizner get the time. See what he's got. See how he hits. If there was ever a time to let him get a feel for it, and get a feel for how he handles it. now's the time.
    The window for Carlson was five games. The Cardinals have played five games. So, he should be able to be called up now without the year of service time being guaranteed. How service time for a player in Carlson's position will work if the season gets canceled is a tricker conversation. The only language I've seen in the agreement is that the player would receive the same amount of service time he received the past season. For Carlson, that would obviously be zero. That doesn't seem right, so I need to get a better answer on it. 
    Don't you think Lester and the Cubs are overreacting a bit? Its not like they will be using the Cards clubhouse and Lester, at least, will not be near any of the Cardinal players, anyway. Are they just trying to get a mental edge?
    I think they are smart to stress their concerns about keeping their team virus-free, and it's a credit to them that they have been able to do that. The Cardinals are now at a competitive disadvantage because they did not protect the team from the virus as well as the Cubs. But the Cubs are coming a bit close to that hypocritical range where they are going to look bad if (and it's probably more like when) they have a setback of their own. Bottom line is, you play the games on the schedule. If you don't, they should be wins for the other team. If Manfred does not enforce that, he will be surrendering all control of the schedule to individual teams.
    So does this make room for Carlson for DH or in the outfield
    There's always been room for Carlson.
    The Cardinals have just preferred to find reasons to say there isn't.
    I'm not sure how or if this changes their view, considering none of the outfielders appear to be affected by the outbreak.
    Can Carlson play shortstop?
    Kidding.
  • Wasn’t that where the Marlins got it, from the plane trip? If so, not doing a bubble is looking like a really bad idea. Maybe the bubble won’t work in the long run either, I guess we’ll see what the NHL and NBA seasons bring.
    It's too early for any league to take a victory lap, but yes, the baseball, hockey and soccer bubbles look like a much better plan to this point.
    My million-dollar question is if baseball could have come up with a solution closer to the bubble if Rob Manfred and Tony Clark had been able to have more productive conversations about the health and safety protocols.
    Baseball spent far too much time talking about who gets paid what, everything else -- the most important stuff, it turned out --  seemed rushed.
    So, there is no evidence, according to Mo, that a Cardinal player was at a casino. What if one was and that is how he got it? Would everyone just shake their heads and say tsk, tsk? It would be clearly an irresponsible move and whomever it was should be held accountable, no?
    Then that would be news, and it would be covered as such.
    I would argue that spending five nights quarantined before having just two days to practice before resuming games, losing seven members of your team for who knows how long, and stacking a significant stretch of double-headers onto your schedule with a roster jammed with backup options is far from a shake of the head and a tsk-tsk.
    What punishment beyond that is correct?
    Baseball can't ask players to play through a pandemic, then fine them or fire them when they become touched by the pandemic.
    Not when determining the exact cause of the outbreak is impossible.
    Not when some of the players likely contracted the virus by simply going to work.
    The virus is spreading across the country. Of course it's going to find ways to spread into a sport that is sending teams all across the country, sending players home after every home game, etc.
    The Cards need this season to continue even with young players getting a lot of run because if they are still evaluating these same players next year than this roster is not evolving.
    Agreed. When in doubt, play the kids.
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