Ben Frederickson Live

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








    Greetings, chatters. The Cardinals are never going to lose again, clearly, so everyone should be in good spirits today. Seriously, though, Martinez vs. Kluber is going to be fascinating. Which Carlos shows up. Let's get chatting.
    Good morning, thank you for your time. Two questions: Do you think the Cards not bringing up Hudson has anything to do with potential trade value and by he not being on the 40 man improves said value? Second question, I want to pull for MPJ but man landing with the Nuggets stinks! Thoughts on him dropping and landing there of all places. I'm surprised he fell that far, was waiting for the Spurs or Celtics to trade up a few spots to grab him.
    That could play into it, sure.
    But don't overlook that the front office was legitimately eager to see what Gant could do in that spot.
    Gant's numbers as a Memphis starter were very good. Compare them to Hudson's.
    He just wasn't the new name.
    Gant showed last night why he got the turn, and why he has earned another one.
  • As for MPJ, I'm not surprised he fell that far.
    I said before the draft I would not spend a lottery pick on him. Too much risk.
    The Nuggets felt like they had to take the risk for the potential payoff, and I get that. But after experiencing the MPJ circus I'm not convinced he will be more than the hype.
    Some of that is his personality. I'm not sure how it plays in the league.
    But most of it is his health. He told Denver media he could play now or be even healthier. He says he wants to be 150 percent, whatever that means. Here's the thing. Show me the list of guys who only play when they feel great, and there aren't many NBA players on it. It's a grinding league made more complicated by the insane scheduling. Just not sure he holds up. 
  • A couple weeks ago you dismissed a question about a time split between Kinzner and Molina coming down the road. I think this is an important question because if we get to that point it likely means that Kelly's growth was stunted because he wasn't getting enough MLB opportunities. It would be interesting to see if the team adjusts their approach to avoid repeating history. My understanding is that Knizner is more of an option at 1B than Kelly is.
  • There has been nothing to suggest that Molina won't continue to grind until his contract is up and he retires, which is what he says he plans to do, and I believe him.
    There has been nothing to suggest his performance will fall off a cliff. He's having a heck of a year right now, even despite missing a month for a freak injury.
    My advice: Enjoy Molina, because you are going to miss him when he's gone.
    If he gets injured and misses a ton of time or his performance tanks, then maybe a change occurs. But there's no sign of that, and zero signs the Cardinals are interested in phasing him out before he retires.
     
     
     
  • The Cardinals must have a really good record on Sunday/Monday this year because come Tuesday morning I'm feeling pretty good. Or maybe it's just BenFredLive day!
  • Checked with my sources. It's the latter.
  • Hey Ben, always appreciate you wading into the insanity that is these chats and keeping your sense of humor. Following-up on Hudson, I have to think we're close to the point where the Cardinals consider him in the rotation over Weaver. The Sunday start was inspiring, but Weaver's overall trend this season has me thinking that Hudson would be an improvement there...
  • The chat is like the Frederickson Family Reunion. There are some colorful characters, but we're still family at the end of the day. All are welcome, for the most part. If Weaver's last start had been like the 5 that preceded it, then I would agree with you. But he punched back and bought some time. Remember, Hudson isn't on the 40-man. The Cardinals move slow when they can with these guys, especially when they have to create a spot for them. And Weaver was better against the Brewers.
  • Will the real Carlos Martinez please stand up. Which one do we see tonight?
  • Great question. The Cardinals are wondering the exact same thing. Their hope is that Kluber jars Carlos out of his slog. Could happen. Aces ascend, right? Time for Carlos to snap out of it. See, people. This is how you can expect more from the best pitcher on the staff when he is under-performing, but not tie it to things that don't matter, like how his hair looks. It's not hard!
  • Benfred,

    What came first the chicken or the egg? Does the fact that neither team in STL is seen as championship quality cause players to not want to play here or is it the fact that the city itself can't get its stuff together and is not seen in a positive light nationally? How do the Blues and the Cardinals fix this?
  • It's both.
    Players will overlook a lot to join a championship-caliber team.
    Players with leverage to pick their landing spot also have other priorities outside of the sport they play.
    It's convenient for the teams to say it's the city.
    It's convenient for the city to say it's the team.
    That's a good way for nothing to change.
     
    Here's a thought experiment: Pretend STL means nothing to you. As in, you are free-agent X, and you have a list of 10 teams in cities that are courting you. Teams aside, where would you rank STL? Probably not as high as you think. 
     
    STL should not be worried about changing to lure better athletes. It should be worried about people, in general, not wanting to make this their home. We can't add a beach. We can work together to fix some glaring problems. Bigger than sports.
  • (Last question on Hudson, promise!) I get the point on the 40-man, but I think Miklasz put it really well on his recent podcast: If the goal is to win and make the playoffs, who the h*** cares about the 40-man? The best talent should be up now helping this team. The club didn't care about moving Hicks to the 40-man in March to help this team, so why all of a sudden is it such a big deal with Hudson?
  • Above all, because all things considered they liked John Gant better for the start.
    And he earned another one with how he pitched last night.
     
  • Odds Matheny is manager next year? I think the team will be better so I hope he is.
  • If this team doesn't make the postseason, I think it's a hard sell bringing Matheny back.
    If it does, I would not expect a change.
     
  • Do you think the local sports fan narrative that players don't wanna sign here is a cop out of the franchises not getting star players to come here? I do, interested in your take.
  • It's not just a local sports fan narrative.
    The teams are talking about it.
    Mozeliak has been increasingly candid about the conversations he's had with players about St. Louis, and the questions that they come with.
    Dexter Fowler, for example, spent time talking to Ozzie about the image and what was true/false from the national view.
    And it's not just Ferguson fallout.
    Mozeliak has said Stanton asked him about high-rise living options in the city.
    What's Mo supposed to say to that?
    It is not one or the other. The Cardinals clearly had more success landing bigger names when they were more successful. Of course.
    But is the city and its image helping? I'd say no.
     
  • Any scenario where we decide on Hutton/Husso tandem & trading Allen? Could be difficult thought with Hutton being an UFA
  • It appears Hutton is all but gone, so I would not expect that.
    Army has gone out of his way to say Allen is the guy.
    I'm not sure fans can handle another Jake meltdown, so Army is taking on that risk.
  • Yadi looks as good as he ever has been. Could this season change the negative view of his HOF worthiness nationally?
  • His late-blooming offense should help his case, as those were the numbers that were expected to hold him back.
    I'm not sure everyone realizes what a season the guy is having.
    The new numbers for NL All-Star voting came out yesterday, and Molina is still 4th among catchers.
    He's crushing Posey this season, and Posey is in 4th place.
    Cardinals fans are turned off by the season's struggles I suppose, but not voting for Molina this year is a disservice. Like the homers and the RBIs, All-Star appearances build a HOF case (like it or not) and he's at real risk of missing the game, especially if both teams carry two catchers like they did last season.
    Between Posey getting the fan-voted start, Contreras and Realmuto and Suzuki, Molina could find himself on the outside looking in despite tearing it up and missing a month due to an awful injury
  • What's your take on Luke Heimlich? It'd be pretty cut and dry if it weren't for his denial and the supposed polygraph test and therapy that back him up. Is it fair to condemn a kid for life for something he denies doing? Gotta think some team will take a shot right?
  • Tough situation.
    I thought KC star columnist and dear friend Vahe Gregorian sorted through it very well in his column about the Royals continuing to vet Heimlich. His conclusion was that they should take a pass. I tend to agree.
    Not signing a person to a professional sports contract is not condemning him for life. We should not get that confused.
  • Will the cards have more or less than 50 wins at the all star break?
  • That's 17 games to get nine wins. I'll take the under. They can prove me wrong. If they play like they have the past two games, they'll beat that easy. Just need to see some more consistency before I feel too optimistic.
  • If the Cardinals had lost Sunday, Mozeliak would hve had to make some kind of move to shake up the team, wouldn't he? Similarly, if they end up fouling the nest in the next week and lose four out of six, some kind of action of some nature, besides the Memphis Shuttle, is needed, don't you think?
  • Certainly seemed to be trending that direction.
    And if you caught Mo's weekly chat with KMOX on Sunday, he sounded as frustrated and ready to do just that as we have heard him in a public setting all season.
    He picks his words carefully, and when he brings up the coaching staff and mentions "excuses" then you know he's not pleased with the product.
    Now, it's about turning two good games into a stretch. Cardinals have not done that often this season.
     
    As for the bullpen, there will be reinforcements brought in from outside if internal ones don't lock in jobs. Some of those guys available -- Holland, for example -- seems to have figured something out.
  • Hi Ben. Thanks for the chat. During DG's chat yesterday, he admonished chatters who called for "accountability" from the Cardinals on-field and off-field management team for their results the past couple of seasons. I'm not saying he is wrong for doing so, just pointing it out. I'm interested in your opinion on this. Do fans have a right to call for someone's job? Is it a low class move? I'm conflicted myself. I would never want to see anyone lose for their job, but as a fan, I think the Cardinals could do better than Matheny.
  • Ah, the accountability debate.
    It seems to mean different things to different people.
    It does have a definition: "an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions"
    So, you can call for accountability without demanding someone be fired. They are not the same thing.
    The Cardinals showed accountability for their horrendous game in Milwaukee by coming out and saying they were embarrassed by it, then playing better. Was it enough accountability? Probably not for some.
    Each person can determine their own level, I suppose.
    Fans are always going to call for the job of a player/manager/coach they don't like or see their team winning enough with. That's just sports.
    I don't call for someone's job unless I'm dead convinced it's just not going to work. And I don't take it lightly. No one should.
  • Yadi turns 36 in three weeks. It's unrealistic to think he can still be an everyday catcher in 2020. That's not a slight against Yadi. People just don't play that many games at that age as a major league catcher. I'm sure the actuaries in the Cardinals' front office flipped out when Mo told them about the huge contract extension. He's doing well now, but he's going to hit the wall, hard and fast. All catchers do. I just hope the Cardinals are prepared for it. So far, I don't feel like they have been adequately preparing for it
  • Carson Kelly has encountered some turbulence, but he's still one of the game's best catching prospects, right?
    Knizner has everyone buzzing.
    They tried Carson as backup. Didn't work out. So they adjusted.
    They're giving Molina his run. He's earning it. The backups are working away in lower levels.
    I don't see the malpractice. And, also, Molina is playing really really well. 
    Predicting the downfall of a 36-year-old catcher is a good side to take, but he's proving you wrong again.
    The Cardinals are ready to let him keep doing that, with options lined up for what comes after it.
  • If you were negotiating with a free agent in MLB and NHL, how would you sell that player on coming to STL? Besides stating the benefits, how much extra $ would you think is needed to get them to consider STL?
  • Right away, I would get the player in contact with current and players who could vouch for the city. The big names. Matt Holliday has been an advocate. Ozzie, too. Cardinals and Blues might need some more. You mentioned the most enticing recruiting too. Money. It's true in college football and it's true in the pros. Players will go where they get paid. And where they can win big. Preferably both.
  • I don't necessarily think Matheny is a bad manager it's just he's losing his impact as the years go on. Eventually if the boat is pulling one way for too long you gotta try a new voice to straighten things out
  • The Cardinals expect to play postseason baseball every year. They've missed the last two. Players have changed. Multiple coaches have changed. Hitting coach and manager have not changed. There's a logical line of progression to follow here, if the trend does not start moving back toward the expectations. I don't think it's as juicy as it sometimes seems.
  • Chances Drew Lock goes into Alabama wins and that becomes the game he won the Heisman? This could be Manziel 2012 all over again!
  • I'll be optimistic and say 1 percent.
    Lock doesn't have to dethrone Bama to remain in the Heisman conversation. He just has to survive.
    I'm convinced this team has the talent to win eight games. If it can do that, he will remain in the discussion.
     
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