Ben Frederickson Live

Ben Frederickson Live

Bring your Cardinals, Blues, Mizzou, SLU 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. Plenty to discuss today, as always. Let's roll.
    Off to a rocky start here. There seems to be some issue with the question holding pen. I've had two disappear on me already. If you have sent one in, please send again. Sorry for the difficulties. Don't want to miss anyone.
    Who gets fired first: Yeo or Odom?
    Last season, Mizzou AD Jim Sterk was adamant about not wanting to make any decision until after the regular season. I would not expect anything different this year. If the Tigers don't make a bowl game, it's going to be a hard sell to bring Odom back. It's becoming a hard sell as is. But, you let it play out. Yeo does not have as much time. The response against the Blackhawks was big, but it could fade. Both coaches know they are up against it. No one is saying the Blues will wait until the end of their season. So, I'd say the first to go could be Yeo, to directly answer your question. But I think firing him would simply be a scapegoat move.
    Percentage dru smiths transfer waiver appeal is overturned?
    I hope it is. It should be. I'm always going to be on the side of the players in these situations. And I do feel for smaller programs that are constantly trying to keep good players from leaving to jump up to another level. This is not that. Dru left because his coach got fired. Evansville made that choice knowing some of Marty Simmons' players would want out. It could not force him to stay, so it's going to fight his chance to play immediately at Mizzou? It's a bad look.
    Any chance the Cardinals Trade Gyorko Or Matt Carpenter
    Mozeliak said Carpenter is on the team next year, so I would not expect that to happen.
    Gyorko would be more likely, especially if an upgrade at 3B is acquired.
  • Aside from Drew Lock, Which Mizzou player do you think gets drafted first?
  • Beckner, Hall and Albert O are all intriguing draft prospects.
    Hall's injury might have hurt his chances somewhat, but he has time to prove he is healthy and still has his sprinter speed; Mizzou should think about redshirting him if he's open to it, in my opinion.
    Albert O has been exposed a bit this year, but he's still got the size and speed NFL teams like. I think he would be better off returning for another year of development though.
  • Is there any new news on the MLS4TheLou front? Stadium renderings? When Garber will be visiting STL or when the land might be acquired?
  • There should be some updates in the near future.
    The next two hurdles are aldermen and the state.
    Both have to sign off on certain parts of the plan.
    It's not like they schedule special meetings for these discussions. They have to be proposed, discussed and accepted on the schedule that is already in place. And the conversations are different in each realm, neither one dependent on the other.
    According to the calendars, there could be more discussions by the state and aldermen soon. Where that leads, who knows. Again, I don't think the Taylor family gets involved if it does not have a good feeling about where this ends. 
  • I imagine you will get a ton of these questions but have you heard any rumblings about the Cards approaching Harper yet (or do they have to really wait until Sat)? We both know the fit makes sense. Also how much value does Gyrko have in the trade market? Do you think we end up with Donaldson or Moose?
  • The Cardinals, like any team that might be interested in Harper, have done as much due diligence as possible in that department.
    Scott Boras' phone is never off.
    He has a relationship with the Cardinals.
    This works through agents until players can meet directly with teams.
    It's hard to name Gyorko's trade value without knowing what team would be in need and what that team has to offer. When he's been healthy, he has performed. He is a fine utility player, a plus utility player. This past season was the one where he hoped to prove he could be more than that, and he fell short there, in part because he continues to have a hard time staying healthy over the duration of a season.
  • True or False: Drew Lock will have a better NFL career than Blaine Gabbert?
  • I'll take true.
    Though I am surprised by Blaine's longevity.
    He's in season number eight. But he's a career backup.
     
    Some of the recent QBs with horrible numbers against good college defenses have been quite good after being drafted. Mahomes and Goff, for examples. Not comparing these two to Lock, but my point is the splits don't always translate. Also worth mentioning that Lock has spent his senior season being coached by an OC and QB coach who had no experience coaching quarterbacks and no experience calling plays, and that his QB whisperer is Austyn Carta-Samuels, whose claim to fame is being OK at Vanderbilt. Mizzou didn't exactly surround Lock with the best, is my point. And I know he wanted Dooley. Doesn't mean the adults in the room should not have known better.

     
     
     
  • Ben - What are your thoughts on Dooley's performance as OC?
  • I got roasted for being pretty critical of the hire.
    I stood by my opinion then and will continue to do so now.
    It was a massive risk for a defensive-minded head coach to hire an offensive coordinator who had not once called plays in his career.
    It was a massive risk for a program with a prized QB to hire a QB coach (Dooley) who had never really coached QBs.
    Dooley's game planning and on-the-fly decision making was one of the big reasons he did not succeed at Tennessee. Mizzou fans might have noticed some signs of that -- like the confusion about finding a fourth-down play call during the first half at Purdue, or the lack of run plays in a rain-soaked loss at South Carolina, or Saturday's decision to pass (incomplete) on 3rd-and-2 when a run play would have forced Kentucky to use its final timeout.
     
  • Do any of the lefty relievers FA's stand out as an obvious target? Also, how do you think Gomber would do as one of the lefties out of the pen?
  • There are a few who could make sense, sure.
    Britton is a name.
    Colleague Rick Hummel mentioned a few more potential targets in that department in this article: 

    Help wanted: Bullpen fix for the Cardinals

    stltoday.comThe Cardinals’ bullpen this year ranged from undefined to “iffy” to poor to creditable to good — and then back to “iffy,” after the season concluded.
     
  • We heard Mo talk about holding players accountable, and I've heard some include a guy like Gyorko as someone who needs a better offseason plan. Yes he's always injured, but he lost weight last offseason to try and limit that, and still got hurt. So what could a guy like him do to stay on the field more?
  • Gyorko did everything in his power to play a full season this past season.
    He really changed his body.
    He looked different upon arrival at spring training and maintained that physique during the course of the season.
    Sometimes injuries can't be helped.
  • Thanks for your column on Dru Smith. The Evansville local paper printed a response (they essentially say "too bad") and the #FreeDruSmith hashtag is getting some play on Twitter. My reading of how this works doesn't seem to require Evansville to actually approve, but it helps the case. Is this accurate?
  • Thanks.
    Not surprising that Evansville's local paper is supporting Evansville's decision.
    I read that report, and it points to (former Evansville player and fired Evansville coach Marty Simmons pupil) Chris Hollender being on Mizzou's staff as if it's some sort of smoking gun?
    So?
    Dru Smtih, who is from Evansville, wanted to play for Evansville because Marty Simmons was Evansville's coach.
    He wanted  to leave because Marty Simmons got fired.
    Why is it a surprise or "bad" that he wanted to play for an assistant coach with ties to Marty Simmons?
    Evansville's report tried to paint me as a Mizzou homer. OK. (They should read my answers about Dooley!)
    This is not about Evansville or Mizzou, for me. It's about a bad rule that forces kids to sit when their coach leaves for greener pastures or, in this case, the university fires the coach and forces a new coach upon players who signed to play for the previous coach.
    If Evansville cooperated with the waiver, it's impossible to think Dru Smith would not be playing this  season. Not when the NCAA has been so lenient on these examples so far this offseason. Allowing players who lose their coaches to transfer and play elsewhere immediately has already been discussed by the NCAA. It's not yet a rule. Clinging to an old, bad rule is easy, but not necessarily right. In this case, it's pretty petty. Mizzou does not play Evansville. Dru Smith is gone. It does not help Evansville in any way to help keep Dru Smith on the bench. Yet here we are.
  • If Stan Kroenke were to buy the St. Louis Cardinals, would you remain a Cardinals fan?
  • I'm not a Cardinals fan and won't try to speak for them, but I imagine that would have a bigger chilling effect than three missed postseasons
  • I mean nothing in baseball. Example: Jon Jay nominated for a GG in RF. I mean, he can't run, throw or run routes to a ball. Not to mention he played just 50 games for Arizona in RF. This is why GG don't get you in the HOF. Take note Molina. Catcher is the weakest position in baseball. Winning GG there means nothing, especially when about 3 or 4 of them weren't deserved.
  • Depends on what defensive metrics you use. And, ironically, some of the best ones are often left out of the discussion when it comes to Gold Gloves. GGs are voted on by managers and coaches. They are big fans of the old eye test.
  • Ben -- I agree with you the Cardinals need to make a run at Harper, but I am not getting my hopes up yet. The Washington Post's columnist -- who knows Harper pretty well -- and one of their beat writers picked his six likely destinations and the Cardinals didn't make the cut. They are included in the field and the writers noted that Harper probably would be attracted to the Cardinals history, but Harper likely wants to play in a larger market and probably near the coasts, unless the Cubs are in play. I hope I'm wrong, but I think the Cubs are determined to make it happen, even with all the salary they are committed to for next year. Got any thoughts?
  • My thoughts are that everyone has an opinion on where he might go and which way he might be leaning.
    It's on the radio and the TV and every website across America.
    Vegas sends out regular odds -- and the Cardinals can't even make the cut.
    None of it matters.
    If Harper does not agree to a new deal with Washington, and even if he does in the end, he's going to have a chance to hear teams out before he makes his decision.
    Everything else is just noise.
  • Hi, could you explain why you say "you are not a Cardinals fan?" I find that hard to believe, as you seem to be invested in their success. Or is that a way to suggest that you are objective in your writings? I do not mean to attack your journalistic integrity, but it is only human to root for, even if secretly, the success of a team you cover weekly, if not daily.
  • It's not a suggestion, and you are not attacking.
    You turn in the fan card when you start covering teams, at least you should.
    It's impossible to do the job well if you can't set that aside.
    It's different when you see how the sausage is made. You become fans of people, not so much fans of logos or organizations as a whole. Hope that makes sense.
  • Harper is going to the Phillies
    Machado un-hustled his way out of a mega-deal.
    Time to focus on the Cards acquiring Donaldson. This seems to be the most realistic option at this point. Won't break the bank like a Harper deal would have and you'll have Gyorko as a solid backup/bat off the bench for injury concerns.
  • Donaldson to the Cardinals has always made sense.
    Still does.
    But is that enough?
    Seems a little short and heavy on hope to me in terms of upgrading the offense.
    If Donaldson returns to MVP form, no. If he doesn't, yikes. This is an offseason to add certainty, not create more what-ifs.
    Donaldson as a piece of a puzzle? Yes.
    As The Piece? Seems short.
  • Do you think Cardinals Nation would support the team if they had a player like Machado or Puig?
  • Sure.
    That guy becomes your guy when he's added to your team.
    But there would be detractors. Heck, there are detractors for Adam Wainwright in the Cardinals fanbase. No player is universally beloved.
    I don't think Machado's act would play here. Wrote about that earlier in the postseason.
  • Ben, can you offer any insight into the recurrence of Elliott Welmer's foot injury? Losing him and his perimeter shooting would seem to be a big blow. And when you add in the loss of Santos, suddenly the Billikens don't seem quite so deep inside.
  • It stinks, and it's concerning that it seems to be a lingering problem for him.
    You're smart to point out how it affects the bigs.
    Until he is ready, there is even more pressure/opportunity on Gordon.
    He looked really good in the exhibition win, by the way.
  • Are you saying that individuals in the media, whether it is in print or over the airwaves should not be fans of the team they cover?
  • I'm not the media police, but it seems to me an important part of doing the job right is maintaining independence from the teams you cover, same as it would be for any journalist on any assignment. You can serve the fans without being a fan. Usually better than the media members who are fans.
  • I have concerns about the MLS expansion decisions to be made.
    First, when MLS awarded teams to Cincy and Nashville that affectively filled the Midwest markets. Before the last 2 markets were selected MLS wanted the Lou because it would provide natural rivalries for the other Midwest cities. Nashville and Cincy seem to take care of that problem.

    Second, the Sacramento Bee reported that MLS effectively eliminated Sacramento because their group didn't have deep enough pockets and in the same article the Bee reported that MLS told them that Austin, TX was in line to get one of the two open spots. I didn't even know Austin had submitted a bid. They also wanted a team in the southwest US most favorably Phoenix. Las Vegas and San Diego are also trying to put things together.
    Third, the Bee was told by MLS that Columbus was adding more money to that ownership group to ensure the Crew stayed
    in Columbus and not have to relocate.
    That leaves St. Louis out in the cold again. I know MLS is telling us here that our plan looks solid but we heard that before from the NFL. MLS is sounding a lot like the NFL. I am worried that MLS4theLou is 2years2late.
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