Ben Frederickson Live

Ben Frederickson Live

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




    I know that you’re trying to report, in your answer to my Harper question, the team’s stated perspective. And I don’t for a minute believe their narrative - that the Cardinals couldn’t “sustain” success while carrying a payroll at or near $200 million, while remaining under the luxury tax threshold, just like the elite of the MLB do. I feel like the argument for signing Harper has gotten lost in the weeds of the team's situation this offseason of late. Signing Harper has always been about the unique opportunity his free agency presents - not only has a 26 year old possible HOF player not become available in the past decade, another one isn't set to emerge in the next 5 or 6 either. The elite of the MLB separate themselves from the pack not by filling holes with great players - as the Cardinals did a great job of doing with Goldschmidt - but by taking care of that business, and then being cutthroat enough to still go out and sign a superstar. The Yankees had Aaron Judge...and still traded for Stanton. The Red Sox had Mooke Betts...and still signed J.D. Martinez. The frustrating thing is that EVERYTHING has fallen into place perfectly to make a killer offer - little competition, a buyer's market, a great farm system to supplement a high payroll addition, a player that appreciates tradition - the only thing that's missing is the Cardinal's killer instinct. If the Cardinals have the financial muscle to do this sustainably (and we know they do) why shouldn't I be upset and disappointed with this offseason no matter what else they do?
    It's your right to be upset and disappointed about whatever you choose. I'm just saying I never, ever expected the Cardinals to get Goldschmidt AND Harper/Machado. Never thought it. Never wrote it. Never figured it would happen. So, the idea of raising hell about them not doing, to me, feels overdone. I get the argument for Harper. I have made the argument for Harper. I also get the idea of Pujols, Heyward and Stanton (already) looking like deals the Cardinals were glad they did not do. No one knows what Harper looks like in five or 10 years. No one on either side of this argument. The Cardinals say they their goal is to build a team that can win the division, because a team that can win the division can win a World Series. That's the goal they feel like gives them their best chance to do two things a) have a chance of winning the World Series, and B) have a chance to complete goal A every year. Right now, we are watching how they adjust the model after three postseason misses. Do they say, hey, we are going to stick with what has led to historic success, or hey, we need to make some adjustments. They will point to the Goldschmidt move as an adjustment, surrendering years of control for Kelly, Weaver and the minor leaguer for Goldschmidt. They do not feel they are far off enough to make the Harper-level adjustment, at least not for Harper, along with the other changes they did make, like Goldschmidt.
    Do you think Yadi and Bryant will rumble at home plate first Cards-Cubs game, like he did with Cincinnati 2B a few years ago?
    No.
    But he might find have to duck a pitch.
    We'll see.
    Have the Cards given up the thought of getting a LH bench bat better than Robinson? Is it that Martinez hits righties ok so they think they do not need one?
    This remains a bit of a mystery. At the time of the trade, Robinson was said to be a guy who could be in St. Louis. Then he was described as an option. He was at Winter Warm-Up, but was not mentioned by the team in the big moves they made for 2019. What does that mean? I think they are still looking for potential upgrades for that role, depending on who winds up looking for a pillow deal. Asdrubal Cabrera is out, by the way. Rangers got him for one season at a reported $5 million.
  • Do you ever find it odd how Missouri doesn't have an NBA team? Two MLB teams, one NHL team, used to be two NFL teams, yet zero NBA teams for the past 33 years (over 50 years in this market). What is the reason?
    No love for the Bombers and the Hawks?
    There's been some NBA to STL chatter recently.
    Dr. Chaifetz got it rolling.
    I've asked him if he would like to expand on that, but have not heard back.
    KC has also made it known they have folks there who might be interested.
    You can find some in NBA circles who say the league has interest in STL as a potential market, but there has been no official interest expressed by the league.
    I think having a team in Memphis and Indianapolis makes it a bit crowded here regionally.
    I also think KC might be more appealing to the league at this point.
    I have no doubt STL would support NBA. Anyone who says otherwise is misinformed. Problem is, league has to want to be here, and there has to be an ownership group with the cash to make it happen.
    Until then it's just a pipe dream.
    Fill in the blanks, Waino will start __ games this season with __ of them deemed quality ones.
    No clue.
    And it makes no sense to guess before seeing how he looks and feels during and after spring training.
     
    I am sorry, but Mozeliak talks to fans as if we are morons. What does he mean that they feel like they are putting a "competitive" team on the field? We want a championship team. And how excited am I suppose to get because Shildt is excited about WWU? That was one of his answers to how they are looking forward to the season. Why does he not just say, we are going to put a team on the field that is good enough to keep you coming to the games and watching them on TV so as to maximize our profit margin? I would have more respect for him.
    The Cardinals, per the mouth of chariman Bill DeWitt Jr., believe they have built a team that is capable of winning the National League Central.
    He said that Monday, and that is the on-the-record stated goal that was put into calculations and projections and forecasts ran by the front office.
    Obviously, a team that is built to win the National League Central can win the World Series.
    What is the difference between building a team to win a division and one to win a ring?
    I asked.
    The answer was that it would mean mortgaging the future for a prize that cannot be guaranteed.
    The Cardinals, above all, value sustained success.
    This is not news.
    They are showing signs of becoming more impatient to snap the postseason-less stretch, but perhaps as not as much as their fans would like.
    This, also, is not news.
    BenFred, what is your favorite sports movie?
    Tough one.
    The Sandlot, Hoop Dreams and Remember the Titans are up there.
    And while I admit it's terrible now, Hardball killed me as a kid.
    RIP, G-Baby.
    The Blues goaltending reminds me of the Cards BP. The goaltenders cost us a few games they could have pulled out just like our bullpen costs us some extra games. Thought the Blues had turned a corner.
  • What made you think they had turned a corner?
    They played a little bit better for a while. 
    Then they regressed again.
    They are who they are.
    Not good enough. Not committed enough. Too quick to pat themselves on the back.
    They don't turn corners. They just keep spiraling. 
    If stlfaninnationscapital (the atheist) is right, then in the end, it won't matter how many people Stan hurt along the way to riches. It doesn't matter how any of us live. Whether we save 100 lives as a doctor or kill 1,000,000 as a dictator, when the universe ends, none of it will have mattered. You can't have an insignificant origin and insignificant end and somehow claim what you do in the middle is significant. We should all get a beer at a Cards game and discuss further.
    This is a deep chat.
    I dig it.
    No Field of Dreams or Bull Durham?
    Great movies.
    Just not my personal jams.
    This really isn't a question, just a comment...To piggyback off of Aaron's question, which is a sentiment I think a lot of us are feeling, I don't think anyone is disagreeing with yours or Goold's reporting on the matter. I think he hit the nail on the head with the frustration of the fans...there does not seem to be a reason NOT to go after Harper. I think what the fans would like is the facts being laid out to Mo and have him give the honest answer...which the honest answer seems to be "Look, it doesn't matter if it's Stan Musial reincarnated in his 1948 form, we will not spend top market dollars on anyone, despite it clearly being a need, and having the ability".
    I understand arguing for Harper.
    Been there. Done that.
    I don't understand how you can believe there is no risk.
    There is a ton of risk.
    Years and years worth of risks.
    Hundreds of millions worth of risks.
    A previous commenter made the claim that the difference between blue bloods and everyone else was that blue bloods make Red Sox and Yankees like moves.
    Well, the Cardinals are not the Red Sox and the Yankees, and have never pretended to be, so they aren't going to suddenly start now.
    And another thing: The Yankees and the Red Sox are not beating Harper's door down, either.
    The defined field for Harper is the opposite of blue bloods. They are desperate teams like the Phillies and the White Sox.
    The Cardinals feel far from desperate.
     
    When we win the division this year, Cards fans need to send Kris Bryant a thank you card. The Redbirds are fired up about his silly comment ... and where Yadi goes this team goes. Real positive vibe going into Spring.
    Agreed. Harrison Bader said it best.
     
    "I think the most important thing about everything that happened was Yadi's response," Bader said. "And obviously I don't necessarily believe Kris Bryant meant anything malicious, but regardless,I think it is important that Yadi said what he said. And obviously anything he says we support. And I obviously disagree (with Bryant) – I think this is an incredible place in regards to baseball, there really isn't any better place to play. So his comments were sort of insensitive in that matter."
     
    "You just learn very quickly about certain guys, just looking at personnel on and off the field. And one of the first people I just obviously gravitated towards in terms of someone who you want to emulate both on and off the field is obviously Yadier Molina. And then just getting the opportunity to play with them on a nightly basis really is an honor. I know we kind of toss that around, because in many ways maybe taking it for granted, because you just go out there and play baseball. But just his presence night to night, and just the way he goes about his business, it truly is an honor."

    "There's no reason why he shouldn't be excited, because he's been on some incredible teams, and I like to think that this is, in his mind, shaping up to be one of those as well. So the energy he feeds us just purely by who he is and what he does really does lift the locker room up. And it just incredibly fortunate to have a presence. Shildty made a comment about anything he says you listen to. He's very vocal, but at the same time, he really doesn't speak a lot. He's just very particular about the way he goes about his business. And it's just the personality that you just you want to latch onto as best you can. So it's going be a great year, and I'm happy he's excited for it."
     
  • Are you ok after being harassed by Fredbird?
  • My lawyers have told me not to comment.
    Do you think it's possible the Cardinals and Goldschmidt agree to an extension before the beginning of the regular season?
    It sure seems like the Cardinals would love that, but Goldschmidt would have to want it. He has talked about how spring training is really the chance to get to know the team, and start to feel out an organization, so I would be surprised if he's willing to agree to anything before the season begins. Some guys shut down contract talks once games count. Will be interesting to see how he handles this. He's in the driver's seat.
    So, I like Dexter Fowler, seems like a great guy, but he is not the best RF on our roster, all things considered. It is Jose Martinez, as you have said. So, why don't the Cards just say we are going to give Dex all the opportunity to start and we have $52 million reasons for it, instead of this we support Dex PR campaign? Again, they must think we are stupid or something.
    A few reasons, really. The first being that if Fowler does bounce back and become the player he has been, then he is the best option in RF, all things (like defense) considered. And, when you have a guy who clearly cares about what is said about him and is trying to start fresh, phrasing and imaging matters. The Cardinals don't think their fans are stupid. They also don't think they need to go out of their way to point out the obvious, like they are trying to surround Fowler with positives in hopes it helps him perform -- knowing they will need to adapt if things don't work.
    To further piggyback off of Justin and Aaron. There is obvious risk with signing Harper as far as money but there is no way it is riskier than continuing to gamble with right field hoping that Fowler will make a complete 180. Harper could solidify right field and alleviate a potential headache in another year when we get another bad/mediocre season out of Fowler and Ozuna either doesn't get healthy or walks for (surprise) more money then we want to spend. Then we have two holes and no generational talents on the market. It isn't about being desperate, it is about being two years into a contact that didn't work out and not wanting to go spend the money to correct that.
    I don't think anyone is arguing that there are not reasons for the Cardinals to be interested in Harper, especially when you have assumed the worst about the other outfielders moving forward.
    That said, the Fowler gamble has insurance.
    Jose Martinez was kept for that reason. Tyler O'Neill exists for that reason. And then, look at the minors, where Lane Thomas is close and more climb.
    There will be generational talent in the future (like Nolan Arenado), but it is completely fair to wonder if the Cardinals will ever talk themselves into signing one on the free-agent market.
    That's a fair question.
     
     
     
     
     
     
    I thought Asdrubal Cabrera made a lot of sense for the Cards and he was signed cheap by Texas as you mentioned. Are there any other names that make sense to fill that role besides Robinson, who sounds like a AAAA guy? Thanks.
  • I wonder what's gonna happen with the switch-hitting Marwin Gonzalez.
    Word is he wants to start, but he's still out there.
    If he goes toward a pillow deal, and he prioritizes winning over starting every day, maybe the Cardinals could get in there.
    He's more appealing for 2019 than Robinson, for sure.
     
  • Take it or leave it - the xfl will last longer than one season
    If the new darling of Malibu with the cheap hairpiece and goofy sunglasses gets his ring, pardon me if I never watch another NFL game.
    Why wait? I did not watch one full NFL game all season. Bits and pieces, usually because I happened to be somewhere where the game was on, like at Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. But I do not regret missing anything. All of the good plays pop up on your Twitter timeline whether you want to see them or not.
    Has there been any indication from the Cardinals that Boras has been doing a better job keeping the Cardinals in the loop with Ozuna's rehab? I am incorrect in assuming that Ozuna kept the Cardinals in the dark last winter about the severity of his shoulder injury and his rehab? And can anyone blame the Cardinals if they felt that in good faith Ozuna would be doing a better job this winter keeping the Cardinals up to date on how his rehab has been going? I'm not the smartest business man, but you think Ozuna would be more interested in developing a good relationship with his current team because they are the best bargaining chip he has to drive his market next winter and maximize his total dollars. If all things being reported are true, I would bet a million dollars that the Cardinals won't sign Ozuna to a long term contract. The trust between the two parties just isn't there.
    There has been indication from Mozeliak, basked off his comments at Winter Warm-Up, that the Cardinals have not been as informed about Ozuna's offseason recovery and rehab as much as they might have liked. Ozuna resisted treatment on his shoulder last season, despite the Cardinals' efforts toward that end. All of these items have been reported. No need to assume. And yes, I would have a hard time imagining the Cardinals signing Ozuna to a long-term without a monster season in 2019, and maybe not then. We'll find out soon enough.
     
     
    More likely to happen - Cardinals sign Goldschmidt to a 5 year contract or the Opening Day starting OF is LF Jose Martinez, CFHarrison Bader, RF Dexter Fowler
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