Ben Frederickson Live

Ben Frederickson Live

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.




    Not much going on besides hockey, and that's A-OK with the folks there. The party outside of the stadium before the game reminded me of Cardinals opening day, and they do it before every home postseason game. It was nuts to see a sellout of 15,000 rocking inside, and then the camera shows packed streets outside. It's like the entire area stopped and came downtown whether they had tickets or not. That made it that much more impressive that the Blues won there twice. It's common to have a dud in a series. How the Blues respond tonight is huge. If they get another win, there is breathing room. What you have to fight like crazy to avoid is neutralizing that great start and heading back to incredibly hostile territory with a tie on your hands.
    In response to David: Yes, Tiger has personal failings. We all do. But, unlike many in similar situations, he owned up to them quickly and apologized and has seemed to do better. He didn't use a bunch of lawyers to get out of the situations. He pleaded guilty and went to rehab and served his probation.

    After all of the surgeries -- he basically couldn't walk or stand comfortably, let alone swing a golf club -- to come back to where he's at is, quite frankly, amazing. You don't have to like him, but we are watching the GOAT. (Same boat for Tom Brady...I don't like him, but I certainly understand I'm watching greatness.)

    [And, as another aside, many of our treasured heroes are flawed people. Mickey Mantle, JFK, John Wayne, etc., etc., etc. Perhaps it's easier for some to separate the personal and professional.]
    Well said. I have stopped trying to tell folks how to feel about Tiger. Everyone has their own opinions, and I cycle through my own on the same topic. On Sunday, I was just struck by what a true comeback looks like. We want to declare comebacks after the smallest signs of adversity these days. We also are so quick to write people off. This guy was truly written off. And this was a true comeback. I appreciated the heck out of that.
    If Ozuna hits 35-40 HRs what would he get in FA? it doesn’t seem like the Cardinals will re-sign him.
    Fascinating question, and I would just be guessing, so I won't, but we agree that I don't expect the Cardinals to have interest in an extension. I thought Ozuna's comments about playing in Mexico were interesting, especially the part about how the fans there want players to do well. Dude, if you keep hitting like this, Busch Stadium will feel pretty welcoming as well! If his power persists, he will get his money. But between his shoulder question mark, and his peaks and valleys, I wouldn't have much interest in signing him to a long-term deal. Big money, short years, seems to be the best approach to take with Ozuna, though I don't think the Cardinals will be major players in that market. Could be wrong. And things could certainly change between now and then.
    Is there a more frustrating pitcher in the starting rotation than Wacha? I wish I would have started counting at the beginning of the season how many times he's gotten a batter 0-2 or 1-1 then 1-2 and then seems to forget how to pitch. He throws in the dirt to try to get a chase then he throws it so far outside, then so far high so that he's then 3-2 and then walks or has to make a pitch and it gets hit hard. You had the stuff to get to 0-2...trust that stuff and trust your defense and throw another strike and put the guy away. It's maddening to watch!
    There are some numbers that explain what you are seeing. So far this season, opposing hitters are slashing .400/.455/.900 AFTER falling behind against Wacha 0-2. Just 10 at-bats, but that's crazy. Hitters are slashing .333/.455/.667 after falling behind 1-2. That's an 18 at-bat sample size. Getting ahead is supposed to help a starter. It seems to be hurting Wacha. The same approach that gets him ahead should be used to finish guys off. Nibbling isn't working for him.
    Ben, I know we are not quite a month into the season but the pitching to me was been a major disappointment. How far into the season do you go before you say "he hasn't got it"?
    It depends on the "he" in this scenario.
    Changes to the Blues lineup for tonight with Sanford out and Fabbri is in. Maybe Fabbri can submarine some of the Jets players, if you look at their roster they have only one forward under 6' and all the defensemen at 6'+.
    Looks like St. Louis is poised to screw up the MLS stadium. Sad!
  • I would not assume that. If you are referencing the port authority topic, that was never presented as a make-or-break for the stadium, and that's mentioned in the article. The MLS board of governors meets in Los Angeles tomorrow. My understanding is that representatives from the Sacramento group will be going to that. Representatives from the St. Louis group, at last check, were not. This might cause some unrest, and maybe it should. But I do not think the Sacramento group is going with the purpose to speak to the expansion committee. It's my understanding that neither group has presented to the expansion committee. But Sacramento wanted to go and be present. Remember that Sacramento did not have a face-to-face with Garber like St. Louis did, so perhaps this is Sacramento's attempt to get some of that interaction. It's a competition. Sacramento has gained ground. And the MLS continues to hold its cards close. Some still wonder if MLS might announce the next two expansion teams at the same time. There will be news soon on the STL renderings everyone is dying to see. STL is not behind when it comes to that topic.
    I also think it's kind of a joke that Robinson's on the big league roster, but do you think the reason they possibly didn't go after Descalso or another utility type player is because of Tommy Edman?
    Descalso, who is about the only thing going right with the Cubs since the start of the season, signed a two-year deal with an option for a third, I think. A utility type is not going to be on a deal long enough to block an emerging prospect for long. If Edman was the reason Descalso was not pursued, then Edman should be playing in St. Louis. The Robinson addition always felt forced. The Cardinals said they wanted a left-handed bat for the bench. They also needed to trade Wisdom because he was blocked. Robinson was the result, but then he felt sort of forced into that previously mentioned role. Maybe he proves me wrong. I just thought the Cardinals could have done more there.
    Pretty tired of DG's take on Yelich. He makes it sound like the Cardinals could not have gotten Yelich. They had the assets to get him after missing on Stanton and instead they chose Ozuna. They could have waited, just like Milwaukee did, and made their best offer for Yelich (even if it would have cost them Reyes or Flaherty or both) or they could have acquired BOTH Yelich and Ozuna and made a competitive offer for Yelich AFTER acquiring Ozuna. DG makes it sound like the Marlins just wouldn't trade Yelich to Ozuna. This is the Cardinals front office mistakenly preferring Ozuna to Yelich and missing on Yelich. Case closed.
    I'm sorry to sound crass, but I think DG has a better feel for how it went down than just about anyone else. So, agree to disagree on you having a tighter read than him. As for how it played out, yes, the Cardinals could have potentially pulled off a trade for Yelich despite the Marlins' wishes to move Ozuna first. The deconstruction of the Marlins' outfield was poker. They were bluffing when they said Yelich was not for sale. You can make the case the Cardinals should have called it. That's a fair argument. They didn't, and went with Ozuna. What you can't make a case is that if they had called that bluff, that they automatically would have gotten Yelich. They might have missed on both. That should be acknowledged because it was certainly factored into the decision to get Ozuna. That's my read on it. The Cardinals didn't call the bluff, and they and their fans will likely spend a long time wondering what might have happened if they did.
    Anything drive you crazy about Schildt yet? Maybe crazy isn't the right word... Makes you wonder what the thought process was?
    Well, I don't think he should keep pitching to Yelich, and I said that after the first series. I would go an entire series without throwing to him, and if he keeps hitting like he has been hitting, I might not give him another pitch to hit all season. Put yourself in the Brewers shoes. You face a series against the Cardinals knowing you will get nothing but walks from Yelich. That changes the tone of the game, no? Try it, at least. It's not like this way is working.
    Hello Mr. Frederickson, thanks for the chats. With Sacramento finalizing things and St. Louis appearing to take a step back, do we lose out on last MLS expansion slot? Are you hearing anything? Thank you.
  • Sacramento is finalizing the same things St. Louis has finalized, for the most part. I don't get the impression Sacramento is ahead of St. Louis. Garber has told Sacramento nice things. Garber has told St. Louis nice things. I know the STL group is very close to making renderings public and does not feel that Sacramento going to the MLS board of governors meeting tomorrow in Los Angeles is a big threat. Now, that could be proven wrong, I suppose. We'll see.
  • Lets hypothetically say there's an opening soon in RF. Assuming health, would you prefer O'Neill or Martinez?
    Unless one ran away with it, I would start Jose Martinez against lefties and O'Neill against righties.
    Martinez has a .762 OPS against LHP since last season. O'Neill's is .709.
    O'Neill has a .822 OPS against RHP since last season. Martinez is at .824, but O'Neill is a) putting up better numbers so far this season, and b) should bring better defense at that position.
    That's how I would play it.
    I have a hard time accepting the notion that if Ozuna walks that the replacement will be found internally. If O’Neil was capable of replacing Ozuna wouldn’t he be starting over Fowler?
    Fowler's contract has some say in that, as you know. And which version of Ozuna? The one last season could be replaced by O'Neill. The one blasting home runs this season? He might be a little harder to replace. O'Neill's mission this season is to make himself a viable candidate to start moving forward. If he had proven that, he would be starting now.
    XFL questions? Is that what it's come to, St. Louis? The only question should be, "Will the XFL fold in the middle of the season, like the last NFL competitor, or will it last a full season before folding?"
    We can only dissect Cardinals pitching so long before a curveball is needed.
    Just got a text from someone who has a good feel for XFL happenings who said they have hired a coach.
    I don't know (yet) who it is.
    If it's not Issac Bruce, that's a bummer.
    Thought the league could have made a local splash there.
     
    Cardinals news: Munoz is back. RHP Giovanny Gallegos and RHP Ryan Helsley are up from Memphis. Mayers (shoulder strain) and O'Neill (right elbow nerve subluxation) move to 10-day DL. Drew Robinson to Memphis.
    Any chance Edman gets a chance to be called up depending on the injuries to Bader and O'Neill?
    Not this time around, as evidenced by the happenings updated below. But I bet he gets a shot at some point this season. His strong spring turned into a hot start at Memphis. He's slashing .356/.388/.556 with one home run and three steals. He's bouncing between second, third and short. They're getting him ready, and his hitting is suggesting he's ready.
  • Umm, how serious is a ulnar nerve subluxation?
    I'm no doctor, but as I understand it it's the funny bone nerve. Guitar players can be bothered by it, along with baseball players. It's usually more problematic for pitchers than position players. There are various non-surgical treatments.
    Aren’t we waiting on Carp and Goldie to go on a tear?
    Goldschmidt homered last game. He just didn't homer three times. What a slacker.
    Why wouldn't St. Louis ask XFL questions? We don't have an NFL team (yet) and football is still more popular than baseball, even in this city.
    More popular how, exactly?
    Have a hard time believing this one, in terms of legitimate metrics.
    Congratulations to Tiger, but those calling it "The Greatest Comeback in Sports History" are completely insane. It's in ESPN's best economic interest to overhype the Tigers and LeBrons of the world -- they're literally in business together. Don't believe the overhype, people! Go, read a novel or something.
    We are quick to label everything "the best" these days.
    We misuse the word "historic" on a daily basis it seems.
    I think the best golfer's return to the top after a decade-plus away from it is rare air, and I'm a snob when it comes to these things.
    Where would Tilmon go in the draft?
  • I don't think he would be drafted -- if he went through with it. And I don't think he is going to go through with it. I think this is him taking the opportunity get feedback and interaction with teams, and that's really smart to take advantage of, because he does eventually want to play in the league. What I think he's going to find out is that he is nowhere close to being ready fro that realm of basketball. I think he's going to get a good sense of what he needs to improve on, and hopefully (for him) that leads to a motivated junior season that might turn him into a draft pick. But right now, Jeremiah Tilmon has no business leaving for the NBA. Good to get the feedback though ,and it's good that the NCAA allows players to experience that now.
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