Ben Frederickson Live

Ben Frederickson Live

Got questions about Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Blues and Bruins? Or comments and queries about the Cardinals and other STL sports issues? Bring them to a live chat with columnist Ben Frederickson starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday.




    Greetings, chatters! Big game last night, huh? Let's talk about it. And whatever else is on your mind. Here's the plan today. I've gotta get ready to head to Boston, so we are going to hit it hard until about 1:30 p.m. So, chat, boys (and girls), chat, we are on the power play.
    Can we find the identify of the guy who hit the Barstool founder with a towel and build him a statue? I would prefer those guys have nothing to do with STL sports
    Personally, I thought it was a poor use of a perfectly good rally towel. The guy should have used his fist. Kidding. Not really. My personal stance on Barstool is to pretend it does not exist. Some say that, and then spend a lot of time ranting against Barstool, which is exactly what Barstool wants. If it's for you, cool. But I'm not a fan of how it tries to play both sides of the fan/media/comedy card depending on which serves it best in that moment. Attention is its oxygen. Cut it off and it will hopefully dry up. Feed into it and it gets stronger. Some guys go through life really needing to get punched. A lot of those guys seem to gather at Barstool.
    Happy Tuesday BenFred and Blues Fans Everywhere!

    Is it me or is this series starting to look like the San Jose series? Chief's strategy to wear them down is paying off big league! The only problem is there are two days between each game for them to get healthier, but the extra time also helps Dunn and Thomas...the next game is Thursday then back to STL Sunday. One thing's for sure, the good time the Bruins were having laughing and joking after game 1 has worn off.
    Hey Barry, hope all is well in Florida. I think that's a good observation on your end. The Blues have been playing the long game this postseason. Set a tone early. Pour on the physicality early, then toggle toward smarter play as the other team tries to answer the physicality. In both series, the Blues knocked opponents out of the series. Their grinding style is not pleasant to play against in a seven-game series. They seem to get stronger as they go. Had this in my column this morning, but it's impressive. The Blues are 6-1 in Games 5, 6 and 7 this postseason. Impressive. It's not a coincidence.
    Chara's injury raises this question for me: how do NHL negotiate the risk/reward strategy of shot blocking? It seems to be one of the most common sources of injury in hockey
    I hear you, but I think if teams and players thought too much about the risk/reward of any important phase of hockey, there would be fewer players and a lot more standing around, and certainly much higher scores. Blocked shots save goals. And in the postseason, a saved goal is worth risking an injury every time. Some players are more willing to sacrifice the body than others. Some players SHOULD be more willing to sacrifice the body than others. Bruins have been diving in front of Colton Parayko's slapshots this series, and their coach Bruce Cassidy has been applauding that effort, reminding them it hurts to win. The Bruins averaged 12.8. In the postseason, that's up to about 15 per game. The Blues are about the same, in part because they blocked shots more regularly during the regular season. At this stage, if you can stop a shot on goal, you better get in the way. No matter what happens next.
    In talking about Chara's injury, is a hit to the face an automatic entry into concussion-protocol? Or is it team/injury specific?
    Considering NHL commissioner spent all of zero seconds of his state of the league address focusing on concussions, I have a hard time believing the concussion protocol is something that is not manipulated by teams all the time. I'm not sure if Chara will play moving forward, but I don't think it's the concussion protocol that will keep him out if he feels he can and his coaches think he is of value. It sounded like he was in bad shape after the game. Cassidiy's quote was grim. We'll see.
    Any update on Thomas's status?
    He's still been limited in practice. It's that wrist, as far as we know. Good that he's doing some stuff, but it's wait-and-see still.
    The NHL treats head injuries like the NFL did 20 years ago. It's shameful.
  • One would think the NHL might learn from the egg on the face of the NFL, but we should know better by now.
    Do you think Kurt Warner should have a statue somewhere in St. Louis? He did win us a super bowl!
    I'm not sure where it would go.
    And more importantly, I've seen enough awkward statue stories to think we should not build statues of any living person.
    Plus, a statue of first-team All-Humble Warner would not feel right.
    He's deserving, for sure. Just not sure where it would go and am against the idea in general for people who are still alive.
    Is it true that Marc Bulger was at the game last night and that he got booed? Why would STL boo him?
    I'm not sure if he was there, but a video of him introducing the silly 'Country Roads' sing-along did play on the big screen.
    He was not booed from what I could hear from the press box.
    Quite the opposite.
    Now, he didn't get a Jon Hamm level of applause, but he got cheers.
    Why the Blues have latched onto a song about West Virginia, I don't know.
    But people boo me when I bring this up.
  • Did you hear the rumors that the Buffalo Bills might move? Get ready for national media to debate whether St. Louis can and should have an NFL team.
    Every NFL-related relocation rumor is going to try to force St. Louis into the conversation as a what-if, whether there is any interest from St. Louis or not. Again, I don't see much interest or momentum from anyone of influence in the city to attempt to lure an NFL team. Until that changes, it's just noise.
    Huge win last night for our city and Blues!!!
    Ben, have you heard any news on the MLS to STL front? I had someone tell me some soccer media would be here the 2nd week of June. Do you think they announce teams 28 and 29 by July?
    It's been quite quiet on that front, I think in part because of the Blues' run.
    To be clear, don't interpret quiet with lack of action.
    Just seems the soccer crowd is happy to have the spotlight on the Blues as they work toward their next big splash.
    MLS commissioner Don Garber has hinted that he would like to have a decision made my the MLS All-Star game, but there has not been any decision on when a public announcement would come for 28 and 29 -- other than saying the announcement is targeted for the end of 2019.
    I'll be candid about this. Being on the road with the Blues, writing Blues every day, I have not been checking in as often as I had been on MLS. Somewhat similar for Cardinals. I follow and read everything we write on the team. I got to Sunday's game at Busch Stadium, but it's been pretty much all hockey all the time as of late. I think the next round of news on MLS will be related to the more-thorough, updated renderings that were released a while back.
     
     
     
    I say this here since this is a general sports chat but its weak for a blues fan to come into a cards chat and complain about it not being a blues chat. I think its great what the Blues are doing but honestly I can't get into it. I don't need the constant Blues coverage, I get it they're in the cup finals they deserve all the attention but its weak for the fans to be crying about them not getting enough attention. The Cardinals pay the bills the Blues buy some ice cream once in a while
    Who's complaining?
    All are welcome here.
    Except people who ask me when the NFL and NBA are coming to STL.
    That's mostly a joke.
    What does Ponce de Leon have to do to get a long look with the Cards? Seems pretty effective in the times he has pitched, but never seems to be highly regarded by management.
    Fair question. I've wondered the same at times. As an MLB starter, he has a 2.59 ERA and a .191 opponent average in five career starts. Three of those starts lasted at least 5 innings, which seems to be the new norm for young starters. He's allowed just one home run against 100 batters faced at the MLB level, and has 29 strikeouts to nine walks. Allowing six earned runs and two bombs in his June 1 start for Class AAA Memphis might not have helped his case, but he's made a case. And you're not the only one who wonders why he hasn't gotten more of a look.
    While I hope it does well, I'm concerned that the MLS will fail because the stadium is downtown. Most soccer fans in america are suburban families, and unfortunately in this city that demographic rarely feels safe going downtown. It's one thing to go downtown to watch the Cards or Blues since they are generations long institutions but a new soccer team? I'm not sure.
    Why would it be different to go downtown to watch soccer than the Cardinals or the Blues? That implies the choice when you go downtown is, well, this could be dangerous, but it's the Cardinals, so we will risk it! But soccer? Oh, no, that's not worth the risk. I don't think parents think that way with the safety of their families. Maybe I'm wrong. As for the downtown venue, that's that MLS wants. It's marketing toward younger crowds, crowds that are more likely to live and seek in-city entertainment.
    My dad and I went to the game last night and had the same conversation about Take Me Home, Country Roads. Makes very little sense but does get the crowd engaged.
    Give the people what they want.
    I'll keep grumbling to myself.
    Waiting for the offense to click seems to be the only strategy the management is willing to do to try to fix the offense. Do the Cardinals really have the time in this division to not be trying more than one idea a week or two (Carp and Fowler switch) to ignite the offense?
    Are they waiting for the offense to click, or trying an idea or two a week?
    It can't be both.
    One contradicts the other.
    Shildt is starting to shift his lineups around after giving a good amount of time for the one he preferred to work.
    He's not going to put it into a blender before every game. 
    He's not going to show as much panic as some would like to see.
    But he is tinkering and trying things. He's not just waiting.
    We spend so, so much time talking about the lineup that the most important stuff seems to get lost.
    If Matt Carpenter, Paul Goldschmidt and now Paul DeJong don't hit close to what is expected of them, then it doesn't matter where they hit, and this lineup won't score that many runs.
    A guy came into Goold's chat yesterday and went nuts about having a Cards chat on the day of the Blues play off game. Of course Goold answer him well, but the chatter was way off base
    Ah, thanks for the heads  up. DG could have gone hockey. He knows pucks.
    I know this will be mostly a Blue's chat today and it should be, Go Blues! But how huge was the sweep of the Cubs? Huge difference being 2 back from the Cubs, 3 from the Brewers and not closer to 10 back with a record of 5-6 below .500.
    It can be whatever we want it to be.
    The sweep was significant.
    It calmed the fan base and more importantly gave the Cardinals some much-needed validation that they are not the worst team in the history of the world.
    Now what?
    Keep stacking good things on top of one another until you are free and clear of the miserable May.
    The thing for me in the sweep was the starting pitching. We've talked A LOT about it in the chats, so let's look at the results from the starters in this series.
    Seven innings. Five (rain-shortened) innings. Eight innings.
    None allowed more than two earned runs.
    None allowed more than two (solo) home runs.
    Miles Mikolas, Jack Flaherty and Adam Wainwright, in that order, gave a blueprint for how the Cardinals have to get back on track.
     
     
    Thanks for the chats, and have a great time in Boston. Have you heard if the Clifton hit to Tarasenko's head will be reviewed by the NHL's player safety group?
    Lol.
    I have not, but that would be a surprise.
    If anything, Tarasenko deserved an embellishment call.
    James Harden approved of that sell.
    Smart play. It worked.
    Why wouldn't the crowd sing an ode to West Virginia? Half of the game-night mob is inebriated, as is half the state of West Virginia on any given night.
    And there are a lot of players with beards.
    And Jedd Gyorko is a Cardinal.
    I guess it all makes sense.
    Why the Blues have not asked Gyorko to come lead the Country Roads sing-along, I don't know.
    He would be MORE than willing.
     
    A couple thoughts regarding Adam Wainwright and Sunday's game. 1) Why must every start that is good be reported as "he's striking back at the doubters!"?? We all love the guy. We all want him to do well. We all love when he does well. But, for 4 years now, a good start happens about once every five starts. So, how is the quieting the doubters? It is maddening to see this over and over and over again. He is not very good anymore. He occasionally has a good start. Why is the story turned into something it is not? This leads me to 2) we would often see Matheny do things like over-trusting his veterans, and when it would pay off 1 out of 5 times he'd puff his chest out with a 'told ya so' attitude, and all that did was guarantee more losses would follow based on the same thinking. My concern is that we'll see Wainwright left in too long multiple more times and it will cost games, thereby leaving the one time it worked as an actual negative.
    Cardinals question though...last year was the first year the Cardinals made me start questioning their evaluation of players! This year I have totally lost my confidence. Mo and the rest of the scouting staff have had too many whiffs. I give them credit, they have had a few but I believe the bad have far outweighed the good. I also question the extensions of players as well. I really don’t get the Marp extension, way to early since he had such a terrible start last year and this year I get that Wong is great defensively but isn’t your second baseman supposed to contribute a bit mor than your shortstop? Aka Shoemaker hitting close to.300 and not a bad second baseman! I just think it’s time to give the keys to someone else and let them ride with it.
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