STL sports chat Ben Frederickson

STL sports chat Ben Frederickson

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.

    I'm sorry -- even if this great bunch (and excellent skipper) sees this through and we go deep in the post-season, but I can't countenance another year of Mo. The mistakes he's made still put this ball club in a pickle. Is anybody in ownership paying attention to his haphazard reign? Does this second-half surge mean we're stuck with him for good?
    Shouldn't a deep postseason run be considered when taking stock of a president of baseball operations?
    That's the point, right?
    That's what this season was supposed to be about, right?
    The ownership and Mozeliak are aligned, and there have been no signs -- even when the Cardinals were struggling -- that this will change.
    More than wondering if Mozeliak will be fired, it might be worth wondering if he could be of interest to the Red Sox.
    If Boston grew tired of Dave Dombrowski's heavy spending and practice of swapping prospect talent for production now, and Red Sox want to try a more sustained success model, it would make sense to look to St. Louis as blueprint, but with a Boston payroll.
     
     
    Why is a flip of the Cards (position) of retaining Ozuna not likely to materialize? On the surface it looks like he is a main cog maintaining at least outwardly a good attitude / solid clubhouse presence.
    First off, it could change. I've said from the beginning that a deep postseason run might change the Cardinals' thinking here. Heck, Ozuna's production to this point might change their thinking. But what we know for sure for now is that things have been very icy to this point. Ozuna has made it clear that he wants to be back. Multiple times he has said that. Adamantly, in his latest comments to Commish. And the response from the front office? Crickets. So, take that into consideration. And take into consideration the long list of outfield options the Cardinals are intrigued about moving forward: Dylan Carlson, Tyler O'Neill, Lane Thomas, more. And take into consideration the ups and downs between Ozuna and the Cardinals in his two seasons here, everything from the alarm clock issue, to the frustration surrounding his shoulder injury, to the displeasure with the shape he showed up in this spring. Ozuna has made his case since then. He plays every day. He bounced back from an injury and showed power soon after. He's been a big part of this team, and could be moving forward. But you asked for the reasons it might not happen, and there they are.
    In regards to MLB attendance problems, something no one has been discussing is the fact that when you are at the ballpark, you have no clue where the pitch falls in the strike zone. When you are watching on TV, you can see the game through the lens of the K-Zone (or whatever it is called now). Seems like MLB should think about displaying ball/strike calls on the scoreboard to improve fan experience.
    Some of that depends on where you sit, your view and how familiar you are with the zone from that perch, right? But I don't hate that idea. When you're following along online, you can get an almost instant digital picture of where the ball was compared to the computer-generated strike zone. It gives you a sense of good call, bad call, good eye, bad eye, etc. It would certainly create more conversation, but I imagine the umpires would push back and the instant feedback on the scoreboard would certainly make it hard to follow the "don't argue ball and strikes" mantra. Thing is, the players and managers know anyway, so might a well inform the fans. I can't imagine this is the reason people are not going to the games though. Now, if the reason is a better view on their big HD TV, I'll buy that.
  • I realize Mo and Co aren't perfect, but I thought I might offer some perspective regarding successful franchises and "mistakes."

    Cubs and Theo: Heyward. Paying MOTO bat dollars to a player whose best asset is his glove at non-premium defensive position; continually unable to assemble a top-end bullpen. Now stuck with an injured (again) closer and a few more years on that deal; missed on far more of the prospects they collected through tanking than they hit on. Interestingly, one they gave up on, Soler, just banged out his 41st HR, and he's only 27. You don't think the Cubs would want that about now?

    Washington: Fumbled managerial hirings year after year, with Matt Williams being the nadir. Has never been able to assemble a competent bullpen. Brought in the fading, toxic John Paplebon, who, you know, tried to strangle Bryce Harper. Knew the Harper exodus was coming and did nothing to get a return for a departing player.

    LA Dodgers: Are currently paying the equivalent of a small market payroll to players who no longer play for them. Despite they payroll, still have bullpen issues.

    Bosox: Are starting in the face of approximately $100 million in contracts to aging players, might not be able to retain their best player without going deep, deep into the luxury tax. Pitching now and moving forward is a huge question mark.

    Yankees: Looks like they might end up on the very wrong end of the Stanton contract. Keep throwing money at starters that don't work out. Probably will have to pay the luxury tax to maintain their roster.


    You get the point. Every franchise has a number of huge whiffs (apt for this age of baseball). Mo went awhile looking like he had the magic touch (Berkman, Beltran, Edmonds for Freese, etc.) but things finally caught up. Now he just looks mortal, like every other GM of a successful franchise.
    Well said.
    Hard to argue with much of that.
    For accuracy, I'll note that the Cards were eager to sign Heyward and were one "yes" away from having that Stanton contract.
    The coverage of the Dombrowski firing has been a bit humorous to me.
    Before our eyes, a World Series win is being diminished in the name of sustainability.
    But out in Los Angeles, the Dodgers are failures if they get to the World Series every year and don't win.
    You always want what you can't have, I suppose.
    I've been critical of the Cardinals front office at times, especially at the trade deadline, when they reversed course on being a buyer of pitching that would help this team.
     But even then, I try to keep in proper perspective what the group has accomplished -- and what has been a very clear message of its goal. Contend annually. Give yourself a chance every year. 
    You can question the model -- especially when it has not worked since 2015, but the model is made clear.
     
    Which tigers team will
    Show up this weekend. Wyoming team or wvu
    We're not going to have much to learn about the Tigers until South Carolina.
    SEMO lost by 21 to a Montana State team that lost to Texas Tech by 35.
    The only real question is Kelly Bryant.
    If his head is still cobwebby from West Virginia game, the coaches should get him out as soon as possible even if he is green-lighted to play.
     
     
    Would it be ill advised to consider giving DeLong tonight off and thus a two day break to hit the refresh button? His last two miscues at shortstop have proved to be very costly and did not seem either were on more difficult chances.
    He's slugging nearly .600 and has five RBIs in his last 5 games. I'd be more comfortable banking on his recent (and rare) defensive miscues to iron out than I would removing his bat from the lineup.
    I think your missing the boat on Tommy vs Matt,do you realize how much more athletic a lineup with Tommy's speed,a ton better defensively and a switch hitter to boot.Love Matt but shouldn't be a coincidence the Cards took off when we got Bader and Tommy inserted in the lineup to create speed,athleticism,and defense.Matt must sit!
    I don't recall suggesting Carpenter should replace Edman.
    What I did suggest was that, because Carpenter has been producing in small sample sizes, he is going to continue to get some opportunities.
    He's six-for-eight with two walks and zero strikeouts in his last four games.
    If Edman gets hurt tonight, the Cardinals have to feel better about the situation considering what they have watched from Carpenter recently.
    There's no point in shooting Carpenter into the sun, is my point.
    The numbers support that point.
     
     
     
    Does Maddux ever provide insight on how impactful the emergence of the solid fielding first baseman in Goldy really goes, i.e. for him to instill within the mind sets of especially his ground ball pitchers like Hudson to "trusting" their stuff ?
  • Every Cardinals player who releases a pitch or throws a ball to first base will tell you it's been a big boost to their confidence in having Paul Goldschmidt at first base. It's made Kolten Wong more daring. It's made Matt Carpenter's throws more successful. It's kept groundball pitchers from fearing their defense won't help them, something that Mike Leake dealt with during his up-and-down time here that ended poorly. Goldschmidt is a big reason the Cards have gone from worst to first in errors in two seasons, something that has never, ever been done before in the game.
    Already having the Cardinals and the Blues, is an NFL team even necessary? Those two quality franchises cover just about the entire calendar year. If you want football too, take a drive to Columbia. The Tigers can use the attendance and they have BEER now also. St. Louis should strive for maximum dollars (Treble damages?) in regard to the NFL and spend the windfall on something important - like the St. Louis Public School system, city infrastructure, poverty reduction, etc. Thanks for taking my question. P.S. MLS is on the way too! And the Battlehawks - whatever that is.
    Do you think that Jose Martinez will be here next year with his inability to play adequate defense and the glut of prospects coming up through the pipeline?
    Hard to say at this point, but you can certainly see how the Cardinals could once again seek a trade for Martinez.
    He's under contract through 2020 and has two more years of team control after that.
    Jose is hitting .268/.343/.401 and headed toward his lowest OPS (.743) in any season with the Cardinals.
    He has been better as a pinch-hitter this season than last season, but he was better than both of those seasons his first two seasons.
    I don't know why a team has not yet made a push for Martinez as their DH.
    In more than 1,000 MLB career at-bats as a a starter, he has slashed .296/.360/.455.
    That plays. Every day. If you have a DH spot to put him in.
    The Cardinals don't, so his future here remains murky.
     
     
    Are you aware if it appears the Cardinals may be in a quandry regarding having too many promising prospects subject to likely lose of at least one top guy in the upcoming Rule 5 draft?
    If you are losing important prospects in the Rule 5 draft, you're doing it wrong.
    The Cardinals will find ways to protect the guys they feel they can't lose.
    Gallegos is definitely not the same. He has been overused for sure. My question is , can his arm be saved this year for the Playoffs . He was lights out till the obvious burnout. Is there hope if they shut him down now for Oct run? Or too late.
    Saving his arm for the playoffs might keep you from getting to the playoffs.
    It's crunch time.
    Ride your horses and hope they take you where you need to go.
    What's up with "The Secret Weapon" back in town?
  • Rosters expand for the coaches, too.
    Can only help to have him around for the finish.
     
    What's your way to early prediction for starting centerfielder next year? How do the Cards ensure that they don't incorrectly evaluate their young outfielders moving forward?
    Bader, with competition on his heels. He's helped himself with how he responded to and returned from his Memphis refresh.
    If Arizona falls short in its quest to qualify for post season, does it also likely take a division crown to thrust Schildt into serious consideration for ultimately being bestowed with NL manager of the year top honors?
    I'd think Shildt would need to win the division to be named manager of the year, yes. Hopefully they spell his name right on his award if he gets there.
    Just how good or bad are the Mizzou Tigers football team. Can this be the year like when Mizzou lost to Indiana but makes it to the SEC championship. West Virginia is bad. Are they somewhere in between the loss to Wyoming and the win vs West Virginia.
    Mizzou should be the second or third best team in the East.
    Georgia is the Goliath of the division.
    Florida is beatable.
    Every other team has some rather serious flaws, especially with season-ending injuries to the starting QBs at South Carolina and Kentucky since the start of the season.
    If the Tigers do more than play up to their potential, this could be a special season -- but remember it's currently a season that ends with a postseason ban unless that changes.
    I picked them to win nine games.
    BenFred, my anxiety over the NFL jilting our fly-over town was healed now that we are displaying the hard earned Stanley Cup. The NFL can go fleece another city and we're all the better for it.
  • It's that time of the year. Pleased to be motivated to check 3 scores each night. I'm a typical Redbird worrier: How are the Brewers hanging around with that pitching? Zobrist's a great guy but now the Baby Bears have a true lead-off guy - how does he just return and play like this? Can our pitching hold up with the pen having thrown so many innings? I'm enjoying - really enjoying - how the Birds play the whole game. More power to them. Final word: Thanks to the schedulers - the last 2 weeks have allowed us to build the lead. But one compliant to those same schedulers - the final 2+ weeks - really? Glad to be worked up rather than bored.
  • Most divisions are boring. The Central is far from that. I like it. Glad you do, too.
    Further to Roy Earl's point, if Ford can get it going, SLU basketball could be a LOT of fun, and Mizzou isn't far if they get it going there. I get that people love the NFL, but how much of that is fantasy or watching Red Zone, neither of which has much to do with a local team. For the "local team" part of your fandom itch, there's plenty places to scratch.
    I'm not St. Louis born and raised but I've been in it and around it long enough to understand the sense of pride its people have. When the NFL left this time, and the way it left this time, I remember thinking it was going to take a loooong time for that wound to heal, if it ever healed. Maybe an expansion team would heal it, but I think it might expose it as much as anything. Remember, it would be the same league, different team. The league that let Kroenke do what he did, and even helped him.
    BTW Ben, thanks for these chats. You, DG and Commish are great entertainment.
    Thanks! I enjoy them. Usually ;)
    Matt Carpenter went from an ISO of .266 last year to .154 this year. Are there any hints of unrevealed injuries that are sapping his power?
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