Benjamin Hochman Live

Bring your Cardinals, Blues, Mizzou and STL sports questions, and talk to Post-Dispatch columnist Benjamin Hochman in a live chat starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday.




  • How goes it? Are you ready for some chatting? Let us chat
  • Is the trade that Mo pulled off getting Gyrko for useless Jon Jay among the greatest trades in Cardinal history?
  • Ha! Well, I wouldn't call Jay useless -- he's got a pretty good glove, and clearly the smart executives in Chicago believe they can at least platoon Jay in center field. But here's a story about a man named Jedd -- he is SO much better than anticipated. I honestly wonder if he's ever doing better than even he'd anticipated (though athletes likely won't admit that to the media). But Jedd Gyorko, the Cardinal who just looks like a dude, is hitting like Paul Bunyan these days. I mean -- .333 average, .390 OBP, .620 slugging and thus a Bryce Harper-y 1.010 OPS? Send Jedd to Miami for All-Star. And of course, the ascension of "The Gyork Store" leads to the question about Jhonny Peralta -- just when/where does this guy crack the lineup? I think Jhonny is a bat on the bench in the short term, upon his return (even though Diaz isn't hitting out-of-this-world, I don't like Jedd at short and Jhonny at third long-term).
  • B-Hoch,

    Over/Under the Cardinals sign Luis Robert?
  • It's obviously hard to gauge right now, since we only get snippets of info from reporters. This thing, and things like this, don't get played out in the media too much. Yes, as beat writer Derrick Goold mentioned in his chat, it seems that the Chicago White Sox might have an edge (and have clearly hit big in the past on Cuban prospects) but you'd have to think the Cardinals will want to splurge on this generational talent, while knowing that this is an avenue to enhance the club that they won't have in the draft, due to the penalties from the hacking. But the key to all of this is -- how much will the Cards overpay for a guy? With the Red Sox in town, it reminds me of the David Price situation after the 2015 season. The Cards were actually right in the mix for Price. He truly was zeroed in on St. Louis ... until Boston made some huge over-the-top offer. No, not every bidding war is the same, but that one comes to mind.
  • Nice to see the Cards finally beat the Cubs in a series win. But the Cubs fielded mostly their 4A team with exception of Rizzo and Schwarber who are both scuffling. Seems like it is too early to upgrade the Cards from division pretender to contender but I do believe the WC is now in play. Your thoughts?
  • I agree with you -- I don't think a person can just say "Yay! The Cards took two of three from the Cubs!" wtithout doing what you did. No Kris Bryant. Only one game of Zobrist. No Jay-Hey Kid and his game-changing glove. And you mentioned Rizzo, who is hitting .213 and slugging in the .300s! That won't last, so the Cards caught him at a good time. Still, Jon Lester is still Jon Lester, and the Cards beat him. And, better yet, the Cards didn't beat themselves -- there weren't many errors or dumb baserunning plays that have haunted the Birds before. So yes, I think the Cubs will be in the playoff mix heading into September. But -- I also think the Cardinals will be, as well.
  • Do you give the etch order to replace another on the Yankees Rushmore for Jeter if you were in charge of such things?
  • Oh my word, this is a hard question. Without poring through the numbers, I think it's tough. It must be Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, right? Could Derek Jeter, an ambassador for awesome and one of the best winners in modern sports, knock one of those guys off? Hard to see it. Now some people like to point out that Joe D "only" had 2,214 career hits. But man, his CAREER on-base percentage was .398. That is insane. I suppose the Yankees could have a "generational" Mount Rushmore -- like, each guy represents an era. But even that is tough? Do you go with Babe, Joe D, Mantle, Jeter? What about Reggie Jackson? And Yogi! And Kevin Maas!
  • Is Mags now a giant trade chip or essentially as close to being untouchable in the current season's as any other hitter in the organization from what you can gather?
  • This is a great question. I say, unless it's in a trade for an A-list major leaguer -- like, in a Chris Sale trade the year before -- you do not trade the magnificent Magneuris Sierra. In baseball, they talk about "predicting the future." That's the things executives and scouts and math quants do for a living -- they're Miss Cleos. Well, with Mags, they already know that he has major league speed (and as Herzog used to say, "speed doesn't slump.") and a major league glove. Boom. Two huge tools etched in stone. So even if he never develops into an amazing hitter, even an average-hitting Mags should be worthy of playing in the bigs in a couple seasons. So I would hold onto this and see it through.
  • Quick question regarding your "Mediocrity not an option for Wainwright" piece: What's the best toothpaste for me to use to eliminate the smell of the vomit that came up when I saw that headline?
  • I would suggest Crest® Complete Multi-Benefitâ„¢ Toothpaste. It's $3.97 at Target. ... No I get where you're coming from. The reality is, some fans think Waino is done. As he told the HOF writer Rick Hummel on Sunday, after Waino's seven-inning scoreless start: " There are plenty of people. I don't know if they want to see me fail, or they're ready for me to kind of move along, but it ain't gonna happen, Commish. They're stuck with me." So with Waino, here's the reality. He still has those starts in him, but they won't be every start, like in the Waino glory days. And it's very possible that Adam will have the fifth-best stats of Cards starters this season. BUT -- if those stats are a little better than mediocre, that could be the difference between 85 wins and 88 wins, or something like that. The good thing is, his cutter is rejuvenated. That must be a weapon for him going forward.
  • Which Huey Lewis and the News song is the most underrated/under appreciated?
  • Well, right away, I'll admit that I'm a sorta-big fan:

    Huey Lewis brings the power of love to Colorado

    The Denver PostHuey Lewis brings the power of love to Colorado
  • I wrote that. Interviewed Huey. Shook nervously the whole time.
  • OK so that being said, I think Huey Lewis' most-underrated song is "Back In Time," the one used in "Back To The Future." It's got a fire-you-up beat to it and Huey is totally into it. I always thought the Cards should do a pregame video montage to "Back In Time," and when Huey says, "Go back Marty," flash a image of Marty Marion. Alas, the Cards have done the big montage to "Dream On" by Arrow Smithe.
  • How about that Mizzou/Illinois rivalry now, eh? Bragging rights game will be fun... and rowdy
  • Holy moly! I haven't been this excited for a Braggin' Rights game since it was the Busch Braggin' Rights game and Kiwan Garris missed three free throws to win it for the Illini. With Smith going to ILL, and Tilmon going to MIZ, those storylines alone are tantalizing. Then you've got a new coach on each team. And then you've got the BEST PLAYER IN THE COUNTRY playing for Mizzou. And then you've got all the other Mizzou newcomers, including that fellow Kassius Robertson, who I think will be more important to the 17-18 team than some of the other backcourt newcomers. And then you've got that cheerleader holding-up competition. Let's just say, I don't think the seats next to me on press row will be empty this December, like they were at last year's game.
  • Is there any way to make the St. Louis Blues available players (for the expansion draft) pool so shallow that Jori Lehtera would be seen as the best commodity and be taken by Las Vegas?
  • If Doug Armstrong can pull this off, he deserves to go to the Hall of Fame. Like, not wait three years or whatever it is in hockey. Immediately. Lehtera was a ghost for much of last season. A weak link. It struck me that Tarasenko loved playing with him. Yes, I get it, they are friends and have a chemistry or whatever. But Jori did not make 91 a better player.
  • Good spot on ESPN101 the other day! I have not seen or read anywhere so maybe some help here. Is Mags going to receive a big promotion based on his performance. Yes, I know the proverbial "small sample size."
  • Here's the thing, and chat commenter "ms87" just asked about this as well -- Mags will likely return to Class-A ball, if only because the Cards have quality, budding CFs in both Springfield and Memphis. (Mercado and Adolis Garcia in Class AA, Hochman favorite Harrison Bader, an Aaron Roward-intensity player, in Class AAA). John Mozeliak spoke to us in the media during the Cardinals-Cubs series, and Mo reaffirmed that he doesn't like to have prospects sitting (or I suppose, playing a secondary position). So the best way to get young Sierra as many at-bats as possible is to not promote him.
  • Between two 90's shows recently committed to coming back ***with its original cast (Roseanne and Will and Grace) is this going to be a growing trend? (3 shows if you count fuller house) I mean I will probably watch but I don't know if this should be a "thing"
  • I just hope they bring back Step By Step so I can get a weekly dosage of our country's Sir Laurence Olivier, Patrick Duffy.
  • It feels like the Lynn contract status is a pivotal piece. Before his injury, he seemed intent to reach free agency. Since, he seems like he has softened his stance. And he is quietly getting back to workhorse status. With this update and Waino's performance/age, what is your feel regarding Lynn's status next year? While we have loads of prospects, they are just that until proven otherwise plus Lynn has proven to be a very solid #2 already. Thoughts?
  • I think it's too early to make an unwavering proclamation about the future of Lance Lynn. Now, right away, he's good. And he'll be good for years, wherever he pitches. Lance entered Tuesday with a .275 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched), a noteworthy number because he's never finished a season a starter with a WHIP that low. Lance is gobbling innings, again, though struggled a bit in his most-recent start against the Marlins. But LL Cool "K" (dorkiest thing I've ever written) might get $100 million from some team. The Cards already have Carlos, Waino, Leake and Wacha. And then, of course, Alex Reyes coming back from his elbow injury. And Luke Weaver. And Jack Flaherty is the danged Christy Matthewson of Double-A these days. So, no, let's not make a once-and-for-all call on Lance just yet, either way. A lot of starts to be made (by most everyone involved) this year.
  • The average life expectancy for a male in the U.S. is 76.9. I am 44 years old, or 57% of the way home. My question: will I live to see the Blues win the Stanley Cup? I'm leaning "No".
  • Dang man, that's depressing! I want to think the Blues can win a Cup in the next 20 years (which, perhaps, is something a Post-Dispatch columnist said in a 1997 chat (but like a literal chat, speaking with friends. Or, maybe, in an AOL chat room.))
  • Its looking like this could be the 473628th year in a row that Mo adds bullpen depth at the deadline. Why do they not try to do more to add in the offseason when they only cost money. Bringing back Maness for example
  • The whole Brett Cecil thing is mind-boggling. Bonkers. Why is he so bad against lefties? HE'S a lefty! Yet, lefties are hitting .464 against Cecil with a .929 slugging percentage. That curveball hangs like it's stopping for a smoke on the way to the catcher's glove. But here's thinking that he won't be this bad the whole season, if only because HOW could be possibly be THIS bad the whole season? The Duke injury obviously hurts the team -- he should be part of this club, which might alleviate some of the bullpen issues. But yeah, you're probably right, maybe STL trades this year's version of a Charlie Tilson to get some bullpen hoss at the deadline.
  • Who gets the first call up: Jack Flaherty or Luke Weaver?
  • Great question -- I'd have to think it would be Luke Weaver. I mean, he had some OK starts in the majors a season ago, and he's been blissful so far (albeit in a limited time period) for the Memphis Redbirds --
    by the way, have you seen how good Memphis is this season? They're 25-13 with the most wins in the Pacific Coast League, a league that includes the newly named New Orleans Baby Cakes. He's 4-0 with a 0.41 ERA and just one walk to 19 strikeouts. That, arguably, is good. Also, update, they're playing a day game, and Jhonny Peralta just got an RBI single. But yes, I'd say Weaver over Jack (and I apologize if you, Jack, are the actual Jack Flaherty).
  • Who's some of your favorite Non-media / non athlete follows on the twitter box?
  • I like @THR (the Hollywood Reporter)...and @ActorTrivia
  • I know Army said not to expect too much of a shakeup with lineup going into next year and depth is good and all but as I look at our roster it seems like we have more bodies than spots as Upshall is the only UFA we could lose. I dont think we bring back Yak either (2.5 mil) but still with Fabs coming back, jaskin, barbs, paajarvi, sanford, and agostino who just won AHL mvp. It just seems like some moves have to be made... Maybe now would be a good time to go after a Mckinnon and unload the farm if you will...
  • I like your energy! Yes, things are exciting for the Blues, as they head into their first full season under coach Mike Yeo (if I may, I'm pretty proud of myself for not resorting to a bevy of "yeo" puns the past few months. In other words, you're welcome.). I agree with you -- it's hard to see them bringing back Scottie, a fan favorite in my native Clayton, and Yak (goodness he's fast -- imagine if he could be that fast without losing possession of the puck). Indeed, Army has put together a seemingly enticing stable of younger players, but I don't want to make it seem like STL is the only organization with good young talent. I covered Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene as a columnist for The Denver Post. That season, Nathan's rookie year, the team was absurdly good, No. 2 in the whole conference. And like everyone on the team was 22 years old. I figured by 2017, they would've been in a Cup finals. Alas, the team has fallen apart, the coach is gone and last year they were one of the two worst teams in the NHL. So that has to come into play when you consider the upside of these two talented but unsuccessful players. BUT -- if you can get either of them without trading a current Blue, AKA Parayko and Fabbri, then YES, do the trade. But I can't see even the seemingly incompetent Avalanche org giving up those guys for just a couple unproven Wolves.
  • What's your second favorite Chumbawamba song?
  • Didn't they do a remix of that Spandau Ballet 80s song with the high-pitched "ah-ah-ah-aaaah-ah" ?
  • Who is first one in Cardinal Hall of fame. Ray Lankford or Jon jay? Do they both make it eventually?
  • Gosh, at this point, you have to wonder if somehow Jon Jay does make it in!! I don't know what I'm missing about Ray Lankford. Why isn't he in? I know he had some legal stuff in the late 90s, and I recall that he wasn't a favorite of TLR, but goodness gracious, the guy hit more homers at old Busch than ANY player. He's tied for 16th all-time in Cardinals WAR at 37 with ... fellow CF Jim Edmonds (incidentally, is it "Jimmy Baseball" or "Jimmy Ballgame?" I've had this debate online before. I always thought it was Baseball, which I liked, but then I've seen his autograph signed as Ballgame.) But back to Ray Lay, who famously Ray Fosse'd Darren Daulton -- Lankford finished with 228 homers in Cardinal red with 250 stolen bases, and for his career with the Cards, he slashed .273/.365/.481. Not a bad run, and he was pivotal on the 1996 team, the first to make the postseason since 1987 -- he swiped 35 bases and had a .366 OBP for that club.
  • OK friends, I gotta run. Thank you as ALWAYS for joining me each Tues at 11!
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