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.




  • We will start momentarily!
  • I just gotta tweet it out
  • and put it on my MySpace
  • As an unbiased observer the trade deadline didn't offer anything that could plug the cardinals many holes, yet as a passionate fan I'm extremely unhappy that they showed no sign of life. What could the cardinals have done differently yesterday? Trade Lynn? Reach for someone and make it happen?
  • I think that's where the frustration comes from -- fans weren't pleased with the current Cardinals team, and after the trade deadline, the Cards are still the current team. The sobering reality was this -- the Cardinals got themselves in this position by putting all its eggs in the basket of Grichuk, Diaz, Piscotty, Carp and Fowler (OK bad analogy because that's five baskets I suppose), and everyone underachieved. 0-for-5. It's almost astonishing when you think about it. Yes, Matt Carpenter has a great July -- hit the ball well, OBP'd around .400 -- but his previous months were tough to watch. So anyway, the Cards understand that they need some slug. They need that big bat. So they tried. But they didn't "fail" in the trade market -- on the contrary, the trade market didn't offer them anything worthwhile. JD Martinez, for two months, was not the answer. And when the Marlins decided to hold off on trading their dudes, that hurt the Cards. As for Lynn -- more on him as we jump into these questions.
  • Hello, Ben. So here come Piscotty and Fowler back to take playing time away from players who are doing better than they are, who have brought life and energy to this team. That's what frustrates me the most about this team and their passivity at the trade deadline is mgt's stubborn belief that they think a out-of-whack Piscotty and a broken-down Fowler will improve their team's chances better than letting a high-energy Bader and an exciting Sierra get some experience. Your thoughts? Am I right or wrong?
  • I'm a huge Bader guy. I love his style of play and confidence. I really enjoyed talking to him at the Arizona Fall League and at spring training (and actually also in Memphis, when I went down there last weekend for some columns, along with our Rick Hummel Intern, Mitchell Forde). He brings energy and all that. But he hasn't really been tearing the cover off the ball like he did in Memphis. He's tallied some infield hits because of his speed, but in the small sample size, I don't think he's shown he needs to play a lot more, now that Dexter is back, and the Cards are only 4 1/2 out (if they're 14 1/2 out, that's another story). So yeah, I'm not googly-eyed that Dex is back, and Pisco is back. They both have underwhelmed this season. But it's the safe move, and you've invested in them. As for Maggie Sierra, he's an electric talent, but he too is still becoming a polished hitter. Let Pham -- best numbers on the team -- and Pisco, Grichuk and Dex try to find their swings -- I don't see the young guys thriving after 100s of at-bats THIS season (future is different).
  • The cardinals have at least 5 second baseman and 8 outfielders, why would anyone expect the team to be able to make a decision on trade deadline day on which direction to go?
  • Ha I hear ya. And man, this Tyler O'Neill is Roy Hobbs-ing the baseball down in Memphis. Five homers in his past 10 games? And also, Stubby Clapp, man, give he and his staff credit -- they're the LA Dodgers of the minor leagues, running away with it. The Cards have a lot of outfielders, but no stars. But there weren't any star outfielders out there. Star anythings. You want to maximize your assets. Best chance to do that, it appears, is when everyone is looking to alter their rosters in the winter. But I think it's safe to suggest that come April, one of five of the following gentlemen won't be in the Cards system: Grichuk, Fowler, Piscotty, Pham, Jose Martinez, Adolis Garcia, O'Neill, Bader, Sierra ... am I missing someone?
  • I thought the first Instagram posting by Yadi was stupid -- he could have taken that up with Matheny in person and then moved on. This second one, I don't know. Is it possible that you and everyone who is freaking out about it is reading too much into it? Maybe he had just hung up from a phone call with Oquendo and felt like telling the world that he just misses his old friend.
    by Shirley in Fenton edited by Mike Smith 8/1/2017 4:15:18 PM
  • Definitely -- it's possible. But it's a terrible look because Oquendo is clearly considered as The Guy Who Didn't Get The Manager Job. That's that. So on Friday, Molina goes to Instagram and takes shots at the guy who DID get the manager's job ... and then a few days later goes to Instagram and posts praise about The Guy Who Didn't Get The Manager Job? It's a bad look. Even even even if he meant it in a completely harmless way, it's doing harm. And really, it's not even up to us to decide how it looks -- it's how the players will see it, how Matheny will see it, how management will see it. And Mo was on 101 this morning, saying that the Instagram posts are a bad way to go about it. So he's acknowledging that the second one is an issue.
  • And for those who didn't see it, here's my online piece about Yadi's post. And I don't read the comments, but it does notify that there are 47 comments all ready on there, so perhaps for fans it could be fun to jump in:

    Hochman: Molina posts another Instagram message, Internet responds

    stltoday.comYadier Molina makes a not-so-subtle statement
  • great article on Molina today!! I can't help to be a little disappointed in his actions. He is supposed to a leader on this team and you are right what he is doing is not helping this team at all. I've been trying to justify it but i just can't unless there are more issues going on that clubhouse then we know about. (I'm not just talking about between MM and molina either)
  • I agree. I respect the heck out of Yadi. He's YADI, for goodness sakes. But yeah, it's hard to justify the pot-stirring at this point in the season. But like you said, maybe there's something bigger going on that's driving this frustration.
  • It begins to look like the Yadier Molina era in St Louis might end ugly, doesn't it? A sad similarity for me is the Ozzie Smith ending. When I think of him now, the memories of Smith's slick fielding, exciting home run and other highlights are dominated by remembering his nastiness are arrogance and egoistic fight to remain the starting shortstop when it was obvious his skills had greatly diminished and he was no longer the better shortstop of the two.Ego and pride often gets in the way of graceful exits and the reality of the situations
  • I don't want to put the cart before the horse. It's very possible that Molina and Matheny will smooth this out. But yes, it does bring back those awkward memories of Ozzie and Royce and Tony. I still think the Cards shoulda put all their eggs in the Tripp Cromer basket, but that's just me. But yes, we're seeing the frustration seep out and here are unavoidable realities: 1. Yadi has a big contract. 2. Carson Kelly exists.
  • My problem with them sitting there with their teeth in their mouth during the deadline is that is wasn't used to adjust the inbalance of the roster: 4 lefty relievers (?), too many RH hitters, the 13th pitcher who watches grass grow more than pitching while the bench is a man short constantly--how many times has Danny Mac said, "The Cards are down to their last bench player" this season? Anyway, just to better balance the team didn't seem to be that important yesterday, I guess. Thanks for your time and for listening.
  • I hear ya. Four lefties relievers is rare. And Mo was saying that they'll try to use Tyler Lyons some more in pressure situations, instead of just sitting there in a Shelby Miller-October '13 role. The guy that is frustrating (I know, there's more than one) is Brett Cecil. Maybe his role, even with his contract, is reduced as Lyons and Duke get more chances? Here's a joke for the Funnybone Comedy Club: Cecil has been so bad, Cecil Whittaker's is now just going by Whittaker's. .... Anyway, starting on July 6, Cecil has made ten appearances for St. Louis -- he's allowed a hit in eight of them, and twice allowed two hits and twice allowed three hits. Per your question though, clearly Mo and them know the relief pitcher market well, and they didn't see an RHP that was worth a deal -- instead, they'll see Tui through and of course some of the others.
  • Ben- I was on Cape Cod this past weekend (humble brag, #blessed) eating Chowdah with a crowbah and drinking copious amounts of Harpoon IPAs. My buddies up there were just laying into David Price (that he's a bum, and soft), and they all were taking Dennis Eckersley's side. Made me think of Wong's recent comments "sometimes seasons like this happen and everyone is trying really hard sentiment" and Matheny calling out fans for being annoyed. Couldn't imagine how those comments would've been received in Boston. I think Mo's right, we do need an attitude shake up since some minimal criticism during a bad season has both manager and players on edge and include some mental toughness as a characteristic.
  • Jealous. The closest I got to that was last Thursday, when I bought a small bag of Cape Cod popcorn from Shell. Yeah, it's interesting. These athletes are all programmed to be mentally tough, spending years developing their craft and their mindsets and such in the minors. And then, yeah, straws break the camels back. I just think it's infuriating that the team needed an attitude adjustment, the president of baseball operations said so to the media, and instead their All-Star catcher starts acting selfish. Maybe they need another one of those team trips to the Escape Room or whatever that thing was that they did in spring training, and thus gave us all the impression that the Cards were all buddies.
  • did the cards wave the the white flag and just prepapre for next year
  • Interesting wording. I don't think they waved the white flag, because they would've traded Lynn for some prospects if that was the case. But since the Cards were unable to bolster the offense, they announced, Norman Dale from Hoosiers style, that "my team is on the floor." This is it, this is what they're rolling with. And it's underwhelming and underperforming.
  • I do not care for Molina's attitude. Baseball is a team game and he is getting paid big bucks. Yes I understand he wants to play everyday every inning but the Cardinals need to prepare for the future when he is no longer with the team or hurt and you cannot do that with him doing all the catching.
  • One thing I'll say in Yadi's defense is -- social media provides people an immediate outlet to vent. It can be instant, and there's no taking it back. Be honest, how many times has something ticked you off and you did something emotional and irrational, perhaps firing off a tweet or email or text that you regret? It's possible that's what Yadi did. So we acknowledge that, but we also can say that he will then be held accountable, the way Matheny (or coach Jose Oquendo) would hold players accountable for their play.
  • I get that there weren't any bats available that truly fit the Cards' needs, but man...I'm still frustrated.
  • I hear ya Justin. They picked a bad year to have a bad offense.
  • If you could bring back one baseball tradition and make it mainstream - even if it is dying out now - what would it be?
    Mine would be the amazing mustaches that used to dominate the pitching scene.
  • Two words. FROSTED TIPS.
  • Where have you gone, Fernando Tatis' hair?
  • Or Benjamin Hochman's summer of 2000 hair?
  • Ben
    Why was your wedding Cards jersey (featured in another established newspaper) number 51?
    I can think of another number that would be VERY NICE
  • hahaha ... It's true that during my high school football days, I did wear number 69. But yeah, at our wedding we paid a little homage to Willie Dean McGee by having our guests sign a HOCHMAN 51 jersey, instead of a traditional guest book. It was actually the one I wore last summer, when I wrote a first-person piece for the Post-Dispatch about what it's like to play in Cardinals fantasy camp (for the record, I washed the jersey before the wedding)
  • After the Cards chat yesterday I can't stand another day full of people complaining. It was downright depressing! I'm counting on you Ben to lighten the mood a bit today!!
  • If you all were here in the newsroom with me right now, I would lighten the mood by doing a one-man performance of Caddyshack
  • I don't think Fowler would be a defensive liability in LF, how come the conversation to move him there has to be so difficult? He's an intelligent guy, can he see the poor DRS and Zone ratings? Wouldn't he rather be an asset in LF than a drain in CF?
  • Great question. I'll never forget the glare I got from Dexter at his introductory news conference, when I asked if he'd consider left field in the future. Again though, these players are so prideful. This man has made tens of millions of dollars because he's succeeded at center field. He just won the World Series as the center fielder. I can understand that why, four months into the following season, he wouldn't just admit that he's losing it as a center fielder. But in the end, it's not his decision.
  • Carson Kelly? How much does he sit? Maybe he should go back to Memphis where at least he could play and stay sharp. Frustrations spilling out all over as evidenced by Yadi's social media postings...sad thing to see
  • One thing to wonder is this -- even if they wanted to move Carson down, if they did it now, it would look like Yadi made the call on that (even though Yadi would NOT be the one making the call on that). I hear ya -- part of me just wants Carson to get reps, swing swing swing, and the Memphis clubhouse is a good experience for players this season, it appears. But he will definitely gain things from being here. Even learning from Yadi. He will get some pinch hits. Some occasional starts. And really, we're only talking about a month anyway, since he'd be up in September regardless.
  • What kind of odds would you put on the Cards resigning Lance Lynn?
  • That's a tricky one. I know we're all excited about Reyes-Weaver-Flaherty. Hard not to think Reyes will be a reliable big league starting pitcher. But these are rookies and these are guys who probably won't eat up 200 innings next season each. But with Wacha-Waino-Leake-Carlos, you'd only need one of them to be entrenched in the rotation. The reality is -- the game is about cost control and maximizing assets. I would think the Cards look at Lynn as a sturdy pitcher, one deserving of big bucks, but not the big bucks worthy of blocking the progression of some of the young fellas. So this is a long way of saying that I don't have a gauge on the odds, but that it's hard to think the Cards will overpay for Lynn.
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