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.




  • Is it Lionel Ritchie you're looking for?
  • Ben! Help me out here. Why does it seem, in chats at least, like so many "fans" want to see Matt Carpenter run out of town on a rail? I get that he had a bad season - from a batting average standpoint - but his OBP was quite solid and he was getting walks at a fairly good clip... impressive considering he'd been playing hurt! Please share your wisdom with us on this enigmatic topic, Ben!
  • You bring up a very interesting point because Carp provides a lot of production from an OBP standpoint, but does it at a corner position that you desire power from ... and apparently he can only do the OBP-ing while being the leadoff hitter (and he can be a base-clogger at times). I see why some fans aren't as enamored as they were in previous years. His glove isn't fantastic, his arm isn't fantastic and he definitely gets yanked around the infield a lot based on the options of other players (as opposed to a manager always working around the stalwart Carp). I like the mindset of a Carp, and I feel that he will continue to contribute to this team. But if they get Donaldson, can you trust Carp for 150 games at first base? I suppose you have to, because while he doesn't field first base at a high level, he sure gets on first base at one.
  • Hey, Ben. Shampoo is better. If you had to play the prediction game, what 2 or 3 players do you see the Birds adding this off-season?
  • Nono conditioner is better, it leaves the hair silky and smooth. Realistically, I can see Greg Holland. He checks all the boxes as we like to say. They can get him without losing prospects, and clearly Matheny has made it clear that he desires a proven, go-to CLOSER with capital letters who can be set in stone, make roles easier and make decisions easier. By the way, I can't wait for the day when CLOSERS get brought in to pitch the seventh because the 2-3-4 guys are coming up in the seventh. Our beat writer Derrick Goold has mentioned the name Tyler Chatwood, who could be a possible starter. Shorter deal, and he was really good last year ... AWAY from Coors. At Coors, opponents hit .302. Away? .200.
  • Ben, I think Barry Odom has saved his job, what say you, Mizzou should win 2 of next 3 and go bowling.
  • I've been pretty cut-and-dry with this. So I won't waver now. Bowl, keep him. No bowl, new coach. Of course, it is exciting to see the Tigers play more cohesive football, to see Sherrills with the play-making, to see Lock make some NFL-type passes. I was astounded by how bad Florida performed last weekend -- it shows you that talent is important but it isn't everything, because how many of those Florida guys would Mizzou fans have loved to have had .... yet Mizzou smacked them around. Yes, there is no question that FLA and TEN are in crazy situations with their coaches right now -- those teams are generally better. So yeah, Mizzou could swipe the six wins and Barry saves his job. But if they only win 5 games, that means they couldn't even beat fellow adequate teams!
  • How about Piscotty to the Giants for Smardjia and a part of his 60 mil over the next three season? Giants need OF, Cards need veteran arm, Piscotty gets to go home to be near family.
  • Right away, this sounds enticing and as a possible win-win, but the follow-up is, of course -- who plays right field? Is it Randal? If so, that means you better have gotten a big bat to play first or third (I'm not sure if "you better have gotten" is the most-eloquent way to put that). But yes, Jeff is an inning eater and doesn't walk dudes very often (shoot he led the league in walks per nine innings). And look, even if the Cards DONT trade a "top young arm" this offseaon, there are still numerous questions surrounding just WHO will gobble up all the innings (due to their ages and pasts). Let alone if you have to trade a guy that could be possibly in your rotation. So I like getting the veteran who can be a bridge for a couple seasons.
  • Well....Mizzou should have beat South Carolina and Purdue at home too. So unless Odom wins 2 of the next 3 he is gone.
  • Holland would be a HUGE overpay, and his first half/second half splits were not good, he was HORRIBLE after the All-Star Break
  • Here's the thing -- you gotta look beyond the splits of the halves and look at the months. Holland, and I've pointed this out so I hear ya, was HORRIBLE ... but only in August, not the entire second half. His August featured a 13.50 ERA. In games in Sept. and Oct. ... 1.86 and a 0.62 WHIP (holy whip!). And that WHIP will lead to C.R.E.A.M.
  • If the Cardinals end up signing JD Martinez instead of trading for Stanton, how will I know which Martinez jersey I am buying? Jose? JD? Carlos? I NEED HELP.
  • hahah and I bet you have a Tino Martinez Cardinals jersey stashed away somewhere too? Look, it sounds as if the big bat the Cards get THIS offseason will be via a trade. There is, understandably, a lot to be wary about with paying JD Martinez that hefty of a salary for his at that age. It seems like a Yelich trade is more realistic and, as that national report said, the Cardinals have "offered up a young starter" for Stanton if Miami can then take on more of the Stanton contract. I dunno, the more I read about Stanton, the more I get optimistic that they can pull this off. They need to make a splash -- if there was ever a time to make a puke-point-reaching splash, it's when you've lost the division 2 years in a row to the Cubs (and the Brewers also finished ahead of you). The Cardinals young pitching is stacked -- they've drafted extremely well with arms, which is interesting, because many teams haven't had that same success (or even have tried, considering the Cubs and Stros of the world generally draft bats, Mark Appel notwithstanding). Anyhoo, the Cards have a lot of young arms, and they have (to a point) money to spend and, perhaps the best thing going for them, there aren't that many other viable, realistic suitors for Stanton (though San Fran is intruiging). Of course a LOT has to happen. But it's something that clearly could make sense to STL.
  • Hey Ben, with the release of Trevor, how do you look back on his Cardinal career? Where would you rank him among Cardinals relievers over the last 20 years? Most dominant?
  • I recently finished my book ("The Big 50: St. Louis Cardinals - The Men and Moments that Made the Cardinals," due in stores and online Opening Day 2018, obviously shameless plug) and there is a big chapter on closers. It's an interesting debate because do you base the closer on longevity or how they did, if you will, "per year" in their stretch in STL? The fact is, Rosenthal was Closenthal for a reason, he was a stallion out there, and if we're just looking at "in their prime" he's a Mount Rushmore Cardinals closer. And here's another thing to remember Rosey by. Here's how important he was to the Cardinals -- look what happened in 2017 when he got injured. Yes, it was a weird year for him. He was coming off the even weirder 2016, and Oh was the 2017 closer and Rosey was a key set up guy ... and then Rosey was Closey once again (I'm aware that NO ONE ever called him Closey). Keep in mind that heading into that August Boston series, the Cards had won 9 of their previous 12. Some even wondered if Boston-St. Louis would be a World Series preview (the Cards were 61-57 at that time). But we know what happened next. Rosenthal blew that game while pitching hurt, and when he went down, the bullpen -- and Cardinals -- were never the same.
  • what mizzou basketball player are you most excited about besides Michael Porter Jr?
  • It's gotta be Tilmon, right? Jeremiah has such a big, strong body for his age, and he's seemed to be buying into the program and the growth of the program -- and himself. Watching him against Kansas, he played above the rim and aggressive. Of course, he played a little two aggressive, considering he fouled out of a seven-foul-allowed scrimmage. But there is so much to like about this guy. And I've said it a lot -- let's say Cuonzo couldn't get the Porters but did get fellow East St. Louis native Tilmon to come to the Tigers? We'd be gushing gushing gushing about Mizzou's new big man who could change the program. Now consider he's a Robin to a Batman.
  • Also, how exciting will this weekend be? I haven't been this excited for a Columbia weekend since the Sigma Nu "Snakes on the Lake" boat party in 2000.
  • Ben, I keep getting the feeling any time we will read "Cards lock up Holland as Their New Closer". Please talk me off the ledge, his second half last year was terrible.
  • He allowed only four hits and two walks in all of September! During a playoff race! He redeemed himself from his August!
  • I understand there are two parts to baseball. The human element, and the business element. The business element is, releasing Trevor Rosenthal to free up a much needed roster spot was what had to happen. The human element is, the guy who set the single season record for saves was just cut loose like dead weight, and still needing to rehab. I guess my question is, is there an instance where the business and human elements are both considered, and a guy in Trevor's position and the team can both benefit?
  • I was thinking this myself yesterday. Was in a text chain with some buddies and sent: "The business of baseball is business," to paraphrase Calvin Coolidge. I see what you're saying, and you always want to do right by the players who contributed in the past -- shoot, part of the reason they traded Matt Adams for three sandwiches was because it gave Adams a chance to play first base. But you want your team's execs to be maximizing every aspect of the roster. And the Cards didn't want to pay a gazillion dollars for possibly one month of work this season (if they did a two-year deal), and a month that we can't guarantee how good the guy will be coming off Tommy John. Trevor deserves credit for all he brought to this franchise. But the reason this franchise is so good so often is because of making tough business decisions like this.
  • I like Chatwood, or Brandon Morrow better
  • I like Neshek too. Last season he had a 1.59 ERA, SIX walks and 69 Ks. A nice season, you'd have to say.
  • Mr. Hochman, do you have any idea if Cardinal management is upset enough with the past two seasons bodies of work to do what it takes in order to field a contender? Let's face it, they have all resources to bring in many of the offseason free agent studs or trade for those studs, question is how motivated are they?
  • I mean, yeah. They're motivated. It's the job, livelihood and legacy to have the Cardinals make the playoffs. It's not like they don't care as much as the fans do. Their whole professional life is based on whether your favorite team is good enough. And then to have them not be good enough and have your rival be the team that is? I feel they are sufficiently motivated. But let's not forget, even in the big business of baseball, where teams can "buy championships," NO team took on Stanton's contract when he went through waivers. Any team -- Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals, Whoever -- could've gotten Stanton's crazy contract, and no one did. 59 home run guy, waiting to be taken. No one took him. Baseball's a weird business -- you're cool with overspending until a certain point, and then suddenly the overspending seems extravagant. The reality is, they probably won't even go after JD Martinez, who they can buy. What the Cardinals will do is probably put themselves out of their comfort zone and trade guys they groomed for a Stanton or Yelich or Donaldson and have to pay some of the big contract, but enough where it's a gamble but not a dumb gamble.
  • Ben, Will tis Blues team make it worth me getting the center ice package
  • Do it! Now, I think a lot of St. Louis was super-nervous yesterday about Tarasenko possibly being injured, but Tarasenko is good to go for tonight's game at New Jersey. The 2017-18 St. Louis Blues are an entertaining bunch, with Jaden playing out of his mind and Tarasenko, yet again, playing like one of the better overall forwards in the NHL. That line, with Schenn, is alone worth buying the package. Yes, the Fabbri and Berglund (and I guess we've gotta throw Sanford in here) injuries hurt the depth, and that third line has been pretty unremarkable for much of the season. But the boys just win and win, regardless of if they played the night before or if a key guy is hurt. And Petro is a monster. So good. Sometimes it's fun just to strictly watch him during a shift, just to see all he does.
  • Hi Ben...you're great..I think Matheny is too stubborn and not very bright...on that note do you foresee Maddux being allowed to make the call on pitching changes
  • That's the big question going forward. The day of the Maddux hiring, Mozeliak stated that the manager makes the final decision on pitching changes. OK, yes. Now, honestly, even if they do give Maddux the green light for making the decisions, I can't imagine the team publicly admitting that (maybe I'm wrong) because it would look like they're taking power away from the guy who's supposed to be the unequivocal leader in Matheny. Regardless, I loved the Maddux hire because he brings experience. He succeeded at three different stops. He's been there, he's done that. He has that in his back pocket. And of course, he's a thinker and a quick-witted guy and all that. I've enjoyed the quotes our newspaper's Derrick Goold got from Maddux, because Maddux is a thoughtful fellow. I think this will be a win-win.
  • We are hearing "rumors" that this Stanton fella doesn't want to reside in St. Louis. Is there any truth to that gossip or just #fakenews! I mean, isn't our money as green as the other cities!
  • Ha very true! Though I suppose the money in Toronto isn't green (I recall accumulating pink and purple currency there, is that right? Or am I thinking of Monopoly?). Yeah, Stanton and his people aren't letting out much info about his desires. He hasn't publicly said he WOULDNT turn down a trade to St. Louis. And we presume that he wants to be on a winning team or in a winning organization, and even though the Phillies have won in this century, they're not currently a winning club, so really the Giants and Cards (unless Boston is in play) are the key franchises that have a recent tradition for Stanton to join. Miami is fun and sunny. A cool place to live. I'm sure our fair city doesn't have that same appeal. But when it comes to the sales pitch, St. Louis can provide a packed stadium, a fervent fan base, winning tradition and the sales pitch of -- "YOURE the missing piece to our success." Oh, and yes, the green money too. So we'll see.
  • Cardinal prospect that hasn't been called up yet that you most want to see play in the majors? Let's go with one position player and one pitcher
  • Well, I really wanna see how this Dakota Hudson slider will play in the bigs. It's a nasty pitch, I've heard. So he would be my pitcher, and I suppose Tyler O'Neill, to see how much slugging he's got in him.
  • Seeing how close he came this year and now with Maddux to supervise I'd like to predict 2018 NL Cy Young winner Carlos Martinez
  • I like your gumption! I think Carlos will have another strong year. I also wonder if Scherzer-Kershaw is gonna continue like Magic-Bird MVP winners in the 80s, where every year it was basically one of the other guy
  • Hiya Ben, thanks for doing the Chat. I totally get being excited about making a deal for Stanton but then I remember what a bullet the Cards dodged when Pujols elected to take Anaheim's offer. Is this the kind of back-loaded deal we'll regret down the line as Stanton starts to decline?

    Also HOW'S THAT SANDWICH?
  • The sandwich is SO good. Definitely stop by Protzel's Deli to have "The Benjamin Hochman." An honor of honors. And yeah, it's fair to bring up Albert, but I also think that any Stanton deal will include the Marlins paying for some of the contract, and there's also that pesky option that's looming after three seasons.
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