Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your questions at 11 a.m. Monday

Cardinals chat: Derrick Goold takes your questions at 11 a.m. Monday

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat with Derrick Goold at 11 a.m. Monday

    You should ask the people reporting it. They will love to prove me wrong. They may even do a little dance. It's that kind of business. I'll continue to check.
    What would be your guess for the percentage of playing time that Tommy Edman will get at 2B-SS-3B-OF?
    Tell me who the Cardinals acquire, or if there's a DH, and we'll have a better idea. That said, Shildt has shown that he is fond of having Edman in the lineup, and the Cardinals hope that's at 2B and 3B, and minimally at the other two positions.
  • Thanks for opening these chats back up to all comers. That said, I hope that is a signal that your employer is in good shape financially. Do you think bringing Albert back another year gives the team a built-in "out" for '22 to just change hitting coaches and not upgrade the roster substantially, if the offense struggles again?
    There for a moment, I thought you meant Albert Pujols, and I was really perplexed. Jeff Albert. Hitting coach. Gotcha. I don't think the Cardinals are playing the long game here, no. I think you give them too much credit for scheming, honestly.
    You already got to play GM, wanna play marketer? How do you sell this Cardinals team to fans? Whats the "hook"? Thanks
    Bobbleheads are a good draw. World Series rings seems to really bring in the crowds. It seems like the best way to add tickets is to add a trinket that is limited to people attending that game. I'd go with those, and given that we might see reduced crowds, you could really start limiting the scope of these giveaways to make them collectibles. I don't know why the Cardinals haven't gotten on board with the Marvel-themed bobbleheads. Maybe that's just me. But definitely something along those lines. They should do a series of Yadier Molina bobbleheads if they re-sign the catcher.
    The Braves reported an operating loss of $16m through Q3 of 2020. Thats not the 100m in losses being peddled by the Cardinals. Do the cardinals have that much more in losses? It seems if the Cardinals losses are closer to the 16m number, they can much more easily cover that amount. Am I missing something here? I know you are reporting what the Cardinals say. But you're also referencing the Braves reports. The two don't appear to add up. What gives?
    Nice arbitrary endpoint. The Cardinals didn't claim a $100m loss in the third quarter. They didn't claim a $100m loss at all. That's the average based on MLB's claim that it had an operating loss, as a whole, of around $3 billion, or $3.1 billion. Evan Drellich, a writer at The Athletic, further clarified that the earnings before interest, etc., (EBITDA) were down $2.7 billion. 
    The Cardinals were likely slightly above average. Likely.
    You write, "I know you are reporting what the Cardinals say." What the Cardinals say is nothing about this at all. I asked. They declined to discuss their losses in specifics or disclose whether I was close or not or whether the MLB average was close. I had to ask others. I had to do additional research and reporting. And I would have done that anyway to confirm what they did say, if they did. 
    I think what's happening here is somewhat semantics, and I could do a better job of drawing a thick line as we talk about revenue and expenses. Baseball is talking about a loss in REVENUE. That's not profits. That's REVENUE. The Braves, in the third quarter of 2020, had "Baseball Revenue" of $102 million. In the third quarter of 2019, they had a baseball revenue of $203 million. So, you want to talk specific losses. 
    They're not talking one-quarter losses. According to the Liberty Media filings, here are the quarter by quarter operating income losses for the Braves in 2020:
    1st quarter (no games) -- $43 million
    2nd quarter (no games) -- $30 million
    3rd quarter (2020 season) -- $15 million
    That's an operating loss reported of $88 million through the first three quarters of the year. It's not $100 million. It's also not a complete year. In the fourth quarter, teams don't have games to play or broadcast fees rolling in from TV outlets, so the fourth quarter is mostly expenses -- mostly -- and in the fourth quarter of 2019, the Braves had an operating income report of negative $44 million. 
    So, in the past 12 months their operating income on the Braves, based on publicly available numbers is $132 million.
    Well, that sounds familiar.
    Do you think the Cardinals prioritized O’Neill and Thomas over Arozerena based on perceived work ethic or defensive abilities? Or were they that blind to his talents as he outperformed both at AAA.
    I don't think it broke down like that, no. That seems really simplified. The Cardinals do like O'Neill's power. They think that power is there, and can consistently be there and puts him ahead of the other two. That was how they set up the depth chart. When it came to Arozarena there was a question whether he could play CF or where he would play in the outfield, but with Thomas there continues to be confidence that he can handle center field. So, maybe that's part of it. I'm not sure where work ethic or anything was mentioned at all. In a recent chat I broke down the comparisons between Thomas and Arozarena at Class AAA, and they are close. And closer when you consider the rise in offense during the seaosn Arozarena played in Memphis compared to the one with Thomas. It also should be noted that Tampa Bay liked Arozarena. The Rays had a favorable scouting report on him. It probably read something like the Cardinals' did: He hits at every level.
    We've seen a lot of players praise and get excited about Steve Cohen, and him being a big reason why Stroman wanted to stay with the Mets. Obviously his wallet is what is generating the most excitement, but his communication with the fans and players seems really powerful too. My question is, is there an inverse of that among owners like DeWitt? You saw a lot of players ridicule the comments made by him and Ricketts, so does that make players less willing to play here?
  • Not really, no. Not from what I've been able to tell from players. You'll notice that players like Stroman are excited and others two -- who have salaries. Money talks. As you suggest: The wallet generates excitement.
    Are you able to elaborate on the rift between Scott Rolen and TLR? All I recall hearing/reading was that they just didn't see eye-to-eye on things.
    There was a lot to it. Some parts of it were their personalities. Some parts of it were their similarities. Some of it was the perception that a few players were held to different standards than Rolen held himself, or felt that he was held to. Some of it was La Russa keeping score on what he considered contributions to the team. Some of it was the fact that in the midst of the 2006 run all of a sudden La Russa removed Rolen from the lineup and sent the message that he couldn't help them win that night. Rolen felt differently. He was injured. He was compromised at the plate. But he felt he could do something on defense, or will himself to contribute -- as he eventually did for the final 10 games of the postseason, and as he almost did before Endy Chavez got in the way of a certain homer. 
    The late Joe Strauss visited Rolen after the trade and wrote it this way for the Post-Dispatch on Feb. 27, 2008:
    "I think Cardinal fans deserve better than two guys airing their laundry out publicly in a private, personal matter," Rolen said Tuesday at Bobby Mattick Training Center. "Cardinal fans want to watch the Cardinals play and they want to win ballgames. This doesn't fall into any of those categories."

    Strauss wrote: Calling the falling out with La Russa "a personal issue ... there was nothing professional about it," Rolen will resume his career north of the border after waiving full no-trade protection and being dealt for Blue Jays third baseman Troy Glaus.

    "When I signed my last contract, never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I'd finish anywhere else except St. Louis," Rolen said.

    Do you find it frustrating that other outlets are willing to play loose with the facts in order to sell papers, etc?
    I don't police them, honestly. I have enough to do to prove myself to the readers of the Post-Dispatch. I'm accountable for what I report, not what they do. I have to meet the standards set by my editors, not explain the standards of others. They can do that just fine.
    Last week BenFred was discussing the Theo news and made a comment along the lines for all the fawning over Theo's tenure, Mozeliak could post to twitter a comparison of their 9 concurrent years and it would be an open-and-shut case over whose approach was better.

    However, when reading the comparison (total wins, NL central crowns, playoff appearances, playoff wins, NLCS appearances, pennants, WS appearances and outcome) I actually was surprised that for all the talk of the two approaches being polar opposites...there wasn't that much of a difference between the two over that long term window.

    It made me start thinking it was a unique way to ask the question you've been trying to get at in polls recently about what is that you want from the team? A poll comparing Theo and Mo's numbers might be another way to get a pulse of how people feel and what are they willing to sacrifice for the WS win? I suppose it's not guaranteed under either approach.

    But, I do think there is a big difference in an approach of (1) we've got a shot lets get the pieces and go for it vs. (2) let's just make sure we have enough pieces to get in the door and hope.

    Did Theo get lucky it all worked out and ended up being worth it? Yes, thank God for the rain delay and I guess Heyward's public speaking skills. But, did Mozeliak's consistency benefit from some pretty inept teams in the NL Central during those 9 years? Probably yes there, too.

    There are many risks to both approaches...obviously for Theo's the risk was what if they never win the WS. But, for Cubs fans just getting there a few times would prob have been great. For Mozeliak's approach, I think one risk is the fatigue or discontent you see in the chats with teams that are just good enough but clearly flawed, don't improve from year to year, and the idea is hoping to get lucky once getting in the playoffs.
    The idea of getting into the playoffs and getting lucky in the playoffs is one that Theo Epstein has talked about. I feel like I've said that thousands of times. But it is actually a quote from him. I've heard him say it many times, and he even described the dynasty that they wanted to build in Chicago as one that won the division year after year after year to increase the probability they'd win titles. You have to get in to win, and then it can be luck -- hot pitching, a hot hitter, did I mention hot pitching? -- that gets your through. 
    I missed where the 2019 Washington Nationals were some juggernaut of a regular-sason team that didn't just into the playoffs and made noise with pitching.
    You're exactly -- the Cubs and Cardinals came at similar success from two different angles. Of course, they arrived at the start of that time span from two different angles. The Cardinals never drafted high enough to get a Bryant or Baez, and the Cubs never prioritized or solved their pitching riddle. The bottom line is this.
    The Cardinals won more division titles and had more cracks at winning a World Series. They did not. The Cubs did. 
    It took them till Game 7 to do it.
    And a rain delay.
    And a speech from Jason Heyward in a player's only meeting.
    Epstein is a brilliant baseball man, for sure. He didn't see that coming.
    I think the situation baseball-wise for the cards is great. they had terrible contracts with fowler, carp, martinez, etc, and somewhat got to hide behind the crazy covid season, and now they need just one more season to get out from under those and can really rebuild. Id stand pat again, and prep for next season....
    This sentiment is not shared by many of the people who send in questions.
  • A local Springfield radio station was discussing what Theo Epstein's next career path would be, they suggested that he take over as MLB comissioner. Your thoughts on him? I would think he'd be a great improvement over Manfield.
    He'd have to sway the owners who make that hiring. His exit interview really was fascinating and captured a person who has a lot to offer baseball because he has a lot of interest in thinking about baseball. Is that for the benefit of MLB? We'll see. He'll likely have a chance to be in the broadcast biz in 2021 if he wants to be -- in some capacity.
    ... Or, Senator Epstein is always a possibility ... 
    I think JB uses an excellent adjective in his below comment - "fatigue." I think fans are experiencing fatigue with the same ongoing conversations with the likes of Carpenter, Fowler, Carlos, and now moving into that realm is Bader and O'Neill. We're constantly talking about these players who are not elevating the team. I think fans would rather be arguing over who should be the 5th starter or who should close games or who the team should try and sign, instead it is "how much longer do we have to watch these players?"
    I think it's an interesting discussion on something that Tony La Russa talked about: The 10-year expiration of a message. That at some point a leader has been there so long that his message is stale, the phrases have all been said, the moves all tried, and the manager can lose the clubhouse not because of his inability, but because of the repetition. He talked about that a lot. I think about it as a writer, honestly. How do I change and not fall into habits that bore readers after all these years. And I asked DeWitt last year if he concerned that the voices atop his baseball ops had remained the same for so long, and he suggested that they had added new voices through the years and looked for them to grow in decibel level to help move that change. But he also has said that he likes the direction that this group has taken and doesn't see "new for new's sake" as a good model. 
    It does make for a good conversation, and Mozeliak, when he moved to president of baseball operations, discussed how it would allow him to work on other things that maybe did change that voice, or his message.
    most people who send in questions want the cards to go out and get top players which cost a fortune, and to trade them our bad contracts. hey lets trade fowler, carp and a case of budweiser to colorado for Arenado....most people live in a fantasy world
    Most people who send in questions are not "most people." A small sliver of Cardinals nation send in questions. As of right now, there are more than 230 people reading this. The Cardinals, in a given year, will draw 173-times that many to a game, and thousands more tuning in on television.
    Most people are doing other things, in the real world.
    ONE losing season this century and we aren’t happy. Is it us?
    Sure. That's probably the point. Meeting the fans expectations. But it's the brand they've made for themselves, and the Cardinals should be held to it.
    When the elevation of Girsch and Mo to current roles were announced, the reason was ability to look at more long term strategic decisions. Have you encountered any of this actually being in place or have the current issues with covid changed the timeline for implementing the changes?
  • They have made some of these moves, yep. The Department of Performance is one of the things that Mozeliak sought to establish as president, and that does exist and it's up and running and has expanded its staff and its research and its role in player development. There was construction underway in Jupiter, Fla., for better facilities, and that is something that Mozeliak was also working toward. The pitching lab that was planned has been delayed, much to the team's frustration, and that was something Mozeliak was/is heavily involved in.
    Is any team in MLB actually in spending mode this year? Between revenue uncertainty over fans being able to attend games, uncertainty over the costs of minor league players (and complete systems for that matter), and the collective bargaining agreement expiring after this year, it seems not. Would it help or hurt if they started bargaining over the new agreement now?
    The Mets are poised to be, for sure. There are reports of the Blue Jays also being in a spend mode. We'll see. The Dodgers always can be, and they will be spotting some market inefficiencies for sure.
    It can only help if the two sides are talking, about the 2021 season and about the upcoming new CBA. Talking to each other is better than talking about each other or not talking at all.
    I have a point of frustration with the Cardinals, and I would like to know if alone on this. The team says betting is bad...until they can receive a large enough cut. They say things like we’d like Molina back but remember it’s ultimately a business. I don’t have a problem with ownership running the team like a business. My problem is that they don’t sell it that way. They want fans to buy tickets based on nostalgia while they base payroll on a profit model. I just get tired of them trying to have it both ways. Am I alone on this?
    I'm not sure if you're alone. But I expect a duck to be a duck, and a business to be a business. Part of the Cardinals being a public trust is also the Cardinals staying solvent as a business. For example, one opinion: It's important for the Cardinals to turn a profit to remain in St. Louis, and not say seek greater profits by building their stadium somewhere other than downtown. So, the Cardinals need to be a good business to avoid a breach of the public trust and its history by leaving the city. Absolutely, the Cardinals sell nostalgia and history -- and that's because so far they have sold a lot of tickets that way. When the consumers change, the approach will. In fact, part of their standing as a public trust is selling that nostalgia by also allowing that history to set the standards expected today.
    And, if I may, I honestly don't think you'd be happy if they used nostalgia to set the payroll.
    I think that a simple solution to the preponderance of the three true outcomes would be to limit the number of pitchers allowed on the active roster to 12. This would force starters to prepare for working more than 5-6 innings therefore working through the order more than twice. Your thoughts?
    I don't think it would, no. My thoughts are they need to change the strike zone. They need to get more baseballs in the field of play, more grounders, more action, more plays to make, and to do that they need to change the strike zone. That's it.
    Derrick, I don’t believe the Cards expect to sell many tickets, if any, before the All-Star break. For that reason, I think they are more than content with bringing back the same team before a roster change in 2022 when they will have to reintroduce their product to the public again. In other words, they likely can get by with another season of a team lacking offense and void of any stars. And they can still compete in the NLC with all those teams claiming financial hardship. Would you agree?
    I would not agree. They are already, as of today, not bringing back the same team. A significant player -- a leadoff hitter, a second baseman -- is likely going to sign elsewhere, given the current standing in the market. There's no guarantee Wainwright and Molina return. That's three significant changes, and that's before the Cardinals reshape their bullpen via non-tender or potential trades. I don't see how the Cardinals, with their situation, don't add up to a different team, even with a smaller payroll. They are an incomplete team as of today, and need to make some moves to be a complete team. There are moves that can be made that aren't going to tickle Twitter but will change look of the team.
  • Did anyone in St. Louis make an effort to attract the Toronto Raptors? They will be playing in Tampa to start the season. It would have been nice to have them here.
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