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

    Any chance we could get a good look at Jhon Torres in ST this year? I believe he has a bright future.
    Yes. With a big big if -- if spring training has some normalcy to it. He seems poised to make some appearances in spring training, if not as an NRI, then certainly as a call over for the spring games.
    Are any other players in the system gonna be playing winterball?
    Ravelo, Nagowski, and Sosa have popped up as participating, as you probably know. I have heard of a few other players considering, but I hope to get that finalized list in the coming days. Some may head to winter ball later, as build up toward the season.
    They really should re-name themselves the Abacoa Cardinals. The Abacardinals!
    This is a direction I did not expect the chat to take.
    "Did get a pumpkin pie from my mom -- contactless delivery"....this is laughable to me, but it's quite alright as I don't read every word you write or tweet because of your political or personal leanings or likings, but rather your keen baseball insight, wit and honesty. Keep up the great work DG!
  • Don't assume you know me or my family without asking, Jake. You might presume just a little too much, and sound foolish.
  • You say you don't want to seem like you defend ownership but I have literally never seen you write a critical word about Dewitt. Are you afraid to lose access? What gives?
    Access isn't determined that way. In my experience -- and I've only been covering pro sports now for 20 plus years -- criticism doesn't change access to individuals for questions/interviews except with players who won't be around for long. Professionalism tends to be the better measure. Compelling questions tends to get better interviews/access, too. But that's for someone else to judge.
    We can have that discussion some time, too, if you're ever interested.
    I cannot possibly know what you have read, but I can tell what you haven't read. I have said many many many many times in the chat and I'll say it again -- if you don't like product, why support it? Don't spend your money on the Cardinals. Be a consumer. You make that choice, and be supported here for that choice. If you don't like the product, choose another team or choose not to spend money on this one. It is the surefire way that the Cardinals will take notice of your gripes. I've written often about how the Cardinals, and by extension DeWitt, have not taken leaps into big spending when they've had chances to change to the look of their team and change the feel of their organization. They've been conservative, and sometimes to a detriment of what's possible. 
    They could do a better job with their messaging. They should be clearer with their fans about their goals. They should not say baseball isn't profitable, as DeWitt did in a radio interview, because it is. He should have been clearer what he meant.
    You are welcome to grade my questions for yourself and even ask other reporters about what press conferences are like when we used to have them. Or you can check the story where I printed the questions, because to satisfy readers I printed them too: 

    DeWitt Q-&-A: Cards chairman discusses pressure on front office, fan angst, playoff drought

    STLtoday.comAsked by Derrick Goold about inactivity at the trade deadline, Bill DeWitt Jr. replied: 'I would hope that we would have improved, but I wasn’t disappointed that we didn’t go
    Does the flood of free agents in the market give low budget teams a chance to improve by picking up good players on the cheap? What keeps the Pirates from getting a Rosario, for example? Maybe it will strangely make the league a bit more competitive.
    Nothing. Exactly. Yes. And hope this happens. I am skeptical that it will. Some teams will just cower in their wallets and cry poor. But there is a real chance to get some real talent and that is true for every team.
    Hey Derrick,
    With the current market conditions and whats coming off of the payroll next season is there logic in jumping into the free agent market a little more aggressively and finding better value this year as opposed to potentially needing to pay top dollar next year when things hopefully return to a more normal place. Thanks for taking my question
    I think there is, yes. It sure seems to me that there is going to be a wealth of production at a different price than normal, and that a nimble, creative front office could really add some beneficial pieces to a championship-level team. That's just me. The Cardinals don't necessarily see it the same way -- not given the answers to questions I've presented about this being that kind of opportunity. To me, that's the word that describes this winter. The opportunity is there for a team to really capitalize on the market, but not in the traditional sense of signing the best player(s) available for the highest price. No, it's about identifying the talent that is suddenly available that best complements a team, and can enhance it. To me, the price is right this winter for those kind of moves. The small payout, big payoff moves.
    Who chooses which questions you take in these chats? You, an editor, an assistant? Just wondering about the logistics of these undertakings!
    I do. The hosts of the chats -- Dave Matter, Jeff Gordon, Tom Timmermann, Jim Thomas, Ben Frederickson, and of course Rick Hummel -- run the chats, choose the questions. I wasn't aware that sportswriters have assistants! Is that true somewhere?!
    Mr. Goold: I have often wondered why you take questions from participants who hide behind fake names, especially those who want to criticize and insult you? And as far as I can tell, you and I are about the only ones who have a picture of themselves on display.
  • It's called accountability. And I'm trying to show it. I feel like if I going to write something, I should have to defend it and answer to it. That's part of my job. That's part of creating trust in media, and trust in the coverage you get at the Post-Dispatch. I would love for people to put their real name to things and answer for what they write too, but I understand that not everyone can do that and not everyone chooses to do that. This is my job. I feel transparency is important and answering criticism, anonymous or otherwise, is a way to be that.
    I chose my branch of service as my log in name because my name is David (a common name) and in past chats there seemed to be several with that name and I thought that my questions weren’t chosen because the host that they were answering the same persons questions and wanted to get others involved. Obviously I know the chat works differently now but I’m just used to using that log in. As for the picture, idk how to upload one here and don’t really care to figure it out. I’m all for accountability for the chatters too. But not everyone is “hiding” behind a fake name. Just wanted to put that out there.
    And thank you for doing so. I should have made the point you did, and apologize for it. The chat, historically, hasn't been some land of anonymous haymakers. Yes, there are things send to me that never get approved because they are vulgar, off color, out and out fiction or libel or slander, or very rarely violent. The vast, vast majority of things in the chat are questions that would be asked of me in person, by someone with a name tag on, and that's what makes the chats at their best.
    I am a bona fide fan of the Cardinals. I read and have subscribed to the PD. My questions are real and are respectful. Who cares how I sign my name?

    Bozo the Clown
    Yes, there are far more questions like this one and this point than the other. And I should have pointed that out. Thank you for doing so, Mr. The Clown.
    If/when Rolen makes the HOF he’ll go in as a Cardinal correct?
    Sure seems to make the most sense, yes.
    Hi Derrick - I hope you had a swell holiday.
    We know that part of teams’ due diligence process is to gauge interest in their own players from other teams. Is there any thought from the Cards to expanding that exercise into something more? For example, the Rays have a great eye for not only developing talent, but have been excellent at acquiring talent and then developing. When the Cards are gauging the Rays’ interest in their players, I wonder whether they would leverage that information to say, ‘hey, Tampa really likes x player in our system, maybe we should take a deeper dive and examine why they like said player’. Extract that information and try to evolve their evaluation process. We’re aware that they are one of the best at identifying and developing pitching. I wonder if gauging other team’s interest in their own players is an area they can build on, especially offensively. I agree with your reporting that maybe they need to take a hard look at the coaching and philosophies in order to determine whether the message is resonating and is getting the most out of their offensive talent. Thanks for your time in the chats and constant coverage.
  • Teams do this already, absolutely. It's one of the major things teams do, and it's a lively part of any conversation. That's part of the poker of negotiations. Let's find out what teams know about our players so we know our players better. There are the obvious examples of this. Long ago, teams wouldn't want to talk about trading for Atlanta pitching, but they would like to talk about trading pitching to Atlanta because it would give them a read on their own talent if the Braves were interested. I've talked to scouts with other teams who once told me they liked to do the same thing with the Cardinals -- and Cardinals scouts. Get them talking casually about pitching and try to find out what the Cardinals saw in other pitchers, just as a way to gauge their own players. I think I've told the story before about the Cardinals canvassing the lobby asking what teams thought about Kyle Lohse, just to a) get some of the officials out of the hotel room while the Pujols negotiations were going on and b) get some feedback on where Lohse fit in as an available starter. There have been examples of teams doing that with prospects, too. If they don't get a bite on a prospect they think is a big deal, what are they missing? What do other teams know that they don't? Or, what do they know that other teams don't? This is how the game is played, and any information is valuable. This is part of that due diligence for sure.
    Wasn’t Albert assistant hitting coach in 2018 and weren’t the Astros cheating then per MLB? BTW, thanks and I always look forward to chat. You’re better than Burns and Broeg!
    That is not true -- what you say about me and the other sportswriters. I was lucky enough to have met Broeg when I was a student at Mizzou and he wrote me a lovely letter after my hiring at the Post-Dispatch. I still have it right here at my desk.
    I appreciate the prompt on the Albert question. I need to be more specific and was too blunt in my previous statement. In 2017, the focus of the initial reports and the investigation, Albert was not in the majors with the Astros. The investigation did broaden to 2018, and we know this because of the report from MLB. I went back to read up on that quickly. He was with the major-league team in 2018, and his role was assistant hitting coach. He was often back in the batting cages, not in the dugout at the time. According to the investigation and the report, he would have been present with the Astros for some of the alleged sign-stealing. I went back to my notes, too, and according to MLB officials he was never under investigation for participating. Explanations I got for that included his position during the game and also the time period of the 2018 questions, that they came early in his period there, perhaps.
    The point I want to make again is this: The sign-stealing questions and punishments from the Astros peak obviously with the World Series team in 2017, and so much of the accusations and investigation centered on that season. Albert was not there.
    Any criticism of his answers, his perceived role, whatever, should include that fact.
    Thanks for the time you spend doing the chats. Do you know how much salary the Cardinals have jettisoned from last year? I’m thinking is approaching $50 million. As smart business men, Do you think the Cardinals would keep payroll high this year if they could find players that were undervalued compared to their value calculations. Here’s a prediction. The season will start in May with 25% attendance growing to 0% attendance by 8/1
    Based on the free agents who have come off the payroll at this point, the Cardinals have dropped $40.25 million in salary from the planned 2020 payroll. That's Molina ($20m), Wong ($10.25m), Wainwright ($6m-ish), B. Miller ($2m), and Wieters ($2m). At the prorated salaries that were actually paid this past season, it's around $15.6 million in actual spending dropping off the payroll.
    And, yes, the opportunity is there to find undervalued, overperforming players this winter. A skilled front office can do that, it sure seems.
    I voted for Albert to go into the HOF as a Cardinal because his numbers as a Cardinal are Hall of Fame worthy. Not so much as an Angel. If it was just based on his performance as an Angel, he would not get in.
    But if not for his years with the Angels he wouldn't have the nice round numbers usually associated with surefire Hall of Fame players. His time with the Angels gave his statistics the gleam of 600 and 3,000 for example.
    I voted blank in the poll because I suspect it will turn out like Wade Boggs. His hat should have had Boston but he wanted Tampa Bay. Pujols may want the Angels because of the personal services contract but the Hall may dictate otherwise. Didn't TLR choose the blank hat because of the success he had with different teams?
    That is what La Russa said, yes. Wade Boggs' choice meant the Hall would take greater authority in the decisions that followed.
  • Derrick, thanks for sharing your travels with us. I am too old for long road trips these days, but when I was younger I would love stopping at historical places off the main drag, like where Bonnie and Clyde were shot, the town in NC that Mayberry was based on, where Stonewall Jackson’s arm is buried. My favorite sports stop was the Field of Dreams in the middle of nowhere.
    My father and I met at the Field of Dreams when I was in college -- it was halfway, and we agreed that we could meet there to hang out for a bit -- and he hit a ball into the corn. It was incredible. One of my favorite photos of the two of us was from the Field and Dreams. Two years ago, my son and I went there and recreated that picture. 
    Alas, I did not hit a ball into the corn.
    Warning track power.
    Do you think Rolens shoulder injury in 2005 that sent his career on a different trajectory affected whether he finished his career in St. Louis? He seemed like a no brainer career Cardinal but after that he was compromised when he played at times. Did that lead to some of the friction with La Russa?
    It's impossible to remove the shoulder injury from everything that followed afterward. Rolen's shoulder issue was part of why he was benched in the 2006 NLCS, and that benching was part of the friction with La Russa. It wasn't everything. They may have just been destined for friction, given their personalities and what they wanted from each other or from baseball or a clubhouse. But a lot of what followed for Rolen -- the return, the frustration with the team about the surgery, about the lingering injury, all of it -- stems from that injury, yes.
    You seemed to dismiss the Angels as a destination for Molina but does the pull of playing another year with Albert tug at Yadi?
    Not from what I can gather having talked to Molina about that. He's played longer now without Pujols as a teammate than he did with Pujols as a teammate. So it doesn't matter as much as the chance to win, or the chance to be an everyday catcher for two years. Those interests outweigh a reunion. Again, that's only from talking to Molina in recent years and asking.
    How cool would it be to see Max Scherzer eventually finish his career with the Cardinals! :)
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