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

    So much. So, so much.
    To follow up, if fan happiness is measured in ticket sales, then yes the fan base seems happy to the tune of 3 million people a season, which I'm not saying shoud be the measuring stick, but it may be the "Wild card is good enough for us" message we seem to get from the FO.
  • The front office has never sent that message. That's the disconnect. Those are words they haven't said and yet are stuffed in their mouth. I don't get it. They say enough that you could quote and criticize -- why hang on to this something that they never said? I've covered this team for a long time, and I've never heard them say the "wild card is good enough for us." In fact, I've heard the opposite of that from Matheny, from Shildt, from Mozeliak, and from DeWitt, and if I called them and asked Girsch, Maddux, Jeff Albert, and others would also echo that sentiment. They have said their goal is to win the division, reach the playoffs, and that's because those are the steps toward a championship. They're giving their fans credit for knowing it takes one step to reach another.
    They clearly need to send this message to the fans more clear.
    What about O'Neill to Boston for Bobby Dalbec? Similar profile...
    The Cardinals have a first baseman.
    As a loyal fan, I guess what is disappointing is that the fanbase has to threaten desertion to get the team to acknowledge its most glaring need. This team has needed two big bats since 2017. They briefly had two in 2019, but then let Ozuna walk. Shouldn't they proactively be seeking that 2nd big bat because they want to win, not just please fans?
    This is some revisionist history going on. They let Ozuna walk -- after two years of being a subpar cleanup hitter. No one in baseball had more at-bats in the cleanup spot than Ozuna from 2018-19, and yet at least 30 hitters were more productive than him. Yes, 30. So, yeah, they offered him $18 million for the coming year and he walked to take less in Atlanta -- and did so to the chorus of chatters here, maybe even you. 
    Threatening is just words. Words. Actions speak louder.
    I completely agree with your comment about fan apathy. I drive 3 hours to see a game about a dozen times each year. The last month of Matheny, I was ready to stop altogether. Leadoff hitter takes 6 pitches and walks, hitter two takes 6 pitches and strikes out, #3 hitter takes two pitches then hits into a dp. There was only one swing in 15 pitches and we're off to inning 2. Shildts team was better than this, but the game still dragged a bit. I was getting very apathetic about attending ball games.
    This is the kind of sentiment that should worry baseball, not just the Cardinals.
    I thought he was a 3B blocked by Devers.
  • Going to throw a curveball your way and toss you a Marvel questions since they have revealed the lineup or shows and movies for the next 3-4 years. Do you see them bringing back Iron Man or Captain America or is that dependent on how this next set of movies does at the box office? I tend to trust Feige and Marvel until proven otherwise.
    I expect a cameo from the Captain America, and they are already building in some of the heirs to Iron-Man. Ironheart is one, for example.
    Do you know if the Cardinals are exploring the players from Korea who have expressed an interest in moving to MLB? It sure seems like they have a good read on the KBO! There is an intriguing infielder (not sure if he has yet been posted) but and outfielder there as well that seem, on the surface, like decent fits.
    They have, yes. They have scouted them. They have had discussion about them. There has not been any indication of their level of interest. What I've heard most often this winter from people outside the Cardinals organization is that the Cardinals are waiting, waiting, waiting for an answer on Molina, waiting to see what they can do for Wainwright, and waiting, waiting, waiting for clarity on their budget and what a season might look like. There is a sense that the Cardinals are as frustrated by having to weight and not move on things as you can sense the fans are.
    Hello: You mentioned earlier that Mozeliak does not agree with your premise that "Certainty is costly...perhaps the most costly trait in baseball." Would you elaborate on why you think this is his (or perhaps Mr. DeWitt's) belief? Keep up the fantastic reporting and thoughtful writing. You are the BEST!
    Mozeliak has pushed back on my premise on "certainty" because the game is defined by so much failure -- the three-for-10 notion, a great hitter batting .300, that kind of thing. I hope I'm capturing his criticism of my statement right here, because his point is that there's volatility everywhere because of injury, because hitters succeed so few times they come to the plate, and so on and so on. I get where he's coming from, but that's not exactly what I mean by certainty. I get that few hitters are a metronome like Peak Pujols with his .300/30/100 seasons cranking out like a Xerox machine. But Paul Goldschmidt is certainty. He's going to play a lot of games. He's going to be a power threat. He's going to drive in runs if given the opportunity. He's going to take his walks. Jeff Suppan is certainty. He's going to make his starts. He's going to cover his innings. I think you could make a case that one of the reasons why Miles Mikolas was such a find for the Cardinals was the certainty he brought -- and the Cardinals have paid for that certainty in their extension to his contract. Certainty has value because the more certain a player is -- Wong is going to offer certain defense -- the higher he can command. If a team is constantly reaching for value plays, then they are inviting, by definition, uncertainty because they're trying to get production beyond the cost, and the way to do that is to play the probability game -- bet on performance beyond the cost. My point is just that every so often a team needs to spend on the costliest tool of all, certainty, so that they know they're going to get what they pay for, even if that's the limit of the potential.
    Would this lineup not work?

    Carpenter 3B (yes, back at leadoff!)
    Carlson RF
    Goldy 1B
    Rosario DH (FA signing)
    DeJong SS
    Edman 2B
    O'Neil LF
    Molina C
    Bader CF

    Bench:
    Knizner
    Fowler
    Thomas
    Sosa

    Sign Waino, Yadi, and Rosario and call it a day.
    That lineup would work, yes. Fowler would mix in based on matchups, and you'd see more Lane Thomas than you let on. It's more likely you'll see Fowler in RF and Carlson in LF, but overall that lineup would work. It would be ... yeah, an improvement, it seems. But it hinges on there being a DH, so you see the Cardinals' point.
    I really enjoy these chats. Thank you. First time in over a year I've been able to participate live. I read every one in its entirety thou. I am interested to hear who your personal top 3 choices are for a bat. Trade or FA
  • The trade is the one area where it has been difficult to pin anything down. Clint Frazier would be an interesting candidate for the Cardinals, but the Yankees have told reporters he's part of their plans for 2021. The free agents? It's hard not to see Rosario as a fit. Joc Pederson as a fit. So those would be two of the three. I wish I had some wild-card third option, and I'll continue to look for that, ask around about. There just isn't one that pops. Gallo's interesting. Just not sure of the cost at the moment. Springer would fix a lot, but we are sure of that cost and the Cardinals not going there ...
  • Derrick, in response to the reader saying the Cardinals can do a lot to acess the value of the franchise without losing control, let's not forget there is really nothing they can do to acess the value without lowering the value. If they sell a minority interest, the money goes to the DeWitts, not the Cardinals operating account. Why would the DeWitts sell a minority portion and then put that cash back in the Cardinals? If they take out a huge loan, the value comes down accordingly because no one is paying $2 bil for a franchise that just took on a $1 bil loan. They can "access" the value, sure. But access is basically a synonym for lower. Who wants to lower the value of their investment? The valuation does nothing for revenue and cash.
    Come for the chat, stay for the detailed conversation about economics! I find this stuff fascinating. I bet we'd also all just rather be talking about baseball on the field. Thank you for adding this to the conversation because it is an important element.
    This time of year we start hearing the phrase "the business side" of baseball a lot. I don't mean for this to necessarily sound like a criticism, but Mozeliak, in many ways, comes across as a consummate corporate executive (which, admittedly, he is), all the way down to his wardrobe and use of board-room buzz words ("synergies," "leveraging resources," etc.) While this persona/demeanor is common among leadership in many successful businesses, do you think that there have been any undesirable consequences from a possible disconnect between the polished presence of Mozeliak versus the clubhouse culture or expectations of the athletes in the locker room who seem likely to operate based on a very different set of professional and social norms?
    Having a business person atop baseball operations is not something unique to the Cardinals. That's the game these days. Baseball in 2020 is a GM game. Dial back 15, 20 years and it's a manager game. The manager is the face of the franchise and the one talking to reporters the most and sending the message to the fans and relating to the fans, and so on. It was a manager's game. Tony La Russa was the face of the Cardinals. Walt Jocketty was the GM. The spread of Moneyball and Ivy League and business savvy to the front office has changed that equation. Now Theo Epstein was the face of the Cubs, Billy Beane is played by Brad Pitt in a movie, Cashman is the Yankees and so on and so on. Managers are less and less the personality that is presented from the team, and the baseball ops leader has taken that place. 
    This has spread to all corners of baseball and isn't the disconnect that you describe, not any more. The front office is expected to run the team like a business and to use analytics and to steer even the plan on the field, and a clubhouse that doesn't get that isn't paying attention, and hasn't for more than a decade.
    But ... This is part of the access question, too. The front office is readily available to media, to comment, to shape the message, to participate in interviews. The manager is there daily, often hitting on the same talking points or just passing questions along to the front office. Players -- well, if they choose not to be available are surrendering the narrative to the front office. It's something I try to keep in mind as I cover the team. Seek out the players to tell their stories, not the front office to always shape the stories.
    I will quickly add that the way Mozeliak talks to Shildt and to some players in the clubhouse is not how he presents on TV or in press conferences. He may strike you as part of the Ivy League ilk, but he graduated from CU, he grew up in Boulder, Colo., he played ball, coached ball, hung out in the Rockies clubhouse and learned from Baylor and Zimmer, and he's dry-witted. That doesn't always play on camera, but that does connect with many players.
    DG,

    Are baseball cards not a big deal anymore? My son is starting to really get into them, but seems like they are harder to find than when I was a kid.....plus they are way more expensive now! What has happened?
    Baseball cards are back to being a bigger deal than ever. The industry has seen huge growth this year. TOPPS is doing some great stuff with their Project 2020. And, yes, they have veered toward premium cards -- increasing the price and reducing the numbers printed. But they also have a variety of cards at different price points. How to find them? I have luck tracking them down at Target, and there are still baseball card shops. TOPPS did a card of me for the Allen & Ginter set and in our quest to pull one of them my son and I ordered a couple boxes of Amazon, just to be sure. This is a great time for baseball cards. So much creativity in them and options. I mean, I found cards just this past weekend that were baseball cards done in the style of Superman II cards from my youth. Each featured a baseball player diving as if in a Superman pose -- Acuna for home plate, Kiermaier for a line drive. They weren't pricey, and they were the right dose of nostalgia and whimsy. That's what is driving the baseball card market now. Interest in nostalgia and the time at home.
    In regards to Carlos Martinez and the article on his recent outing, it was said "the Cardinals have entertained interest from other teams in the mercurial talent." I don't mean to be a stickler, but is that in reference to previous years, or currently? If that's a current thing, are they just not hearing the kind of return they want?
  • It's a past year and current year and all of it. Yes. It's all of that.
  • Why not sign some impact free agents this off season, especially when you might get them at a lower cost than most years? I get the uncertainty with revenue this year, but why not structure the deals where they are less this year and more in the future. Seems like a good solution, no?
  • Sure does. And yet the Cardinals insist it's not for them.
  • Thoughts on trading me? Seem like I would be more valuable to other teams as a starter than in the Cards's pen.
    The price might not be right this season, and the depth is definitely needed for 2021 and the Cardinals. They do technically need a starter or two for the rotation, and that race is wide open. Don't concede it to Gomber just yet.
    DG,

    Hasn't the expanded playoffs really eliminated the need for aong 162 game season?

    I think the beauty if baseball is it's long length and reward for teams who can make it through the long haul with all the ups and downs a season can bring. When you add more and more teams in the postseason, you are devaluing the importance of a long season. All you have to do is be around .500 and you're in.
    Bill DeWitt Jr. has advocated for a 154-game season even before the expanded playoffs. There is a genuine conversation about shrinking the size of the regular season, and you bring up one of the reasons why.
    Why are the Cardinals letting Molina hold up the offseason needs ?
    Molina says he is not APPREACIATED!! Let him go to a team where he fells APPREACIATED!! Molina is greedy just like the owners and the rest of the players!
    Let Yadi go!
    Good pole question . Was Molina APPREACIATED in ST Louis? and should the Cardinals move on from Molina and get on with business or do what ever it takes to sign Molina?
    Oh goodness. I don't recall Yadier Molina saying this. Did this come from an interview his brother recently had? So, maybe assign the quote to the person who said it. As for appreciation, there's a great line from Mad Men about appreciation and it's delivered by St. Louis' Jon Hamm: "That's what the money is for." Molina was not just appreciated in St. Louis -- there's going to be a statue of him in St. Louis. I don't understand all the drama.
    Selfish Greedy Billionaire Owners and Selfish Greedy Millionaire Players
    can not even agree on a DH in one or 2 leagues for 2021 and the season has been over how long?
    2021 will be less than 120 games, they will do the seven inning games thing again and lets not forget the curtesy runner in extra innings. Over half the teams will be in the playoffs. We will hear all year about the 2022 collocative bargaining agreement and about strikes and lock outs all year.
    Then there will be a lock out or strike. It maybe both strike and a lock out. You know the old game you can not go on strike because we locked you out before you said strike!! That is how the 2021 and 2022 seasons will play out.
    Mr Goold how close am I?
  • Baseball is at a pivotal moment in its modern history, for sure. And part of that is because ... well, perception. Not all players are millionaires. The famous, the most recognizable, and the All-Stars -- yes, they're making millions. But a majority of the professional baseball players are not. They just aren't. And even the opening lines of your question/scenario state that almost as a given. That's an issue -- and it's one of the reasons why the new CBA is going to be contentious. Players want to make more while they're performing more. Players will go three years in the majors before making their first $1 million salary. Many see their careers end before they've made $1 million in the majors total. Not exactly millionaires. 
    I have not encountered the "lockout before they strike" move because these are important distinctions in labor negotiations. Owners can impose a CBA on the players, and those are the terms they'll play under unless they strike. (That was an option this past year with the frustration over the 60-game schedule.) Owners can refuse to start a season without a CBA in place -- which would be the case a year from now -- and thus the lockout. It's really ugly when they claim an impasse in negotiations. Don't throw that word around casually. 
    You are close in the sense that you capture the spirit of the moment -- at a time when the country could be emerging from this pandemic, finding its footing, and looking for a place to spend entertainment dollars and rediscover a sense of community, baseball might be squabbling and not there for the people to spend money on. That's precarious stuff. Those are some bad optics when people are hungry for the sense of coming together and baseball is pulling apart.
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