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

    Discussed in detail earlier in the chat, in two separate spots. You captured one part of the consideration -- the big bulk of his career in the middle.
    what do u think about the report of a 162 season and the spring training starting on time will this help pick up the free agent and trade markets. thanks
    Can we take a moment to discuss the nature of this report? It's solid reporting, strong, and timely, and it's exactly what you'd expect MLB to say six weeks out from spring training when they know full well that it's all the information they have and they need to build optimism -- for their fans, for their business, and most of all for their negotiations with the union. Major League Baseball isn't going to say now that it's delaying spring, not when such a thing has to be discussed with the players first, and directly impacts their pay ... 
    The report, from the excellent Evan Drellich at The Athletic, also includes this statement from MLB -- in the second paragraph: "As we get closer we will, in consultation with public health authorities, our medical experts, and the Players Association, determine whether any modifications should be considered in light of the current surge in COVID-19 cases and the challenges we faced in 2020 completing a 60-game season in a sport that plays every day.”
    I don't know if caveats some in sizes, but that's a big one.
    Let's look beyond the tweets and approach hopeful, but pragmatic.
  • Is this the first time in several years that you have had less than 10 on your ballot?
    I didn't have 10 last year. I had nine.
    Derrick, why were there so few stolen bases in 2020? Cards were #1 in NL and #3 in MLB in stolen bases in 2019. They ended up #27 in 2020. Almost all the major base stealers were present on both the 2019 and 2020 squads. Your thoughts?
    Stolen bases have been vanishing from the game for awhile. As baseball becomes more data driven and the Hedge Fund aspects of running the roster melt into how the game is played, then everything is viewed through the risk prism. And steals aren't going to do well when it comes to risk management. Increasingly, pitchers are better than ever at defending against the run (Thanks Tony La Russa!), catchers are more eager to throw, strikeouts are up and zones are expanded, so catchers get off better throws, and so much about the modern game -- from philosophy to defense to actions on the field -- are geared against the stolen base. Everything is calculated.
    More balls in play would start to change this of course, and it would also improve the pace of play. 
    Know the Cardinals announced their minor league affiliates in the new order (Palm Beach, Peoria, Springfield, Memphis) ... but will there even be a minor league season this year? If not, what do they plan to do... Have lower level guys working out at Jupiter, then brought up to the alternate training site for that shuttle to St. Louis?
    No one knows for sure yet. All of it just hope at this point.
    What do you think about Omar Vizquel?
    He's a good player who had a long career and had a reputation for exceptional defensive play that was rewarded with many Gold Glove Awards and memorable highlights that come from playing in a time when everything was televised.
    Love the ballot. Feels like fans are on edge/vocal about lack of aggressiveness in offseason, more the idea that the moves so far have seemed like financial cuts. It’s feels like a philosophy problem, and not a personnel problem. What’s the approach going into the offseason this year that is going to have people excited? Spending seems unlikely. I don’t see a situation where the team goes into 2021, at this point a worse team than in 2020, and has fans optimistic.
  • I don't think there is one that will get fans excited, honestly. Maybe, the best thing to get fans excited for in the coming season is that they can attend the game -- that everyone is healthy enough and the country is rebounding and there is money to spend on entertainment and we can all be back at the ballpark.
    I don't get the sense from the Cardinals that they're trying to conjure some faux excitement for their offseason. Sorry. Maybe they realize it won't change the tone of Twitter anyway.
  • We're into January, anything new from the Cardinals FO that can give us fans some hope or excitement?
    Sorry, no. I don't think this is the winter to look for Hope and Excitement.
    One was non-tendered by the Cubs.
    And they've already signed multi-year deals with the Padres.
    That’s a really good ballot. Well done.
    It is weird seeing Andruw Jones's name on that ballot and not seeing Edmonds too. It is almost a travesty.
    Agreed. I did what I could. I'm only one vote.
    Are there any candidates for whom you *almost* voted? Are there candidates about whom you are open to voting for in future years?
  • Sure, almost Wagner. He's probably the one that I could be swayed on by the right argument, and just haven't heard it or found it yet, and trust me I've tried. I spoke to some ardent Wagner supporters, and I'm eager to do so again.
  • what about Tori Hunter I always liked him I know that s not a reason to vote for him,
    Good player. Great fielder. By all accounts an excellent teammate. Long career. Still a part of the game. Lots to like. But there has to be a bar where someone goes from good to great, great to elite, and elite to immortal. I've voted for some elite players. I've voted for several players who will get immortality in the Hall.
    Derrick I enjoy you insight into the Cardinals and baseball in general. I sure do get tired of the same BS that fans present as to the failure of Cardinal management. If they want to complain go root for the Pirates or someother team that hasnt won in forever.
    The Pirates are really looking for a rudder, but they're not the most interesting team in the division. Consider the Reds as a team to use as an example.
    Thanks for posting your ballot. I was hoping you could comment on where you see Manny Ramirez falling short.
    Two suspensions for PEDs after the testing went into place. Two!
    Getting this out of the way...thoughts on David Skretta's blank HoF ballot?
    Alright, here we go. I'll try not to rehash this whole thing -- because I really get the sense people feel the way they feel and they don't care about the math. Fine. To my knowledge, there are four blank ballots that have been submitted.
    I do not like blank ballots.
    I respect the right of the voters to submit them because they have that right -- but I don't have to agree with it, and I would like to see their explanations include why they felt it necessary to make their vote while subtracting from their peers. That's my view. A blank ballot adds nothing to the vote except for one more person in the final total. So, if there are 400 voters and two abstain and four submit blank ballots that means the 75 percent is calculated on votes/398. The two abstainations do not count to the total. The four blanks do.
    That means that the blank ballots require three votes to overcome. Three. The blank ballot adds zero support to any of the candidates and effectively vaporizes two votes for any of the candidates. 
    With the ballot already limited to 10 spots, a blank ballot adds nothing to the process -- which is fine, sometimes there are no worthy candidates in a voter's opinion -- but then goes the extra step to only subtract from peers.
    As long as there is a 10 limit and more than than 10 names it's not a straight yes/no for every player. It's weighing who are the 10 most worthy. That gives each line -- because of supply and demand -- a value greater than just one, and submitting a blank ballot means that voter is counteracting a vote at every line.
    (The binary ballot would also improve this blank ballot thing, FWIW.)
    Somebody smarter or more gifted at math than me could come up with a the proper analogy. I've tried several different ones. Consider a jury of 10 where 75 percent is required to acquit and what happens when one of the jurors decides between abstaining (turning the vote into a 7 out of 9) or null/blank (turning it into an 8/9). Or, think of votes as coins -- you get 10, 10 candidates get 10 each, and you can vote for as many as you want, but the ones you don't vote for, you take two coins back. Abstain, keep your 10. Null/Blank -- pocket 20 coins, provide none. It's an incomplete analogy, but it offers a visual of how a zero ballot is different than a 1, 2 or 10 ballot, and how a blank ballot is a black hole -- it absorbs all, gives none.
    And if you're cool with that, fine. By all means do it. It's your call because it's allowed. But please defend it, tell the other voters why you decided your one ballot was worth more than one of theirs. 
    That's all.
    I would welcome that conversation. Having it on Twitter has been tricky. 
    I really need to sit down and figure out the best analogy.
    We could also do a family deciding where to go for dinner and how one personal abstaining clears the field for a decision, while going null/blank leaves the family sitting around the table unable to come to a consensus. That would be a good one. 
    Abreu over Manny? Curious as to why. I understand the case against Manny for PEDs, but when you vote for Bonds that goes out the window. Big Papi is going to walk into the HOF while Manny is on the outside looking in and I don't understand why. People like to forget Ortiz got caught too.
    Why does it go out the window? Ramirez was suspended twice for PED use. Bonds was not. Now there is a preponderance of evidence stacked against Bonds, and I've used the character clause in the past to carve him off my ballot because I didn't have space. But it hardly goes out the window because the suspension is different. Now, coming on the horizon is a reckoning with Alex Rodriguez. Does that force my hand with Manny Ramirez. That would be a really good question to really grill me with if you wanted, but not this one. That's not the time.
    And, no, voters don't forget about Ortiz. Sorry. We're aware. It's our job.
    If the Cards made no more moves what’s your opening day line up?
    Oh, you meant literally the opening day lineup, ok, well let's give it a go, and I'm going to write what I think based on past experience the Cardinals would use, not what I would suggest, cool? This is where it's headed, given the current roster and current rules for the DH/NL ... 
    1. Matt Carpenter, 3B
    2. Tommy Edman, 2B
    3. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B
    4. Paul DeJong, SS
    5. Dexter Fowler, RF
    6. Dylan Carlson, LF
    7. Andrew Knizner, C
    8. Harrison Bader, CF
    9. Jack Flaherty, RHP
    Do you think the Cardinals organization suffers from a transparency problem? Whether it is injuries, playing time, contracts, or trades, there always seems to be a lack of explanation from the club.
    I don't think that's the case with injuries, no. We can go down that rabbit hole if you want to -- and we have in the past in the chat. But when it comes to injuries, the Cardinals aren't any more secretive than any other team. They are less so than several. They are about the same as many. And in every case they tend to reveal how teams try to offer the most optimistic view of the injury, when the most pragmatic would be better. And they also reveal how in uncertain injuries really are. Everyone wants neat, tidy timetables. They don't exist. Sorry.
    Contracts -- the Cardinals remain one of the teams that do not discuss details. Some teams reveal figures publicly. Most don't. Cardinals adamantly don't.
    Trades, and free agency -- Yes, this can lead to confusion. The Cardinals do not talk about their pursuits, and in my experience don't stoke the rumors too much, either. Because of that they are a perfect foil for rumors. They won't refute them. They won't comment on them. And so they get thrown in some that don't make sense at all -- and don't check out with reporting. But the team won't refute them. 
    Look, the Cardinals are conservative. That's their default switch. Fine. As an agent once told me and another team repeated in an unrelated conversation: "Mozeliak plays things pretty close to the vest, doesn't he? He's not giving away anything." And I know of several examples were exactly three people in the Cardinals organization knew what the team was trying to pull off, and the rest, including some of Mozeliak's closest advisers, were left putting together clues and guessing, just like a reporter I know ... 
    I don't think they're going to change this, even if it would generate some additional interest in this winter, even if it was just smoke where there is no fire.  
    It was late last year in one of the PD chats, probably this one, where the host outlined that the DeWitts actually control less than half the team's ownership. Thank you to whoever it was the wrote that; it was very illuminating.

    I think a lot of fans think of DeWitt as "the owner", i.e. say 75%+ control. And he's a billionaire. And the team has gone up in value by billions over the years. So he should suck it up, exercise his authority, take a big loss for a couple years, cough up some small percentage of his gains, and truly compete for a championship. Part of the reason you save is to have resources to use in the hard times.

    That's pretty much what I think.

    But I think it's much easier for a truly dominant owner to do that than it is for a general partner with 40% ownership. A general partner can't so easily get limited partners who own the majority to agree to take big losses. (The cynic in me thinks this is one reason ownership groups are structured this way. They're all protected from anyone deciding to spend.)

    Anyway, when I read that in the chat I thought it might be a good topic for an article as I don't think many readers really understand the Cards' ownership structure and how it might affect how they deal with really big issues.
    Thanks for the note, Brian. This has been explored in other articles, and it was only a few years ago, I believe, that we sorted through the structure to get the information that you are referencing from a chat I had late last year. Bill DeWitt Jr's title is chairman. He does not go by owner. A lot of times he gets referred to as owner, but you outline why chairman is better, and that's why I use it in print and in chat and in discussions. That said, he does have influence to sway the organization, and he is one of the richer owners in baseball. That has to be baked into any discussion like this one.
    You offer a good reminder to always think about when is a good time to revisit a story, when it is just repetition, and when is such an approach valuable, because there are times with many chat topics that the answers get repeated week to week.
    Is that good? Or does it become dull for regular chatters?
    DG, Do you think that there are some of your colleagues who attempt to put a finger on the scales of who does and doesn't get the HOF vote by waiting to see how the voting is going before they vote?
  • Maybe. I don't know of any, but there are about 400 voters, so there's going to be a little bit of everything when it comes to their votes. I know that I did check out the ballot tracker as I wrestled with what to do for Bobby Abreu. So maybe you can accuse me of doing this -- because I didn't want to contribute to him fading off the ballot.
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