Jeff Gordon Live

Jeff Gordon Live

Columnist Jeff Gordon takes your Blues, Cardinals and STL sports questions in his weekly chat, beginning at 1 p.m. Friday.




    Bobo's here, where's all the ballplayers?
    With Fowler playing some of the best outfield of his career and Bader looking more and more like Peter Bourjos with better hair, do you think it possible the Cards would consider moving a guy they positioned as one of the new faces of the franchise during the offseason at the trade deadline? A guy like Nick Castellanos would look pretty good standing out in right, and moving Bader could help to clear the outfield logjam the team has right now.
    Trading Bader now would be a classic "sell low" move, one not likely to yield much of a return. And the Cardinals have given away enough outfielders for a while. There should be work for O'Neill and Bader for the long haul even if Ozuna re-ups here -- since Fowler will be done here after his contract and Martinez figures to settle in as a part-timer once this team gets back to full strength.
    I may have missed your opinion already but is the "outrage" of the Blues player''s treatment of the Stanley Cup really just part of the normal process or am I just paying attention because it's the Blues this time?
    I know that players have done some crazy things with the Cup over the years and put a few dents in it. And I know the NHL has tried to scale back some some of that excess. As for the outrage, I find it comical. Hockey players are the last elite pro athletes to retain some working class aesthetic. If that means a guy lets his dog eat meatballs out of the sacred chalice, so be it. The Cup saw worse back when Mark Messier was winning in Edmonton.
    This franchise had never won the Cup. Many people believed it never would. This team was in last place in the NHL halfway into this season. The Blues are trying to set the record for most enjoyment gained from winning the Stanley Cup. As they should. They are taking what Alexander Ovechkin did last year and made it a group effort. Good for them. Just sober up in time for training camp.
    With Maroon having his day with the cup tomorrow, think we'll hear about him signing elsewhere shortly thereafter? I thought it might be a little awkward for him to celebrate as the hometown hero if he was officially gone next season.
    There's not a lot of money left for the Blues under the cap -- so unless this team makes a trade, the Big Rig would have to settle for another hometown discount here. The remaining X-factor is Joel Edmudson, who seemed destine to get much bigger money this summer but then had a so-so year.
    Happy Friday Commissioner Gordon!

    Cardinal question: Any way the front office can get the guy back from Houston who was the tech genius determining player potential? It seems "The Cardinal Way" floundered when he left for the Astros, it seems they can't evaluate talent any more.
    by Barry - Blues & Cards Fan in Orlando 7/19/2019 5:53:50 PM
    That genius, Jeff Luhnow, lost 106, 107. 111 and 92 games in his first four seasons in Houston. That earned him some high draft picks (some of which he wasted) and allowed him to trade away most of his veterans for an army of prospects. From that pipe a championship finally emerged. Meanwhile the Cardinals remained in the hunt season after season.
    Jeff, I believe this year provides the best chance the Cards have in making the playoffs in the near term. The team’s best players are getting older, the farm system is mostly depleted, notwithstanding an abundance of pitchers seemingly forever bound to the medical office, and other teams in the division that have retooled and improving - see Cinc and Pitt. To that extent, the FO must act on its pre-season mantra of “all-in” and make a major improvement now. Would you agree?
    Yes, I believe they should try to reach this postseason because they made big financial commitments to key players and they do rely on some veterans on the high side of 30 years old. The question is, how much trade leverage do they have compared to some peer franchises? I expect John Mozeliak to make a move, but the key for this team will be getting guys like Paul DeJong (who rose up Thursday), Matt Carpenter and Paul Goldschmidt producing with some consistency. This team can't leave run production to Tommy Edman and Tyler O'Neill.
    Who is the guy the Blues got from Winnipeg in the Stastny deal? I know he didn't play last year. Does he have any kind of future with the organization?
    The Blues got forward Erik Foley, a player they liked a lot. He looked like a good fit for the Craig Berube style. He is a power forward who bangs bodies and gets to the net. Unfortunately he suffered a concussion the rookie tournament and missed the entire season. Given that severity, it;'s safe to say the rest of his career is in some doubt.
  • Is there any defense for the unnecessary contract extension Mozeliak handed out to Matt Carpenter? They had him on a $14 million option for next season, which could well have been something they’d walk away from this fall given how poorly he’s performing, and instead Mozeliak guarantees him $18.5 million for 2020 and 2021.

    Carpenter had a torrid three-month stretch last year but did nothing the other three months (first six weeks of the season and final six weeks of the season). Why extend him when it was unnecessary instead of seeing if he could be more consistent this season? A very poor job of asset management on Mozeliak’s part.
    Agreed. The free agent market has collapsed on older guys like Matt Carpenter. He wasn't going anywhere any time soon. And even if he did hit like he did for a chunk of 2018, how high was that money ever going to go for a guy well into his 30s?
  • Is there an easy answer to why the Cardinals have had issues lately drafting/developing great position players? Bad luck? Poor scouting? Or guys just not panning out? They seem to have the book on pitchers but we have seen their health, and subsequently impact, are much more volatile. While we've had a few guys turn out fairly well, it leaves you craving for that everyday superstar.
  • You are unlikely to draft a superstar later in the first round, where the Cardinals usually are because they post a winning record every year. And while they have certainly signed and developed some nice players from Latin America, they haven't found big impact hitters. Maybe Oscar would have been that guy, but we'll never know.
  • 29 GMs in the league run screaming from free agent 30+ year olds like they're lepers, but not Mo. Between Goldschmidt, Yadi, and Carpenter, he's cornered that market, giving them way more than they'd get on the open market. My question: is Mo holding the spreadsheet from the actuarial department upside down when he reads it, or is he an undercover agent for the AARP? Either way, he's doing it wrong.
  • Yes, it was weird to see a franchise that avoided bad contracts better than most suddenly make so many questionable investments in older guys. And as it turned out, going against today's conventional thinking has not worked out for the organization.
  • The blues had success by sitting players that weren’t performing and playing the ones that did. What is stopping the Cardinals from taking the same path?ill say that they do rotate their bullpen guys out to fit their needs! Why are they so stubborn with the position players?
  • Berube didn't make it a regular habit of sitting out his top guys if they were in a funk. Schwartz, Tarasenko, Schenn, Parayko, Pietrangelo . . . all those guys when through less productive periods and they kept playing. In the case of the Cardinals, Shildt has been willing to sit key guys (Carpenter in particular) to help them reset. But moving veterans in and out of the lineup will cause a manager to lose his clubhouse. Matheny shuffled his lineup a lot last season and the players turned on him. Unless your roster is stuffed with talent (like the Yankees or Dodgers), it's hard to sell that shuffle to the team. For the most part you play your key guys and hope the regular work helps them get on track.
  • What do you make of this Jordan Kyrou kid? Is he going to be a 60-point winger at some point? Seeing that the Blues passed on Alex DeBrincat to draft him, he better be at least that good. To me, Kyrou has Denny Felsner stances and Dave Roberts advances.
    I'd be disappointed if Kyrou was just a 60-point guy. He has special talent. This is not just Ron Caron-type hype, this is what independent analysts have noted. It would have been interesting to see if Kyrou would have gotten a look at some point in the playoffs had he not suffered a season-ending knee injury. The NHL is going to a speed/skill game and this kid can make plays at high speed.
    Do you envision Wacha will be off the rooster one way or another and very soon?
  • Yeah, that could happen. The Cardinals need to add a starter and at some point they may want to bring back Ryan Helsley or look at reliever Junior Fernandez, who finally put it together in the minors this season.
    Barbashev is a RFA without arbitration rights. What is the hold up on getting him signed?
    He is an interesting case. He's been around long enough where going with a multi-year deal could make some sense. Given Barbashev's lack of leverage, the difference between his realistic position and the Blues' position cannot be great. He has KHL leverage, but I can't see him leaving a Cup team just as his NHL career is taking off.
    Is Klim Kostin ever going to be a top six forward in the NHL? Heck, at this point, is he ever going to be a bottom six forward in the NHL? His first two seasons in the AHL have been extremely disappointing. If he can’t even put up 30 points in the AHL, that doesn’t bode well for his NHL future.
    Kostin didn't turn 20 until after his second AHL season. Teenagers in that league are scarce. Had he played major junior or college hockey, he would have put up big numbers. It's worth noting that he scored eight goals in 12 games at the last two World Junior Championships playing against guys his age. He has the size to play for Berube and he plays with an edge too. (Check out his angry response to not winning the last WJC.)  But to your point, the Blues want to see the offensive side of his game emerge so he doesn't stagnate. He needs to reach closer to this offensive potential before getting regular work at the NHL level or else he could settle into a career as a Bottom 6 forward. A good sign at the development camp: He finally did some interviews in English, proving that he is getting much more comfortable here. I expect to see him in at least a few NHL games this season as the organization makes his development a priority.
    I feel like the Cardinals are a contender for the NL Central, but have zero chance at the pennant. They don't have a starting pitcher that can carry them to a victory in a seven game series, and their best everyday player is probably Ozuna. That's not the description of a successful October team.
    That sounds something like the 2006 Cardinals, who won a World Series with guys like twilight year Jeff Weaver and eternal prospect Anthony Reyes.
    Saw that Luis Robert is tearing it up in the minors. Another missed opportunity for Dollar Bill and Bowtie. The excuse of the White Sox had more Cuban players is weak. Pay more money and you get him. Instead let's give money to Carpenter who appears done. Ridiculous
    The problem in the Robert case was two-fold: First, the White Sox did make an extravagant offer. Surely desperation played into that, since that team has been only intermittently relevant for the last two decades. Second, the Cardinals had already spent aggressively in Latin America so they would have paid a dollar-for-dollar penalty for signing Robert. So they had to decide if he was a $54 million player. Maybe he is, but it's easy to see why the Cardinals weren't determined to win that bidding at all cost.
    Think about it: if the Patriots had moved to St. Louis back in the 90s, it's highly unlikely that Bill Belichick would've come to the franchise. No Belichick, no Brady, and no six Super Bowls. So really, Mike Martz isn't to blame. It's all Jim Orthwein's fault.
    I refuse to believe that the NFL was ever going to let such a move occur. But at the time it seemed like a good wedge to ensure that St. Louis got an expansion team. And we all saw how that played out.
    The Cards have blown first-round picks in recent years on Nick Plummer and Delvin Perez. The free agent signings of Cecil, Leake, Choate, Fowler, Wigginton, Miller, etc. have been disastrous. The Voit, Mercado and Pham trades all haven’t worked out. Right now the Goldschmidt trade and subsequent contract extension has been a failure. Isn’t it time for Mozeliak to go? How many bad moves does one manager get before he’s sent packing? Mozeliak’s recent track record is totally unacceptable.
    The Cardinals are 2 1/2 games out of first place despite taking some major injury hits. They are shooting for their 12th consecutive winning season despite some notable adversity. During that entire span they have been out of the playoff chase for just few weeks. So I'm guessing Bill DeWwitt Jr. doesn't share your outrage -- especially since he has a role in all major personnel decisions himself. Are their concerns about some dead contract money and deals that didn't work out? Sure. Does the front office feel the urgency to make some fixes? Of course. But we're seeing some positive signs on the field lately, so I believe that lessens the chances that DeWitt will feel compelled to look outside the organization for new leadership.
    Gordo, I know Schildt didn't receive a very high grade during your midseason report, and for a lot of fans in these chats the honeymoon definite seems over, but are we underrating the job he's done this year? Despite the fact that Carpenter, Waino, Ozuna, Molina, Reyes, Martinez, Gyorko, Cecil, and Gomber have all been on the IL, most for extended periods of time, and nearly every hitter is underperforming, the team is still in the wild card and division hunt. It's easy to bash the manager when a team doesn't meet expectations, but it seems Schildt's has done a pretty remarkable job all things considered.
    I wouldn't say Shildt has been remarkable. I do credit him for putting the offense in motion to apply pressure on opposing defenses. But he was slow to get DeJong out of a key RBI slot, which only added more pressure on Paul. Also, Shildt's effusive praise of the team when it was stuck at .500 halfway into the season made you wonder if he was enforcing enough urgency with the group. The happy talk struck a odd note.
    While I don't blame the field staff for the months-long slumps suffered by several key hitters, the inability for Carpenter, DeJong and Co. to get back on track reflected badly on the coaches. So did the inconsistency of most starting pitchers.
    We've seen some progress since the break and more reason for hope. And remember, the mid-point Blues report card didn't look good either.  
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