Joe Strauss Live!!!

Joe Strauss Live!!!

Bring your Cards, Rams, Blues and Mizzou questions and comments to the weekly live chat with Post-Dispatch columnist Joe Strauss, starting at noon.




    Hello from STL County, where we will spend the next couple hours or so, give or take an hour, discussing the wild week that has been 314 sports. The goings on in CoMo and the revelations about Cardinals pitching have altered the respective landscapes in the last 96 hours. Feel free to weigh in with your opinions. Just don't get out of sorts if the host counters with his take as well. There's a lot of passion surrounding these issues. Keep it clean and try to include a clue when weighing in. I'm not expecting complete agreement. I do expect a shred of civility. I'll try to comply as well. Enough delay. Let's get to it!!! Free lunch with JSL!!!
    What are your thoughts on the Welker signing? I'm a bit conflicted. On one hand he is a grown adult and as such has the ability to make his own decisions. On the other hand the NFL should have a duty to say, "Look, this is entertainment. Do you really want to run the risk of dying next time you have a concussion?" I know its ridiculous to think the NFL would honestly be socially conscious but we can hope right?
    You're right. Individual rights (and responsibility) has a place in society. I flinched when I first heard of the Welker signing. It smacks of desperation by the Rams and a high sense of risk-taking by an athlete who has suffered at least a half-dozen concussions. Welker is putting himself at risk. That's his right. But does that complicate the league's liability re: future ill effects that may stem from his return? It's one thing for more to be known about a condition -- see: cigarette smoking -- but an entirely different issue whether a person listens to the warning. The Rams are entitled to act in their self interest. I just wonder if in 10 (or 5) years folks look back on this chapter with regret.
    Joe, can you shed any light on the lead-up to the Lance Lynn surgery? I'm curious about when the Cardinals figured out he needed surgery and why it didn't happen until almost a month after the season ended.
    My information is that Lynn pitched through discomfort for much of the second half. By his own words this morning on AM-920 radio he said he felt an obligation to push through with Wainwright on the DL. Of course, his compromised ligament also explains much of his second-half fade. The Cardinals initially thought Lynn might be able to rehab his way through the winter, according to my intel, but Lynn pressed for a second opinion from Dr. George Paletta. The Cardinals former medical supervisor thought evidence supported a transplant but suggested Lynn see Dr. David Altchek in NYC. Altchek agreed with Paletta's determination and surgery was performed Tuesday in West County. Lynn did not seem surprised by the diagnosis. It's unlikely that 3 weeks would have made a significant difference in Lynn's ability to pitch in 2016.
    Chatmeister, can you explain how the insurance aspect works for the Cardinals? We hear that they openly rely on insurance coverage to stave off injuries, but how much budgetary impact does this really allow? With someone like Lynn out for the year, is there a large portion of money they get back via insurance that they can use on an FA for his spot?
    The Cardinals will retrieve a percentage of Lynn's $7.5M salary for 2016. That figure will not cover a significant acquisition of a free agent pitcher.
    Criticizing Dusty Baker for destroying pitchers arms is a common sport in the STL area. Why is it that no one dare mention or even suggest Matheny might be doing the same? Wacha(shoulder), Siegrist(shoulder), Martinez(shoulder), Rosenthal(frequent overuse), and now Lynn who's been sited as "immune to fatigue" is out with TJ.
    Folks can say whatever they want. They do all the time here and on the STLtoday chat boards. There is no filter and apparently no standard for embarrassment. To equate the handling of Wacha, Martinez, et al to that of Wood and Prior in Chicago is absurd. My only question regards the heavy stress placed upon Siegrist a year after his shutdown. Rosenthal is a closer. He actually made six fewer appearances in 2015 while setting a club record for saves than in 2013. But within a fan base where many hold the manager rather than players responsible for every on-field failing, facts tend to be discarded or interpreted as the tools of organizational apologists. A more nuanced question might address how the club conditions its pitchers. But what fun is that?
    With the loss of Bailey and the need for a spark on offense, what move by the Rams would you have voted for instead of the Welker signing?
    Obtaining a guy with a troubling history of concussions. Of course, given Fisher's reluctance to let Foles attempt to win Sunday's game in Minnesota, one questions the significance of any WR on this team. The lack of trust in Foles Sunday was as glaring as the Rams' futility on third down. Methinks there's a connection.
    With Lynn's injury, do you believe the cards aggressively pursue Price. I knew they were interested in Price, but does Lynn's injury change how the cards approach a potential david price deal?
    I don't see why it should. The FA pitching market is deep enough for the Cardinals to find a shorter-term, less costly fix. I'm not a proponent of 7- or 8-year deals for pitchers. Actually, I think such deals are reckless.
    Gordon says the Cards best move would be to bring back Lackey. Goold believes they will and should aim higher. Which side do you agree with? Thanks.
    I stated prior to last season that given Wainwright's age and recent medical history it makes some sense for the Cardinals to pursue a "1A" starter. Price is an unchallenged ace and at least short term is a Cy Young contender. My issues regarding him are long-term. Jordan Zimmermann pitches at 30 next season and will come at less of a premium. He has averaged more than 200 innings the last four seasons with the Washington Nats, won 19 games in 2013 and followed with a 2.66 ERA in 2014. He was less impressive in '15 as his K:W rate dropped from 6.28 to 4.21. There are some yellow flags, to be sure. The Nats also extended him a qualifying offer, so there would be draft compensation. Think about it. Waino' turns 35 next season and has carried a huge innings load for the majority of his career. Lynn is signed only through 2017; Garcia carries an option for 2017. Martinez is coming off a shoulder condition and Wacha is still developing. The club requires another pitching anchor. Alex Reyes is on the way but can't be counted upon as a fixture until 2018, in my opinion. (The club firmly believes he will merit a spot in the rotation in '17. Fine. But there still exists a question of stability.) Mo' needs to at least charter a boat for a deep-sea expedition.
    I've heard and read your criticisms of Mizzou and their handling of multiple issues over the years. Are you looking for more transparency, a more proactive approach to problems as they become apparent, or something different?
    I don't see why the first two options have to be mutually exclusive.
    SI I believe had an article dissecting the overwhelming evidence that long term contracts (especially those of the FA variety) simply don't work out for the team. The situation was worse for pitchers vs. position players I believe, but both typically yielded bad outcomes. Given that, why don't we see more teams take more cautious approaches (similar to the Cardinals), especially given all the recent data driven focus in baseball?
    I've long agreed with the premise. Of course, holding to it requires an organization largely ignore fans who howl for splashy long-term signings. Agents love to play on emotion, and fan chatter only intensifies the pressure. Among the Cardinals' best attributes, in my opinion, is their ability to give their fan base its due as "the best in baseball" while completely tuning it out when it comes to decisions regarding roster construction. You present a product and typically 3.5 millions fans show up. But that doesn't mean you let the Rotisserie League set influence your methodology. I laugh looking back at how club history would be different if the front office and ownership had reacted to a fan base with a bad diaper rash.
    Experts keep guessing on Heyward and his price tag. If they are right, looking at 8 years and $200 million, is that outside of the Card's zone? I know they keep talking about payroll muscle, but would that price cause them to look elsewhere?
    I don't think term will inhibit the Cardinals. A $25M AAV might. Eight years/$180M with an opt-out included somewhere after the fourth season might be more manageable. Your operative word is "guessing." Let's see what Heyward's actual market becomes. Regardless, he does not project as a 3-5 hitter. The Cardinals need to add one of those, IMO.
    Thoughts on the goings-on in COMO? I think there is a legitimate issue and point of discussion that is going to be lost. Regardless of how we arrived here, this could be a chance for all sides to use this as a start to an honest, open discussion about race and inclusiveness at MU. The pessimist in me says that is a pipe dream. Should I hold out hope that this results in anything positive?
    Depends on what the true goals are. It's not encouraging when the protest movement achieves its primary goal and immediately responds by trying to deny rights to others. My sense is that the protests at MU are not entirely organic. It would be easier to believe the movement's tenets if it offered the same transparency it has demanded of the university power structure. My expectation is that issues will become more complicated than simple as this goes forward. Unfortunately, the university exacerbated problems by trying to stiffarm the issue(s). I don't believe the full story has yet been told.
    With the Disney CEO joining the Carson project, do you see the Rams moving if they solve the financing in STL?
    I remember advice I was recently given: It's easier to move an owner than to move a team.
    Can you elaborate a bit more on your recent comment that the Dodgers and Cardinals line up fairly well for a "significant trade"?
    The Cards and Dodgers had needs which the other club could address. That, however, was before Lynn's surgery became public knowledge. The Cardinals, like the Dodgers, now find themselves buyers for pitching. The Dodgers will likely shed a name this winter, whether Puig, Crawford or Ethier. It's more likely now that the Cardinals have to address their vulnerable rotation through FA rather than trade, unless they cling to the low-hanging model.
    I agree with your assessment on Mo going deep sea fishing and Zimmermann seems like a fit. If they drop down a tier, what about Samardjzia?
    I'm not offended by the notion but he doesn't project as a "1A" for me.
    I have wondered for decades why the paper posts pictures of top free agents above an article when the Cardinals Way does not include deep sea expeditions into the free agent market? Why not put a couple of mid level guys there?
    I only send 'em words. I don't pull out the toys.
    Good afternoon, Mr. Strauss. I am a Rams fans and former St. Louisan. I admit I have mixed feelings about the possible rams move to LA. On one hand, from a business standpoint, I can understand Silent Stan's desire to move the team if it triples the team's value (who among us would not jump at the chance to triple our pay or the value of our home). On the other hand, I am frustrated by his unwillingness to engage in negotiations for a new stadium. It seems like that was part of his plan all along; and to use the fans like that, even though st. Louis has supported the ten through years of atrocious football is, well, unseemly. I guess my wrath really should be directed at the idiot city officials who gave him the out clause in the first place. Thanks for letting me vent. What is your take on the situation, please? Thank you.
    The CVC attempted to leverage Kroenke. He has only returned the favor.
    I think the recent issue at Missouri is just the tip of a quickly melting iceberg. The admin at Mizzou was wrong in not addressing the issues but now we have seen a group of athletes nearly bring a sports program to its knees....what lies ahead is more turmoil around the country over I'm sure far less meaty issues. Unless the programs in question and the NCAA are prepared to strip scholarships there will be no end to what some will do to get their way!!!!
    I believe student-athletes have a right to join an on-campus protest. My question centers on whether the football team's involvement was organic or was it duped into an issue that likely would not have toppled Wolfe without its involvement. Comments by Pinkel and Rhoades about their concern for a protester on death's door because of a 6-day-old hunger strike seem a bit hollow. Reminded that the body can go without food for about 5 weeks, Pinkel responded to a media type Monday by saying, "I didn't have time to look it up on Google." A day later Pinkel was backtracking from his connection to the protest. Convenient. I thought Rhoades and Pinkel in an untenable position. They had to support the players or risk lasting damage to the program. Rhoades seemed to get the questions. Pinkel strayed at times into condescension, which did not serve him well. Again, I don't think these protests are entirely organic.
    Do you think the Cards see their needs as a 3-5 bat, a starting pitcher, solid backup for infield and catcher, plus a bullpen arm or two?
    Middle bat: Yes; IF backup: Perhaps not if they're bullish on Greg Garcia. But I would advocate for it; Catcher: Depends on their read of Cruz. At the moment I think they sit tight. A bullpen arm or two: Yes, though I expect they'll show a RH bias rather than look for a LH to shoulder some of Siegrist's load.
    I understand some Big news was released recently in regards to Lynn but come on people!! Blues are playing great hockey right now amid the midst of some high impact players missing!! Allen is playing lights out, Parayko keeps wowing anyone who watches including the people selecting for the World Cup 23 and under tourney, and the BLues have put together a nice winning streak even without a lot of production from tarasenko the past few games. Can we give the Blues some love?!
    You just did. And deservedly so.
    Could Cargo be a better match for the Cards offensive need than Heyward?
    Interesting name. He just turned 30 and is due a "reasonable" $37M the next two seasons. He represents one of those potential "trade-and-sign" types that intrigue the Cardinals. Gonzalez ranked third in the NL in home runs and seventh in RBI this season. However, he was exposed against LHP (.195 BA, .530 OPS) and away from Coors (.243 BA, .758 OPS). It's hardly a no-brainer given the significant trade cost involved. But he would fit as a cleanup bat, especially against rights, and the availability of Grichuk and Piscotty could offer a semi-platoon opportunity in RF vs. lefts.
    I had a much different view of Ken Hitchcock when he was coaching other teams. He is not a rigid thinker. Amazing to me that the Blues are winning with rookies, just-off-the-street players, and minor league call-ups. The man can coach.
    According to many, the Blues should have put him on the street after the Wild series. I disagreed. Ultimately, he'll be judged pass-fail next April.
    The Cards seem to have an over abundance of Wild Child issues over the past few seasons. Perhaps it is because they were made public and other teams have hidden their problems. At any rate, do the Cards have some sort of plan in place to assist the young players that get off track? It seems like the Cardinals Way would include that. One can only hope. Thanks!
    I'm not sure how a club can hide two positive tests for a drug of abuse or the death of an intoxicated player (and his companion) on a Dominican highway. The same can be said of a two-time PED violator. Perhaps the Cardinals merely have more of these issues than some of their rivals. (Gasp!). The Cardinals also await judgment on the hacking scandal that has gone radio silent the past four months. Apparently a heavy hammer is on the way. This organization has a fairly well-known association with alcohol problems and a forgiving attitude toward PED's. There is an employee assistance program mandated by MLB. Ultimately, an employee has to want to change for the program to have a positive effect.
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