Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 11 a.m. Monday

Join Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold for his live chat at 11 a.m. Monday

In this special edition of the chat, Derrick also takes questions about his Hall of Fame ballot.

  • Who is the Cards player rep for the MLBPA? Wasn’t it Andrew Miller? Who is it now and would they be involved in the CBA negotiations?
    They'll be a new one when the season starts up. The Cardinals had Miller and Goldschmidt serve as connections with the union. Goldschmidt is involved. Flaherty also was involved, though I'm not sure if that was a formal spot or his curiosity. The Cardinals' player rep for awhile was Brebbia before he was set free and signed with the Giants.
    What has Oli been up to this winter? It has to be rough for any manager who can't talk to his players, but especially one who just got the job
    The Cardinals are not permitted to speak to the media. They sent out hard and fast rules that Cardinals executives and employees in baseball operations would not be permitted to speak to the media. Other teams have decided to take different approaches. So, what Marmol is doing they're not saying, they're not even responding to questions about.
    He has been meeting with his coaches. He is expected to be involved in some way when the Cardinals' start gearing up activities in Jupiter. He has been to St. Louis for discussions with front office brass. Had a lovely dinner with Bill DeWitt Jr., Bill DeWitt III, and John Mozeliak shortly after the lockout. 
    The coaching staff and Marmol cannot have any contact with members of the 40-man roster.
    Derrick, why did you think Shildt was shocked by his firing? Did he not know his boundaries or did he just test those boundaries too much. It seemed to me this was a case of “what we have here is a failure to communicate,” but maybe there was more to it. Usually an employer gives a warning before a firing.
    The Cardinals said "philosophical differences." It's more correct to say "personality" conflict. It was one Mozeliak determined was irreparable and not worth dealing with when Shildt had one year remaining on his contract and would likely leave/be asked to leave at the end. Shildt had expected talk about an extension -- heck, Mozeliak had planned to talk to him about an extension. He said as much, on the record, at Dodger Stadium. Hence the story about it in the newspaper. Mozeliak later said that he left LA, took the charter flight home, and had no plans/idea that he would be replacing his manager within a week. It wasn't on the radar for him or ownership. There was existing frustration and friction, but there had also been strong results that came from the coaching staff and clubhouse pulling together after those meetings of June/July. What simmered and cooled bubbled anew and what was expressed about assets like Chris Carpenter leaving and whatever direction the organization intended to go was too much, and in one weekend an 18-year relationship was undone.

    Actually, yes. In that setting, former players will weigh in on how they feel about these guys being “in the club.”

    I’ve tried to think of a comparable example for a sportswriter and this is the best I can come up with. How would you feel about a fellow sportswriter who was buying the contents of other sportswriters e-mails, texts, etc. They would have an advantage over other sportswriters who didn’t have access to that information. Yes, what they’d be doing would be illegal - just like those taking steroids.

    Would you consider that sportswriter - a peer, a competitor of yours - a HOF writer?
    Honestly, I think you've reached a bit too far on this. If I understand your premise correctly, what you're describing is ... hacking? You could have used plagiarism I guess. That's a huge no-no in journalism, as I hope everyone here knows. I'm just following your comparison, and don't quite get the connection, though I welcome an explanation from anyone. 
    I would like to add: As a voter, I speak to players, former players and peers of the players to get their opinion, to get their view. That's part of reporting. That's part of researching.
    That's part of voting.
  • Derrick, I plan to be in Tampa in early March and hope to see the Cards-Yankees game at Steinbrenner Field. Do you travel with the team to road spring training games? Is it tough to get tickets to a game like that?
    I travel to spring training games, but I do not travel with the team. I drive myself in spring, or travel with a Post-Dispatch colleague when possible. It is difficult to get Yankees-Cardinals tickets, yes. That is largely because it's the Yankees and also because the Cardinals fans flock to the west coast of Florida when the Cardinals come over there. It's going to be the Cardinals fans who go back to their St Pete days who fill the ballpark and put tickets in demand.
    Are any players talking to the media? I'd love to see an article about what Goldy is reading this off season and maybe his best reads of 2021. I loved the article you did with him before. While I love the baseball coverage...I really enjoy the coverage of players as human beings outside of baseball as well. We often forget they are more than just baseball players. Perhaps you could share your favorite reads of 2021? We often forget members of the press are more than just reporters as well... I read Lee Gutkind's "The Best Seat in Baseball, But You Have to Stand" for the first time this year and really enjoyed it. Also enjoyed "The Premonition" by Michael Lewis. (I think Lewis could make a book about grass growing or paint drying interesting.)
    Players are permitted to speak with the media. They are not under the rules imposed selectively by teams. A recent example of that is a story on a Cardinals' prospect, who was working out alone at the facility after the lockout ... 

    When a lockout froze MLB, baseball activities ‘only picked up’ and rehab continued for prospects like Cardinals’ Bedell

    STLtoday.comFormer Mizzou starter set for significant stride in recovery Wednesday after months working out in mostly quiet Jupiter.
    The story mentioned about Paul Goldschmidt and our conversations about books that started in spring and went into quarantine is here: 

    Goold on the Cardinals: Goldschmidt finds connections through books

    STLtoday.comFirst baseman's voracious reading provides kinship and fosters his growth.
    RE: Lane Thomas, I would've played the same 3, and you like Noot as the LH compliment (as theoretically I liked Justin Williams over Lane as well). The heart of my question was less about playing time and more about unlocking something in hitters what other coaches/organizations are doing with the same guys we had. If it's all playing time then yeah, hands tied, the Nationals can have the ,850 OPS guy on a losing club
    Playing time -- actually getting the at-bats -- is at the core of unlocking a hitter. There are many ways to measure and predict and suppose that the hitter will have that production, but until the hitter gets those at-bats, gets in the box, and does it, that number doesn't exist. It's theory. Not action. I don't know of a player who has put up a .850 OPS without actually getting in the batter's box and doing so, and thus playing time is key. There are dozens of players who the Cardinals don't know how they'll be in the majors because there is someone ahead of them who the team thinks is better. And that is true all around the majors and minors. Playing time is the biggest factor that comes to mind when I think of unlocking a player/revealing a talent.
    How is this offense better today than it was when it scored 1 run vs LA?
    It's not. The Cardinals have scored zero runs today. Zero. They are going to score zero tomorrow too and -- I'll be honest -- I think it could be a good 80, 90 days before they ever score again. 
    The Cardinals were better in LA than they were at home against Pittsburgh when the Pirates shut them out in August. 
    So, I guess that's progress, right?
    All kidding aside: The Cardinals need to improve their offense. They need that to come from DeJong, and they need to see what happens when Arenado and Goldschmidt are both producing at the same time. That rarely happened in 2021. Carlson will be an improved hitter, and that will help. Picking and choosing one game by which to judge the Cardinals offense is a mistake. Look at how different they were within the same week of the 2019 playoffs? Historic output one inning. Historically poor performance the next series.
    The Cardinals were a decidedly average offense in 2021. They were a top offense on the road. They were a lower-tier offense on the road. Has that changed? Not likely, not until Busch III does. But they can be an improved offense with internal improvements, for sure, especially if they start the year the way they finished it and don't have that confusion offensively at the beginning like they did in 2021.
    But, DG, when have the Cardinals ever paid market price for talent? They are always looking for a discount, hometown or otherwise.
    Molina's extension.
    Wainwright's extension.
    Wainwright's extension.
    Mikolas's extension.
    Those come to mind.
    how much money do you think Mo has left to spend on the 22 season?
    Covered earlier in the chat. Enough to make a solid move for the bullpen, for sure. Then can leave some to adjust during the season or make a short-term play for a lefthanded bat, if the right price is there. Could do both.
    Curt Schilling should be in the Hall of Fame. I would have voted for him up until this time. After what he said about not caring or not wanting in. I am not sure I could have voted for him this time. Just saying.
    And that's an entirely fair opinion. I opted not to care what he had to say about the ballot, about his candidacy, about journalists and just voted for the career.
    HOF Ballot question. Seems like when people say go ahead and vote for PED users, they then go out and vote for Bonds, Clemens, Rodriguez, Ortiz and maybe Ramirez. But Sosa just seems forgotten. Over 600 home runs. MVP. Am I missing something that doesn't elevate him into the Ortiz & Ramirez category - if not higher?
    It's a good question. This past week, I was re-reading some of Jay Jaffe's work on the ballot over at FanGraphs. And on his ballot he did vote for Sosa (and Abreu, since we're talking RF), and he explained why, not only pointing out the enormous home run total but also the comparisons against other right fielders and hitters linked to PEDs. Like Bonds and Clemens, he was tied to PEDs before there was testing in place in the majors and before there was any punishment, unlike when Ortiz, Rodriguez, and Ramirez played their careers. There are a few things that to me seem to be a drag on Sosa:
    -- Voters who aren't going to vote on that era are going to leave him off.
    -- The counting stats of hits, wins, homers, etc., don't carry the same guarantee in this era of voting because there are more homers, more members of the 500+ club, and also the advanced metrics are giving new looks, new rates, new ways to view careers. It's not quite wins for starters, but it puts single-dimension candidates in a larger context.
    -- His vote total seems stagnant, so with a 10-person limit there's a choice to make about supporting someone else who might see growth in support or need precious votes to remain in the conversation.
    -- He just doesn't rise to the level of the other candidates for some. I mentioned oWAR earlier and listened some of the candidates. Might surprise you to know that he has a oWAR of 50.4. Again, I'm not saying that's the be-all, end-all stat, but it's an informative stat when it comes to how much a player contributed offensively. Sosa played 2,354 games and had an oWAR less than Rolen's 52.8 in 2,038. And earlier in the chat you can see how that compares to others on the same ballot.  
    Where do you get your wonderful toys?
  • Mr. Goold: If you hadn't been limited to 10 picks on the HoF ballot, how many more would you have voted for, i.e., if you can remember?
    If I can remember? I did the ballot two weeks ago. What are you trying to imply, Bruce?
    I really think baseball is flirting with disaster if they have to put off start of the season with baseball still trying to recover from the missed games during COVID, fans are getting to much time to find other things to follow other than baseball especially younger fans
    If Mo leaves after his contract is up, will they just make Girsch the new POBO, or would they actually look outside the organization?
    Depends on the situation at the time. There is a season between now and then, and they do have a few internal candidates to consider for GM or president position should they need to fill that spot. A difficult, disappointing year and the Cardinals will be forced to consider greater changes.
    Off beat question: Have you seen the new American Underdog movie about Kurt Warner? Any thoughts?
    I have not seen it, no. Sorry. Benjamin Hochman wrote a review of it for the newspaper and that is still available here at
    Maris9...those people are essentially saying a guy is a hall of famer with or without PEDs and that, in their opinion, Sosa is not. It is kind of like COVID, people draw the lines wherever is most convenient for themselves.
  • That is not what I'm saying with my ballot. That is not my opinion. I don't cut and carve up a career to make it easier to digest without the sour stink of PEDs. It's a career. I'm voting on a career. Other voters have a different approach, and I encourage you to ask them on that, but I can definitely say that I did not massage career numbers around when I think/reporting suggests a player used or didn't use -- because how do we know for sure?
    Mr. Goold: I'm not trying to imply anything. You were limited to 10 picks. If you had up to 20 picks, how many more would you have voted for? That's all I want to know. If you don't want to answer, then don't.
    You said, if I can remember. I don't mind asking. I'll field all types of questions. I just wanted to point out that when you put that little twist at the end, that subtle dig here in the chat or there on Facebook, I pay attention. It is seen.
    I had a good list of about 16 players that I had to cut down to 10. I don't have access to a yes/no ballot, so I will honestly tell you I don't know if I would have voted yes for all 16. I probably would not have because, again, some career has to be the line, the lower extreme. I do know that when I got to 10, I was comfortable voting yes for those 10. I'll have a different approach to the ballot if/when there is a yes/no ballot, and I don't have to consider the 10 most worthy. I can just answer the question the Hall means to ask.
    Kind of tough to advocate for Edmonds and then leave Torii Hunter off of your ballot. The two are very similar players in my eyes.
    I don't see it that way. Hunter has one more Gold Glove Award than Edmonds, so if that's the metric you're going to use, it's possible to see the comparison. Hunter had a career WAR 10 lower than Edmonds, 60.4 to 50.7. Edmonds had a career OPS greater than .900 at a demanding defensive position, one in which he excelled. Hunter had an OPS lower than .800 at a demanding defensive position, one in which he excelled. Those are just numbers that leap to mind. And it does bother me to take away from a great career. Hunter had a strong career. Good career. Highly decorated career. So I come here not to bury his statistics, but to prove how I don't see them compare in this case.
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