Join Derrick Goold at 1 p.m. Monday for his first live Cardinals chat from Jupiter

Join Derrick Goold at 1 p.m. Monday for his first live Cardinals chat from Jupiter

Bring your Cards questions and comments to a live chat at 1 p.m. Monday as spring training gets set to begin.

    They have Molina, Knizner, Heineman, and Sanchez for spots at MLB, Class AAA.
    They have Herrera set for a spot at Class AA.
    They have four catchers on the 40-man roster so that they did not lose Herrera to another team. He had to be protected. That's it. They weren't going to lose him. He was eligible for the Rule 5 draft, and he was eligible at a young age, and that always leads to a bit of a roster jam as a result. Remember they lost an infielder to the Padres a few years ago for the same reason. 
    They bring a lot of catchers to spring training every year because they have a lot of pitchers and need someone to catch them. That's why there are so many. To be honest, I was surprised they didn't have at least one more.
    Julio Rodriguez's absence from camp is noteworthy, and an explanation is welcome at some point. I don't know about defensive-ready at this time. Seems like a strong scouting report there that might be a bit ahead of the conversation. He's strong, a prospect that should not get overlooked. 
    Do the Cards go 14 pitchers, 12 position players, or 13-13? Who is the 26th man?
    The switch of the A teams was due to closer proximity to St Louis?
  • Nope. It was done by MLB, not the Cardinals. MLB switched the Florida State League to a lower level.
    Did Wong have any trade value at the last deadline? Is that something the Cardinals explored? It seems they had already decided they had another option at 2B.
    They needed him. At that point, he was one of their top three players and they were trying to make a playoff season out of an outbreak season. It wasn't something they explored, no, because they recognized he was worth more to them as a player playing for them. That said, they telegraphed the financial decision pretty early on.
    You seem to have known Dexter Fowler well, relatively speaking, having interviewed him on his depression and injury challenges. What can the Cards learn from his time with the team? And I am not talking just bad, but also the good things he gave the team and community. I was glad to see the Cards give him a soft landing.
    This is a great question. Dexter Fowler did do a lot of things in the community -- not all of which was advertised by him or the club, and some of that was his preference. What I hope the Cardinals and Cardinals fans get from the Fowler experience is this: It never hurts to ask and to listen. There were conversations that Fowler was eager to have with people, and that he was trying to have with some people -- but because they jumped to a judgment, or he didn't exactly feel comfortable being honest or didn't know how to articulate how he was feeling, then the judgment got more airspace than the actual conversation. To borrow from Mark Twain, assumptions were broadcast around the world before the truth put on its shoes.
    I saw -- I'm sure we all saw -- reprehensible things sent toward Fowler on social media.
    Here's an example of what I'm talking about. I would receive a handful of questions every week about the perception that Fowler didn't care or that he was just going through the motions out in right field. First, I have never confused someone who plays the position smooth and with ease as someone who didn't play it at full effort. Some people are gifted with elegant athleticism and they glide; some have to churn. Juan Encarnacion glided -- and covered more ground in RF than some of the best churners I've ever seen. Second, the example people would give me was how Fowler would catch the ball at chest level, so stylishly, right? 
    Well, instead of assuming why he's doing that, why not ask? 
    The story is better if you ask: He was a catcher. That was his position. That's how he got comfortable catching like that. That's all. 
    It never hurts to ask, and since you asked -- why not listen?
    I hope that Fowler leaves the Cardinals, the Cardinals fans, the St. Louis media, and the Cardinals clubhouse with their ears more open than when he arrived.
    Where did readers find the news about the Scuzcar signing? I don't see it on MLB or on STLToday?
    Here it is on The Cardinals signed outfielder Matt Szczur to a minor-league contract. I saw it in the transactions late last night after driving to Jupiter, Fla., from St. Louis. The Cardinals didn't send out a release. They probably just posted it on Twitter.
    Arenado was a once in a lifetime option. They get credit for not passing. However, this is a franchise that has increased immensely in value. As I read the deferred money the Cards pay nothing this year. They had an opportunity to sign quality players, if not stars, at bargain basement prices and passed. They could have set up to be a dominant team for the next several years; was this shortsighted?
    Perhaps it was. We'll find out together.
  • Derrick, I'd like to hear your take on the Curt Schilling issue. I'm not standing up for the things he has said, nor would I. However, in our country where freedom of speech is valued over all other things I find it interesting the number of people who seem to want to penalize him for it. In my opinion he was a HOF pitcher. He has said no worse things than many other HOF players. Had he said nothing he would likely be in the HOF today. I know 71% voted for him so by no means was a majority against him. I just find it interesting that any writer would want to "sensor" or penalize him for something that they normally have to fight for every day in their world. Is the "character" clause being used as a bully pulpit or have the writers of today interpreted it differently than the writers from the last 81 years? Should it be deleted or re-written to clarify this for future votes?
    Oliver Wendell Holmes is credited with a phrase that, paraphrased, suggests your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins. This phrase was, loosely, the jumping off point for one of my favorite professors at Mizzou. It was a political science class about Supreme Court decisions, and it was one of the most rigorous classes I've ever taken, and it led directly to the topic I studied abroad. Still with me? I'll try not to bore you. But what the professor said was essentially this:
    The freedom of speech and expression is not freedom from repercussions of that speech or expression.
    It's a protected right from the government.
    I don't have complete freedom of speech right here and right now in this chat -- oh, the government isn't going to close it down for anything I said. But we can all think of 4,567 things I might type that would get me fired. I have the freedom to say them. How quickly would someone on here try to "cancel" me for doing so? At least one person right now is reading this hoping I slip ... 
    I do not have a freedom from the consequence of what I say.
    We are all accountable for what we say.
    You have the same freedom to say something that I have to criticize what you've said.
    Your freedom to say something is different in your dining room than it is in your office, or at Target, or in a movie theater, or in school, or -- if you want to belch out something particularly insulting -- at the bar, because your right to say it does not give you the freedom from those consequences. Eventually vile words are going to hit someone in the nose who doesn't appreciate them.
    To me, Curt Schilling has every right to say what he wants. He has said some reprehensible, vile, disgusting, wrongheaded, and violent things -- some of which he's said about journalists. I'll champion the right he has to say those things, just as I will champion the fact that he is not free from criticism or the consequences of those statements. They might spill out of his mouth or off his fingers into the world -- but he still owns them, and the ramifications. 
    I voted for Schilling. It made me uneasy, queasy to do so, and I received many emails and thoughts on Twitter where people were eager to express their freedom of speech to question my ability to be a father, to be a model for my son.
    Imagine getting those. I read every single one.
    People made a lot of assumptions about me as a person, as a father.
    I voted for Schilling because I approach my ballot like I do an article, and two things -- 1) I didn't need to use the character clause as a scalpel to reduce my ballot to the allowed 10 players and 2) I felt, journalistically, I could make the case that he's a Hall of Famer regardless of the violence he seemed to advocate against the journalist. Some of my best friends in the business disagree with me, and they are just as right as me -- because they came to that decision with honesty in their heart. I was going to disprove him with my vote, be the journalist he says I am not, and use my platform here to be critical of what he said -- not critical of his right to say it, but what he said. And I will continue to do that.
    Ballots were due before Jan. 1. What he said in the weeks that followed were just as awful and reprehensible, and alarming.
    Let's not be naive, however, that the character clause hasn't been used by voters before. It has for a long time. I appreciate your use bully pulpit. In the past, it's been used as a shield -- something to hide behind to avoid to the tough call. This isn't a new thing. If anything, the transparency of voters today and the conversation we're able to have about the voting process because of that transparency makes the current, modern voting for the Hall of Fame the most transparent and accountable of any of the major sports at any time. Period.
    And thanks to Prof. Rick Hardy at Mizzou for everything he taught me. He assured us we would use what we learned in his class in any arena we entered. He was right. 
    Is there discussion of limiting Yadi's innings this season, creating more of a split with him and Knziner than in years past? It seems the past few years he has definitely slowed down towards the end of the season. We also have to prepare a young catcher of the future as well.
  • Not a discussion that will go anywhere. Keep in mind that in each of the past three seasons, Molina has missed time where someone else had to be the starter for an extended period of time. Knizner has to be ready to be that guy this season.
  • How sure are you that Flaherty is legit? Mikolas looked great in year one and did a similar back step in year 2.
    Why is Jack Flaherty so in to this social justice stuff? We want to see him pitch, not post messages on social media, which he is obviously ill-informed about, especially at his age.
    Not trying to be controversial, but I have also heard many claim JF is black. Is this true? Or is he just playing on the media-driven narrative of racism? He seems disingenious and phony, much like many millennials who don't even know what they are talking about when it comes to these issues.

    I know you may not want to answer this question, but truly am curious. Thanks.
    It's personal for him. I think it would be best if you -- and anyone else who might feel this way -- takes the time to Google past stories or recent stories about Flaherty. This is what I'm talking about. Ask -- and then be open to listen. I printed this question because it seems like something that comes up more often than it should.
    Jack Flaherty was adopted as a baby and raised with his brother by a single mother in the Los Angeles area. He is biracial, has identified as a young Black man, and for him the social justice issues are present and personal and to suggest he's doing it for the clicks or the likes is -- well, it's insulting, honestly. I hope you don't mean it that way. I truly do. I hope you take the time to read more about him, like this story here by Ben Frederickson: 

    BenFred: Flaherty wants to shift gears from talk about equality to action

    STLtoday.comCards pitcher says, “I’m sick of the talking. I just want to find things I can do. Things we can do as a community. Things we can do as a
    Or this story here: 

    Cardinals Flaherty sought to raise his voice, bring awareness to racial injustice after 'call to action'

    STLtoday.comRighthander said protests that followed the death of George Floyd 'struck a nerve,' and he adds he wishes players had Bruce Maxwell's back when he was the only baseball player
    Or, this story about one of his role models, his mother: 

    Goold: Relentless 'five-tool' single moms shaped the lives of several Cardinals pitchers

    STLtoday.comWhen Jack Flaherty wanted to quit baseball as a high school freshman, his mom said he had to do something first: approach the younger kids he coached and "tell them
  • How is Florida? I am ready for some BSBL!!!!
    Derrick, I don't understand how you put up with these terrible people in chat. I could never do it. Thank you!
    I try to be patient. And I try my best to un-see the ones that don't get through because it's unfair to take out that frustration on the chat, in general. I also try to be pointed when necessary.
    Why is Flaherty so controversial? Can't he just play ball and be quiet???
    He is capable of doing both -- and loudly. I hope he is not quiet.
    Were you surprised that Randy Flores and Moises Rodriguez didn’t get longer looks for open GM roles this offseason?
    Not really, no. They'll get their chances soon.
    Thanks for taking my question. Not trying to be insulting at all, just laying out perception- which I'm often told, is reality. I look forward to reading the articles you posted. Thanks again!
  • In this case, facts are reality. And there has been plenty of coverage on this, so that I hope people can have informed perceptions. Thank you for explaining the motivation for your question. I hope you enjoy those stories.
    Thanks for the outstanding read on the Schilling vote. I thought your response was genius. My question references Zach T; how big is the jump from being a top tier SEC pitcher to AA? Thanks and as a Political Science major I would have loved to attend that class.
    Thanks for the kind words, not to often you come to a baseball chat and get a lengthy answer about personal liberty. But here we are. It's going to be some season.
    The SEC is the third major league. The level of competition that Thompson faced in that league is strong enough to draw comparisons to one of the higher minor-league levels, and the Cardinals have long thought that if a pitcher is in Class AA then that pitcher is on the brink of the majors. Thompson was exceptional against the elite in the SEC, too. I don't think the jump is all that far, honestly, to Class AA -- and there's evidence of that with Hudson, Lynn, and Wacha before Thompson. 
    Will all spring training games be televised this year? Tried looking it up, but I couldn't seem to find it. Can't tell if it's my ineptitude or if they just don't know yet.
    It's not clear yet. That's being finalized.
    DG, thanks for the insightful chat, and the many great points that make in doing so. A roster-related question: have the Cardinals discussed the possibility of Carpenter playing some LF? Especially if the other OF candidates falter and are not providing much offense?
    I brought this up a few years ago, and it caused a stir. The answer is yes -- there has been that discussion internally. Really eager to see where the Cardinals go in the opening week of camp here with Matt Carpenter. Second base and utility infielder -- 1B, 3B, 2B -- is the obvious step for him given his experience at those positions. He's played outfield in the majors before, and LF would be the likeliest fit for him. Obviously, he and the Cardinals are banking on DH being the position he plays.
    The Preimier League recently has had some real issues with players of color getting racially attacked on social media after games. Is there any fear from baseball that they could see issues like this plague the coming season?
    There is always that concern, yes. We've seen disgusting, toxic things before. And some social media sites have only grown angrier and more vile in some corners with time. It would be encouraging to see fans do some advocating for the players on this. Make it clear it's not acceptable. See something, say something.
    I have been trying to be more aware on Twitter, too. There are times when I don't pay attention to who is replying to me, and just answer their question. This winter, I have tried to do better about seeing what else they post -- and I can tell you that there are some folks who I see say revolting things to players or about players, and that person should hear it's not OK. There was an example of that just this past weekend.
  • Derrick,

    Why is racism all we ever hear about now in sports talk? All I ever see when I turn on an ESPN show is a lecture on racism. When I turn on the radio shows, same thing. Starting to see it here - not racism talk, but social issues like freedom of speech, liberty, even some correctness.

    I just want SPORTS!!!!! LOL
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