Join Jeff Gordon for his live STL sports chat at 1 p.m. Friday

Join Jeff Gordon for his live STL sports chat at 1 p.m. Friday

Bring your Cards, Blues, Mizzou, SLU and MLS questions and comments, and talk to columnist Jeff Gordon in his weekly live chat.

  • For most of Army's tenure as GM, the Blues have been a team built from the blue line out. The prototypical Blues d-man was big bodied and had a long reach. Now, even if healthy, the majority of the team's defensemen are smaller guys who excel at bring the puck up on the rush.

    In your column, you said the Blues still maintain their identity as a team that wants to hit and be tough along the boards. But with smaller guys manning the blue line and with players like Hoffman, Kyrou, and Sanford, who aren't known for their superb physical play, taking on a bigger role, do the Blues still have the personnel to successfully play this brand of hockey?
    The Blues want to play strong along the walls. They can still do that. Size isn't everything, but when healthy the Blues have ample wingspan pn defense with Parayko, Mikkola, Bortuzzo and Scandella. Dunn can play physical hockey, as can Faulk. Perhaps the one issue there is Krug logging so much defensive zone time --- but his plus-10 rating speaks to his strong even-strength play.
    When healthy, the Blues have physical forwards with Schenn, Tarasenko, Sanford, Sundqvist, Barbashev, Clifford, Blais and MacEachern. O'Reilly, Perron and Schwartz are all aggressive on the forecheck. 
    Obviously the big issue now is inijuries. Earlier the issue was some disconnect with the new blend of players.
    If you look at the last few games, the Blues racked up all sorts of hits. Poor puck decisions, a sputtering power play and the general offensive inconsistency have been the big issues this season.
    The Blues can still play like the Bluues with this group.
    Do you the the Cardinal FO are secretly praying the DH doesn't happen this year? If it did Carp would probably get enough AB to trigger his 2022 clause and stay in STL. With the DH and backing up Arenado and Goldy I'm sure he would get enough AB's. God no!
    Unless Carpenter posts a .900 OPS this summer, there is no way the franchise lets his vesting for next season kick in.
    You gotta love the heart and hustle Coach Martin's team plays with, but man is this team short on talent. Brown and Pickett are nice role players, but they are hardly the foundation for a team next season that's going to lose a majority of its roster. Jeff, does Coach Martin have anyone coming in next year that will help to improve the overall talent the Tigers have or will next season be another disappointing year where they struggle to make the tournament?
    Mizzou has a strong five-man freshman class coming in, but most of those guys will need time. The key for next year will be which of the current seniors return and who can the Tigers land in the transfer free-for-all that looms. I would not be surprised if a few of the better seniors decide to come back and play before actual crowds to have fun and keep the careers going. Other than Tilmon, none of those guys are sure to make a living playing the game. Once Martin knows that answer, then he will know how many instant impact transfers he can take. 
    As we've seen with programs like Oregon and Arkansas, landing multiple transfers every year can pay off big. Frank Haith was head of his time! Martin will need to up his game on that front.
  • How long did Molina split time with Marerro in the early/mid 2000's? Was it months? Years? Someone should remind Molina that we need to get the next catcher a lot of playing time, just like he got.
  • Other than his first seasin, Molina shouldered most of the workload every season of his career. If he keeps performing well, there's no reason for that to change.
    any news on how to stream the cardinals other than AT&T?
  • Not from me. Keep an eye on our Media Views column for that.
  • Hi, Jeff. Any chance the Blues give Jake Walman some real ice time? He can share and is offensive minded and has improved defensively. Or will he always be relegated to being the seventh defenseman?
    It will take more injuries to get Jake regular work. His forte is advancing the puck and the Blues have Krug, Faulk and Dunn doing that.
    I know this is a difficult question to answer without seeing how 2021 plays out, but the basis for me asking is tied to the team continuing to re-up Waino and Molina, can you see a scenario where the Cards decline Carpenter's option and restructure the buyout into a 1-year deal? Will the team get all sentimental about him finishing his career elsewhere?
    Carpenter does enjoy the same standing as Wainwright and Molina. Also, he has no position in this lineup. IF the NL has the DH in 2022 and IF Carpenter suddenly turns back the clock and hits again, maybe the team would offer him modest money.
    Thanks for the chat, Bobo. These really complete my Fridays.
    My question is, to your knowledge has Ponce already been dismissed as a rotation candidate? I read something to that effect yesterday (though I do not recall whether it was a direct quote from Shildt). I realize PDL had a down 2020 season, but his final three starts were tremendous, best stretch so far of his MLB career, so maybe he and the coaching staff figured something out? He fanned 24 and walked just 5 in 17 innings, and permitted only 8 hits.
    Daniel did pitch 17 innings in his last three starts, which grabs your attention. But the rotation discussion start with Flaherty, then moves on to Wainwright, Mikolas and Kim. Giving Carlos Martinez one more chance to reestablish himself makes sense. You call for Ponce de Leon. Others trumpet Reyes. Others wonder if Cebrera could setting into that role. Oviedo may still be too raw, but what about Zack Thompson? He appears to be the total package. Maybe later his season Matthew Liberatore factors in. 
    I could see at least 10 pitchers getting in on the rotation action over the 162-game grind.
    have the blues considered catching covid? they look like they could use a couple weeks off.
    We sort of joked about that on the Net Front Presence podcast. Sort of.
  • Jeff,
    Should he stay or should he go?
    Does Coach Martin's performance warrant consideration for an extension and if he does get 'nibbles' from other schools (The U), is he worth the price war to retain him?
    Stein Club man or Harpo's? Talk to me.
    I don't know that there will be a huge price war for Martin. He's made it pretty clear that fit for him means more than money and so far this has been a pretty good fit. He may get some feelers, but probably not for so much more money that the coin would dictate his decision.
    He left Tennessee because the boosters wanted him gone. He left California to return to the Midwest -- and leave a changing environment, i.e. new academic standards that cut into recruiting.
    Fans eager to see another coaching change at Mizzou must realize that hiring a star coach will take far more money than the school has, given the massive deficit the athletic department realized during the pandemic. And hiring an up-and-coming coach is risky, Indiana can attest.  
    Wow, don’t see how Tiger ever tees off professionally, do you? He sure did change the sport, though.
    Sadly, its hard to imagine Tiger playing golf again. His back issues just about finished him. Right now the focus is on saving his leg and helping him regain mobility. 
    Tigers ranks among the all-time great athletes in all sports due to the sweeping impact he had on golf. He was a juggernaut.
    Colorado has to be praying Arendona opts out after this year. Then they have 5 players for 20mil and maybe one develops and they don't look so bad.
    Colorado is doomed to years of bottom-feeding in the NL. Even if they get some mileage from that return. the Rockies further demoralized their fan base and warned players across the industry not to come to Denver any time soon. Arizona did the same thing by trading Goldschmidt.
    Who would you pick as the greatest Cardinal ever—Stan the Man or does Albert surpass him?
    Stan is still The Man. Albert could have passed him had he stayed and had he not deteriorated badly during his last four to five years. But Albert's 10-year span was truly epic.
    Hey, Gordo!
    Over the past three seasons the Cards hit 37% more homers on the road than at Busch (269-to-197)... and yet Cardinal pitchers have surrendered nearly identical numbers home and away (203 road, 201 home). In other words, at least for the past three years the stadium as currently configured is hurting Redbird batters MUCH more than it is helping their pitchers! For their careers DeJong and Bader for example have hit almost exactly twice as many taters on the road as they have at home (71 road, 37 home), and Bader's career OPS is more than 100 points higher away from Busch.

    So, do you think there is even the slightest chance that Cardinal ownership would move in the left field fences at all? The club keeps acquiring righty power (Ozuna, Goldy, Arenado) but the ballpark largely negates them anyway, and obviously undermines some other Cards significantly. Thanks for your time, Bobo!
  • I have not sensed any interest from Cardinals management to move in fences. This team has more long-term strength in pitching than hitting and it would make sense to keep Busch pitcher-friendly.
    Hi Mr. Gordon,

    The only person I know of, both in non-internet life and in Blues Chats, that does not hate the Blues' reverse retro sweaters is me. I didn't like them at first, but I've warmed up to them some. What really started the positive vibe for me about them was seeing how sharp J. Binnington looks with his sweater and pads. I admit they're ugly, but that's kind of why I started liking them. I don't think I'll buy one, though. One of these days, we will all be back at Enterprise Center watching games together again, and I think if someone caught me wearing one of those universally loathed sweaters, he might give me a swirly in the bathroom during intermission!
    Yeah, I would just wear that sweater among people you trust.
    Jeff, before the season the Net Front crew was joking about how lucky a guy Jim Montgomery was for getting to coach this PP. Now, not so much. What do you think is the primary reason why, with this talent, the Blues rank 28th on the PP?
    Berube keeps coming back to chemistry and there is some truth in that. Try as he might, he has not been able to find combinations that click consistently. The power play needs to be instinctive with players reading the penalty killers and each other. There are entry patterns, formations and set plays, of course, but opponents are well-preparted for that. So coaches can only do so much. Players just have to make plays happen. 
    I like the power play more when a player moves around the offensive zone with the puck to get the other players moving and the penalty killers moving. That can create different looks that the PK may not react to as well. That can create some unpredictability and spontaneous opportunity.
    But when the team settles into a paint-by-numbers power play, moving the puck from station to station, opponents can pressure the puck with impunity because they know what's coming.
    Mike Keenan ddn't practice the power play much for this reason. That's a bit extreme, but he had a point.  
    It might mean nothin' at all, but some Redbird career batting splits offer reason for optimism. Paul DeJong when hitting 6th or lower has an .850+ career OPS. Tyler O'Neill when hitting 7th or lower has an .820+ OPS. So it could be that hitting down in the order will take some pressure off these guys.

    Anyway my question, on a completely unrelated matter. If Illinois doesn't have to go through Baylor or Gonzaga -- and assuming Dosunmu is fully healthy & effective -- do you give them a decent chance to reach the final four? (Say, better than 25%?) Thanks for your time, Gordo!
    Sure, the Illini can make that sort of run. Trent Frazier has had some strong games and both ends of the court and the Illini would need more of that from him. But Cockburn is a matchup nightmare for almost any team and a healthy Dosunmu is the best closer in the college game this year.
    With all the statistics kept do you know if hockey players have on ice ratings based on the score and also the period of play? It seems teams w the lead especially in the third change to a more conservative neutral zone trap vs really pressuring the defense deep which makes some defenseman (like Dunn) able to handle, skate and clear the defensive end easier.
    Every imaginable aspect of the game is charted. Teams have tons of data to prepare for games and to make adjustments in games.
  • When the Blues won the cup they lead the NHL in puck possession. This year they are in the bottom 1/3. Can Berube get the team back w his system? Are these players not in the right mold? Does he have to change his style of play (what do other teams do w our speed and size type players?) to fit this year's personal?
    If the Blues ever get healthy, yes they can play that style. They have all the elements needed, They have done it in stretches. But have not been consistently cohesive with their puck movement and their coverage, similar to the long stretch they had after Berube took over the team. And with half of their top players missing, it's hard to build that. The immediate challenge is to stay in the hunt while waiting for reinforcements.
    How does the Kraken expansion draft work with pending free agents? For example, a lot of projection lists have the blues protecting schwartz and binnington, but why sign them to extensions before the draft? If they are left unprotected, and Seattle takes one of them, are they pretty much taking them for the purpose of having sole negotiation rights prior to free agency beginning? Seems like the blues could work out the framework of deals with their free agents to be, leave them unprotected, then sign them after the draft, or after free agency if they were taken in the draft, allowing them to protect a few extra guys. Am I missing something here?
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