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.

    Bobo's here and it looks like we have some ballplayers. Let's go!
    You never like to see a player go down, but Bader's injury has surely opened up a true competition for the club. What outfielders do you think will be on the opening day roster? AND what would be your starting lineup against the reds opening day?
    With Bader down, it seems logical to open with Tyler O'Neill in left, Dylan Carlson in center and a platoon of Austin Dean and Justin Williams in right. With Luis Castillo starting Game 1 for the Reds, I'd use Williams. 
    I would use Carlson up in the order to start with to give him some protection, so I'd go:
    1-Edman, 2B
    2-Carlson, CF
    3:-Arenado, 3B
    4-Goldschmidt, 1B
    5-DeJong, SS
    6-Molina, C
    7-O'Neill, LF
    8-Williams, RF.
    But I can see the logic sliding Carlson down to No. 5 -- if he proves he doesn't need protection -- and moving everybody else up one.
    An outfield that can’t hit and then there is the black hole of carpenter ,another great Moe roster?
    Actually the outfielders are finishing well this spring, so we'll see if that carries over. Carpenter has a bench spot for now, but Mozeliak found a good bench piece with Jose Rondon. So we'll see how long Matt lasts. Delivering good at bats in a part-time role is hard -- and it's been some time since Matt was consistently good in an everyday role.
    Mozeliak's acquistion of Justin Williams in the Tommy Pham trade looks promising. Williams is a former second-round pick who got derailed by injuries. Some independent analysts have offered good assessments of him, so let's see if he is legit.
    Walman has played free and easy since he's been added to the lineup. Could last night gaffe of not staying w his man which cost the first goal and maybe the game make him start playing tentatively like other young Blues when their minutes get cut or they start being a healthy scratch?
    We'll see. Two defensemen went to the same guy, which can happen in the middle of a shift change. Sammy Blais also got lost on that play too. Walman will have to play well to hold his spot because Colton Parayko's return is going to bump somebody. But Walman has looked very good, very confident -- and that's an excellent sign for future teams. The Blues will need young guys to step up as they deal with the flat salary cap for years to come.
    The Blues seem in between w Berube's system because of the change in the names and makeup of their defense. Getting Bozak and eventually Barbashev back will make the overall team play better (although Sundqvist loss is huge). If Paranko comes back paired w Scandella and I think Mikkola comes back in the lineup and plays w Bortuzzo Berube would get 4 big D back and the team could maybe get their identity back. That leaves Dunn out but the teams chemistry might be better. Your thoughts?
    Dunn could be the odd man out for several reasons. We just talked about one of them, the emergence of Jake Walman. Parayko's return could settle things down in the back end, if he can play like his old self. I think we all agree that Mikkola is a good long-term fit as a shutdown/PK defender if he cleans up his place. Having those two in the lineup at once would give the team a different look.
    Unless something changes, it appears that Dunn will be exposed in the expansion draft or get traded. He is heading toward his bigger earning years and it seems pretty clear that his camp and Armstrong different on his value. 
    This team, as configured, can play the Berube style. They did it against the Wild but failed to score despite controlling the game. Losing Sundqvist hurts for sure, but guys like Clifford and Joshua can give the Chief what he wants and Barbashev will be back for the final push.
  • Batting Goldschmidt 2nd puts too much pressure on our non-existence 4-5 type hitters. Don't you think Carlson at 2 makes the most sense w ONeil 5 and have Dejong fit in either spot if the young guys struggle too much?
  • I tend to agree, as I noted earlier. I would protect Carlson early and get him going before putting him in a RBI role.
  • I saw a comment about Bob Plager getting to be on the ice w his two brothers vs the Canadians. My memory it was a cup final game after the Blues were out of the game and Noel Picard and Gary Sabourin went out w them and all 5 fought at the drop of the puck. i do remember Barclay had to fight John Ferguson who at the time was regarded as the toughest player in the NHL. What I can't remember is which game it was and if I was watching from the stands or on TV. I've searched but can't find. Can you?
    I checked the 1969 Cup Final, since the 1968 games were all decided by one goal. In '69 a couple of the game got ugly. And in the '69 games, the box scores did not indicated fighting majors. In one game John Ferguson had 14 PIMs, but that was it.
    Should we be concerned with slow starts from areando and goldy? Offense looks asleep last few days
    Do I think Goldschmidt and Arenado are washed up? No. With guys of their caliber I try not to lose sleep over spring training results. Get back to me a few weeks into the season and we can discuss whether there are real concerns.
  • Good afternoon and thanks for the chat. What is your take on the Tim Peel incident? He was clearly in the wrong but the punishment seems too severe. If the NHL really wants to correct an embarrassment, they should focus on the often incomprehensible decisions made this season by the Player Safety Board.
    Jeff, what's your opinion on the Tim Peel hot mic controversy? Analysts and announcers routinely talk about refs looking to even up the number of penalties called on each team, especially early on in a period. Seem like Peel's biggest mistake was getting caught saying the quiet part out loud about something that's considered an accepted part of the game.
  • The punishment was absurd. Peel simply did what all the referees do during games. One, they like to make calls just to get their quota covered, and. two, they pull muscles looking for make-up calls.
    Sometimes one team is taking all sorts of penalties because they are bad that night. Sometimes the other team is not taking a corresponding numbers because they are great that night. And yet the refs often go looking for things to even up the ledger.
    It's one thing to make a legit make-up call -- making up for a mistake against one team with a gift call for the other -- and it's another thing just to even up just to make the boxscore look fair. I don't like that practice, but it's been in place since I started following the NHL more closely in 1986.
    Just call the game as you see it!
    I hate the nothing calls these guys make early in the game to get in the books because inevitably they will swallow there whistle on more consequential calls later in the game. 
    My favorite over the years: Back during the early interference crackdown, a referee would call one neutral zone infraction on each team. Later -- when a guy gets tackled just as he's about to deflect a cross-ice pass into the open side of the net -- the same referee acted like blatant interference wasn't against the rules.
    Everybody knows the drill. The NHL's punishing of Peel was a feeble attempt to obscure the obvious.
    Jeff, two different questions, 1.) can mizzou hire new asst bb coaches who can do a better job of recruiting, and 2.) wouldn't it be easier on Reyes arm to be a starter rather than pitching multiple times a week in relief?
    First, the Mizzou recruiting question. Yes, the Tigers could hire an assistant coach to get particular players. That's what happened with the Porter Family Package. The Tigers got two NBA-caliber players . . . and one combined season out of them.
    Could they add a great with geat AAU ties in this market or another. Sure, but here are the limitations Missouri faces:
    1) At this time MU is not paying recruits. That happened in the past and it may happen in the future, but right now it's not in the plans. The Tigers aren't going to get one-and-done talent.
    2) MU is at a big disadvantage with game atmosphere. Its pre-pandemic attendance on most nights was only slightly better than the pandemic attendance. Kids catching game on TV or watching highlights see empty seats.
    3) Cuonzo Martin expect guys to play defense and earn playing time. Tray Jackson was an excellent signing, but he transferred after a year because he couldn't meet the criteria. 
    4) Recruiting has changed forever with the NCAA opening up transfers. We'll see how well Martin and his staff do on this front because the transfer market could eclipse the high school market.  Also, this atmosphere makes it harder to get guys to invest four or five years in a a program. If they can't play quickly, they bolt. That makes it harder to make guys earn their minutes.
    All that said, the Tigers have been to a pair of NCAA Tournaments on Martin's watch -- so the recruiting hasn't been that bad.
    As for Reyes, if he's not going to start, then using him a couple of times a week for multiple innings would be the best way to allow him to safely rebuild strength. Using a guy over and over and over in a relief role is a sure path back to the surgeon. Teams often view relievers as expendible commodities. I believe the Cardinals have a higher view of Reyes.
    Elgin Baylor passed away this week. Do you have any stories about watching one of the early NBA greats?
    I'm old, but I'm not that old. The Lakers were one of my favorite teams to watch when I was a lad, but I missed Baylor's prime years.
    Jeff, how is your NCAA men's bracket doing? I am doing absolutely awful. The only "surprise" team I guessed on was the USC Trojans. Are you fairing better?

    As a more broad question, do you think this year is an aberration, is are basketball blue bloods in trouble moving forward? I have a theory that since "football schools" have way more money from football, they are putting it into basketball so they'll eventually have better facilities and coaches than Kansas, Kentucky, Duke etc.
    I didn't do a bracket this year, but if I did I would have been shelled like everyone else.
    That's a good point on resources. More schools are pouring more money into facilities. That evens things up. A million games are televised, which evens things up as well.
    The federal problem into bribery and fraud in college basketball may chill some of the advantages blueblood schools had with big-spending sneaker companies and the street agents they used to deliver players.
    Throwing the door open to wholesale transferring will make the high-end players even more skittish than usual. So will the efforts to get these elite prospects paid above-board dollars in a better NBA developmenal league or overseas..
    Many factors have leveled the competitive atmosphere. The one dominant team this season is Gonzaga. A half-step behind is Baylor. That speaks volumes. 
    If Dean fails to hit at the MLB level would you platoon Nogowski with Williams? It's hard for me to ignore his success. He has had a great OBP in the minors and would make a great fit 2nd in the lineup. As always thanks for the chats!
  • Nogomania rules! He and Austin Dean have been around the minor league block a few times. Both have some pop. I wouldn't say either guy is a prospect, but I expect both of them to get some at bats. Lane Thomas seems to be playing himself into the defensive replacement role, holding a spot for Harrison Bader.
    Did Bob Plager and Bob Pettit ever play at the same time in St. Louis? And was any merchandise created to commemorate the two Bobby P's? Rest in Peace Plager and hopefully STL will show appreciation to Pettit when he passes
    They did not play here at the same time. Correction: The Hawks and Blues did overap in 1067-68, but the Bobs did not.
    I know its easy to find holes in this roster, but there seems to be more freaking out this year and the season hasn't even started yet! Side effects of Covid or have we forgotten how fun it is to turn on the Cardinals every night. Be thankful and lets find out what we got! IMHO
    The Nolan Arenado deal quieted some fans for a bit, but these chats always attract a fair amount of whining.
    I hear comments from the media that we will miss Kolton Wong's glove at second base. When you look at Edman's and Wong's defensive numbers actually Edman's has the advantage at second base over the past two seasons. What are your thoughts about Edman's being a better choice at second base both offensively and defensively than Kolten Wong?
    This is the first time I've hard anybody suggest Edman was a better second baseman than Wong.
    Hi, Jeff. Sad news about the legendary Bob Plager. He was one of a kind. Do you think that it’s possible for the Blues to miss the playoffs this year? The team seems to be playing worse since they got some of their star players back in the line-up. Your thoughts?
  • Could the Blues missing the playoffs? Sure, since they play a tough schedule down the stretch. And more guys could get hurt. It's been that sort of year.
    But I liked how they played against the Wild, especially Tarasenko getting his legs back. If Parayko returns to play 25 tough minutes a night, that will have a huge impact. Also, I don't see any teams in the bottom half of the division makkng a big run down the stretch to catch the Blues.
  • After reading your Wednesday article on the Blues, it sounds like you've put 2021 in the mirror and are looking to the future. I don't blame you. The Note was out-manned in both recent games vs. Vegas before collapsing in the third periods. When did you last see a Blues team with so many giveaways and turnovers?

    Did Doug Armstrong's bet too heavy on Parayko over Pietrangelo -- knowing that Bouwmeester was done?

    Will they limp into the playoffs? If so, will Vegas and Colorado bring the brooms?
  • Armstrong offered Pietrangelo $64 million to stay. He placed great value on him. Alex wanted to move on for whatever reason. Also, had Parayko stayed healthy and played at his usual level, this team would be more comfortably in the playoff bracket today.
    Jeff I have been a sports fan and PD reader for more years than I care to think about. Over the years I have read a large percentage of the articles you have ever written (at least while at the Post). In my opinion your heartfelt piece on #5 was one of your very best. EVER. Thank you.
    Thanks. Bob was such a great guy. And he was such a great hockey man. The Blues are not just another franchise and Bob was one of the big reasons why. He represented all that was special about it.
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