Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 10 a.m. Tuesday

Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 10 a.m. Tuesday

Ben Frederickson answers your Cardinals, Blues, St. Louis City, Mizzou and SLU questions in Tuesday's 10 a.m. live chat.

    SLU and Ford have never made the contract public that I'm aware of, and unlike public schools they can choose that route. But they did agree to some sort of a multi-year extension in 2020. Ford's name has not been a hot one on the hot boards for Power 5 jobs during his time at SLU, in part because every season seems to encounter various degrees of sabotage, from the pandemic to a team outbreak of COVID to the investigation that rocked the team earlier on. If he has a true breakout season, and one could be coming based on his recruiting, then things could get more interesting as he would have some more options and more leverage. Ford is 0-7 against top-25 teams with one NCAA tournament appearance that ended in a first-round exit. I think we would all agree his teams have been more impressive than that, but those are not great selling points for teams looking for a P5 hire.
  • With the lockout potential of 2022, why wouldn't MO go bold and try to trade as many of his average veterans as possible. Then shakeup the staff and hope he can find someone to maximize talent coming up.
    A couple of reasons. One is that there could be a season in 2022; that's the hope. Two is that the Cardinals are not really into seasons that are not competitive. A competitive team, annually, is a pretty important part of their business model. And third, you have to have a team that wants the players you want to trade. Teams are not lining up for Matt Carpenter. Goldschmidt and Arenado would be unappealing to a bunch of teams due to their contracts. Also, no-trade clauses held by key players allow them to limit which teams they can be traded to. Those are factors to consider.
    Yadi once endorsed Tony Cruz who was his backup for 5 seasons or so and went on to play 13 games for teams other than St. Louis. Herrera is hitting .222 at springfield with a .702 OPS he's probably at least 2 years away. I think fans and media and circumstance (he had to be added to the 40man) has given the image that Herrera is knocking on the door when realistically he needs some time. In comparison Delvin perez (a light hitting SS, up to this point) is at the same level and is hitting just below .300 with a .765 OPS
    Ha! Well, anyone who heard that about Tony Cruz should have known better. Molina's never really heaped praise on a prospect. Didn't do it for Carson Kelly. Has not done it for Andrew Knizner. The impression I got when he praised Herrera was not that he thinks Herrera is ready right now, but that he likes the intangibles he has observed in the prospect. Molina's bat was the last part of his game that evolved, and it happened at the major league level. The question isn't who is the Cardinals' catcher of 2022 if Molina is not there. That's Knizner. The question is who is the Cardinals' long-term catcher post Molina? Could be Knizner, but could be Herrera.
    Ben, the bottom has dropped out. The Cards just lost 8 of 13 games to the worst teams on the planet. FanGraphs gives them a 1 in 100 chance of winning the division only slightly higher to nab a playoff spot. The team needs a least 2 additional position players and 2-3 starting pitchers to be competitive: That can’t be accomplished this year or even next year for that matter. Mo has to start moving the few assets available and start rebuilding for the long haul. As it stands now, this is a bad baseball team. Where am I wrong?
    I'm not sure a long-haul approach is the best plan with Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt on the books for the foreseeable future. Arenado could opt out I suppose if the Cardinals tell him they are fire-selling, but he would not be guaranteed to make them money he's owed now. It would be totally his call. Goldschmidt has a no-trade. He would have to OK any sell off. The Cardinals would be better off fixing their team than tanking it. If they want fans to show up at least.
    Do you have an idea about how many players that were sent elsewhere that are a success now that Mike Shildt never played?
    We haven't talked about those guys ever, right?
    Sarcasm font.
    Arozarena is fair game.
    I'll wait to see how Garcia plays out a bit.
    Ben, considering the Cardinals made the commit meant to bring in a player (Arenado) that was unhappy his previous team didn’t make the promised additions and brought back 2 “legacy” players (Waino and Yadi) for one last with the the promise of competing I think the organization should be committed to buying at the deadline, if only to field a competitive product the rest of the way. Do you see them buying, selling, or standing pat at the deadline?
  • Can't imagine Arenado being a happy camper if the Cardinals pull a Rockies at the trade deadline. That's for sure. I think he expects the team to add, not sit still, and certainly not make the team worse. And the good thing about Arenado is I think he will be vocal about it. This team has lacked a star player who turns up the heat a little bit on the front office. I remember when Tommy Pham said missing the postseason was starting to feel familiar, and you would have thought he insulted the front office personally. Arenado has a lot more staying power than Pham, and he should use it. I hoped Shildt would be more vocal about making it clear the team needs help. He's tiptoed around it but won't say it publicly. I wish he would.
    What were the differences that led to Buddha being released? I understand they wanted a consistent message. I’m asking what was so different to Albert’s philosophy that they fired him.
    Players have described Albert as things like: more modern thinking, more technology-based, more fluent in the metrics that are being valued and more in-tune with the tech that allows those things to be pursued. His weaknesses have been described, by some, as communication. He is said to know modern hitting and has been credited with getting the Cardinals up to speed on that language, but it's been acknowledged maybe there should be someone else on the ground floor teaching it.
    Players described Mark Budaska as things like: old school, simplified and philosophical. More laid back. Less complex. Kolten Wong has said there are two types of hitting coaches. Ones that want to make you think, and ones that want you not to think. Budaska was the latter. 
    When Budaska was fired in 2019 the Cardinals front office made a big deal about a consistent message in approach comin from the hitting instructors. They are now making the opposite argument to defend Albert, that maybe different hitters respond differently to different versions of the same message, different dialects of the same language. It's fair and wise to say, wait a second, this doesn't add up.
    Cardinals attendance hasn't exactly sprung back to life yet, although they are still one of the better drawing teams so far. I think the real test of fan interest this season is the TV Ratings. I haven't seen any info on local ratings compared to recent years.... do you have any insight on that?
    They just announced $6 tickets that include a $6 voucher for the ballpark. For some of the bigger games coming up. That's as good of a sign as you can get that demand is not what the team hoped to see.
    Matt Holliday as the hitting coach sounds perfect to me. It’s not happening I know, but someone was talking about it on social media last week and it got me excited.
    I imagine Nolan Arenado would approve.
    Ben, I don't fully understand the lets "sell" or do nothing because we are too far out or just not good enough. A team can still make changes, get better and build a better team. Would i trade a top dog for a Scherzer, prob not. Would I trade a valued arm and some for a Berrios, certainly negotiable because the need is still there in 2022. Same in the OF and bench make up. Your thoughts?
    Making trades that improved the team in the second half and beyond would make sense.
    Starters with some contract beyond 2021.
    Some on-base help that can play multiple positions perhaps.
    I agree with you.
  • Ben, what in your opinion is the problem with the Cardinals offense, is it approach, lack of talent, or some of both?
    I think they are doubling and tripling down on the wrong hitting coach.
    Ben, when talking about DeJong you say trading him now would be trading him at his lowest. So do you wait till he's hitting .302 and driving in 57 runs and 25 home runs? No, at that point you'd keep him so I guess I don't understand when is the best time to trade him?
    His career 162-game average is a .243 average, 87 RBIs and 29 homers.
    Right now he's averaging .176/.281/.352 in a season impacted by a broken rib.
    He might not be the player the Cardinals hoped, and he might not be the player I thought he could become, but dealing him now would be a good way to get the lower end of his value -- if the team decides to sell off for prospects.
    Dealing him in more of a baseball move that tried to make the team better in 21 and 22 would make more sense, if it added starting pitching certainty or proven on-base percentage for the lineup. It would mean leaning more on Sosa, Edman and perhaps even Carpenter. Gulp.
    By the way, John Nogowski is 2 for 4 with the Pirates with a wask an RBI and 3 runs scored. Time to put him on the Voit/Arozarena/Garcia watch.....
    I'm fully expecting him to light it up the rest of the season.
    Show me some love Ben, this is a good question.

    3 guys due off the 60 day IL in August, thus 3 have to go from the 40 man roster. Who goes? Anything big? Or more like the Jhon Torres acquisition a few years back?
    It's a good question. Just an impossible one to answer right now. A trade deadline arrives before then.
    Regarding the mixed message from the front office on the number of voices they want talking to hitters, has that specific question been asked of Mo or girsch? I’d be very interested to read their response to that.
  • You don't need someone to tell you they are covering their tail when it's obvious, and they're not going to tell you they are anyway.
    Use your eyes and ears.
    The Cardinals are now using the same logic to defend Albert that they once used to fire hitting instructors not named Albert.
    They're pot committed on Albert, and there are no tangible signs it's paying off.
    Gotta run, folks. Rick is up next so he will handle all of the tough stuff :)
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