Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Ben Frederickson will answer all of your Cardinals, Blues, St. Louis City, Mizzou and SLU questions in Tuesday's 11 a.m. chat

    Greetings chatters, hope everybody's doing well. Congrats to Adam Wainwright on his well-deserved honor. Sounds like NHL is moving forward with plans for a mid-January start, which is great news. TBD on if the NL will have the DH. Silly, but we will see what comes out of these virtual GM meetings. Let's roll.
    Ben, I posted on comments of your article today but do not know if you read them. I am offended by your use of the wtf in the DH article this morning. This is a family newspaper and read by all sorts of people young as well as old. I am offended by your lack of sensitivity and also very disappointed in the editors of PD for passing that through. Trying to break barriers and flaunt your coolness I suppose. This is not a bar stool in a lounge sir. I am nearly 72 years old, an infantry combat veteran of the Vietnam War so I have certainly been around the block many times and am no prude. Very disappointed in you as a person and this newspaper. I am a subscriber and will not disengage because of one article. But I will certainly monitor the direction of this publication.
    Sorry to offend. It's a pretty commonly used phrased, and I didn't think much about it, really. I'm not cool and don't pretend to be.
    OF help is good but cards also need help at 3rd base
    They need help for the lineup, no matter where it comes. Could be the DH, if there is one. Could be second base. Could be any outfield spot. Could be third. The position the offense plays is not as big of an issue to me. Boost the offense somehow while protecting the defense as much as possible, then get the most you can out of the splits and matchups. That's a realistic way for this team to improve, even with its self-imposed financial limitations.
    Hi, Ben. While I'm excited about the early work from Coach Drinkwitz, I'm not yet ready to drink the Kool-Aid. Missouri needs a big upgrades on its lines, especially the defensive line. The pass rush against Arkansas was pretty weak. Mizzou needs more than 3-star defensive players if it wants to compete in the SEC. Your thoughts, please, and thanks for the chats. I look forward to them and your columns each week.
    I think the excitement surrounding Drinkwitz is excitement in context. No one expected this team to do much this season. No proven answer at QB. Much time missed due to the pandemic for a first-year coach and his new team. The roster was one big question mark. So, considering the two and three-win projections, excitement is warranted. Bazelak looks to be a solid starter for seasons to come. Playmakers around him have emerged. The defense has been solid, as expected, though it had a poor game against Arkansas. The Tigers still have miles to go, sure. They have not beaten a winning team yet. Of course, they would have if this season was normal and some of the SEC teams they have beaten in their conference-only schedule had played their usual non-conference games. As for recruiting, Drinkwitz isn't just getting three-stars. He just got a commitment from a four-star out of St. Louis. Isaac Thompson. It wasn't his first, and it won't be his last.
    Saturday's Tiger's game was thrilling. How did the defense get so out of whack? Bolton's ejection? It did not seem they had an answer for either the running plays or the passing plays. I watched on TV but it was hard to really tell what was going on except at times it seemed the DLine got swallowed up by the Arkansas Oline.
  • You nailed it. The defensive line had no real pressure or push against that big Arkansas offensive line. Created better running lanes and more time to pass. And yes, Bolton's ejection made a big difference. Jamal Brooks had multiple bad plays that proved costly, and he was playing because Bolton was out. But it's not like the D was humming while Bolton was playing either.
    Hey BenFred, could you clarify why the players are against an expanded playoff? Doesn’t it give them a chance to make more $?
    I don't think they are. Expanded playoffs mean more money for all. The hard part will determining who gets what of that money. That's going to be the bigger issue.
    I would like the Cardinals to stay away,far away from Joc Peterson,he is not impressive at all to me.But,I would like them to sign Cesar Hernandez to play 2nd,and to bat first.What do you think?
    Respectfully, I would go the opposite route if my two options were limited to this scenario.
    Pederson has real power and could platoon nicely with current Cardinals outfielders, like Harrison Bader, because of how his splits match with Bader's.
    Cesar Hernandez has one less Gold Glove than Kolten Wong and a slightly less impressive offensive profile than Wong over the past three seasons.
    The Cardinals let Wong go to trim costs and, hopefully, push some money toward the true power pursuit.
    Hernandez doesn't add any.
    I know this is politically incorrect to say, but don’t you think the Sarah Fuller Vandy event was a bit staged? She squibs a kick and runs off the field and the national media goes crazy. It is nothing personal to her and I am all for breaking barriers, but it seems as though Kim Ng is more of a role model for equality. She can do all the things a GM is expected to do and do them well. She actually opens doors for more women to be in baseball executive positions. Why is it so difficult for some to admit that there are some things men do that women can’t and vice versa? Call me old fashioned I guess—need to put me out to pasture.
    I don't really understand the avalanche of attention that it got -- or the backlash to that attention.
    Women have kicked in football games before. The extra-point kicker on my high school team was a girls soccer player. She was incredibly accurate. This had happened in college games before.
    We often misunderstand the word historic.
    Something happening for the first time in a game might be historic.
    Something happening for the first time in an SEC game -- even though it's happened elsewhere -- is not historic.
    At least not for me.
    I actually thought some of the coverage was borderline insulting to Fuller. She's a really good soccer player, and people were falling down stunned that she could . . . kick a football? Most collegiate soccer players can probably put a football where he or she wants it with some practice -- or else they would not be playing soccer at that level in the first place. And sure, while male college athletes on average are going to probably be able to kick the ball longer distances than female college athletes, that's just half of the battle for that job. Accuracy, calm under pressure, all of that stuff counts. Vanderbilt, due to the holiday and the pandemic, was not in a spot where it could sweep the entire campus for a kicker. The coach made a call. Fuller could do the job well enough. No problem. Smart solution. But the narrative got a bit crazy from there.
    Which brings me to my final point. So what? It didn't hurt me that Sarah Fuller got a ton of attention. It didn't hurt you. It didn't hurt anyone. I've heard from a lot of people who are mad that she got this attention. I don't understand that side of it either.
    Benfred,
    Not sure if you watched the MLS Western Conference final last night, but I am starting to believe in the Minnesota Sports Curse. That loss can be squarely blamed on the prevent defense. Any team should take note, that when you go in to a defensive shell, you are opening yourself up for that kind of loss. Great game still, but disappointing for a Loons fan waiting on City to start up.
    Stay on the attack! And let's be sure to point out that it was St. Louis native Will Bruin who started the comeback for Seattle. He scored the first of the three unanswered goals shortly after coming in from the bench.
    Ben, do you think what appears to be Mizzou's current resurgence has anything to do with Jim Sterk's influence, hires and so forth, coming to bear? Thanks.
  • I was just having this conversation with someone this morning.
    Cuonzo Martin was Sterk's hire, so he's connected to the basketball team's ups and downs there. That one is easy.
    Football is a little trickier. Sterk made the call to move on from Odom. But there are many who believe he would have hired Blake Anderson of Arkansas State without pushback from the curators, who steered him toward Drinkwitz.
    Some Sterk critics will say that means Sterk should not get the credit for the Drinkwitz success, but I disagree.
    How many ADs would have pulled an ego move and not had that conversation with the curators? How many would have been willing to shred a short list to consider a different candidate? Sterk loosened the reigns on his search, considered feedback and seemed to make a good hire.
    No one is talking about the chaotic search now, a year after it ended.
    Isn’t there some evidence that injuries occur more often or last longer in Denver due to the altitude? Could be wrong but I thought I read that before. If that’s true, wouldn’t that alleviate some of the injury concern for Dahl?
    I'll defer to the docs on if higher altitudes make injuries more likely.
    I just know I would be concerned about hinging my hopes of an every-day outfield answer on a 26-year-old who has missed an entire season (2017) and not played more than 100 games in any of the four seasons he appeared in. Dahl has been on the injured list six times since 2017. Here's the rundown: stress reaction in ribcage, broken right foot, abdominal strain, high ankle sprain, lower back soreness, shoulder strain. I've got Dahl securely in the buyer beware category. Why would a team expect him to get healthier as he moves toward the 30-year-old cliff?
    Hi Ben, looking forward to another fun chat. In Derrick Goold's chat yesterday he mentioned how Mike Shildt defended not playing Arozarena because of how much they relied on Bader's defense after Thomas's injury. Has anyone in the St. Louis media asked him about why he played Yairo Munoz, an infielder who isn't a great player, for 28 games in the outfield when those innings could have gone to Arozarena? Just a thought.
    One more time for the people in the back of the classroom: The Cardinals underestimated Arozarena.
    So, yes, there are multiple examples of moments that be pointed to when the Cardinals . . . underestimated Arozarena.
    President of baseball operations John Mozeliak has admitted it.
    Shildt seems determined to keep finding ways to explain it for reasons I don't understand.
    None of that changes the truth, which is: The Cardinals underestimated Arozarena.
    We'll see what he becomes long-term, but that does not change the fact they underestimated him.
    What else is there to sort through on this topic?
    Ben: I'm assuming the main reason (besides the pandemic) the Cards will not make any big splashes this offseason is that their division is so bad, the front office feels that they can stay competitive with what they have?
    The division is not exactly holding the Cardinals' feet to the fire, is it?
    It seems to be a theme in both Centrals.
    The Central divisions produced the bulk of the non-waiver cuts. They hold the teams talking the loudest about scaling back. They also hold the teams that like to think they are the ones hurt most by the lack of fans in the stadium, and the lack of revenue sharing, which was voided in the agreement that created the 2020 season.
    The White Sox are not playing by those rules. They are going for it. There's a window open for teams that want to break the trend and spend to win during this dip.
    The Cardinals are not sounding like one of those teams.
    How does the NHL feel that a mid January start is realistic when none of the teams have had any training camp or practices?
    It would be more realistic than a January 1 start, which was the "plan" up until recently. And no, I would not be surprised if it gets pushed back again. But today's news is good news, and it says the players and owners decided to table their financial talks, abide by the CBA they agreed to a few months back and start sorting out temporary divisional realignment, scheduling and that stuff. Jan. 13 is the hopeful start date, per Emily Kaplan at ESPN. That means players who are not in the United States or Canada and need to pass COVID quarantines before joining their teams better get a move on it.
    Cards interested in any of the korean players?
  • Considering the success Kim had, and their growing interest in those markets, it would not surprise me. But I don't know of any specific targets at this time.
    Hi, Ben. Just wanted to chime in and say I love your work. Spent the first 40 years of my life in St Louis, next 20 in Phoenix and am now in Wilmington, NC. I digitally subscribe to the Post almost exclusively for the sports coverage and these chats. Keep up the good work - and keep being you!!
    Thanks, Dave in Wilmington!
    Thank you for taking my question/comment on Benintendi last week. You gave a very thoughtful answer. I am not a fan of Benintendi, but I am just exploring options for the Cardinals. i am now thinking that Dahl might be the better choice. What are your thoughts on Dahl or your choice on who the Cards should pursue.
    Dahl's upside is really intriguing, but I do worry about his injury history, as explained below. I think Eddie Rosario would be a great addition for the Cardinals. I think Joc Pederson as a platoon guy and maybe more would work. If the DH is in play, and we could know that by this week (fingers crossed) then I think Nelson Cruz would be a great addition. He's old (for baseball) but he still rakes.
    Do you think Mizzou football could start next season ranked? I haven’t looked up who all is coming back next year, or who could come back, so I apologize for not doing the research before asking.
    The ranked teams at the end of the season are often the ranked teams at the beginning of the following season. Mizzou's got a decent chance to be ranked at the end of the season, even if it loses to Georgia on Saturday but rebounds to beat Mississippi State and then wins its bowl game. The Tigers will lose key players in Nick Bolton and Larry Rountree, but they bring back the most important player in Connor Bazelak and Drinkwitz will have a season under his belt and should be soon getting impact from his recruiting. I think there's a decent chance, sure.
    I really hope the cards need for more offense doesn’t cause them to sacrifice so much defense. Those teams a few years that were good offensively but terrible defensively were so frustrating to watch. I was far more frustrated watching routine fly balls and grounders missed than I am watching a struggling offense. The offense needs to improve, no question, but those frequent 3 error games need to stay in the past.
    Agreed.
    But don't forget where most of those errors and plays not made came from.
    Jose Martinez attempting to play first base.
    Goldschmidt isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
    I know Christmas music is very popular at this time of year but I can't help thinking that Mo has "Don't Stop Believin'" blaring in the Cardinal executive offices as a slideshow of Bader, O'Neill, Carpenter, Martinez, Fowler, DeJong, and Mikolas is shown in the front lobby.
  • They should be keeping it local.
    Chuck Berry.
    (Home) Run Rudolph (Home) Run.
    You know what's great about Eli Drinkwitz? He's not some blowhard. I'm standing on my own personal soapbox here, but I've long felt that you get a lot of that in the college football coaching ranks. If it were a statistic tracked by the World Bank, American college football coaches might lead the world in Gross Adjusted Chest-Puffery. Drinkwitz's cult of positivity may seem hokey at first, but at least it's not so overweening and self-important, and it gets harder to argue with all the time.

    And I don't think we'll see Drinkwitz trying to whip the home fans into a frenzy after a halftime fight, just to insert one example.
    Drinkwitz does a good job of balancing confidence with humility. He's not above self deprecation, which is rare among his college football coaching colleagues. He does not suffer fools, which I like. He's a ball coach, but he's not afraid or uncomfortable seeing the bigger things. I think his comments about players voting and the COVID crisis have been thoughtful without becoming political. He just seems to operate well on various levels. And he's got some dog in him, which fans love. He's a nuanced guy, and I think fans are appreciating that. I won't pretend to know him well, because coverage has been at a distance because of the pandemic since he was hired pretty much.
Powered by Platform for Live Reporting, Events, and Social Engagement