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

    What are readers not asking you about the Cardinals that you wish we would? What new direction would you love to see us think in?
    You guys don't need help from me coming up with Cardinals topics. You're usually far ahead of me, asking about foreign players or prospects far down the line. I just try to keep up. Here's one thing I have been wondering about, though. The Cardinals admitted they messed up the Arozarena situation, and they are re-stressing the idea of not missing on their own guys. That's the right thing to do. But there is a fine line there between learning that lesson and using that lesson to shovel more opportunities toward the players you initially prioritized over Arozarena. I'm talking specifically about Tyler O'Neill. The Cardinals can say Arozarena did not get a fair shot. They can't say the same about O'Neill, but I do wonder if they are so fearful of O'Neill becoming something better somewhere else that they feel they have to let this play out even longer.
    A week ago, your response to a chatter who disagreed with you was, "Thanks. I don't expect everyone to agree all the time. That would be boring! I am glad to hear that I make you think, and I really appreciate readers who read something they don't agree with in an attempt to understand a differing viewpoint"

    Contrast this response with the one you gave me 3 months ago in response to my view that sports columnists and baseball players are entertainers: "...I don't agree with how you view journalists, but that's OK. To each his own. If you view writers as entertainers only, and you are not entertained by the topics they cover, I would suggest following other journalists you find more entertaining. Simple as that." This, after I told you in my post that I find you entertaining! In other words, you told me if I don't like it go somewhere else. As a 65-year devoted Cardinals fan and reader of The Post Dispatch I was shocked and frankly hurt as I respect you as a writer. I followed up your message with another trying to explain my point further and your response was: "..."You don't have to agree with that, and that's OK. I won't try to change your mind. I'm just saying that if I am not entertained by my entertainment options, I find new ones. That seems to be the healthiest choice." Once again you told me if I don't like it, go somewhere else. Once again I was hurt. I wonder if your boss approves of driving paying customers away.

    There, I've got that off my chest. Just please tell me why you tell one chatter you "appreciate readers who read something they don't agree with.." and then tell me like it or lump it.
    I recall our conversation and never once said you should, "lump it."
    I said we were going to have to agree to disagree on that individual topic.
    That's often the result of back-and-forths had in the chat.
    I don't want you to leave or stop reading.
    Not being able to find common ground on one issue doesn't mean we won't on many others.
    A series of breathless takes on SLU:

    1) One could argue that the LSU win was SLU’s most notable since the Majerus years, IMO. LSU had gathered enough votes to essentially be a wash with #25 nationally (and it looks like they'll be good for the next couple years). It got close late, but this wasn’t some cinderella fluke; SLU was the better team. Haven't seen SLU handle a big-time opponent like that in a long time.

    2) There’s one word that I’ve been thinking best describes Javonte Perkins’ offensive game, and I’m glad you used it in your column last week: silky. He’s not necessarily the best, but he’s probably the _silkiest_ offensive college player I’ve watched in a long time. I’m trying to think of comparisons. Curry was smooth at Davidson. Carmelo Anthony was smooth. Sean May was oddly smooth for a big man at UNC. Obviously those were more notable players, but Perkins’ entire offensive game _looks_ like Ray Allen’s jumpshot. As a fan of a mid-major, it’s cool that I can watch SLU play just about any team in the country and know that, on offense at least, SLU’s player at the 3 is just _better_ than the other team’s player at that position.

    3) It is dope that Ford has recruited so much—and such interesting—local talent.

    4) What was Ford all worked up about during the second half of the AR Pine Bluff game? He was yelling at someone about having "only two points--and that's a bad combination." Just curious if you know whose case he was getting on--and whether he gets on people's cases a lot, or no.

    5) What do you think French, Goodwin, and Perkins will do after this year? Everyone gets an extra year of eligibility, right? Looks like there could be a roster logjam, as I’m sure is the case pretty much everywhere.
    1) SLU's surprise A-10 tournament win was probably its most impressive accomplishment under Ford to this date, but as far as individual wins the LSU one ranks near the top. Ford is 0-7 against AP Top-25 teams during his time with SLU. That overtime home loss to Dayton last season still stings. LSU was just outside of the Top-25, and SLU handled the Tigers without Hashan French. People should not forget that. It was a big win that very well could have had an opponent with a number by its name if LSU had landed a few more preseason votes. 
    4) I'll be honest. I was covering Mizzou-Ark Saturday and was going to watch the SLU game on delay after I got home. Then I saw the horrendously lopsided score. I sped through it instead of watching it like I normally might. So I'm not sure who Travis was barking at. He gets incredibly fired up during games. When I heard him say he did not like the idea of fake crowd noise, I figured he might soon change his mind when he heard what some of the mics pick up in an empty gym.
    5) Who knows. It will depend on what the draft pool looks like, what kind of seasons they had, what their coaches and scouts are telling them. Heck it depends on how college basketball and the NBA combat the pandemic. 
    A hypothetical scenario: You are the pregame captain of a pickup basketball game that will feature rec-league regulars and assorted walk-ins in a public gym. Ages range from 15-55. Heights are evenly distributed. You have no prior knowledge of any of these players or their skill levels. There are enough of them that you will have no trouble picking a team with enough players at any position on the court.

    Also among this pool of players are Cuonzo Martin and Travis Ford. It's time to pick teams, and you pick first. Whom do you select?
    I'm not picking Zo or Ford first. Zo's knees are toast and Travis has a surgically repaired hip. They can be the designated free-throw shooters!
  • I noticed in D. Matter's column today that the Ark HC implied MU was faking injuries to slow down the Hogs offense. I was wondering about that myself during the game - maybe even both sides - because there were a lot of injury stoppages. What was your take. Also it seemed a bit of an overlook that the Freshman place kicker didn't get more kudos - 5 field goals no misses was pretty impressive. Entertaining game to watch. A great relief from personal Covid confinement to watch MU and SLU right now.
    Seemed to me like Harrison Mevis got plenty of love, and it was well-deserved.
    Drinkwitz warned Mevis as he entered the post-game Zoom room to "not drink the Kool-Aid."
    Mevis, after Drinkwitz left, was asked if he was going to drink the Kool-Aid.
    Mevis responded: "Maybe tonight."
    Pretty funny stuff.
    Yes, there was at least one moment where it looked like a Tigers player dropped on the field to buy his defense (or perhaps his lungs) some time during the Razorbacks tempo offense Mizzou was having a terrible time trying to stop.
    I don't like the approach, but I also see it in games every weekend
    I've been seeing it for years.
    When I covered Wyoming, former Mizzou offensive coordinator Dave Christensen went after Air Force coach Troy Calhoun for using the tactic in an Air Force win.
    Christensen got fined for firing off at Calhoun.
    No one did a thing about Air Force dropping like flies.
    It's not something CFB seems very interested in stopping, unfortunately, so teams use it.
    I was trying to remember how many plate appearances O'Neill had in the playoffs last year, for an offensive starved team, when I heard someone on 101 ESPN say that O'Neill could lead the team in home runs next year. Do you remember how many he had?
    O'Neill did not have a single plate appearance in the postseason.
    He did, however, lead the team in home runs during the regular season.
    He hit seven, which tied him with Brad Miller for first.
    That is not a sign, at least to me, that O'Neill needs more chances.
    It's a sign the Cardinals need more power.
    Should we get ready for a work stoppage after this season
    Probably best to at least mentally prepare a little bit.
    Ironically, what might help avoid is the pandemic.
    Let's say the 2021 season is something like 100 games.
    That means 160ish games will be played over the past 2 seasons.
    Do players really want to miss another season on top of that due to a work stoppage? Do owners?
    They should be incentivized to avoid it.
    Good article today on the problems determining the status of the DH for 2021. I try to be upbeat, but am becoming increasingly pessimistic about the upcoming CBA negotiations. On a positive note, great to see Adam Wainwright win the Roberto Clemente Award. Since its inception, Cardinals have been well represented as winners.
    Cardinals players winning more Roberto Clemente Awards than any other organization should be something Cardinals fans are truly proud of. What a remarkable record to hold. Also a reason the Cardinals will and should factor in the importance of keeping both Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright around. Bigger than baseball.
    Apparently teams can still add players during this time...who knew!!? Eaton and Lynn to the South Siders. That team might be pretty good. The deal Eaton got sure seems like the Cardinals could afford a player like that. I am VERY skeptical they make a move this offseason. 2021 could be a very boring year for Cards fans.
    The White Sox are going for it. The Cardinals are . . . working through their options. They will do something, I think. I'm not sure it will astound the chat. But if it helps them score more runs more regularly, this team should improve because of it.
  • Do you think Waino will have some formal role with the team once he retires? He is such a good ambassador for the sport and how it can make a difference in the community, which in the end is what this is about. Some sort of advisor to young players or something, even if part time.
    He's talked about and even tried out some broadcasting on the side. If he was interested in that I imagine the Cardinals would be interested in finding a fit. If he wants to be around the team in retirement, I think the Cardinals would gladly welcome that. Wainwright showing up to spring training whether it's in official or unofficial capacity for years to come would be a good thing for Cardinals baseball.
    Gonna pump the breaks on Mizzou football I think year 2 will tell us about Drinkwitz they got awfully lucky with some well timed byes due to Covid, the schedule was adjusted in their favor, this team is more 3-5 ish than 5-3 ish despite what Parcells says
    Interesting. Mizzou is going to play all of the games that were on its schedule, just some at different times than it normally would have. None of those games are against non-conference opponents that often cloud the waters with non-competitive teams. The Tigers can't finish lower than third place in the SEC East. Seems like a pretty good debut for first-year coach to me.
    Arenado makes the Cardinals better offensively, defensively, he sells tickets, seems to not get into any trouble, makes the Cards more of a favorite than a mild contender, he is younger than Wong, only signed to 35 and was once pursued by St. Louis. He wants out of Denver, the Rockies got financial issues, Carp and Dex will be coming off the books and the Cards are 12th in payroll right now.

    Why are we not seriously considering and making offers to get this guy at a discounted rate? Thanks!
    There's no we here.
    Just the Cardinals.
    The appeal of Arenado and his potential fit with the club has been covered and covered, time and time again.
    It would make sense.
    He would fit.
    He would help.
    The Cardinals can find a lot of reasons, though, to not find that contract appealing -- especially at a time they are interested in scaling down payroll more than expanding it. The opt-out complicates things, too. Taking on the Arenado contract would give the Cardinals the biggest contract in club history, surpassing the Goldschmidt deal by a lot. The Cardinals have been reluctant to play on that field, even before the current climate.
    What is your favorite Christmas song? Which Christmas song would be describe the Cardinals in 2021? I would say The Grinch.
    Me: Gloria in excelsis Deo
    Cardinals: All I Want For Christmas (Is an NL league average offense)
    Comparing O'Neill and Bader against LHP for 2019 & 2020 combined, BA is the same but Bader has vastly better SLG results.
    Bader's numbers, the more you study them, really seem to make sense for a platoon type treatment. 
    His OPS against lefties over the last three seasons (.825) is the best on the team among any hitter who's had at least 250 plate appearances.
    He's slashing .253/.331/.494 against southpaws during that span.
  • So....any concern about losing Drinkwitz to a bigger SEC school at some point? or the NFL?
    (see: Dan Mullins?)
    At some point? Sure. That's a sign of a good coach. You want a guy other programs are going to chase. What you don't want to do -- what college programs HAVE TO STOP DOING -- is convincing themselves there is a threat before there is a real one. The unnecessary extensions and ridiculous buyouts become brutal if things break in the wrong direction, and all of a sudden that coach who looked like he could not miss needs to be let go. I'm not saying that's what will happen with Drinkwitz, but you can already find some fans calling for an extension to make him less likely to leave, or fearing Michigan will fire Harbaugh and come for Drinkwitz. Please tell those folks, if you encounter them, to calm the heck down. Mizzou is rewarding Drinkwitz by moving forward the with the practice facility he wants to boost his recruiting. Smart call, in part because it will help the coach no matter who the coach is. If things go keep moving in the right direction, Mizzou might have to make a move to keep its coach. What it should not do is race to get to that point prematurely.
    Ben,if you were Mo,what moves would you make regarding the Cardinals?
    Nothing we have not talked about here.
    Work hard to get Molina and Wainwright back for another year, unless one or both has outlandish expectations.
    Find some way or ways to upgrade the offense within the budget my owner gives me to work with, whether that's signing a true DH or adding an outside face to the outfield or biting the Carpenter bullet by pushing him to the bench and getting a third baseman who can power things up.
    One more thing: I would be encouraging my boss (DeWitt Jr.) to start pounding the table for an answer on the DH. It's crazy that it's so murky right now, and the Cardinals are one of the teams worse off by not knowing.
    If the owners and players have a work stoppage during 2022, baseball will take a further backseat to the other pro sports.
    Correct. Someone tell them!
    Hi Ben, Thanks for the chats (my favorite time of the week). In the summer of 1970, I had the opportunity to receive the autograph of one Dick Allen, who was very gracious as he patiently signed for what seems like an eternity for the long line of fellow autograph seekers. I still have it in a frame with the Sports Illustrated cover (March 23, 1970) with him in his Cardinals uniform. After that, he became my favorite player and I was very disappointed he only was with the Cards for one season. How sad that he never made the Hall of Fame prior to his passing because he was “too controversial”. Do you think he ever gets in? RIP Dick (Ritchie)!
    I imagine he will get in, and it's a shame it will happen after his death.
    He came up one vote short in the Golden Era vote in 2014.
    He gets another shot a year from now when that committee votes on the class for 2022.
    Unfortunately, the timing was pushed back by the pandemic.
    Thanks for reminding folks Allen played for the Cardinals. Just one season (1970) but it was one of his seven All-Star seasons.
    He crushed 34 homers --despite missing the final month of the season with a hamstring injury -- and slugged .560 in pitcher-friendly Busch Stadium II. That 34-homer total was the most by a Cardinals hitter between 1954 and 1986.
    The Cardinals then traded Allen for Ted Sizemore, prioritizing Sizemore's steady defense over Allen's big power and sometimes shoddy defense.
    Mike Shildt underestimated Randy Arozarena and didn’t play him when he deserved a good look in September 2019, and that led to the organizational underestimation - this is on Shildt
  • Shildt did not decide put together the organizational depth chart of outfielders, or decide who came from Memphis and when, or who left via traded, and for what.
    The desire of some to pin the Arozarena situation on a single person is fascinating to me, and I can't say I understand it.
    They seem to have botched it.
    They all played a part in it.
    If Arozarena slumps and becomes what the Cardinals thought he was moving forward -- not a dominant outfielder -- then the conversation will fade.
    If he doesn't, then it will continue.
    But it's not one person's fault.
    Very few decisions made in baseball are one-person decisions.
    Big Saturday coming to Como. As happy and astounded by the Mizzou teams this past weekend, I’m afraid we are in for a dose of reality
    Mizzou fans know the drill. When the going gets good, put on your cup.
    Any updates on Arozarena? Will be miss time in 2021? Will be be issues a fine?
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