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 answers your Cardinals, Blues, St. Louis City, Mizzou and SLU questions in Tuesday's 11 a.m. live chat.

    Programming note: I took a cruise through the questions for SEC and Mizzou-specific topics due to that being the theme of the week for me. If you have more, I'll keep an eye out for them. I'll make a point to prioritize those today since I'm down here. We are pretty Cardinals heavy every other week, so a change of pace is OK at times.
    Greetings chatters and hello from SEC media days here at The Wynfrey Hotel in Hoover, Alabama. I'm down here helping Dave Matter pump out the coverage. If you've got college football and/or Mizzou questions, today's the day. I'll try to be more entertaining -- and not as likely to filibuster -- than most of these coaches on the big stage.
    Can the new zou pull off the upset and take out the gators this year? I think a lot of teams will be sleeping on us early in the Pigskin schedule.
    When Florida made the smart call in hiring Dan Mullen from Mississippi State, I said Mizzou better take advantage before he gets the Gators where he wants them. Former Tigers coach Barry Odom got him once, and it was the biggest W of his Mizzou tenure, his only win against a ranked team. Pretty much cemented a contract extension that did not work out. Now Mullen is on track. The Gators went from third, to second, to first in the SEC East. But there could be some turbulence this season in The Swamp. Mullen lost his starting QB, his best tight end, his best do-everything athlete and multiple other offensive threats. He's trying to turn a former QB backup (Emory Jones) into a star while changing his offense from aerial attack to more ground and pound. And his defense, which was bipolar at best and terrible at worst last season, remains a big question mark. So, I'll say it again. Better take advantage if this is indeed going to be a rare down year, because they won't come often for Mullen and likely won't dip too deep. Can the Tigers beat them? Perhaps. The buzz will build around Mizzou if they can take care of business week to against Kentucky. Did you all realize the Tigers have not won in Lexington since 2013? It was Stoops' first season there.
    Do you think there is room for another perennial national power house to rise in college sports? Teams come and go and have good stretches but the last power house to really develop and stick for the long term I can think of is Clemson football. Point is, does mizzou have the ability to reach the level of those teams for the long haul.

    Football i.e. Bama, Clemson, Ohio State
    Basketball i.e UK, KU, Duke, etc.

    Teams come
    Clemson's recent rise to challenge Alabama in football dominance suggests its possible. But Clemson had been good in the past.
    Gonzaga's breaking through of the ceiling after years of being a really good team suggests its possible.
    Can Mizzou get to that level?
    It would take a whole heck of a lot.
    Right coach. Right recruiting. Right support, to keep the coach from leaving for higher paying jobs that are closer to that elite level of success.
    The expansion of the College Football Playoff should help those chances, but again, the Tigers are a long way away.
    Check out some of the resources created by the donations and fan support of some of those programs you mentioned and compare them to Mizzou's levels. There's a gulch.
    The right coach can help close the gap. Gary Pinkel flirted with it.
    I hear a lot of people talk about how NIL will effect college football and basketball players, but how will it effect college baseball players? Will NIL effect some players decisions to sign with their drafted team if they’re drafted in certain rounds? Are there some scenarios where players could make more off NIL by staying/going to college vs signing with the team that drafted them?
    Name, image and likeness has predictably been a big topic down here the past couple of days and will continue to be.
    I like what Georgia coach Kirby Smart said this morning. He started off by saying he does not think it's going to hurt college football. He said he has encouraged his players to be smart about who they partner with and understanding how to protect their personal brand. He thinks this can be an educational opportunity for players to learn about things like contracts and taxes. Smart.
    One of the biggest knocks on NIL was that all of the money might flow to just the biggest name athletes in the biggest sports. That's already been proven wrong. We've watched women's basketball players, gymnasts, soccer players, etc. find deals that suit them.
    Baseball players will be in that group, for sure.
    For some SEC programs baseball is a MUCH bigger deal than basketball.
    I think it will be pretty rare where the amount of money that is made with NIL is going to be the deciding factor in players -- in any sport -- about if they should go pro or not. If a guy (or girl) can make more on NIL than he or she can turning pro, that would probably be a good sign to stay in school.
    Word on the streets is that we’re throwing a bullpen game today? True or false?

    Gotta love coach Drink time for a raise!!💰💵🤑
    Oviedo is tonight's starter, the Cardinals finally announced this morning.
    Drinkwitz could be in a position to make a lot of dough coaching at Mizzou. I don't know that the Tigers need to rush any sort of raise, though. He got a bigger deal than he would have, I think, if Mizzou would not have bungled the coaching search that led to his hire. Seems clear the bad search stuck the landing, but it also seems clear that Drinkwitz has a desirable job in a desirable conference with a program that has already proven it will work to get him what he wants as long as he continues to succeed. The greenlighting of the practice facility is a good example. If Drinkwitz takes care of business, I do think Mizzou will keep up. Turn the job you have into the one you want.
    BenFred,
    I ask this because you covered the pre-Olympic stuff in St. Louis and have heard the pandemic discussed at the SEC media days.
    I've read countless times over the last week "he/she tested positive even though they received the vaccine."
    Do the people who run these affairs/events think you can't get Covid when vaccinated? That's what these writers make it sound like.
    Hopefully most know it's still possible to catch the virus after being vaccinated.
    The difference, hopefully, and hopefully most know this too, is that the risk level from the virus has been proven to be significantly lower for those who are vaccinated.
    You are less likely to get it -- but still can -- and you are less likely to be hospitalized with problems from it if you get vaccinated.
    I think a lot of media coverage points out whether or not someone who tests positive has been vaccinated because it's a common question that follows a coach or athlete having to shut things down.
    So, it answers the question before it gets asked, hopefully.
    What’s your prediction for order of finish in the SEC East?
    Georgia
    Florida
    Missouri
    Kentucky
    Tennessee
    South Carolina
    Vanderbilt 
    Feel pretty good about Georgia. I'm less sold on Florida but I'm giving the benefit of the doubt for now. Would not be surprised if Mizzou and UK are flip-flopped. I think there's a sizable gap between Tennessee, South Carolina and Vanderbilt and everyone else.
    August win percentage for the Redbirds?

    I’m leaning towards 75-80%
    Couple games behind the Brew Crew.
    That's . . .  optimistic. Cardinals are one game above .500 in July and their best completed month so far this season was a 16-12 May. This team going on a sustained run, as is, is hard to believe. If it receives the right reinforcements, maybe. Recent play has proven Shildt's club is not rolling over. Still, it needs help from the front office.
    Carp in the 3 hole last night? Put your Shildt hat on for us fans and tell us how that makes sense or why you did that coach?
  • Rough night for Carpenter at the dish. I caught one of the three strikeouts before dinner. Shildt has said in the past that he likes to kind of preserve the top part of the lineup by not moving guys all around when one of them (in this case Nolan Arenado) gets a day off. I would imagine that had as much to do with the spot as Carpenter's more encouraging hitting as of late. And yes, doing things like that goes against the theory that none of these guys care or are affected by where they hit. They do and they are, and when the team has been finding some semblance of traction and Arenado got the off day, it would make some sense for the manager to try to preserve things as much as possible. But the problem with Carpenter these days is that he's got a good chance of getting exposed if used too much or too prominently. A zero-for-four game with three Ks in the three hole is an example.
    Ben,

    The next update for team STL against Stank should be this week, after they provide evidence to add financial records for additional defendants, correct?
    I do believe the Rams side is planning on trying to use that 10-day window granted last Monday to prepare a plan to prove to the judge it should receive approval to get more financial information from a larger number of defendants. Whether that revisited topic will take place in a hearing, I'm not sure. The other in-motion issue operating on a separate track is the Rams' request to have the judge toss the case through summary judgement. I don't think that will happen, but the process has to play out. The Rams made their request. The STL side responded. Now the Rams have a period of time to respond before the judge decides.
    With student athletes now allowed to accept compensation for their name/image/likeness, it seems like a ripe opportunity for new NCAA powerhouses to emerge. Can you talk a bit about the regulations that still exist for student athletes? I know its early days, but do you see any program that is benefitting more than others from the change? Any surprises from schools without numerous wealthy boosters?
    I don't know that name, image likeness is going to be THE reason new big dogs show up on the block. It could be a factor, sure. But usually the schools that are winning big are already spending big on everything from stadiums to coaching salaries. A lot of that money comes from donors, boosters, fans. So, now some of that money will just be funneled toward NIL deals. The playing field for NIL will probably be similar to the playing field for everything else, once things even out. If anything, I think it will give programs a better chance of keeping some of their in-state talent, because recruits might have financial reasons to be more mindful of where their personal brand is strongest. As in, a wide receiver from East St. Louis might have more sponsors interested in partnering with him if he goes to Mizzou or Illinois compared to Arizona State or some other place.
    SEC coaches and even commissioner Greg Sankey have spent time here this week asking for federal guidelines on NIL because of the differences in each state's approach. I'm not sure that will come and it doesn't seem to me like anyone really wants to be on the hook for enforcing it, including the NCAA. One thing that is generally agreed upon is that it should not be a recruiting tool, but that's laughable. It is and it will be. For example, a Miami MMA gym has already announced plans to partner with every scholarship player for a small-ish annual payment. That's going to be known by players considering Miami.
    Some people get really bent out of shape about that.
    Not me.
    What I like about the NIL advancement, beyond allowing a free market to exist, is that it gives fans a chance to really put their money where their mouth is. It's easy to complain about a coach's recruiting or team's lack of success. Now fans and businesses that want to see a program do well can have some skin in the game.
    I'm with you on Coach Drink. Let's hold off on the pay raises and extensions before he gets one full season in. I certainly appreciated last years results and great recruiting results (on paper), but let's not back us into a corner with premature contracts. Cardinals fans know about that.
    I think you wrote it yesterday from Chizik; when you're hired in this league you've made it.
    If Drinkwitz keeps succeeding, other programs will come calling and Mizzou will have to step up to keep him.
    Why compete against yourself until then?
    I don't get the sense Drinkwitz is going to be the type to flirt with jobs that he's not interested in just to get premature raises.
    He's got a great contract now, and it's barely just started.
    He's pointed out things he wants that are not contract related, like the practice facility, and he's getting it. He will have more plans, and Mizzou will work to make them happen.
    Drinkwitz wants to be in the SEC or at the top tier of the CFB world. The upcoming expansion of the College Football Playoff gives Mizzou a better chance of getting into those waters if it succeeds. Being in the SEC East is a whole heck of a lot more desirable than being in the West.
    Throwing more money at him now, just out of the fear of losing him to some nebulous unknown, would be bad business. It would also make Mizzou look a little insecure.
    Looks to me like trading for a starting pitcher may be a trap play. Coming behind 2020 seems like no one is certain how pitchers will hold up as their innings pile up. Gibson already looks shaky. With one less wild card than last season, it would take a miracle for the Cards to make up their gap to get in the playoffs. With virtually every contender desperate for pitching I don’t think a bargain is likely. The minors are just starting to show some life. Recent trades and the late development of Perez & Plummer would seem to illustrate it might be best to write off 2021 and save the powder & cash to make a serious run at the top spot in 2022. Cubs look out of it, which should mean 2 Central wild Cards. I like those odds better.
    Adding a starting pitcher who is only under contract through 2020 would not make much sense, I agree.
    Adding someone who could help this season and next would.
    Gibson is in that camp.
     The Cardinals have been reminded time and time again this season that adding a little bit of proven starting  pitching depth earlier could have paid dividends. Same could be true next season as they're looking like a team that will once again be leaning a lot on guys who missed significant time due to injuries.
  • When the reports came out that Armstrong had at least 4 offers for Tarasenko where the trading team would take on all his salary, it left me wondering why no deal was done. DA is smart and shrewd, so surely he wouldn't lose out on getting nothing but cap space if Tarasenko is lost. I believe that he valued Dunn over any offer he received. Here's my theory- This was a clever ploy to keep Dunn. If Armstrong traded Tarasenko, then Dunn is surely gone in the draft. Leaving 91 exposed is probably too good for Seattle to pass. This way, he can protect Dunn, and move 91 at the same time. And if Dunn is chosen, then he gets back on the phone with those 4 teams.
    The trades that were offered for Tarasenko that were willing to take on his full salary -- and there were some according to P-D teammate Jim Thomas -- should still be on the table after the expansion draft. That's the bet Army is making.
    By waiting and leaving Tarasenko unprotected, Army was able to protect Ivan Barbashev, most importantly. And sure, perhaps steer Seattle away from Dunn a bit -- if Seattle wants the name brand and potential upside of Tarasenko. I'm really, really interested to see what Seattle does. It will be a good gauge of how other teams view Tarasenko.
    Would it be worth it to buyout CMart for $500,000 and then try to sign him to a one-year contract worth $4-5m? If he regains his old form, he then becomes a viable trade piece. At least we’ll get something back in return rather than just buy him out and let him walk.
    I don't think he's going to be returning to form. Time to end the Tsunami drama. Best to let him go.
    Ben, I'm going to throw out a couple of names that I feel make the most sense for the Cards to trade for starting pitching wise.
    Kyle Gibson.
    Mike Minor.
    Both are vets with a lot of experience. Both have years of control left. Both would help eat some innings for a pitching staff that desperately needs that. Both could help in the rotation in 2022. One is having a good year so far. One is not having a good year. The biggest difference between the 2 would have to be the price tag. Curious if you feel these guys could be legitimate options for the rotation or if you have any other names in mind?
    Gibson would make a lot of sense and he would fit in well with the team. He has a home in the area. Mizzou Hall of Famer. Knows some Cardinals. Attended the Players' Alliance event in STL to help pass out COVID supplies and grocery to STL families just this past winter. He would be my pick, now that the Scherzer window closed by the Nationals playing their way away from the seller side of the conversation, and the Cardinals playing their way out of the true-rental-being-a-good-idea side of the conversation.
    In you view:
    Will Molina finish the current season as a Cardinal?
    Will he end his career as a Cardinal?
    Isn't the ability for players to get compensation for their name and likeness just open the door for under the table deals to get players to the bigger schools? Seems like a lot of shady stuff can happen
    Exactly the opposite. It takes some of the shady stuff that was already happening and allows it to happen in a way that can be monitored and to some degree regulated. What is better for a student athlete, getting a free car from a shady booster, or learning how to reach a sponsorship agreement with a car dealership and becoming familiar with that business? I'd argue the latter, by a lot. The market for these players have always been there. Now it can just operate in the light.
    It might be warranted…but NIL and other things like it will have the result of widening the divide between the rich and poor in college athletics. The devil is always in the details, Ben. Power 5 college football is likely to benefit from the new rules…but everybody else playing football (the MAC, for example, as well as all FBS/1AA schools)…will likely suffer…and suffer greatly. Your thoughts?
    The divide is already there and already growing, regardless of anything related to NIL. Any program can benefit from the new NIL rules. Jackson State football players landed one of the first NIL deals, for example. MAC players can agree to deals with the local burger join just like Mizzou players. Will the bigger names at bigger programs get bigger money. Sure. But they were already getting bigger everything. At some point in the future there will probably be a separation of the college sports haves and have-nots. But it won't be because of NIL. 
    Hey Ben, thanks for all of your hard work, and reporting, we're lucky to have you. My question is that way back when the Browns moved the only reason the NFL came up with relocation guidelines was that Congress was looking at Anti-Trust legislation against the NFL. So far I have not seen that in the team STL lawsuit and it concerns me. Any thoughts on the outcome?
    Not making it an antitrust-based case was specific. All of the previous attempts to take that route have been derailed regarding relocation-based law drama. STL has been specific in making this about the relocation guidelines, what they call for, and how they were not followed. Keep it simple. Here's what the relocation guidelines the league says it has to follow demand. Here's how they were not followed.
    Any comps for Josh Baez?
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