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.

    I did not expect to open STL PD this morning and see Sterk gone. Had you put a Cardinals coach or FO position name in there, then yes, it would've made sense.
    First, I appreciate the job he did after willingly coming into several messy situations and cleaning them up. Second, his fundraising and facility improvements have been wonderful. and from what I understand some of the lesser known ones are ongoing.
    There were some uneven times during his tenure but overall I think he did well and I think he'll land on his feet in a place of his choosing.
    He's about to get paid to not work, so I'll be curious if he decides to take on another venture or perhaps retire or pursue a scaled-back role. He's 65 and has had a good career. If I were him, I might head for the beach. We'll see.
    Fangraphs gives the Cards a 3% chance of making the playoffs. When will management admit this is a lost season and start preparing for next season? Will it take losing the next series vs the Brewers in the middle of August? Won't pitching Reyes only 70 innings this season give him a slim chance of being a 180+ innings top 3 starter next year? And sacrificing Oviedo time and time again instead of letting him grow in the minors could set him back long term instead of him possibly helping the rotation next year.
    I wouldn't expect the Cardinals to officially raise the white flag until the math makes it so.
    That's just how they operate.
    They are not going to sell at the deadline, unless Mozeliak changes his previously shared plan.
    Significant MLB news: Christian Yelich on the IL due to a positive COVID test. Fully vaccinated, per Brewers.
    We know how successful the Cards have been with the above .500 records for the last 13 years, playoff appearances, etc., etc., and how that's bought the Cards' FO consideration in that regard. Certainly not taking away from their success. I want more of it.

    But if you looked at it only in the last 5 years, going on 6, how does their performance look? I believe in giving credit where credit is due, but at some point the overall direction has to be looked at in more recent terms. Yes they have Arenado and Goldy, but the laundry list of misses is long, and we're not talking about prospects playing for other teams.
    What if you only looked at this team from the time they signed Fowler and gave MCarpenter the extension?

    Sooner or later the organization is going to have to ask "are we going in the right direction and are these people the ones to get us there?"
    The Cardinals are on the cusp of missing their fourth postseason in the past six seasons. The deepest they have gone during that time turned into the world-champion Nationals sweeping them dominantly in the NLCS. Since the start of the 2016 season the Cardinals have fallen to fifth in the National League and third in the National League Central in regular-season wins (421), and sixth in the NL and third in the NL Central in postseason wins (four). Cardinals problems are first-world problems, but a decade without a championship is a long time for the team that leads the NL in them, especially when the last half-decade has shown a team moving away from not toward that goal. Fair?
    Thoughts on flower out in Vegas? Stand up guy and shipped to the hawks!
  • His agent is suggesting he might retire rather than make that move? Does not sound he was aware of the possibility, and doesn't love the way it played out. When Vegas made that deal with Pietrangelo, you knew the money was going to run out eventually. This seems to be an example of that. Shipping out one of the best goalies for a minor leaguer before he updated his no-trade list, perhaps putting Chicago on it. Tough business. But they can't make him play if he doesn't want to.
    Usually, coaches get antsy when the AD that hires them gets forced out. What’s your initial feel on how Coach Drink and Coach Martin think about it? I know Drink has plenty of momentum but I know he’d likely be anxious to have a good rapport with whoever is the AD. I imagine there’s more anxiety with Coach Martin though.
    Part of the reason Martin came to CoMo was because the AD who hired him at Cal moved on.
    Every coach likes to work for their hiring AD, because there is more interest in mutual success.
    ADs are graded, more than anything, on their coaching hires in revenue sports: men's football and basketball.
    Some are itchier than others to put their hiring stamp on those two programs, but all are quicker to make a change to make their hire than to go down with someone else's.
    So, yes, I'd say both Martin and Drinkwitz are following this search pretty closely.
    I don't think either was expecting it, though both had to be aware Sterk was not going to do this forever.
    There was industry speculation that Sterk could be retiring at some point in the relatively near future.
    What % chance would you give the Cardinals of making the playoffs? With the Padres beefing up, the Cardinals would need a collapse by MIL or SF in addition to a hot streak. Not an ideal situation
    Ben I admittedly don’t know a lot about Buchnevich but will he make the Blues a better team? I thought Sammy Blais, with more ice time and playing with higher skilled teammates would turn into a 20 goal scorer. As Panger likes to say the “kid has sick mitts”. A major complaint about the Blues this past season was lack of grit. Not sure how losing Blais will help with that. I look forward to your thoughts. Thanks
    It seems like the Pavel Buchnevich trade is flying under the radar a little bit. Both Dunn (expansion draft) and Blais (trade) were fan and media favorites for their scrappiness and energy, but those on-ice qualities should be easier to find than what Buchnevich offers. We've spent a lot of time saying the Blues need a top-six forward, and they got one in this deal, then extended him for an amount that seems to be a team-friendly sum. The four-year, $23.2 million deal gives the team a scorer who trailed only Ryan O'Reilly among current Blues in goals scored last season, and leaves about $13 million in salary cap space for free agency. Blais and a draft pick was a borderline steal for that kind of production. Buchnevich is 26 and should have some good mileage left on his tires. I think the Blues beat the market on this one. He played a lot better the past two seasons, too.
    Ben, two quick thoughts on Mizzou.

    1) I've been watching Mizzou athletics for nearly 50 years, ever since I was a young kid. Sterk's departure just symbolizes Mizzou in a nutshell. Things are looking up. The football team has some momentum. The sanctions from the academic scandal are behind everyone and there appears to be a good group of coaches throughout the department. So, of course, the athletic director announces he's leaving -- and may have been forced out -- on the eve of an anticipated football season. Perfect. There were no distractions for a change so let's create one. [Sarcasm alert.] Mizzou just can't get out of its own way.

    2) Looks like Mizzou has totally revamped its media relations department. [Strategic communications is such a silly name.] I have no problem with new blood and some new thoughts but what's up with this? Again, I know this is not like a new football coach, but not sure why there was a need for a huge change. Any thoughts on who drove it?
    1. When I first heard the news -- I'm not one of the ones pretending this was expected all along -- I felt the same way. Why now? Sure, there were signs of some tension between Sterk and the Mizzou leadership, especially the chaotic search that led to Drinkwitz, but those clouds had kind of seemed to blow over. Drinkwitz's success made it so. It doesn't sound like there was a big fight or blowup, and there clearly was enough cooperation that Sterk agreed to do the job until the new hire is named. More than anything, it just reads like Mizzou leadership viewing the landscape and all of the changes coming and thinking it can do better than what it had. That could be visionary. Or, that could be a disaster -- if you hire the wrong person to replace someone who had weathered some storms. We shall see.
    2. There has been an incredible amount of turnover on that side of things, yes. Some were miffed they were passed over for promotions. Some were miffed by the letting go of longtime football SID Chad Moller and not pleased with the leadership that replaced him. Nick Joos, who was the head of that department, has moved on to Iowa State, so it's pretty much a full rebuild there, for those who follow the behind-the-scenes side of messaging and media relations.
  • If you were Scherzer wouldn't you want to go to the Padres or Dodgers?
    Are you telling me you would want to go to the Cards who currently stand at around a 3% chance of making the playoffs? If he wants to play for the Cards he could sign with them in the off season and ride off into the sunset on his home town team.
    Scherzer is turning 37 and has experienced World Series bliss. I have not doubt he wants to be on the big stage and do it again.
  • If I were Max I'd go chase a ring.
    Why did the Cards decide to carry Yadi all weekend if he couldn't even pinch hit with such a weak bench? Isn't this the type of thing the 10 day IL is for?
    Yadi Rules trump every other player rules. Come on, Dave. We know this by now.
    With the DH coming next season do you think Carpenter is on a ML roster? Chances the Cards sign him cheap to stay?
    I'd like to see what he could do in Colorado, personally.
    I don't think the Cards bring him back. 
    Time to let that ship sail.
    Ben, not anti-Kyle Gibson at all. He would certainly be an improvement. But I do not want the Cardinals giving up one of their top prospects for him. This team did that in some other deals -- and I understand why -- but it's time to step back, continue to build the farm system and look toward 2022 when a bunch of these contracts come off the books. This team has about a 3 percent chance of making the playoffs. Why overpay for Gibson, who is a decent pitcher but has been mediocre recently, which is closer to his career stats? Now, if Texas wants to take a low-level prospect or a backup on the current roster, I'm listening.
    I don't think the Cards will be trading their top prospects for anybody. That fear does not seem to be a realistic one.
    Any Cardinals trade deadline rumors to share?
  • I'm sure there is a lot of thought-showering taking place, and perhaps some arbitrage as well.
    Hey Ben! Cardinals pitchers can't stop walking batters with the bases loaded. We lead the NL in walks allowed by a good margin, and we lead in hit batsmen by a wider margin. I feel like a lot of this is on Maddux. He's not the one throwing the pitches, but it's his staff and they seem to be infected. This isn't about injuries to the staff; it's about pitchers who seem lost on the mound. Has there been any explanation of why this entire staff seems to have lost command this year?
    Nothing that can explain it. And clearly, nothing that can fix it. It's on the coaches and the players, you bet. It's also on the front office for thrusting some pitchers who might not have been ready into those spots, and for not replacing them with better options after performances did not justify continued chances. Three of the team's top-four in walks surrendered (Gant, Oviedo, Martinez) have often been in spots their performance did not exactly justify. The other is Reyes, who gets more of a pass because despite his walks he tends to get the job done as the closer. It's a pass-fail gig, and he often passes. So, I think the blame for the walks can be spread around. But yes, Maddux is the pitching coach. So he doesn't get to avoid it.
    Reports are that Schwartz is about to join Pietrangelo and Tarasenko of core Cup Blues shown the door. At what point does it become fair to question Armstrong? (Question does not = fire) Yes, he played a critical role building the Cup team, but those players were actually on the ice. Seems the only no-movement clause in this franchise is for his principles...
    Questioning Army is fair. He's made a choice to mostly dismantle the Cup winning team. But he didn't do it after the championship. He did it after the boys dropped a big egg in the bubble in a weak attempt -- if it can even be called that -- to defend their championship. The Blues are about to look a whole lot different next season, and if they are not better, Army is going to catch fair heat. I think they might be better though. First they have to finish the transition and get Vlad out. He can't come back. If the Blues lean into the Berube system and make it clear they will pay guys who want to buy in on that style, perhaps a remade team can get out of the halfway-in, halfway-out style it has been lost in since their high point?
    Some opinion people are saying Sterk's hire of C Martin was a miss. How it was similar to the direction Sterk was going with his initial FB hire list. They talk about how the hire didn't move the needle. It wasn't a big splash and Martin had done nothing since leaving Missouri State.
    Is that how the hire is viewed outside of Columbia and Mizzou fandom?
    I don't agree. You'd have to be going through some sort of Buck Rogers experience to not know how much of a mess Mizzou MBB was in. CM went dancing the next year, which to many was unthinkable.
    Sterk didn't hire Kim Anderson, but he pushed the right buttons to clean up the mess. I thought that's what an AD is suppose to do.
    That is some very impressive revisionist history.
    As if the Porter brothers never happened at all -- before their injuries capped excitement.
    It's amazing what some people can wipe from the mind, Men-in-Black style.
    I'd never claim to have more expertise on the Blues players than Armstrong has, but I assumed that Dunn had a lot more value to the Blues than did Krug, especially given his age and better salary hit. Any idea why Krug was valued more than Dunn and put on the protected list?
    Krug and/or Faulk would have had to bottom out last season for that change to make. Dunn knew that, too. Krug got better as the season went along, and Faulk was much better in his second season, something Krug could perhaps replicate next season.
  • Here's a "if I could have a redo" question. Would you rather have Pietrangelo and Joel Edmundson or Falk and Krug? Seems the dollars we spent on the latter two would have been enough to keep Petro and Edmundson. Or, was Petro just ready to move on?
    I'm not one of the ones who buy the notion that the Blues were out on Pietrangelo the moment they signed Faulk. And Krug was signed as a pivot after Pietrangelo made it clear he was not taking the big offer the Blues made toward the former captain. Armstrong's approach continues to be that he wants a bunch of pretty good players and that he thinks that will be better for the team than a couple great players. The Faulk and Krug moves, and the more recent Buchnevich one, suggest that. He also clearly cares about players wanting to be with the Blues. Any whiff that a guy wants out, and he's gone. Pietrangelo was not as determined to be in St. Louis as he often made it seem. He earned his right to get the biggest contract available, and he took it. I don't think his current contract in Vegas is going to age well.
    Is Texas and OU moving to the SEC a "careful what you wish for" scenario on the recruiting front? A lot of SEC games in the state of Texas might tempt some HS seniors to head east in the fall
    Yes and no. Texas A&M has been in the SEC for years. It's not a big secret in the Lone-Star state that the SEC is the biggest, baddest football conference. If anything, I think it helps all SEC teams. Now the SEC is more appealing all around, and there are only so many scholarships to hand out on each team. Schools like Mizzou and Arkansas could be more appealing to Texas players because of the conference expansion. If a Texas player wanted to go to Alabama before this, he was already going to go to Alabama -- if he had an offer.
    Thanks again for the chat, Ben. I am not down on the front office like so many fans, but I feel as if the team has been on a very gradual slide toward irrelevance since LaRussa left. In both cases, Matheney and Shildt, we were told they knew the players and the players knew them, but the result has been a team that looks increasingly unfocused, with a seeming lack of urgency on the field. I'd like to see Shildt let go at the end of the year and replaced with someone from outside the organization - get a fresh perspective, and someone who doesn't come in with pre-formed relationships with the players. If the Cardinals are looking for a new manager at the end of the season, what names do you think might come up?
    I don't think the Cardinals will be looking for a new manager after the season, so I haven't spent much time perusing the possibilities. Shildt would be a pretty clear scapegoat if he's let go. Unlike Matheny, there have been no signs of the team tuning him out or of him losing the team. At least none that I'm aware of. A chance-of-voice approach would, in my opinion, be better off for the front office to snap out of current self-imposed limitations on how to adapt to a season on the fly before it's too late.
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