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.

    Is is just me, or have the Cardinals lowered their standards? Not so long ago, their talk was about winning the division and competing for the pennant. Then came the infamous Mozeliak 90 win comment. Then it became lets qualify for the postseason and anything can happen. Now its lowered to how many seasons the team has been above .500. And that's all well and good, and certainly better than many franchises. But its hard to say they have maintained high end standards.
    No argument here. The tune has changed, and not in a good way, as the time since the last championship nears a decade.
    Just read your article today and couldn't agree more. I've been wondering what the future of Yepez is in the organization as he has steadily developed. You're right--it's time to find out. I'm a bit less intrigued by Capel, though I do like his BB ratio this year given how few hitters on the Cardinals roster seem able to draw walks.
  • Thanks.
    I think both could be at risk of being jumped over if they don't get a shot soon, and when you have the rest of the season left I don't see the harm in finding a way to find out what they can do -- instead of handwringing about 40-man roster implications 
    Hey BenFred - thanks as always for doing these. We might get lucky and get Waino back for another season which wouldn't be bad given the way he's pitched this year. Once he does retire, has there been any discussion about him continuing on in some sort of coaching role? I for one would love to see him teach younger pitchers how to throw Uncle Charlie the way he does.
    My bet is he's headed for the broadcast booth. He will be good at it if he does. He's flirted with it some and I bet he's back on there for some postseason appearances during playoff games. Other teams'. Not the Cardinals. They'll be watching along with the rest of us, most likely.
    Has Mo become the Chuck Knoblauch of trades where he has a mental block and can't execute even the simple transactions, let alone complicated ones? Mo might have the yips.
    A lot of people have forgotten who plays third base for the team, and how he got there.
    Ben,
    I believe ST. Louis U, or WASH U, or maybe both schools should give you an advanced psychology degree for dealing with us wannabe POBOs.

    Looking ahead to 2022……

    The Cardinals have opportunities to improve the ballclub by addressing their obvious weaknesses.
    1. Closer-Reyes’s move to the rotation leaves a hole and Hicks is a big ?
    2. DH-Leadoff hitter? LH Power Hitter? Established player? Nolan Gorman?
    3. 2B and/or SS-Upgrade at one or both?
    4. LHH 4th OFer-Established player or Lars Nootbar?
    5. Front end of the BP-Established pitchers or current players under contract for 2022?


    Play POBO and tell us how you would address the weaknesses above. Thank you!
    I'm not shopping for closers. Unless you need one at the trade deadline, you can find them and the Cardinals have done a good job of that. If it's not Hicks, somebody else will be able to do the job well, or a series of options until someone grabs it and runs with it. It's just too volatile of a spot to invest in during an offseason. For me.
    The middle infield needs something. It's been an anchor on the offense this season. Shortstops are going to be moving, so the Cardinals could find something there. Story or Seager or the fallout that comes from it, and then figure out what to do with DeJong. A new position (second?) or a trade, but some of that depends on where Gorman is and if he's ready.
    If I'm the Cardinals, I want my first DH in team history to be a bopper. I'm spending there to upgrade the offense, taking advantage of a spot where I don't have to worry about defense. I would go against the notion of using it as a rest spot for position players and go buy a baseball abuser, in part because I think it would be entertaining and NL fans who are slow to warm up to the role would fall in love with it.
    The rotation should be in better shape but it's got injury question marks as guys return. I still like the idea of Scherzer. 
    Percent chance the following individuals are back next year: Albert, Carpenter, DeJong?
    Mozeliak has defended Jeff Albert from day one and throughout this season, so I don't think he will be fired. Perhaps a title change or redistribution of roles. DeJong has a contract. Carpenter is not going to reach the playing time called for by his vesting option, and no one says the contract has worked out like anyone hoped. I have no reason to believe Carpenter will be back. The other two much more likely.
  • Speaking specifically about the trade deadline… Is the front office the one out of touch when they don’t buy big for a team that’s sitting around .500? Or are the fans the ones out of touch for expecting a big move at the deadline for a team sitting around .500?

    Again, this is specifically in regards to the trade deadline. We can argue all day about the moves that should’ve been made from spring until the middle of the season. But once we got to the deadline, if fans were expecting a big splash, they’re the ones out of touch in my opinion.
    No one should have been expecting a team with a 3-5 percent chance of making the postseason to go crazy for rentals.
    That said, I had hoped the Cardinals could get some help for now and 2022.
    They felt those longer-term scenarios were too pricey, so they got some potential help for 2021 and said let it play out.
    Offered a chance to get a jump start on the now and later, the Cardinals bought low on some short-term help.
    It wasn't thrilling, especially compared to some of the big splashes made around the league. I think that's where much of the frustration comes from.
    Plus, the trade deadline is supposed to be fun. Exciting. For the Cardinals it's been boring for six years. People are tired of that and I don't blame them.
    Any insight on the Blues and #91 situation? I’ve heard his new agent has a track record of this type of approach with NHL teams
    I fully expect there to be an "anonymous source" speaking on Tarasenko's behalf ripping something else about the Blues soon enough.
    Maybe the No. 91 camp will take on the Zamboni driver next, or whine about the poor parking options for Blues players at games.
    There's a new reason he wants out every week, it seems. The team doctors and the coaching staff are still trying to clean the bus tire marks off their backs. Who's next?
    Internally, there have been a lot of eye rolls and head shaking at some of the stuff Tarasenko has had leaked for him.
    It's not helping the situation.
    That said I do think Armstrong has to cut a deal for him before camp. You can't let that negativity touch this season's team. Armstrong has made a point to say he wants guys who want to be here, and I can't imagine he is going to let Tarasenko stick around now that he's made it very clear -- again and again -- that he doesn't.
    29,000 for a Sunday day home game, with nice weather. I know the Cards were 9 out and Minnesota isn't the Cubs, but that's pretty telling isn't it?
    First we saw how a top prospect in Alex Reyes is injury prone. Now finally healthy we all see with our very own eyes how this youngster is shaping up just fine in becoming an all star last month. My question is it very wise to still be pushing AR to be a starter next year vs just possibly continuing on this path to quite possibly becoming an elite bullpen piece over the long haul?
    There's no guarantee he will not get injured as a closer. It's high-velocity work and high-leverage, and the schedule is unpredictable. Worrying about a guy getting hurt is not how his career should be mapped out. He's a young, super talented pitcher with a pitch portfolio that profiles very well for starting. It's what he was supposed to be, and what he wants to be. I do think the Cardinals should find out if he can be that. One hundred percent. If he can't, he can go back to being the closer. But give him the chance. The Cardinals spent seasons, plural, letting Carlos Martinez prove he was not capable of being the starter he once was, for reasons that confounded. They can and should give Reyes a season to prove he can and should be a starter.
    There are two ways to make a significant addition to your club of a major league player: free agency and trade. The Cardinals in recent years have shied away from free agency and relied on trades. While that may be cheaper in dollars, it does put a strain on the pipeline of young, cheap players coming up. I’m encouraged that you think that the team might look at free agents like Storey. Have they pulled back a bit on their aversion to free agents?
  • Looking and landing are two different things.
    Cards have looked at a lot of free agents in recent seasons.
    Some of the biggest have picked other places, other offers.
    There's no guarantee Story would be an automatic get but if the Cardinals were discussing him as a potential trade scenario they might still have interest when he's a free agent after the season. Sometimes that's how it works, you track and check in, work and work, then strike. That's how it worked with Arenado.
    I'm not sure I understand Tarasenko's "scorched earth" process. If he wants to hook on with a Stanley Cup caliber team then why go out of your way to appear to be a "cancer" on the team. You're already damaged goods, why make yourself look worse?
    Great question. He must have assumed fans and other teams would just take the bait. Not everyone has. Doug Armstrong is pretty well respected across the league. A public nuking of him and his team isn't the best approach to make other teams want you.
    I am still trying to process what the FO was thinking in the Happ trade. In his post yesterday, Bernie M. detailed Happ's stats for the year. He has been very close to the worst starter in MLB. And we gave up Gant plus a prospect? That is a very odd deal, even with the Twins picking up most of the salary. The Lester pick up makes a bit more sense to me. Any insight?
    Some in the front office have a thing for Happ.
    They think he's better than the numbers show, and will be better with the Cardinals than he has been other places.
    He's been of interest to them for some time so there is probably a sense of, hey, we can finally get him, too.
    I think the org had cooled on Gant. He wanted to start but wasn't in control of his stuff enough to do it well enough. He was a big part of the walk problem. If he was open to whatever role and embraced it, maybe he could have just gone back to relieving, but there seemed to be a disconnect on how he should be used, and those things don't always age well. With Gant and Lane Thomas, who was traded for Lester, both were guys I think the organization just felt like had run their course as Cardinals. 
    I understand their seasons don't directly overlap but if the Cardinals have a .500 or below team next year and with the MLS soccer team coming in 2023 don't you think with the newness of the MLS team they will have a direct effect potentially on the Cardinals attendance ? Do you feel the Cardinals have an even more sense of urgency to to have a winning year next year knowing there is only so much sports entertainment dollars available for 2023?
    Potentially, though the overlap of those crowds is probably not going to be totally identical. MLS targets a younger, more diverse crowd than baseball traditionally nets. I think the two will coexist just fine, and I have zero doubts STL will support both teams pretty well, through thick and thin.
    Ok, you don’t have to answer this, but what is your take on the Simone Biles controversy and critics who say she let down her teammates? What is the line between feeling pressure, which every athlete (and all of us) feel to some extent, and mental health issues? How do sports generally address it?
    I'd love to answer it.
    I have been astonished by some of the "takes" that have come out of the Biles coverage.
    I've read and heard commentary that makes her sound like a traitor to her country, which is crazy, and I've read and heard commentary that makes her sound like she's doing something more impressive than dominating her sport by not competing, which is just as crazy.
    Biles has been a reminder that even the best athletes can be cut down by the extreme pressure they work under, and hopefully she has made it more possible for athletes (and the rest of us) to be candid about the mental health side of sports and just life in general. But of course it's disappointing when a top athlete can't compete at the peak event of their sport, and it doesn't make someone a bad person for mentioning the obvious. Biles will be viewed differently moving forward. She was the gymnast who could not be stopped. Until she was stopped.
    Biles is the greatest gymnast we've ever watched, and she had that locked up before she showed up in Tokyo, but the things that derailed her there don't simply get to be wiped from the slate when discussing her career. The hope here is that something good can come out of it, whether it is a better understanding of sports or specifically an increased focus on gymnastics, which has dealt with some heinous story lines in recent years and needs pressure to improve and change for the better.
    Will Mo acquire Rich Hill (age 41) and Justin Verlander (age 38) next to have a five man pitching rotation over age 37?
    Only if Hungo gets to come back and rejoin the bullpen.
  • Will the additions of Saad and Buchnevich resign Kyrou to the third line this year? He seems prime for a breakout, and especially if Tarasenko is gone, we will need him to supplement those lost goals up at the top of the roster.
    Seems like the Blues are preparing to give him every chance to prove he can be top-six material, this contract extension included. $2.8 million per season for two years is a pretty good deal for a guy who was around $760,000 last season. The Blues need him to keep taking steps forward, and they just gave him a contract that suggests they believe he will.
    You just mentioned, " Mozeliak just did a Q&A with fans after a game this week. He fielded tough questions but no one booed or tossed rotten lettuce at him that I'm aware of." Do you know where I can find a transcript of this, I did some searching after I read your comment and came up empty. Thanks for the Chat and you otther good work.
    I don't have one. I received a photo from it from someone in attendance, and got some of the play-by-play. Nothing remarkable. Standard stuff.
    Is there any reason to believe that Tarasenko will be traded for some real life value in addition to someone taking on his full salary? Seems like Army isn't trading for below what he values tarasenko at, otherwise I'd assume he'd be gone already? Thoughts?
    It's going to be hard to win the value side of the trade when the Blues already made him available to Seattle and they did not bite, when only the cost of his salary was the ask. So, Armstrong can be stubborn and wat it out or try to build a trade package that brings him something more desirable in return, but the value for Tarasenko alone probably isn't going to improve much. Makes you wonder what Army is working on, doesn't it?
    Any chance at all the Cardinals sign Scherzer or Kris Bryant in the offseason?
    First base, third base and outfield seem more or less set. That makes KB kind of a reach for me. Scherzer would make sense, and be fun.
    Is the NCAA's NIL developments just a way to take the old school cash in the envelope under the table and put it up on the table... and very noticeably so? It doesn't matter to me either way, but it seems like a sanitized version of actions that were considered renegade in the past.
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