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.

  • To some degree, sure.
    It's also a way to improve the process that was already happening, as you mentioned.
    And it creates value for both sides of the equation, and hopefully some education and regulation as well.
    Instead of a rogue booster handing a guy $500 in cash, now that player can partner with the booster's company to promote something, to do a business transaction.
    Schools have to teach student athletes how to handle the business side, the taxes, those kinds of things.
    More than anything, and this is what I like most about it, it gives fans an approved and obvious way to influence the product they want to see on the fied.
    If you are a Mizzou basketball fan who is tired of seeing athletes from St. Louis go to Florida, Duke, Kentucky over the Tigers, you can now help change that without breaking NCAA rules.
    Same for Illinois fans who want the football program to rise.
    Those NIL deals are going to impact recruiting and give in-state schools a better chance to keep talent from the area, because that's where those players' brands should be strongest.
    I'd like to address George's question about Simone Biles and say that the only reason the word "controversy" is even attached to her situation is due to old-man, rub-some-dirt-on-it thinking that somehow thinks that once you're a part of a team, nothing short of dismemberment should keep you from going out there and performing. This is the same mentality that directly has led to football players making themselves go out on the field for decades after suffering concussions and being lauded as heroes for doing so. How many now would go back in time and protect their future health? It's the same mentality that lambastes players who take leave to be present at the birth of their children.

    The reality is that Biles wasn't simply "feeling the pressure." She had lost the ability to know where her body was in the air. This isn't simply not wanting to have the ball in her hands down the stretch of a basketball game. She could have injured herself catastrophically. If a baseball player said that he suddenly could not find the ball out of the pitcher's hand, and had no idea if the ball was headed down the middle of the plate or at his head, would anyone question whether he should take himself out of the game? (Sadly, probably some would but you get my point).

    The question isn't where the line is between pressure and mental health problems. The question is how we hear and react to people from all walks of life, including elite athletes, when they express their struggles with mental health. Chalking it up to weakness only forces those with mental health struggles to hide and resist getting help.

    I'm a high school teacher, and I hear students express their concerns about the mental health and rising suicide rates among their peers. Having people "wonder" what the "obligation" is to teammates when athletes struggle with mental health misses the point entirely.
    I hope you don't think I have missed the point.
    And I'm aware of the unique challenges of her sport, and the terrifying circumstances she said she was dealing with while trying to execute her skills.
    What I see a lot of is an assumption that those who raise any other points in the conversation other than immediate and unquestioned applause for Biles are drowned out by claims they don't take mental health seriously.
    That's not really fair.
    On top of being at the top of their game physically, elite athletes have to be at the top of their game mentally as well.
    Can that not be appreciated without it coming across as something negative toward Biles?
    I hope so, or we've lost the ability to call a good thing a good thing.
    What will make Missouri basketball great again? A new coach? Cuonzo seems far more interested in recruiting good people than good players. Not saying you can't have both, but sure seems like it leans heavily towards good people.
    That depends on your definition of great, I suppose. Tigers are still hunting their first Final Four. Not even Norm Stewart could get there. They've been a lot better under Martin than they were in the rock-bottom seasons that preceded his hiring. The number one thing that would help the basketball program is the exact same thing Eli Drinkwitz is hammering for his football program. Both need support in terms of ticket sold, but more importantly people in attendance. Martin doesn't cheat. He won't. Some do. Not him. So, he's already at a disadvantage compared to some coaches. The name image and likeness era could help him, if Mizzou becomes a place where athletes can benefit from that. But just as important would be an atmosphere that is impressive for recruits to visit and players to play in. It matters in both sports, and Mizzou is not as high up on that list as it could be.
    Back to Biles. EVERY decision we working adults make is money related. She has to protect her income source so she temporarily bales using mental health as an out. She re-enters when she knows she can medal. It's always about money. That's just the way we live.
    I'm confused. If she was "faking" the mental health stuff, which I don't think she was, why wouldn't she just clean up all of the golds and build her value that way? No one in the world can touch her when she's right. That's based on the last Olympics and all of the events leading up to these Games. Her scores would have beat the field in pretty much every event. For years it's been that way. If she wasn't so dominant, the idea of dodging competition would hold more water. She's only competing against herself, though, and it's been like that for a long time.
    Ben, I agree 100% with Carlton take. You have been around writers or want to be writers who didn't perform well with a deadline. You may have been around a writer who did it for a period of time and then failed. I work with a man who performed over 20 years exceptionally in emergency rooms and trauma ICU's. He was on duty when the Reno Air race crash happened and afterword had to change his placement in healthcare. It was a accumulative, effect, PTSD like, he sighted losing his edge to perform without being able to block out the noise going on around him.
    It's real.
    I'm just glad I don't have to write on deadline on a four-inch balance beam :)
    I can barely do it sitting on my widening backside.
    With Biles, I first was around her when she game to the P&G championship five years ago or so. She seemed like a different person. Lighter. Happier. More free. Seeing her, albeit from a distance and on Zoom, when the trials came to town, she seemed more guarded, more closed off, more . . . almost unhappy.
    The weight on her shoulders is almost unimaginable, and add to that the fact she knows she's only competing against herself, plus all of the demands on her time, etc. And what should be mentioned too is what she has spoken about just briefly, the added trauma of the pitfalls of USA gymnastics. Again, just a lot of heavy stuff there.
    It would be interesting to see how those who are criticizing her would handle a day in her shoes.
    Ben do you think this trade deadline was so crazy because teams were willing to part ways with their prospects more than normal due to the labor deal pending? Presumably younger players will be paid better, faster if the players union gets there way at all which would make them less valuable in a sense to front offices? Might also lead to a spike in the market for mid level players as well since the young guys will be more expensive as long as they are in the majors?
  • Maybe. Two other things came to mind. The NL West is wild, and the Dodgers and Padres are going for one another in full blown win-now mode. That and the Cubs pressed the eject button. It would have looked like a much more calm deadline without those three teams deciding to do what they did.
    I think what Mark was trying to say, this is her last Olympics. Last shot at fame. Bringing this up at this point is a chance to reap a book deal or Oprah or whatever. All valid points.
    And I'm saying she didn't need any of those things.
    She already had an Amazon series named after her, and every endorsement in the world she could want.
    She's got a book deal the moment she wants one, whether it's a cook book, a coloring book or memoir.
    She's been on every TV show already.
    There was nothing for her to gain by doing this for personal gain.
    So, no, I'm not buying that one. Sorry! 
    Greetings! I live out of town now and can find much on interwebs about how the soccer stadium is progressing..... how's it looking?
    It's getting taller all the time.
    That's my expert analysis from driving by it.
    Here's the latest from about a month ago: 

    New renderings of St. Louis MLS stadium show off seats, fan views

    STLtoday.comNew renderings of St. Louis' soccer stadium offer a glimpse of the views fans can experience when the team's inaugural season kicks off in 2023.
    Think a promo is on the horizon for Flores? He’s great at scouting/drafting talent
    That would not surprise me. Cards would be wise to keep him. Other teams would be wise to want him.
    Hey ben, as always love your chats and your columns.. my question for you are the Cardinals defensively and offensively a better team with Sosa starting at shortstop Dejong on the bench or vice versa?
    FanGraphs' edition of Wins Above Replacement says Paul DeJong is a 1.1 WAR player this season. Sosa checks in at 0.6 WAR. The Cardinals are 38-34 when DeJong starts and 21-21 when Sosa starts. These numbers are not perfect, but they suggest what I think to be true. If DeJong is not the answer, and maybe he isn't, the answer probably isn't Sosa. Sosa has proven to be a solid bench player, and there's value in that role; clearly, because we've watched the Cardinals get burned by not having enough guys like Sosa this season. This kind of needed to be DeJong's prove-it season, and it hasn't been. It's one of the reasons the Cardinals are going to have to figure out how to strengthen their middle infield this season, whether it's replacing DeJong at short, adding a shortstop and moving hi to second, or something else entirely.
    " No coach is stopping a guy from using the opposite field when his pull side is swamped in a shift. " Ummm, y'all might want to get on the same page here. Goold reported yesterday that the analytics dept / staff mentioned to Goldy he would have more luck if he pulled more pitches due to the home park tendencies. It was in reference to hitters coming from other teams and not having the success that they had with previous teams. See... all of them.
  • The analytics department/staff is not in the box with a bat.
    Ben, Tarasenko is still a Blue. Prior to the draft Army said he had teams lined up interested. Was this a smoke screen? Apparently we're going to be stuck with him, or vice versa.
    I bet Armstrong comes up with something.
    If not, man, I'd like to be a fly on the wall for that first meeting between Vlad and the team he spent his offseason letting his agent torch.
    Yowza.
    Tyler O'Neill has a very good year. I'm not complaining but I have noticed that he has hit relatively few home runs over the last two months compared to the first two months. I know he continues to hit a lot of doubles. Basically, I'm just curious if anyone has an explanation for the decline of his home run rate.
    He has just two doubles and only two home runs in 75 at-bats since the start of July.
    Slashing .240/.313/.347 since the start of last month.
    I haven't done a deep dive on the numbers but it seems to me it's correlated with hitting cleanup.
    That seems to be a pressure cooker of a spot in the order for guys like DeJong and now O'Neill.
    He was raking when he was appearing at 5/6/7.
    I want to chime in on the Biles comments. Nastia Luiken (spelling?) really cleared the air and said Simone was lost in the air and had no idea how to land all of a sudden. All gymnasts go through it, it’s just so unfortunate it came for her st the Olympics. Kind of like the yips. Except hers could end up paralyzing her (see other Russian gymnasts from 80s) and not walk a bunch of batters like Ankiel. Simone knew if she pushed on her scores would be poor and would hurt the dreams of the other gymnasts. I view this as such a selfless act, she gave up her chance that “might” work out to ensure her teammates could compete for gold/silver. She didn’t take an experience away from someone too. Think of Makayla who medaled in vault who wouldn’t have competed if Simone was selfish and tried to push through. Everyone should ask themselves, would you have been mad at her if she did participate and bombed or hurt herself permanently in front of your eyes? The Monday morning qbs would have been all over her saying she was selfish and greedy and thinking of herself. I think the message about Simones situation could have been communicated better which is why people shouldn’t be too quick to jump.
    The lack of understanding about gymnastics has not helped the situation.
    A lot of people are glossing over or ignoring the fact that disastrous gymnastics routine poses a lot greater health risk than a disastrous, well, just about anything else.
    So, the Cards FO was high on Lane Thomas at the beginning of the year, thinking that he could challenge for a starter position, and be cost controlled for years. Now, he's traded for a 37 year old pitcher who most likely won't be on the team next year. So, what gives? And I'm just using Lane as a stand in for several recent mistakes. Is the FO development of young players the issue, their assessment of talent, both, or other?
    You have to remember what happened in between.
    Thomas got multiple openings to make his run, and didn't.
    He did not respond well to the opportunities. Didn't grab them and run with them.
    The outfield formed in around him, and he was the one on the outside looking in, with a fresh crop of outfielders climbing up the ladder behind him.
    So, yes, the Cardinals flipped him for a player they thought could be of some help for a team desperate for innings. He is a fresh-start candidate for the Nats if there ever was one, and if he finds traction there then he can be added to the list of players the Cardinals did not figure out how to get the best out of. But keeping him for the sake of keeping him wasn't going to be what was best for him, or the team.
  • Benfred - you have a very bright audience . Carltons comments on Biles may be the best comments I have ever read from a reader in any chat. Spot on . Injuring yourself in a permanent and long term way for the "team" is ridiculous. This isn't war its a game . Some old schoolers who think otherwise need to adjust their thinking.
    Lots of knowledge in the chat -- except for the trade requests that want Mike Trout for John Gant.
    Wouldn't Kris Bryant be a good DH? Plus he would be a good backup to give others rest.
    Sure, but he gets a say in where he signs. He might want to play in the field every day before being a full-time DH.
    Ben, Edman being over exposed, Are we sure he just doesn't need more better than a 5.5% BB%? seems fixable if the man is committed to improvement. With a average BB% of 8% his obp raises to .330, at a above average 10% .345. Improved walk rates with some players are pie in sky but players like TE, contact reliant, I don't think it's unrealistic to expect him to acknowledge what he needs to do better and improve.
    Edman has more at-bats this season (410) than any other player in the majors.
    I don't think that's the best use of Edman.
    Yes, I think overexposed is the correct term to use.
    Entering this season the fretting was bout him not being used enough. Exiting it, it should be about getting some middle infield assistance.
    Will the Notes be back to their pre Covid selves in 2022?
    That'll be impossible because it's going to be such a different-looking team.
    I'm going to see what Army cooks up with this Tarasenko situation before I make my predictions.
  • Where would Yepez play if gets called up?
  • He can play first and third and corner outfield spots.
    Cycle him through and give others a day off.
    See what you have.
    Why not?
    Honestly, I'd rather have Tarasenko back to build his value and then trade him for pennies on the dollar. If you were handicapping the chances that Tarasenko breaks camp with the the Blues, what would you put that percentage at?
    1 percent. The idea is OK in theory but you're forgetting the human element. He does not want to be here. He's shredded team leadership and doctors, or allowed his agent to do it for him. That's a bad presence in your dressing room.
    Time to jet, folks. Thanks for the lively discussion. See you next week.
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