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.

    Greetings, gang. Big day today. The Chat is on a field trip to court, hopefully. The hearing for the Rams/NFL side that will present its reasoning for a change of venue is this afternoon, but the Rams/NFL side is going to try to close it to the public and press. Hopefully that doesn’t happen and the newspaper has pushed back against the move. We will see how it plays out down here at the courthouse. I’m parked and heading over there now so give me a few moments to get situated. Thanks for your patience.
    There’s no denying that the big 3 have struggled lately out of the bullpen. Shildt used them a lot in the first half because there was no one else he could trust. And now that he has others he can trust those 3 may not have much left. People can blame Shildt all they want for using them so much early, but this is more on the front office for not finding more reinforcements sooner.
    I agree with a good amount of that, but Shildt was checked out or something during the recent Cabrera meltdown. That was by far the worst one and there’s really no defending it. It was a mistake. One of the few times this season you can point to him not being on top of things and it really costing them, without the help of hindsight. It seemed to jar him awake. Reyes is a traditional closer situation. Ride him until he fails, then spin the closer wheel. That’s just how it goes.
    Shildt frustrates me to no end. He acts more like a director than a manager. He appears to like a scripted lineup and a scripted bull pen. April 1st; Helsley 6th, Cabrera 7th, Gallegos 8th, Reyes 9th. That is mostly the way it stayed until this week. Reyes achieved outstanding results even with a terrible WHIP. With Shildts experience he should have been aware those outstanding results were not sustainable. Why did he stick to the script so long? Especially when Reyes started showing negative results. It's like he is trying to force the script instead of managing based on performance and data. He has more stats and metrics than I do, yet he seems to ignore them when they don't fit his perceived vision of what he wants. Tsutsugo slugs 130 points higher vs LHP yet he left Cabrera in to face him when they suspected he was tipping his pitches and had just surrendered the lead. Amazingly Ponce entered 1 pitch later. Who does that? Somebody trying to figure out WTH to do now that the script has been destroyed. Games are not scripted. They are the ultimate "Reality Show" and they must be managed. Having a plan is fine and necessary; but when the game doesn't follow your desired script you must adjust and manage. Same for the lineup and bull pen rotation. I've seen Shildt's lineup changes described as "glacial paced" and thought that was very appropriate. It is great having players know their roles and what is expected, but that doesn't mean those roles can't change during the season without having to have a complete melt down to force the manager to actually manage. This week alone McFarland had a game total of 2 pitches and Gallegos a game total of 5 pitches. That ladies and gentlemen is managing to the script and not managing based on what is occurring. Yeah; I know the pitchers spot was due up and the script said pinch hitter. Gotta stick to the script! This trait or tendency is why I think Shildt will never be a great manager. I think Shilt is a good manager, but good managers rarely win WS titles. He has struggled with a weak roster all season and done well with the limited resources. Has he done as much as he could have or should have? I don't think so!
    Shildt picked a bad time to let Cabrera have the world come crashing down on him. That’s the only realistic bone I see to pick. People are going to flip over the chances given to Reyes and I get it but for most of the season the bullpen was lacking any semblance of other options, and there’s still no guarantee Gio will do that job as well as he did last night. Perhaps the manager should have been quicker to thrust some of the low hanging fruit the front office picked up into more prominent roles but the moment one fails he will get drilled for trusting sometime who is not proven. He was pretty vocal in asking for bullpen and pitching help in general along the way.
    hopefully this Win over the Reds i reinforce to the front office you can’t go into a Season with a bunch of hope and prayers in the starring rotation. Moe should know this already
    The Cardinals getting into the postseason would lead to plenty of told-you-so. You can bet on that. Now, can they get in? Good win last night but recent history suggests to let it play out before succumbing to wild-card fever.
    Derrick Goold has the best though on his last podcast, with the DH coming the cardinals should go out and get the best bat available and then worry where he plays later, do you agree ?
    I agree — or not worry about where he plays, because he won’t have to. A beastly hitter with no defensive home would do this team more good than bad. The defense is stout as is. It’s the lineup that lags. Go fill the gap by taking full advantage of the role.
    Concerning the lawsuit against the NFL: Will the judge rule on the Summary Judgment and Change of Venue this week? When will the next hearing be that is open to the public? Thank you for your excellent coverage of the NFL lawsuit.
    There’s no set timetable for when he has to decide his stance on the request for summary judgment, unfortunately. Sometimes that takes a while, but the case will continue as he leaves it open. Or, he could decide any day. Just up to him. This afternoon is the hearing for the request of a venue change. Rams/NFL side is trying to argue for that in a closed court, which is frankly crap. Hopefully the judge shoots it down. Be prepared to hear all about how the Rams/NFL can’t get a fair trial here — if we get in to hear it.
    Ben, good article about the Cards recent blown games. I would add every team has a few but the Cards have no offsets, they don’t rally late to win games. They are something like 1-55 if trailing after 7 innings. That is absolutely horrible and is a reflection on Bill DeWitt and John Mozaliak’s decision to save a few bucks and go small on the bench. The outcome was predictable.
    That’s a good point. The Cardinals are not a come from behind team at all. If they don’t get a solid six innings from a starter and have a lead when he leaves, they’re probably gonna lose. And you’re right about that being on the bench. Austin Dean should not be heading to the plate with a game on the line. That was one glaring example earlier this season. But, if he’s in that spot who else do you use? Shildt ain’t perfect. No one is. But sometimes the anger about his decisions forget to consider the options he has to choose from. Deep bullpens and benches make managers look good.
    Hi, Ben. Thanks for the chat. I keep reading that Alex Reyes has four "plus" pitches; yet, I see him mainly using only two, a fastball and slider. And those are getting rocked lately. If Reyes is having trouble retiring batters for one inning, could you explain to me how he'd be better as a starter where he has to pitch five or six innings? Also, does the Post-Dispatch plan on doing an article on how the Cardinals ruined Paul DeJong, first by playing him so much a few seasons ago that he was worn out the last month of the season, and then by letting hitting coach Jeff Albert get ahold of DeJong? Seems a good part of the reason for DeJong's decline rests with the Cardinals. Hope you have a nice holiday weekend.
    I'm not sure why anyone would use Reyes' recent struggles toward the tail end of an All-Star season as a pretty successful closer to forecast his future, especially as a starter.
    It's a different job. Completely.
    He's a career starter who was thrust into a highly volatile and unfamiliar role for the betterment of the team, and he took it and ran with it the best he could.
    Like a lot of closers, he hit a wall.
    It happens.
    Starters who transition to the bullpen usually wind up prioritizing two or even one of their pitches. Usually that's because there other pitches are not good enough and that's how the wound up in the bullpen in the first place. That's not he case for Reyes. He's mostly tabled his curve and changeup and that's a bummer, and part of the reason I think he should be stretched back out as a starter moving forward next season.
    A lot of assumptions are being made that the max-effort, closer version of Reyes is what he would be as a starter.
    If that's the case, no it would not work.
    But I don't assume that will be the case.
    Different roles require different approaches.
    Lots of folks jumping at the chance to kick Reyes when he's down. I don't get it. He's been team-first guy this season and has ran into a wall even the best closers hit from time to time. This team would have been cooked a long time before now without him. I'm not saying that justifies more save opportunities. It doesn't at this point. When a closer falters, you've gotta make a change. I am going to have to be convinced Reyes is not a difference-making starter for this team. A predictable stumble as closer isn't convincing.
    Paul DeJong's disappointing season has been covered exhaustively by the PD. 
    Mr. Ben,

    Thank you for the chat today!

    In my humble opinion, you and your STLPD colleagues conduct the best baseball chats in the USA.

    Matt Carpenter has been a very good Cardinal Player and has been well-compensated. Is there a win-win/face saving method in which Matt can exit stage left when the Memphis Season ends so a 3rd Memphis Player can be added to the 28-man roster? Gorman, Plummer, Burleson would add some LH pop to the, mediocre at best, bench. Yepez would add a power/RH bat. Liberatore would be a nice arm to add. Who would be your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd roster adds?
    I don't see that happening unless Carpenter just decides he's had enough.
    The Cardinals carried him this far. They're not going to push him out now unless he wants out. Juan Yepez deserves a shot, period. I've been saying that for a while.
    Seems like the team has caught lightning in a bottle x 2 with both Lester and Happ showing they still might have a little gas left in their respective tanks, no?
  • They're alive. Headed where? Too early to tell. Let's see how the whole series against Cincinnati shapes up before we go crazy, folks.
  • If and only IF the Pirates picked up the buy out leaving the Cardinals only the league minimum to pay for the rest of this season why not take a flier on Gregory Polanco?
    Shildt seemed interested. Cardinals brass shot it down in the same story. Commish had it in the paper from Pittsburgh.
    Ben,

    Any word on whether todays hearing for a venue change in Team STl V Kroenke will be attended by the media? I know the NFL was trying to block that.
    It will be by the Post-Dispatch if it's open to the press. We'll find out in about an hour or so.
    In the Rams motion for change of venue have they mentioned where they would want the case transferred to? The case has to stay in Missouri so I would think any county in Missouri would be just as friendly or antagonistic to the Rams as St. Louis.
    Nothing has been made public as the case has a strict protective order. Everything that comes out about anything, including this change-of-venue request, happens in hearings that have been open to the pubic. So, the arguments for and against a venue change will happen today, but Rams/NFL wants press and public blocked. If that happens, then we won't know much. Hopefully it doesn't happen.
    There has been a lot of negative comments about Mo and front office not helping the team when it was needed. I agree that not much was done until maybe too late. However, every move made by the front office has been made without adding any salary. The Cardinals are not paying Arenado, Lester, and Happ. Garcia and McFarland are both minimum salary players. Has ownership tied Mo's hands in trying to help this team and does the most blame fall on ownership? It seems the moves that Mo has made have been good ones.
    It's important to remind folks that Mozeliak meets the budget. He doesn't set it. That's ownership. He can certainly be criticized for the moves he makes or doesn't with the money allotted, but the idea that he's deciding what the team spends at the end of the day is not the case. He has a boss. It's Bill DeWitt Jr.'s team. I'll agree some of the value plays have paid off for the Cardinals here lately. They're usually pretty good at those. Their big moves (Arenado) and their value plays tend to work. It's the upper-middle of moves ( Fowler, Cecil, etc.) that have burned them the most.
  • Yesterday the Pirates fired their hitting coach who was in his third season, just like Jeff Alberts. Their offense has only been slightly worse the past few years than the Cardinals. They’re in a distant last place but still decided a fresh voice would be beneficial. Man, I wish the Cardinals would follow their lead. I’m starting to think Alberts must have blackmail material on DeWitt or Mo.
    There's no secret here. Mozeliak has positioned himself as Jeff Albet's biggest defender. It started when the Houston sign-stealing scandal dropped and has not stopped since. He's invested in Albert, and he's somewhat linked his reputation to Albert's. So he's got a lot of reasons to want it to work. Some sort of changes to the offensive side of things should be expected after the season. Whether it's a new voice in the dugout to work with Albert, like a former player, or a new role for Albert that has an office instead of a spot in the dugout, I think something will shift. But I don't think the Cardinals will flat out fire Albert. Judging by some of the results the Cardinals have been getting with their minor league hitters, which Albert has a hand in as well, maybe a pivot is better than a dismissal. But I agree something at the major league level does not seem to be working as it should, for some time now.
    Ben...I think your on to something with this WildCard fever and "told-you-so" expectation.

    There are a lot of factors on attendance, but I think a dramatically underrated component is the fan base knowing making a WildCard will provide significant ammunition for Mo et al, to explain why they most likely won't be agressive in C Seager and T Story.

    Fans are stuck between supporting their team and sending a message to the FO/owners that they want to see an entire summer of good baseball and a reasonable probability of making runs at WS titles.
    I'm not sure folks are thinking that much into it, to be honest. I do think a lot of fans are not fired up about this team very much, and that combined with COVID concerns and other reasons to pause before going to games is giving them a reason to abstain. Some of the empties are also a result of the pandemic's effect on bulk seating sold to corporations, as that was disrupted entering the season. Do I think the team's struggles have dented attendance? You bet. Do I think there is a sizable amount of fans who are refraining to go to games because they think it's sending a message not just about this season but future seasons? Perhaps for some, but probably not a ton.
    Can you believe what has happened to Nebraska. It's been bad for a long time now. I'm old enough to remember when Nebraska was feared. Now I don't think they can beat a top FCS program. Recruiting?
    Scott Frost has been . . . disappointing.
    Watching the game Saturday it was pretty clear he needed to send in another QB if anything just for another series as Martinez looked rattled before he fumbled the TD away to Illinois.
    But Nebraska doesn't have a backup QB it feels comfortable playing.
    That can't happen in Year 4, especially when the coach was a successful QB at that school.
    Scott Frost's quarterback room should be flooded with talent. Turns out, it's bare. Bad sign.
    Why is it taking so long for MLB to “investigate” Trevor Bauer? The information revealed in that restraining order hearing was damning enough for MLB to conclude he violated the domestic abuse policy and issue an appropriate penalty. What’s the purpose of delaying?
    My guess is MLB and perhaps the Dodgers are afraid of getting sued by Bauer.
    The case is more than disturbing and Bauer seems like a troubled individual at the least but the case includes some damaging information about the woman involved, too, including claims she was hunting for a payday by pursuing these allegation.
    It's a bad scene all around.
    When in doubt, wait.
    MLB can sit back and say it's waiting on the legal case to play out before acting, and then base its punishment on that ruling.
    Is it possible that we're all just overthinking the reason for Reyes's struggles? What if his arm is just worn down? This is by far the most innings hes thrown in a season since 2016. If so, do you think they'll have him play winterball to help stretch him out?
  • Closers burn out every year, all over the league, and yet some are still stunned when it happens.
    With Reyes, what I wonder is if he would have held up better and performed better over the entire course of the season if the Cardinals had recognized the trouble brewing with their rotation and figured out a plan for him to start, while minding his workload. The Cardinals spent a lot of time this spring talking about how that didn't make sense but then went on to use a lot guys who couldn't pitch six or even five different innings. Don't know about winter ball. Cards haven't made those decisions public yet beyond Andrew Knizner playing winter ball, unless I missed it.
  • Lots of talk about Scott Frost being in the hot seat after losing at Illinois. How hot can his seat really be when he will still get paid millions of dollars if he’s fired for being ineffective and likely be hired by another school very quickly with another mega million dollar contract? Spare me the melodrama!
    Would you rush to hire him? I wouldn't. Hot seat is a relative term in college football, where guys make millions to not coach.
    It’s obvious soda has to play the rest of the way with Dejong bein an automatic out. Bader being another one, it’s time for nootbar to get some playing time
    I think we'll see Sosa continue to play over DeJong.
    I don't think Bader is getting benched.
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