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.

    What is your best case scenario for the outcome of the NFL lawsuit?

    While the idea of the city, county and regional sports and convention complex authority receiving billions of dollars in punitive damages sounds good on face value - we've seen with the pandemic relief funds, St. Louis is incapable of effectively running itself, even with a huge windfall of money. Does a multi billion dollar windfall mean that we'll one day have an effective police force in downtown? Or a convention center that brings in travelers with the same success as Nashville? What does a win look like for your every day St. Louisan? AKA why should we care, other than to see the NFL held accountable?
    Our best-case scenarios probably differ.
    I have zero interest in seeing an NFL team in STL again.
    I know I'm probably in the minority there in terms of sports fans and followers.
    That's OK.
    If one comes, I'd cover it. Sure. That would be part of my job. But when you see behind the curtain of so much corruption, you can't forget what you saw. At least I can't.
    I'd like to see a massive amount of money come STL's way, either by trial win that is upheld via an appeal that will be immediate, or a massive settlement.
    I'd also like to see this lawsuit force a change in how the NFL threatens cities with relocation-related greed grabs moving forward. I think it can make a real and lasting change in the idea that the NFL can just do whatever the hell it wants and get away with it no matter what. If the league does settle, it admits by doing so that its relocation guidelines do in fact set a standard, one that every other relocation issue from this point forward can come back to to cite. If the league goes to trial and loses, that fact -- that the relocation guidelines are indeed a binding agreement -- becomes even harder to ignore in other shakedowns across the country.
    Everyone wants to know what would happen with the hypothetical money, and how it would be split up, and what it would go toward. But you don't cross that bridge until you get there. There will be many opinions about how it should be spent if it does arrive, and hopefully it will be used to help the city and the region in many ways.
    You should care because the NFL thinks it can keep doing this kind of stuff without ever having to be held accountable for anyting. It can blackball Colin Kaepernick one day and showcase Jerry Jones kneeling during the national anthem the next, and claim to be progressive. It can lie to players about concussions one day and then pat itself on the back for offering a lowball settlement for years of deceit on the topic the next. It can hold up the relocation guidelines like the Ten Commandments one day and have its lawyers shrug them off as nothing more than an internal document the next. It can lie again and again and again and never have to answer for it. Unless someone says enough already. That's why I think you should care.
  • Concerning who wins a title first, I flipped the coin : Cardinals.
    You heard Jay, everyone. 12 in 21.
    Ben,

    Finally the national media is catching on the the relocation lawsuit. It does seem there are a good # of people on STL's side, when it comes to understanding that we got screwed. NFL mouth pieces of course, will say otherwise.
    The trial begins on January 10th. Do you know of any recourse the NFL might have to try and move that date, given its proximity to their crown jewel event? I hope the date is set in stone. What an amazing time that will be, smack dab in the middle of their playoffs.
    And don't forget where the Super Bowl is being hosted . . . in Stan Kroenke's swanky new SoFi stadium.
    Yes, the trial could be playing out during the Super Bowl the Rams are hosting.
    You really can't make this stuff up.
    There is some speculation the league is worried about that timing and that it could encourage the desire to settle, but I doubt the two sides are anywhere close on the amount of money that settlement would have to be for. We shall see.
    There's really nothing legitimate the NFL/Rams side could do now to keep a trial from happening in January, other than a settlement. They are of course interested in grabbing every delay possible. Currently they are asking the Missouri Supreme Court to review their appeal of the demand to hand over detailed financial information for Kroenke and four other owners that can be used to build the case for potential punitive damages, but the timeline on jury selection and pre-trial proceedings moves forward while that plays out.
    The only other thing I can think of would be a weak attempt to have the denial of the motion for summary judgment revisited, which is rare but could happen. It would almost certainly go nowhere. So far the Rams/NFL have taken the falling-out-of-a-tree approach to this lawsuit. Grab every branch on the way down no matter how weak to attempt to slow things down.
    A couple of other notes: The jury, if the trial does come, will be a 12-person jury and it will require a 9-3 split in order for STL to win. I know there has been a lot of talk about Kroenke, individually, being on the hook for all of the damages that could come, but I'm not sure that is the case. He has signed an indemnification agreement, but I have not seen it and there is at least some debate that he is on the hook for the legal fees, not the fallout from a trial. I imagine there could be some infighting in the league about who pays what if that day comes.
    Could either Goldy or O'Neill maintain their hot streak through the end of the year and sniff some MVP consideration? Baseball ref WAR Leaderboard:

    Soto - 6.5
    Tatis - 6.3
    T Turner - 5.4
    Reynolds - 5.4
    Crawford - 5.3
    O'Neill - 5.3
    Harper - 5.3
    Muncy - 5.3
    Goldy - 5.2
    Goldschmidt could make a surge, yes. O'Neill's 125 games will hurt him. Remember he missed time with injuries.
    How do you see the Mizzou game playing out? Is it as simple as seeing if Mizzou can be stop the run at all?
    That's the first thing Boston College should find out. BC running back Pat Garwo III is averaging 6.8 yards per carry, and the starting QB is out, likely for the season, with an injury. Ground and pound until the Tigers make you do something else, right? Tigers have surrendered more rushing yard and more plays of 10+ yards than any other team in the SEC, even trailing Vanderbilt. This is a big test for the defense. The SEMO game didn't teach us much of anything there.
    Remember when Ben wanted to pay Harper $30 million for the same production TO is putting out at the league minimum?
    Check Bryce's batting line again. He's in driver's seat for NL MVP. Slashing .311 with a .427 on-base percentage and a .620 slug. But I'm sure the Cardinals fan base would not have warmed up to him. (Sarcasm font.) Every kid in Cardinals Nation would have a Harper haircut. I've come around on O'Neill. He's made it impossible not to this season. But the idea that one big season from him is going to make him Harper? I'll wait to see.
    Sorry, but I completely disagree with your take on Sosa. He has many more pluses than DeYoung, can run the bases with anyone, has good defense (that is why they kept him last spring) and is getting settled in. Maybe too eager to perform sometimes with his errant throws but he brings more to the table. We don't need any more 30+ fielders who can't keep up with their former stats.
    What, what? I said the Cardinals are probably to the point where they should move on from DeJong. Just said don't be shocked if he figured it out and gets back on track someplace else. Sometimes that happens. Example: What Lane Thomas is doing with the Nationals at the moment. I just said I don't think Sosa's encouraging emergence should make the Cardinals' abstain from what is going to be a very active shortstop market this offseason. Some big names and good players at that position are going to be moving. The Cardinals should not simply say Sosa is the guy, trade DeJong and do nothing else, is my point. They should be checking out ways to get better in middle infield. Sosa doesn't have to be starter, or unused. Find a role in between if a big shortstop upgrade is doable. There isn't much evidence at the moment that DeJong is going to figure it out, and I've been one of his bigger defenders. Not much left to cite. Change of scenery might be best.
    Harper and O'Neill in same outfield not a problem.
    The Cardinals have done a good job convincing some fans that their money-saving moves save fans' money. It's a good sales job.
    I'm a Cardinals fan in MD and it seems to me that, other than coming to the Post Dispatch website for your great coverage, I have to search national sites for information about a team on a 9 game winning streak led by "old" men in the starting rotation. Coast bias is real!
    And ageism! And a great reason to get a digital subscription to the P-D!  :)
    Ben, IF the Cards want to change the stadium, doesn't that decision need to happen soon if they want to make it look like it's always been there vs looking like I did the remodel?
    The decision to do it and the announcement of what will be done are different things, but I don't think John Mozeliak would have talked about it on the record if he didn't foresee some changes happening.
  • Hi, Ben. Thanks for taking time do conduct the chats every week. I understand that the team is playing well now, and that's something to be excited about. But, I have a hard time understanding how people can say that claiming the "second wild card spot" qualifies as making the playoffs. If you have to win a "play-in game" to earn one of the four postseason spots, then you really aren't in the playoffs unless you win.
    My stance on this one is crystal clear and it does not change between sports. If you can go from the game to the championship, you are in the playoffs. I say the same thing about the First Four of the NCAA Tournament. People try to ignore it. No way. It's the postseason. Same for the wild-card play-in. You don't have to like the playoff format, and I'm against the one-game play in and the expansion of the postseason, but that doesn't change the fact that in is in. Totally fair conversation to have, and it will be had, about what Cardinals should aim for and what kind of season this will be if they get the wild card and then lose the wild-card game. That would bring back a lot of the disappointment that has lingered over much of the season, no doubt. But a deep run that starts there -- for any team -- would not be remembered for how it started, but where it went. And that's why in is in. Always.
    What's new with the STL FC goings on? How's that stadium coming along?
    Stadium's going well. Big news is the launch of the academy teams, the youth levels that could produce pro talent by the time the team takes the field. There's a new app up and running and new ticket sale packages were announced just this morning. Starting to feel real.
    Ben. With regards to the Rams vs StL lawsuit, am I correct in thinking that it's finally at the point of one of 2 outcomes: 1) settlement or 2) see ya in court. No more summary requests, request for financials, or the like-we are finally here. And, if that's the case, what do you think will happen? A settlement seems more likely, as I cant see the League wanting to air their dirty laundry in court. Your thoughts? And thanks for staying on top of all this!
    There could be one more lame attempt to slow things down that would call for a review of the denial of the request for summary judgment, but it would be a non-starter and it has not happened yet. So, yes, it's pretty much settle or see you in court in January.
    Still ongoing is a parallel fight about Stan Kroenke and the four other owners from the LA committee not handing over their detailed financial documents as requested by Team STL and approved by Judge Christopher McGraugh. Team Kroenke has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to step in, but McGraugh recently said a daily fine will start if the Missouri Supreme Court does not rule on that at a certain point and if the documents are not handed over. These documents are allowed in civil trials in Missouri so the plaintiffs can evaluate net worth in their pursuit of punitive damages. So, the pre-trial process, like constructing a jury, will move forward while this argument plays out.
    I don't think a settlement is obvious. Could happen, but I think the two sides are likely to be so far apart on what that number is that I think it probably goes to trial, with the NFL side seeking an appeal if it loses. Many of the depositions have already been taken, so if there was a fear of that then the settlement would have happened before Kroenke, Goodell, Jones and others went under oath for those depositions, which can be used in court same as an on-the-stand testimony. In fact, those depositions might be what the Team STL lawyers use more than anything -- if some of the folks don't want to show up for trial in STL and can't be compelled to do so.
    If the league airing dirty laundry keeps billions of dollars in its pocket, it will have no problem airing dirty laundry. The NFL does not care about looking bad. It cares about its bottom line. 
    You talk about having a consistent force at DH (I agree) and Rick Hummel talks about a DH that bats left and can occasionally play the OF and spell Goldy at 1B. Sounds to me like you both are describing the same guy.........Kyle Schwarber. Thoughts? Thanks.
    Just someone who rakes. I don't care if the guy even brings a glove.
    Ben looking at the current lineup Shildt is putting on the field each night now, isn't this pretty much what we're going to see next year, aside from adding a DH?
  • The middle infield is going to need to be looked at, especially with the upgrades that could be available.
    The outfield appears to be set.
    DH will be available in 2021.
    If the stats count as postseason stats, it’s the playoffs. If they count as game 163, it’s not the playoffs.
    " Those last 2 hits puts him on the playoff roster". That's some funny stuff right there. Checks baseball reference and sees an OPS+ of 68. Shaking head emoji
    On the topic of money-saving moves: They worked! Our outfield is dope. Wong is the best 2B around, but Tommy Edman is a triple machine and plays great defense. We just need pitching. Right?
    Edman is Mr. Doubles (41) not triples (3). Cardinals would be a lot closer to the Brewers if they had Wong and Edman on the same team again this season, I think. Shortstop, starting pitching and DH need to be looked at for upgrades moving forward.
    What's your relationship with the NFL these days? I have none, and it's great. I forgot Monday Night Football even existed until I saw it advertised somewhere yesterday.
    People think I'm fibbing but I really don't watch it hardly at all. First full game I've watched in a long time was Browns-Chiefs because my dad was in town and he likes the Chiefs, and we watched them a ton together growing up. Other than that, nothing. Part of it is I have never been into fantasy sports. I know that's a big draw for a lot of folks still. Totally get that.
  • Hey Ben: The Cardinals recent success and surge into a wild card
    position has reduced the amount of vitriol in this and other colleagues’ chats. This no doubt is a welcome development for most reasonable fans. I personally get sick and tired of the negativity and personal attacks spewed by “fans” when the team is not performing well.
    I just want to say “THANK YOU” to you, Derrick, and the Commish for your professionalism and tact in dealing with the harsh opinions and vile comments offered by the chatters. Hopefully you’re seeing less of this today, and you are able to enjoy your work a bit more as a result.
    Keep up the great work!
    Thanks. It's #HappyChat today. I know there are still a lot of fair and reasonable questions about 2022 and beyond but I'll just offer this as advice. Those questions are not going anywhere and there's going to be a ton of time to address them. Don't miss the ride because you're worrying about what happens after it ends. The beauty of a relevant September is the focus on the now. Every game matters. That was not always the case for this team, and it was right and natural to look ahead. Now, we still can, but the good stuff is happening right now.
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