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.

    Mr. Ben,

    Thank you for today’s chat and the great articles!

    Your courage to speak the truth is most admirable.

    There is a good reason the Mets sought permission to speak to David Stearns, but not John Mozeliak. Anyone have an idea as to what that reason might be?
    One significant one would be age and point in career. Mozeliak's 52 and won't be doing this forever. Stearns is 36 and is at the beginning stages of his baseball race.
    How would you feel about Mizzou opening up the checkbook to bring in Orgeron as an assistant coach?
    Too many skeletons in the bayou.
    Who would you like to see get the job? And who do you think gets the job? Thanks.
    I think any of these candidates could be realistic: Oliver Marmol, Stubby Clapp, Skip Schumaker, Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran.
    I would lean toward Marmol, and then Clapp, as most likely.
    That's no big secret. Mozeliak emphasized the appeal of internal candidates in the Shildt firing announcement.
    The Cardinals should do themselves a favor and open a wider net to see who might be interested. Or who might not be interested. It could be a bit of a reality check, after the box they just for their next manager (extension of the front office).
    Rick Renteria wants to get back in a dugout. His camp has made that known.
    No one has mentioned David Freese to my knowledge, but I bet he could be a very good modern manager if he wanted to take on the grind of the job. He would be popular with the fans, clearly, knows how to handle media and is a believer in mixing modern analytics with been-there experience. He would want to push to win big, though.
    He (Freese) would want to push for championships, same as Shildt. He got a taste of that approach with the Dodgers. I don't think he would be good with always sticking to the script, if he felt like the team wasn't getting what it needed.
    Hi, Ben. Thanks for the chat, and all of your terrific columns and stories. I enjoy your writing. A couple comments/questions, if I may please.
    1.) The acronym for the ALCS between the Red Sox and Astros is appropriate: American League Cheaters Series. Hard to tell which team to root for -- one's the most arrogant team in baseball and the other is the most arrogant fan base (yes, worse than Yankee fans).
    2.) Regarding St. Louis' suit against the NFL. I agree that a monetary settlement is preferable to an expansion team; why would anyone want to join a morally bankrupt league. But, a monetary settlement has its drawbacks, too. Imagine the fighting and bickering (and lawsuits) when it comes time to distribute the money. With the amount of money we're talking, suing for a bigger share is the true American pastime.
    1) With a heavy gulp I say, Go Red Sox! 
    2) There's only so much money to spend on the Loop Trolley. Some of it would have to find a good home, better than returning to the NFL's account.
    Mr. Ben,

    The Mets also had interest in 59 year-old Billy Beane, so it appears age was not a contributing factor in the Mets search. Beane recently stated he had no interest in the job.
    Mozeliak's not going anywhere, was my point. He has a better job now.
    Shildt is 4-9 in the post-season. His teams often muddle around .500 until late. He embodies the 'good not great' that people slam the FO over. The focus on Albert and not on the unkind parts of Shildt's resume is less than transparent coverage. The same people that didn't care about Matheny's winning % are dying on the hill of Shildt's winning %. Not comparing the two by any means but can't we admit that Shildt is not the end all be all of managers
    Totally fair to point out Shildt's shortcomings, but the Cardinals said multiple times that his firing was not related to the things you have mentioned. If you don't believe them on that, all good. But I actually do believe them on that. The Cardinals left the wild-card loss in Los Angeles with the notion the staff would be back, and as the conversations changed toward focusing on 2022 that changed. Whatever stress points that happened during the season played some part in that. That's why they are being discussed a lot now. If the Cardinals came out and said Shildt was fired for pitching being 4-9 in the postseason and pitching Reyes in the wild-card game, we would have having a different conversation. I don't recall saying Shildt is the end all be all of managers. I do think it's worth pointing out he won at a rate that was unmatched by non super-teams during his run, and has become the rare manager to be fired after winning or receiving votes for manager of the year in each of his full seasons.
    You honestly believe the Cardinals and their FO don't want to win? What does "he would want to win, though." Mean?
    He (Freese) would want to push for championships, same as Shildt. He got a taste of that approach with the Dodgers. I don't think he would be good with always sticking to the script, if he felt like the team wasn't getting what it needed, was my point. I'll update that answer. Could come across as confusing. Thanks for the backcheck.
  • 15 years ago tonight, Wainwright K's Beltran looking while Trump watches. Between Wainwright, Beltran, Molina and Trump is/are 1-2 of the next Cardinal managers in that final shot?
    I'll take the under for this round.
    But maybe not the next round.
    So check my understanding...Mo says it's not about Wins & Losses it's about "Organizational Direction" so are we to believe that the organizational direction is not about Wins & Losses? If so then what is it about?
    Mozeliak was asked to state the philosophy and the direction moving forward.
    Here's his complete answer.
    "Well, look, we are an organization that has a trust in creating a pipeline from our  minor league system to our big leagues, for both players and staff. We are a typical organization that tries to stay internal with what we are trying to do. We try to help individuals grow into these roles. And from where we were in this point in time, we are not making this decision on a reaction of the season. This is a decision that as we start to look forward, what do we want to most like look like and how do we want that to be run. Rather than for us to sort of debate and talk about these details -- again, we want the very best for Mike Shildt moving forward, whatever should happen with his career. But ultimately the decisions that both Bill, myself and some others came to was, what we want to do and where we want to go, we needed to go a different way."
    Mozeliak was asked again to explain the philosophical differences. 
    Here's his complete answer.
    "Again, I'm here to protect employees. I'm here to protect him. If he wants to discuss those with you, that's his choice Not mine."
    In one of your recent articles you made the comment that the new who ever the new manager is had better be in sync with Mo. Is'nt this kind of an obviousl comment to make? Weren't we all taught that if you do not get along with the boss you are going to get fired?
    If you want to boil it down to that level of simplicity, sure. I hope that's not what you took away from the column. I should have done a better job if so. Of course managers and the front office have to get along. That said some managers have more say in matters, and some managers have a larger voice than others when it comes to what decisions they make, and what decisions they influence. Increasingly managers are becoming an extension of the front office. The front office makes the lineup. The front office picks who is pitching when, and when those pitching changes are made. Dave Roberts just said he was 1/6 of the vote on who started a postseason elimination game, for example. That was my point. The Cardinals are moving in that direction. A manager who wants more autonomy, not less, will not be a good fit for this job.
    Do you think Shildt's lack of MLB playing experience contributed to his dismissal? The front office's comments about wanting to get the voice of a former player in the dugout could be seen as a dig to Mike never playing the majors when viewed through the lens of his sudden firing. Perhaps if Shildt had suited up for a few seasons behind the plate or on the mound whatever "philosophical differences" he and the front office shared could of been put aside if Mike had some former player prestige on his resume.
    Those comments were related to the hitting instruction side of things more than the manager.
    The only public thing the front office has said about the voice it is seeking from its next manager is that the voice stays closer to the front office view of things.
    That was the "same page" description.
    It wouldn't surprise me if the next hire was a former player. Teams often hire what they did not have before in their next hire. Very common in college sports. Teams go from a screamer to a calm coach back to a screamer. They go from young to old, etc. Former player would not be a surprise for the next hire.
    Hi Ben, have you heard if the Cardinals are still talking about moving the outfield walls in?
  • That didn't come up in the Shildt firing availability. There seem to be more pressing concerns now. I don't know.
    Any idea who the “employees” are that Mo claimed he was trying to protect by not divulging the specific philosophical differences between the FO and Shildt?
    It's hard to read too far into the comments when there was some clear misdirection going on. I do give credit to Mo for admitting the Albert conflict was part of it. When he said that was not the sole reason for the firing, he was acknowledging it was part of it.
    Mo hand-picked two inexperienced managers in both Matheny and Shildt, yet both were out in less than 5 seasons. Since 2013 the organization has not fielded a single team that looked like it could compete for a World Series. So I find it strange that DeWitt is just plowing forward with the idea that giving Mo more power is the answer.
    A connecting of the dots suggests that Mozeliak firing Shildt and making it clear the manager position is going to be more in line with a front office position would put more pressure on Mozeliak. The next manager cant' really be blamed, right? But indicating that the move is going to put Mozeliak on the hot seat or something if it doesn't work, I'm not so sure about that. There have been no tangible signs DeWitt's trust in him has faded, and he did sign off on this move. Mozeliak is under contract through 2023. What happens after that could be interesting. I don't think he will want to lead baseball ops forever.
    The Cards are losing to teams with the extension of the FO type formulas so why not want to try to streamline that. Yes it's not how we used to do it but it seems to be what's working generally speaking now. Mo isn't a bully, he's a boss. Kinda how things work
    As one former player told me this week, some of the teams that are benefitting from that approach also have some of the best rosters in baseball.
    Everyone in St. Louis will remember Chris Taylor hammering Alex Reyes in the walk-off loss.
    I'm not sure everyone realized Chris Taylor was an All-Star.
    In 2021.
    Is it possible that the chatters long desired firing of Shildt for his faailure to unlock the talent of Arozarena, Garcia and Voit has happened?
    That would have been a good thing for the Cardinals to mention if that was the case. Then again, Shildt did not trade those players away, either. Arozarena and Garcia trades can fairly cite Shildt's lack of use of those players as a result. Not so much Voit. He was dealt shortly after Matheny was fired.
  • If the manager is an extension of the front office, why not just put Mo in the dugout? I’m not understanding the notion that the Cardinals say they fired Shildt because tradition is being lost, especially when Shildt was a pupil of Kissell and spent his entire career with the organization. It’s also for the same reasons I don’t understand why the Cardinals were adamant that the next person has to have connections to the team. Doesn’t Shildt fall in that category? Basically all that matters is not to critique the front office and do their bidding, right? If that’s the case, then anybody would do, including Mo. And if the argument comes up that Mo doesn’t know baseball fundamentals because he didn’t play, that’s what other coaches are for, right?

    (I’m being sarcastic about Mo actually being manager, but for arguments sake, why not, and the other questions apply also. Basically, like a lot of other people, I’m confused about the situation, and I feel like the Cardinals said words just for the sake of saying words.)
    The Cardinals are not saying Shildt was fired because tradition is being lost.
    One of the thing that got Shildt on the wrong side of the front office was making that point, or something similar to it, as Cardinals lifers like Chris Carpenter wound up with the Angels.
    I will give Mo credit for taking it upon himself to paint a big red bullseye on his back. Because if this team doesn't win next year all that heat is coming his way. I don't care if every single guy gets hurt, they better win.
    Sure, but there's only one kind of heat that really affects Mozeliak. Heat from DeWitt.
    Alex Reyes was an all-star in 2021 as well.
    Indeed. But what the Cardinals didn't have was an All-Star who could hop off the bench for a big at-bat. Their bench depth, offensively, was thin all season. Playing the matchups and the splits and all of that stuff is smart, but they're a lot more likely to work when the talent is there too.
    Personally, I saw Shildt use the obviously paraphrased "doing the best with the players we have" narrative during the low part of the season. I have a hard time thinking that was not part of the philosophical differences mentioned. With fans clamoring for information on which big free agent the Cards will go after, is it fair to think they may stand pat in regards to lineup construction based on that?
    The philosophical outlook Mozeliak stated did not seem to suggest a buy-from-outside shopping spree this offseason. The Cardinals do have money to spend,  based off contracts that are coming off the books. Will be interesting to see how they use it, or don't. Shortstop and DH offer spots that could be pursued for external upgrades or left available for internal options.
    Enough about the manager. At this point, he's gone. Let's move on. What position are Cardinals going to prioritize this offseason? I'm guessing they'll stay put at SS and do nothing there...leaving Sosa with the full time job. And they'll prioritize pitching...both starters and bullpen. Otherwise, the starting roster seems pretty locked in. Need a LH bench bat and a DH.
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