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.

    Gotta jet. Chat recap coming later. Thanks, folks, and a quick reminder that if you want to chop up more sports topics with the P-D sports scribes, you can still get tickets for tomorrow night's Sports on Tap event at Ballpark Village. More information here! 

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sports on Tap | Tix to Party

    Join the St. Louis Post-Dispatch sports writers and columnists for an evening of food, drinks and St. Louis sports talk at Bally Sports Live! at Ballpark Village. Ask your burning questions, listen to stories about sports legends and hear season recaps and projections for your favorite teams - including the Cardinals, Blues, Mizzou, SLU and more! Ben Frederickson will host a panel including Derrick Goold, Jeff Gordon, Benjamin Hochman, Rick Hummel, Dave Matter, Jim Thomas.  The door...
    Greetings, chatters. Big game for SLU hoops tonight, but the undefeated soccer team is the hottest team on campus at the moment. Let the Mizzou basketball wailing commence. Cross Thor off your Cardinals wish list if he was there. Blues trying to snap a three-game losing streak tonight. Let's roll.
    Hi, Ben. Thanks for your time. Regarding Oklahoma and Texas joining the SEC, how could Coach Drink and Mizzou possibly think that's a good thing (It appears that Coach Drink is saying all the right things publicly about the league adding those two schools)? Missouri has its hands full trying to beat Kentucky and Arkansas, let alone programs like Oklahoma and Texas. If those two schools, Texas A&M and LSU all are in the SEC West with Missouri, the Tigers will be hard pressed to finish better than fifth. Do you agree?
    First off, Texas is not Oklahoma. Hasn't been for some time. Longhorns just lost to Kansas at home. Sarkisian might get fired in his first season. Texas has had a 10-win football team one time since 2010.
    More importantly, Drinkwitz and Mizzou have no power over the addition of either Texas or Oklahoma. It makes the league money. It was going to happen if they wanted to come. Period.
    Most of the folks who had Big 12 bad blood left with those two programs have now moved on from Mizzou, at least in official capacity.
    The Tigers are having a hard time getting off the bottom floor of the SEC East as it is, so yes, additions of respectable programs will make things harder, but that's what Mizzou signed up for when it entered the SEC. It proved that it can be highly competitive in the league during Pinkel's best SEC seasons. That's the goal. Adding Texas and Oklahoma won't change that challenge, or reality that it can be overcome by the right coach and support.
    I don’t want to overreact, but I think that’s the worst Mizzou loss I’ve seen in my 20 plus years of following the team. Not sure what the thought process is bringing in transfers who aren’t big enough to win games down low, and can’t shoot enough to win games on the perimeter. The pitch was that they’d be athletic enough to play defense and attack the rim but that doesn’t look to be the case. What do the finances look like if they were to terminate Martin’s contract? Can you afford to keep him around much longer if they don’t right the ship by the start of conference play?
    You must not have watched much between 2014-17.
    It's a very bad loss, one of those ones that will get remembered for a long time, and one that raises very fair questions about if this transfer-heavy reboot is going to work. All fair. You have to be able to make some threes in the college game now, and the early signs for this team are not good. And if you can't shoot you sure as heck better defend, and the defense was soft against a team that was not nearly as good as Mizzou made it look. It's understandable that a team with so many new players is going to take some time to gel, but there's no sugar-coating this one, and it will cause problems for this team in terms of support moving forward. It's just brutal to shoot yourself in the foot like that in game two.
    I'm sure firing talk will be all the rage today, and I get it, but it would not make sense to let a coach overhaul a roster with transfers that have eligibility left then fire him two games in. You've gotta let it play out. Long season. See if things get better. See how the team responds and grows -- or doesn't. 
    The financials are in Zo's favor, in part because of the mess he signed up to try to improve. He's owed $3 million if fired between now and April 30, and that figure doubles if the team hits certain benchmarks -- which it probably would not if he was fired. That's a steep buyout for a school and fanbase that seems to be confused about what it wants its basketball team to be these days, in terms of success and support.
    Is there anyone on Martin's staff that can take over and the AD can spend next 3 months finding a coach that can recruit good players. Martin is a great person but we can't keep up with all these 3 star players. Fan base will be done with this
    Mizzou just signed a four-star forward in Aidan Shaw for the incoming class.
    Jeremiah Tilmon was a four-star prospect.
    The Porters were ranked higher.
    Being mad about the UMKC loss is all fair game. Not trusting the talent on the team or the recruiting direction is, too.
    But let's stick to facts.
    BenFred,
    Part of the riddle that is John Mozeliak is asset management at the upper levels. Sure, patience can be a virtue (Tyler O’Neill), but Mo becomes infatuated with some players who get contract extensions, benefit of the doubt and large sample sizes in spite of performance (Matt Carpenter, Paul DeJong, Miles Mikolas, Dexter Fowler, Allen Craig are examples), while others with tools and Triple-A success get no chance to prove themselves at the major league level before getting dumped. Adolis Garcia got 17 major league at-bats with the Cardinals, Patrick Wisdom 50, Randy Arozarena 20, and the latest, Nick Plummer, zero. Over the last several years, the Cardinals have kept some rather dubious players on the 40-man (even as their value continues to erode) while casting away upside talent. What analytics or rationale is Mo using to make these roster decisions? Thank you for your insight.
  • The Cardinals don't publicize their internal metrics for valuing and projecting players. It's their own in-house version of the projections systems available publicly, one that incorporates data only they have access to and information from performance but also observations of the players. Some of the players you mentioned get more chances because they have a contract. That's worth mentioning when wondering why a Dexter Fowler got more chances than a rookie outfielder. You are more likely to give more chances to an investment you invested a lot of money in, because you want to see it work but also because you made that investment because you believed in that player. Who is protected and not also depends on how the depth chart looks ahead or behind certain positions. Plummer seemed to be on the right track, sure, but the Cardinals have another outfield logjam. Clearly they liked what they had more than Plummer's projections, or thought their chance of getting him back was decent enough and worth the risk to try to go that route. Just as we saw the Cardinals react to the meltdown of some brand-name relievers who got regrettable deals by steering away from that trend, I do think we are seeing them react to the success of former prospects elsewhere by doubling down on their commitment to give prospects they believe in a clearer shot to a major league sample size. Guys like Yepez and Nootbaar could benefit from that next season. You can't keep them all, as much as the Cardinals would like to.
  • I believe football can get better with recruiting picking up but do we have the coaches to coach them on the SEC level in basketball we are recruiting on a mid major level the only way I see for us to compete is a great recruiter like Kim English
    I'm a big fan of Kim English, but let's pump the brakes a little bit on anointing him as a recruiter. At Tennessee he was recruiting for Rick Barnes. You know, the guy who got Kevin Durant. I hope Kim does great at George Mason and I do agree he could be a realistic Mizzou target down the line, but he's just now starting his head coaching career.
    Ben,

    Which SPs do you see as the best fits the Cardinals?
    Michael Wacha! Kidding. Scherzer, Max. No need to overthink it. It was obvious as he was mowing down the Cardinals in spring training 2021, and it's pretty obvious now. Would be a great fit. There's some risk, sure. There is with every pitcher. But he would be worth the risk, and he would draw. I like Marcus Stroman's potential fit with the Cardinals, too
    At last report there are only 4 unvaccinated players in the NHL, yet almost all teams have players missing games due to COVID protocols and now Ottawa is having games postponed. Seems to me there is a story there about the lack of effectiveness of the COVID vaccine and how vaccinated players are transmitting COVID to other vaccinated players. Are journalists afraid to raise these issues?
    Ha, good one. No one seems to want to read about COVID and sports unless the coverage fits their agenda. I've stopped writing about it for the most part. People are going to believe what they want to believe. There's a great story to be written about what's going on in the NHL. At least one player was caught using a fake vaccination card. At least one prominent player in another sport, Aaron Rodgers, was being misleading (at best) about his vaccination status with a complicit team. It makes me wonder how often that is happening in other sports. Another question: What kind of vaccines did the NHL players get? Certain ones have been more effective than others, right? So, yes, lots of questions. Mine might be different than yours. But when it comes to getting straight answers on those questions, good luck. There is a level of privacy to this, too, and I understand that. The conclusion I'm not drawing is that vaccines don't work. As far as journalists being "afraid", take that stuff somewhere else.
    Can SLU make a deep run in the NCAA soccer tournament?
    Why not? The A-10 is not a soccer force but SLU may be, and the 10th overall seed puts the Billikens in decent position. They've got a good goalkeeper, too, and that can be a difference-maker in tournament play. A great season no matter what happens, but no reason it has to end soon.
  • Here’s the argument against the Cardinals ignoring the SS market to focus on starting pitching: this organization knows pitching. They have drafted and/or developed 80% of their starting rotation for most of the last decade. And look no further than the ‘21 in-season additions of McFarland, Garcia, Happ, and Lester. Cardinals can adjust to pitching deficiencies on the fly and/or sufficiently supplement from within. Meanwhile, under DeWitt, the year-over-year offensive firepower (other than Pujols) has come almost exclusively from outside the organization (Rolen, Edmonds, Walker, Holliday, Berkman, Beltran, Peralta, Ozuna, Goldschmidt, Arenado). Maybe O’Neill, Carlson, and Gorman change that trend but do you want to bet on them at this point with so much on the line in ’22? Play to your strengths, pay for your weaknesses.
    I'd just add, to bolster your point, that this shortstop market is not like any shortstop market. It's one of the best and deepest, with multiple price ranges, that has come around in a long time. The Cardinals convincing themselves that they're set there is intentionally looking the other way when a lot of opportunities are ripe. Maybe Paul DeJong does bounce back, or maybe Sosa becomes a regular, but that should be weighed against the potential upgrades that are on the free-agent market, and the ones worth looking at are not just Correa and Seager. As for so much being on the line in 2022, I keep hearing that but what from the team has suggested it shares that view?
    Looks like Mo traded rookie of the year for help down the road ; maybe. What a genius he is!
    "I will own that. That's on me. You need to know your own players. We will revisit how we rank our own players and make sure that we don't have something like this happen again." - Mozeliak on Arozarena in late October 2020.
    I do think the Cardinals are trying to make more of a commitment to exhausting internal options before cutting ties or shopping from the outside -- and there's a chance the recommitment to that frustrates some of the same fans who are blistered still about losing Arozarena.
    See the rub?
    Some credit should be given to Arozarena, too. There's no guarantee he would have been this player with the Cardinals. It doesn't always work that way. 
    Ben, please let these people know that UMKC is sneaky good. This 10 year rebuild is right on track.
    I can't offer much to soothe the burn.
    UMKC was picked to finish sixth in the Summit League.
    The Roos lost to Minnesota 71-56.
    They lost to Iowa 89-57.
    It was a very bad loss.
    Will Cuonzo be fired during the season? Also, when should I look to buy $TSLA again?
    I think the wheels would really have to fall off.
    Remember, he's got a good relationship with new AD Desiree Reed-Francois, who helped hire Martin at Tennessee. Her son is committed to walk-on to the team in the near future. And there is a $3 million buyout.
    Whether you think Martin should be fired (I don't) or not, those are factors that suggest no sudden decisions will be made.
    As for questions about fan interest and morale, attendance in the the non-student-section portion of the stadium is lousy anyway, so I'm not sure that's as big of an in-season factor as some hope it will be.
    Mizzou attendance in general is in a bad place.
    The football Tigers beat SEC East opponent South Carolina to move to one win from bowl eligibility, and it happened in front of the smallest crowd of the season.
    Not good.
    Hi Ben. I don’t live in Missouri I live in Florida. I stop watching football years ago. But I want you to know I find it fascinating the NFL suit. I hope they get their clock cleaned. Anyway Who are some of the pitchers that you think the front office will look at? Thank you for the chats
  • This month should be an interesting one for settlement discussions, as I think things could heat up as that early December hearing about if owners are going to be held in contempt of court for not providing accurate financial information nears. So, stay  tuned.
    Max Scherzer makes so much sense for the Cardinals. Marcus Stroman would be a fit for his groundball rate, durability and pounding of the strike zone. Steven Matz has been brought up. Happ and Lester could be in play as depth guys.
    Ben, the Roo's? Really???? I'm glad the student's are turning up for the games but they can't expect to fill the seats if they're getting performances like that.
    Fewer than 7,300 attended the season-opener. Before the loss to the Roos.
    There goes the Angels again, spending for an overrated and injury prone pitcher instead of developing their own talent. At least the Cards are not stitching together a rotation like the Angels have to do each year.
    Maybe the secret for the Angels is hiring a bunch of Cardinals coaches? They seem to think so, at least.
    Ben, what's your take on Turner Ward as the assistant hitting coach? He was dismissed from Cincinnati a few years ago and was coaching hit kids baseball team. Is this a Mo reclamation project? He was pretty impressive with the Dodgers several years ago.

    I always found it strange that great hitters never made great hitting coaches. I just assumed they didn't have the patience to teach it because it came so easy for them. Carlie Lau and Walt Hriniak were sub .250 lifetime hitters but probably the two best hitting coaches of all time.
    Ward's credentials are legit.
    He's been with multiple teams and has been-there experience in the dugout, something the front office and players felt like was needed a little bit more down there.
    Skip and Turner bring that to the table, which is good.
    We'll see if Ward can be the right partner for Jeff Albert, who has a long list building of colleagues the Cardinals have nudged out in various different ways for not being as on board with him as the front office believes coaches need to be.
    Mozeliak seems to think Albert is the answer for the organization's offense at large, and the key is finding the right person to help him deliver that message.
    Ward's up next to try.
    Ben, in your opinion based on the two games you've seen played, does the Mizzou men's basketball time have the requisite talent to be competitive in the SEC? Thanks.
    A team that gets knocked around by UMKC will not be too great in the SEC unless it proves that was an outlier.
  • After Rodriguez signed for 15.4/year and now Thor at 21/yr, do you expect the Cards to just take some flyers on some cheap older vets? I would think that Stroman would be out of their desired price range at this point despite the apparent fit, right?
    If they're not going after a shortstop, they should have more to spend on starting pitching.
    Did St. Louis really turn down a $1 billion dollar settlement from the NFL?

    I know I'm in the minority with maybe wanting another team here but my concern is what will happen to the $1 billion dollars? You have to know there will be misuse and even stealing going on. At least with another team is will create jobs and help businesses around the Dome.

    Your thoughts?
    No.
    I do think they turned down $100 million.
    I think they think they can get more, potentially a good amount more.
    And their lawsuit, if it goes to trial, seeks billions of dollars in damages and punitive damages.
    I don't think you are in the minority. If so it's a small one.
    A recent poll of 700 STL area voters conducted by landline response by a group called Show Me Victories last week provided an interesting snapshot as fodder.
    Nearly half of responders said they would support an expansion team.
    I really do think it's pretty split.
    But here's the problem: It does not appear to be a real option at the moment.
    Speculation about it doesn't change that.
    For it to work, questions that no one is answering would have to be answered: owner, location of stadium, funding of stadium, who owns stadium, what does lease look like, etc.
    These are not small questions that would have to be sorted out by two sides that don't get along very well.
    I think this continues to be about the money, and I do think the NFL/Kroenke side is interesting in settling. 
    I don't know what size of check would make the plaintiffs (city, county, dome authority) punt on their opportunity for a trial.
    It will take more than $100 million, though.
    Am I seeing corrctly that Missouri's wrestling program is ranked #3 in the country? Clearly the best program at the University??
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