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 chatters, hope everyone is in thankful spirts. We are going to hit it hard today for about two hours. Gotta cut it a little shorter than usual because I've got a column to wrap up for the Thanksgiving paper. So, let's blitz this thing through 1 p.m. Sound good? A quick note before we start: There is mediation going on today between Rams/NFL lawyers and Team STL. What comes out of it, we will see. Fire away.
    A win in Little Rock on Friday results in a successful season in my view. Particularly due to the strong finish after what was shaping up as a disappointing year. A 6-6 finish, though with bowl eligibility, is still disappointing given 7 or 8 wins was the reasonable expectation. Then should a bowl loss follow, leaving a 6-7 record, there’s no real way to define that as anything but a letdown. Plus beating the Razorbacks keeps them below us in the SEC pecking order.
    A fair assessment?
    With the expectations that were set before the season started, it's a fair read.
    With the expectations that had to be adjusted after the defense looked like it had never tackled before, it might be a little tough.
    When Mizzou got dismantled by Tennessee, I felt like a fool for thinking this team might win eight games. Steve Wilks looked like a one-and-done defensive coordinator, and a bowl game was a non-starter.
    How Wilks has rebounded from that start and how well the defense has played dating back to the Georgia game is the big story, to me. I don't think he gets fired now, and that's significant. Drinkwitz won't have to hire a new DC in each of his seasons if so.
    So, I kind of thought securing a bowl win Saturday against Florida was kind of a successful-season-clincher based on the ups and downs of this season.
    A win against Arkansas and a bowl win would be eight, and that's what I figured would be a great season for this team.
    One more win -- either against Arkansas or the bowl -- would certainly grab good.
    Arkansas will be hard to beat. Hawgs are legit, and will be motivated.
    Getting to a bowl game is a tremendous accomplishment this year. The way the defense has improved has been great. I think the football program is headed in a good direction. Your thoughts
    The win against Florida felt, to me, like as big of a win as Drinkwitz has secured since he beat defending champion LSU last season. Certain wins mean more, and those two are ones that do. One secured a signature win against a team we figured would be better -- turned out it wasn't, but that doesn't change the moment. The other was a takedown of the SEC East projected power that nudged Dan Mullens' career off the rails. Now Florida is searching again, which makes the opportunities better for its SEC East peers. Georgia stands alone, and Florida is not at least for now No. 2 like many expected. Drinkwitz is recruiting well and has already shown a willingness to go bold. He's coming up with some last-second wins that go against the familiar and tired Mizzou narrative that the Tigers are always just waiting to catch a kick to the groin. His patience with Wilks should be discussed ,too. Could have made the move to fire him. Changed defensive line coaches instead. Looks smart for those decisions at the moment.
    It is obvious Mizzou basketball will struggle this year but to me it makes zero sense to fire martin. His pay out the athletic department can't afford it. He has a great player coming in and most players back. Your thoughts
    I think I said $3 million buyout in a previous chat but that was wrong, because the Tigers have been to two NCAA tournaments under Martin, and that fact makes it $6 million to end the contract through May instead of $3 million. Sorry for the error there. A $6 million buyout is a big ask. Mizzou had fewer than 7,000 people at the home-opener, before the frustrating UMKC loss. There are different levels of patience at different kinds of programs, and Martin's contract had a lot of patience baked into it because the state of things was so bad when he came to take the job. If the team keeps playing like it did against Florida State, lacking defense and not finding ways to score, some big spenders may get motivated to make a change. Boosters can change discussions quickly with cash. It's hard for me to imagine Mizzou buying Martin out on his own. Nothing will likely happen this season, during the season. If this team shows no signs of getting better over the course of the season, that's a concern, because these guys are all going to be back. So, that should be factored into the conversation. I'd like to see more but it's a disappointing start to year five, for sure.
    Cards fans keep wanting to sign or trade all kinds of player,but there everyday lineup is set. I do not think they will sign a shortstop or should they. Mo has put together a very good team that needs to add pitching to be very good. Mo has done a great job, made some mistakes but his record as Cardinal GM is something to be proud of.
  • Pitching, pitching, pitching is the front office's focus so far.
    Shortstop is not something the team seems all that interested in.
    Greetings from the Florida keys! Thanks for your chats
    Is Moe just Going to do nothing until he can scrape the bottom of the barrel like he usually does? That low hanging fruit is tasty!
    They're going to add pitching.
    The starter addition could be a significant splash.
    Timing doesn't matter. Especially with everyone expecting a lockout to arrive.
    Do you know where the mediation meeting is being held? Are the NFL owners and Goodell coming to St Louis to meet Team St Louis or is the meeting being held virtually?
    Also what if Kroenke decides to deal with Team St Louis for his portion only? Will the other owners have to fend for themselves? If that happens, if I am Team St Louis, I won't even consider settling! Team St Louis should just wait for the next court meeting on Dec 3rd and see if Jones, Hunt, Kraft & Mara complied by furnishing the required financial information.
    If these clowns don't comply with Judge McGraugh's order, then the price of settling just went up.
    I think so, but not entirely sure and don't want to speculate.
    Protective order is being cited when asked directly.
    I believe it it is at the firm of one of the lawyers involved in the case, and I believe it is just lawyers for now.
    It's in person.
    That December 3 hearing is indeed causing pressure on the NFL/Rams side to make a settlement offer the STL side finds compelling. Would a billion dollars or more be compelling to the plaintiffs -- city, county, dome authority? Could be.
    Stay tuned.
    At this point, am I delusional to believe that the Cardinals are now a lot more likely to go deep sea fishing aiming to catch the top free agent pitcher fish out there this off season? Also do you see this team is in a little bit of a catch-22? They certainly have enough money tucked away to shop for anyone in the field. Meanwhile they also probably twitch when recalling how many middle tier guys signed more recently to longer term deals did not work out. I for one hope the team signs Scherzer no matter how long the deal is. The 2nd guy on my wish list would be Stroman but he is not a close 2nd. And imagine if Marcus ultimately gets a 5 year deal here and God forbid early on he gets significantly hurt?
    Great minds think alike.
    My starter wish list reads as follows:
    1. Scherzer.
    2. Stroman.
    Nothing against Stroman, and he should be a great fit for STL because of his distaste for walks and his ability to produce groundballs, but Scherzer can do those things and he's Max Scherzer, with a story line here that compels. It's OK to think about the buzz factor when considering a player. He would move the needle and sell tickets here. It would be the closest thing the Cardinals could do to making up for the mistake of not signing him in the past.
  • Word on is Baltimore is considering trading John Means. I think he would be an awesome fit in the Cardinal’s rotation. Thoughts?
  • A 28-year-old southpaw starter with an All-Star game under his belt would likely require the Cardinals parting ways with one of the prospects they don't want to part ways with. Gorman, Liberatore and Walker seem like untouchables at this time, and for good reason.
  • Mr. Ben,

    Thank you for today’s chat.

    Great Scherzer article!

    The pre-Dec 2 game of “Musical Starting Pitchers” is happening at a brisk pace. Who do see sitting in the Cardinal’s “Chair” when the music stops?
    A. Scherzer
    B. Stroman
    C. Matz
    D. None of the above
    All three could be good fits. Scherzer would be the biggest splash, and it's not close.
    I see Dwayne Johnson's new football league has chosen its cities and St. Louis is not included. Why not? We had proven ourselves. This whole thing stinks of NFL revenge. Are the Battlehawks banned because of the lawsuit?
    Different league.
    The Rock is in on the XFL.
    The teams announced yesterday were for the new-look USFL.
    The XFL says it's returning in 2023 but details have been rather scarce.
    Ben, is the elusive John Mozaliak to be taken seriously with comments that the organization and Max Scherzer have a mutual interest in pursuing a contract? I see it as nothing more than a tease to sell a few more tickets before the Dec 1 strike. Bill DeWitt is never going to tie up one third of his payroll for an aging pitcher whose past performance is almost certainly not going to be repeated, to say nothing about the chances of increased injury. I think Scherzer’s chances of pitching here are about as remote as Fredbird getting a start. Sorry to temper everyone’s enthusiasm on this topic. Thoughts?
    Mozeliak doesn't talk about free agents, and he's not made an exception with Scherzer, unless I missed it.
    What could be looming at December's start is a likely owner-led lockout, not a player-led strike.
    As for the Cardinals and Scherzer, I don't know that it will happen but I would not shrug of the possibility. Scherzer's age and his battle against Father Time are part of the reasons he's not in the running for the kind of contract he signed with the Nationals, when the Cardinals decided to stay out of the conversation. They have since admitted that was a mistake. The Cardinals have had great success with older arms as of late, including a pretty important one in Adam Wainwright. Happ and Lester are other examples. 
    If you base your ticket purchases on players acquired, I'd advise to buy after the move.
    Thanks for the chat, as always. Enjoyed your article on Badie. In addition to agreeing with you that although there is nothing wrong with athletes who take advantage of the transfer portal, it is especially gratifying to see someone who loyally stays the entire duration of their college career at the school that gave them the opportunity coming out of high school when few others did. And also great to see someone stay with it, even if it takes until their senior year to get their chance to shine.
    Thanks! Badie knows he could have been used more earlier, and it's almost seems automatic these days to assume a guy will transfer when there is a head coaching change. He stayed despite both challenges, and now reaps the rewards. Not bad for a three-star prospect, huh? Barry Odom gets roughed up in these chats often but he recruited Badie. He recruited a lot of the guys on that field Saturday, including Bazelak and Daniel Parker Jr., who combined for the game-winning two-point conversion. He also recruited Larry Borom, who is being celebrated by the Chicago Bears as a prime tackle for years to come. So, maybe Odom was a little bit better of a recruiter than some thought? Just saying.
    I have studied Mizzou basketball schedule very closely we have 26 games left we will most likely be underdog in 22 of them. When anderson went 9 and 22 2 and 16 in sec. The sec was 6 th rated conference this year sec. Is ranked 1 or 2 I am thinking this season could rival that one. I know we have a little better talent but I think the competition is harder. Hate to be a doomsday fan but reality seems to see it is going to be very tough. We have no size and go into scoring droughts since our shooting is below avg. The team will play hard but just don't have enough talent to win. Your thoughts
  • That seems like a fair read right now. Tigers need to change the narrative. If they can't, hard conversations about future of program will need to be had.
    Ben, any chance the charming recluse from Malibu and his one time buddy Jerry Jones will be exchanging Christmas cards this season?
    Jerry and Stan are cool. It's them versus the other owners at this point.
    With Badie being a finalist for the doak walker award, how good do you think his chances are of coming away with it?
    You never know with stuff like that. Lots of voters. Some who pay attention. Some not so much. He's leading the SEC in attempts and yards per game. That should win him something. And he can catch, something a lot at his position can't do effectively.
    Hey BF, thanks for the chat and great legal coverage. After reading todays Bill Shaikin column in the LA Times outsiders without any knowledge or vested interest in this story might come away with the view that St. Louis had its chance to renovate the stadium and waited until the 11th hour to finally get its act together in a too little too late move. Further solidifying the perception that the lawsuit is “sour grapes from scorned city”. Taking a devil’s advocate approach here, and looking back at the NFL in STL, it seems the city always took the path of least resistance and the owners did what they could to sabotage the relationship. Bidwill wanted a new stadium, the city gave him a “baseball park”. His inept GMs and coaches put a perennial losing product on the field until the fans said good riddance. Kronke wanted a shinny new stadium and the city said we’ll put $124M into the “Convention Center”. He put a inferior product on the field until it allowed him to paint the city as a non-football town. Please STL, don’t take an expansion team as a settlement. It’s damaged goods from a league that doesn’t care about the best interests of city. Take the money and run! Ben, your thoughts on how outsiders might view our lawsuit?
    My main thought is: Who cares?
    And that's not to be disrespectful to your question, at all.
    But of all the reasons this lawsuit makes sense, one I never understood or pedaled was that it would and could shape the perception of outsiders' view of St. Louis.
    We overestimate how much people care.
    That story from the Los Angeles times was the first one it has done on the lawsuit.
    The first one.
    Whether it's LA or Arizona, people are not sitting around talking about STL's status as an NFL city.
    I wouldn't worry too much about how outsiders view this thing. They are caught up in the lease, which has nothing to do with the case, and that has been proven time and time again. They are convinced Judge McGrauh is anti-Rams, when anyone who has followed the case closely and been in his courtroom knows that's just not true. There's no point in fighting mischaracterizations, just like there's no point in hoping the league comes out and says something on the record about the rules it broke and the lies it told. Would it be nice to hear? Heck yeah. Would it change things? Only if the lawsuit forces the league to do things differently in the future by punishing them hard via settlement or trial loss. That's the real meat on this bone, proving that the relocation guidelines the NFL twisted to the point of snapping in half time and time again can't be broken without host cities having a legitimate case.
    Hey BenFred -- the LA Times is finally covering the Kroenke lawsuit! Will miracles cease to occur?! I am really curious as to get your thoughts on playing out the scenario of Kroenke settling on his own and leaving the other 31 NFL clubs on the side. So many questions. Would he still be likely called as a witness? How would this all play out?
    I wrote last week about how while no one likes to hear it, Kroenke may have some considerable wiggle room with that indemnification agreement. I think the report about him considering settling on his own was more of a threat to the other owners. Roger Goodell has considerable power and influence here, and he likely wants a united front on this case. A splintering could cause lots of headaches. I think he's a major player in this now, and could be a motivating factor working toward a massive settlement. Kroenke can indeed settle on his own, if he chooses to and hits a number that makes Team STL accept. As for Kroenke's deposition, it already has been recorded, and I believe he was scheduled for another one due to the squabble over the financial information as well. Those are videotaped and can be played in court if a trial arrives. That could be how it plays out instead of in-person appearances by the owners.
  • I think Scherzer would be a great addition but would not his signing limit who else the Cards could get to upgrade the team, or would DeWitt just increase the budget for 2022 and beyond?
  • The Cardinals don't seem much interested in pursuing shortstops or a proven DH, so there should be plenty of dollars available for pitching upgrades.
    If you can hold Florida to 16 points in regulation time, does that make a difference in your chances against Arkansas? Is Mizzou likely to pull off another upset?
    Florida was a downtrodden team with a hot-seat (and since fired) head coach. And the Tigers were at home.
    Arkansas just gave Alabama everything the Tide could handle in a loss. And the Tigers are on the road.
    Mizzou has a shot but winning against Arkansas will be a bigger challenge than beating the toothless Gators, for sure.
    Is the mediation going on expected to be a multiple day process or is it a one day and done thing if no progress is made?
    Just depends on how things go. I think it will be a long day, and then see what comes next.
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