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.

    Do you have any realistic indications how the NFL settlement money will be spent, and do you also think there will be a political battle amongst local politicians (St. louis City VS St. Louis County, etc..) on how to spend it?
    I think at least a chunk of it will go toward improving and updating The Dome. It brings events, people and revenue into the region. It's also about the only thing the RSA can likely spend its portion of the settlement on. After that, who knows. That the three parties -- city, county and RSA -- did not have a predetermined agreement about who gets what opens the door for speculation that there will be some infighting about allocation and how it's spent. Hopefully the decision-makers prove that speculation wrong. We'll see.
    I heard parson is going to take charge of relocation money and reinvest it back into bring the dome into a top stadium. Any truth to that?
    At least check, the governor was floating the idea of wanting to talk to the league about expansion when he discussed this topic publicly, so I would not overestimate his impact on the situation. Upgrades to the dome was always a likely outcome with at least some of the money.
    Any insight as to why the Enterprise Center/Blues are not enforcing the City mask requirement at home games?
    For the same reasons most places are either struggling to enforce such rules or giving up trying entirely. Lack of compliance. Eating/drinking loophole. Politicization of issue. Molten-hot anger on both sides of the issue. Etc.
    What became of Rams Park and Kroenke's option to purchase for $1?
    It's the rare one Kroenke won. Last covered here: 

    Rams win Earth City training facility in arbitration

    STLtoday.comAn arbitration panel ruled on Wednesday that an option in the Rams' training camp lease allows the departed NFL team to buy the buildings, fields and grounds in 2024 for
    Your prediction: Eli Drinkwitz gets to 10 wins with Mizzou by year...
    He will need to find the right quarterback first. An offensive-minded coach isn't winning 10 without one who can do more than Connor Bazelak showed this season.
    Do you like Rolen sneaking into the HOF this year, especially with PED's factoring in with Bonds, Clemens and even Big Papi to a lesser degree?
  • He's making up ground at a rapid rate, but is probably a couple years away still, based on what I've read this time around. I do think he gets in eventually, and he should.
  • Is it just me but I am hearing less noise about firing Mo ( which wasn’t going to happen in spite of all the swings and misses he presided over) to more of a tone when is his contract up and/or will he take a lesser role?

    Secondly, of all the swings and misses, they should really be more accountable for not evaluating their own players better…the free agents and bad trades are more of a hit or miss proposition.
    Mozeliak's current contract is up after the 2023 season. The closer that expiration comes without another extension, the more folks will wonder what's next for him, whether it's a scaling back, walking away, new challenge, etc. I'm not sure what you mean about hearing noise about the Cardinals firing him. That's not been something the team has hinted at or shown signs of recently. The most recent example suggested the exact opposite, a winning manager getting fired for clashing with the front office, not the other way around. Mozeliak's moves have put more pressure on him to be right, but he's in pretty good shape with chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. as far as I can tell.
    Is every thing alright?
    College football $ distribution. Take Alabama football as an extreme example. Each of their ~100 football players gets a scholarship worth ~$25,000, and it's not even cash. 100 * $25,000 = $2,500,000. So the players' are compensation totals $2,500,000 . The coach's compensation totals $9,000,000, more than three times as much as the entire team, or 360 times as much as any player. Does one coach bring 360 times more value to their football program than does their Quarterback?
    A more equitable $ distribution would be for to pay each player $25,000 in addition their $25,000 scholarship, pay the coach $4,000,000 instead of $9,000,000. This would not increase their program expenses.
    I don't think college coaches would go for the elimination of free market driving bigger and longer contracts -- even if players eventually get to experience the same.
    Ben; I'm a subscriber to STLToday and the forums. I cannot find out how to see Blues and Cards standings and stats. When I read the paper edition they were prominent. I've contacted various people to no avail. Can you tell me who to contact?
    The scores and stats page seems to be having an issue. I sent a note along. Thanks.
    Loved your article from this weekend about SLU athletics doing a great job weathering the pandemic and how it should be interesting the Big East. I see the fit, a basketball centered school, Catholic identity, a medium-large sized university, evens out the geographical tilt of the Big East, and SLU adds a new media market currently missing from the Big East. SLU Soccer would more than be able to hang around with the Big East, but would other sports be able to compete and excell in the Big East? What keeps the Big East from picking other members of the A10, Dayton or VCU, instead of SLU when they decide to expand before their contract with Fox is up in a few years?
  • Thanks. The Billikens did me no favors by turning around and dropping both games that Saturday. The downside of planning I suppose. But the point stands. SLU is in a good spot in an uncertain time for college sports with the latest wave of realignment. To your question, I would answer, why not take all three? That would put the Big East at 14 with a better case for more NCAA Tournament bids, an improved basketball product and, perhaps most importantly to this equation, more games to offer in negotiations in the next TV package. Live sports are making money, and having more teams means more games to sell. That's the benefit of adding to get to 14 instead of adding one to get to 12. The Billikens are on the cusp of being an obvious fit basketball-wise, but they've gotta start winning a big game now and again. It seems like every time they get right up on the edge of it, they fall back. Ford hasn't beaten a top-25 team yet. That's hovering over him to a degree. A breakthrough is needed but it seems to be relatively close.
    I think the Blues are in a good place despite all of the adversity. Some nights they have looked great, and others not as much (as with all teams). But even when they have had tough games, they have not looked overmatched or out talented. There are mistakes that need to be cleaned up and the Defense needs a defense first addition to make the pairings work out better. But considering all the challenges, the team is in a good spot.
    Hard for me to disagree. They did themselves a big favor by getting out to a hot start. That's benefitting during this slog. It's just hard, and kind of disingenuous, to try to take a meaningful snapshot of a team that is a hodge-podge of what it should be so many nights due to COVID roulette.
    Two Ohio state receivers transferred last year. One to Alabama and the other to Mizzou. One is now a Heisman candidate and the other comparative flop. Is saben and his staff that much better than every other staff?
    That's a strange way of looking at it. Not every Ohio State receiver is created equal, and Alabama's offense and Mizzou's are not exactly comparable at this time. For one, look at the quarterback. Bryce Young is going to win the Heisman. Also Jameson Williams is a more experienced and older player than Mookie Cooper. Cooper caught 16 passes in his first season at Mizzou. I'm not ready to call him a flop just yet. He's played seven games. Jameson Williams played 18 before he played his first one for Alabama this season. Yes, Saban and his staff are really, really good. But I'd give Cooper some time before bailing on him.
    Please pick up your Kroenke/LA Rams coverage in the next year or two if they do not win the Super Bowl this year. With so few draft picks, they will be an utter dumpster fire. That's really when you'll start getting sent the embarrassing photos of an empty SoFi and notes from LA asking if STL will take the Rams back...
    I'm doing a Kroenke cleanse. It's healthy.
    BenFred I have no question here and uncertain if this is the right forum for my comment. But here goes:

    I would like to echo my thanks to you joined by many others for all you’re hard work, dedication and informative articles on keeping the STL informed and up to date on all things related to the lawsuit against the Rams and the NFL. From my perspective each time you (and other reporters) sat through a dreary court hearing where Stanley’s lawyers could look back and see you , added with every article you wrote exposing the lies of a dirty and sullied business helped immeasurably to increase the pressure and impact the final cash settlement to our city and region. For that I thank you. I hope you end up with some kind of recognition from your peers for the series of articles you wrote.

    This could and should be a great thing for this city but like many I have fears the local politicians will find a way to screw it up. I sincerely hope I am wrong. I apologize for the book but wanted to say that for awhile now. Thanks for the chance to comment.
  • Thanks a lot. I enjoyed covering it and hope the money gets put to good use. Decision-makers should use the money to do things that are the opposite of what Kroenke stands for. Use the head and the heart to do something that creates a lasting legacy of good. That's my wish. Easier said than done, but I'd rather the region has the money in whatever way, shape or form than the NFL.
  • Ben,

    Don't know your level of interest or expertise when it comes to futbol (soccer) however I have something I'd like to run by you.
    With the large and I mean LARGE Bosnian community I'd think the club would be wise to sign the best possible player from the local Bosnian community. That player could easily become the face of the team. With futbol being their national sport it would go a far way in creating a solid fan base. I remember seeing a looong, steady stream of Bosnians driving down the main streets when their national team played at Busch III a few years back.

    I'd like your take please.
    The hope is that there will one day be multiple local players from all different STL backgrounds and neighborhoods playing for the big club. That's the cornerstone of the bottom-up plan for the team, starting with the youth teams that are already up and operating. There will be from-the-outside additions, of course, but the farm system for lack of a better word will be important, and it's all based here in STL.
    Hi, Ben. thanks for the chat. You may have touched on part of this in a previous chat, but for all the fans' complaints about the Arozarena trade, I believe the Ozone deal was much worse. Basically, the Cardinals traded a few postseason games for two outstanding young pitchers: Sandy Alcantara and Max Gallen. Imagine the Cardinals' rotation without that trade: Waino, Flaherty, Alcantara, Hudson, Gallen; with Mikkolas and Reyes as backups. I'd take that rotation in a heartbeat.
    And, Ozuna was a big disappointment. How could the Cardinals not know the severity of his shoulder injury, surely they had access to his medical records before the trade. And, how in the world did Ozuna win a Gold Glove with the Marlins? In a couple seasons he went from a "Gold Glove" defender to basically a DH.
    I have touched on it, yes.
    Ozuna was not as disappointing as Alcantara has been excellent.
    He was at times one of the Cardinals most productive bats, but he didn't work out long-term, and the shoulder mess complicated things.
    Alcantara deserves a lot of credit for making himself into a star, and a lot of that process happened in Miami.
    It's hard to know if that would have been the same outcome had he not been traded, but he's the one -- not Arozarena -- that seems like a much more painful what-if, especially with where the current need is now.
    With the advent of the portal into NCAA sports, what is a fair way to measure a coach? The old rule of thumb 4-5 years seems hard to apply if the coach can't obtain player continuity. Martin had a good track record and this change in rules seems to have caught MIZZOU off guard. What am I missing?
    The old rules are dead and gone. It's up to each school, its fans and supporters to establish some kind of understanding of what expectations are, and if they are being met. Things have become rather blurry for Mizzou basketball. There is a real gap between expectations and reality, and it seems to be getting bigger instead of smaller. Perhaps the right coach can close that gap. Easier said than done, especially if you are constricted in what you can and/or will spend.
    The transfer portal can't be blamed for everything. Some of Martin's best players have come in that way. Kassius Robertson and Dru Smith, for example. It's why he hit the portal so hard to refresh this roster, but now those guys are not having that same level of success. Transfer recruiting is still recruiting, and recruiting talent -- and now keeping talent -- is perhaps the most important part of the game.
    If there continues to be no buzz and more angst than positivity, something will have to change. That's just how it goes.

    How can any group be as dumb as MLB owners and yet be so rich? After losing the title “America’s National Game” to the NFL, they seem to be trying hard to fall below the NBA too. The potential lockout seemed like the perfect time for the owners to step forward and say they’ve decided to forego an immediate lockout because of the excitement the fans had shown for the Hot Stove League and the sadness of the truncated 2020 season. They could always institute a lockout at a later date and gain the high ground from the players.
    A lockout now makes it more likely to salvage a normal regular season.
    That's the most important goal.
    Get there, and the angst from the work stoppage fades fast.
    Don't, and this offseason grumbling will turn into a full-throated roar.
    Do you think Connor Bazelak's regression is primarily due to injury, and if so will he be ok for the bowl game? How do you envision the QB position playing out next season at this point?
    The lack of mobility sure seems to be affecting him negatively, but it can't explain some of the bad decisions he made with the ball this season. At best, he has been a good game manager who makes smart decisions and avoids costly mistakes. At worst, he has been a turnover-prone immobile QB who can't get the ball down the field. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. Maybe Drinkwitz wants Bazelak and Brady Cook to battle it out in bowl practices to see who starts, or maybe he's leaning toward Bazelak as usual but wants to do what he can to decrease the chance Cook transfers? There are multiple games being played around this time of year with the transfer portal buzzing, and Drinkwitz could be looking there too to see what upgrades -- Spencer Rattler? -- might be available. Point is, Bazelak did more this season to make the position up in the air moving forward than he did secure it.
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