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.

    If I'm Cuonzo Martin, I'm thanking my lucky stars that my agent negotiated that $6 million buyout, or else I'm probably looking for a new job in a few months. This team shows the inability of Martin and his staff to judge talent. Martin always says his players/recruits can shoot, but teams that miss 15 of their first 16 shots can't shoot. I'm sorry if I sound a bit hard on Martin, and I understand he inherited a mess from Kim Anderson, but I don't see how this season or his time as Mizzou basketball coach ends in a good way. I realize his teams have made a couple postseason tournaments, but in my view the program is still way below where it should be. Am I way off base in my criticism and cynicism?
    The $6 million buyout exists because Mizzou had become pretty much the least competitive Power 5 program in the nation. That limited who wanted the job and it required some assurances that the incoming coach, in this case Martin, would either get some patience, or get a big chunk of cash if fired early. The buyout would be $3 million if Martin had not been to an NCAA Tournament with the Tigers. He's been to two. I imagine the buyout was given with the idea that if a coach came in and took a team that had won a combined 27 games in the three previous season could get to an NCAA tournament (or in this case two) before year five, there probably would not be a clamoring to fire the coach. And yet . . .
    Ben - loved the Dec 4 article about the cardinals needing more than just Matz. Couldn't agree more with your sentiment that the Cardinals are playing with fire with our starting pitching plans. One and a half quality start guys on the team, but our starting staff is complete? Its going to have to be some bullpen! Tell me there's a chance that we sign another starter?
    Thanks. Mozeliak has mentioned the possibility of a potential swing man. He said that in the Matz presser. If the Cardinals make a move on another sure-thing starter, that would be a non-broadcasted move. But the sense from the team as of now is that the rotation, like shortstop, has its solutions on the roster.
    Hi Ben- has the PD had any success obtaining any evidence from the NFL trial that was to be destroyed?
    Discussions are ongoing about what can be pursued, yes. I'm not sure if the depositions are going to be gettable but I've told the paper we should try to get everything we can. It's not all completely up to me.
    If you could pay to watch any active and past player in any sport play, who would be your picks?
    I would have liked to watch Ali box in his prime.
  • Michigan got hosed having to play Georgia instead of Cincinnati. I get not wanting to have the 2 SEC teams play in the semis, but thats unfair for Michigan.
    No beef here with this year's top four. There's no trophy for runner-up. Just win, baby.
    Ben, what is your take on the Tarasenko situation? I'm not sure why, if the guy wants out that bad, does he start taking nights off? Is he just trying Berube and Armstrongs patience?
    Ten games without a goal. Assists in just two of those ten games. Chief is nudging him publicly again, making comments that suggest it's an effort and want-to kind of issue. Not great. He still wants to be traded. Might be time to make it happen.
    Who do you feel will be the starting shortstop next year and why?
    Paul DeJong until something suggests that will not be the case. The Cardinals are selling bounce-back theory for now. We'll see if it changes, but if the season started tomorrow that's the starter there.
    How many players do you expect to sign within like 3 minutes after the lockout is over? It sure feels like it'd be easy for Team A to meet with Player X "off the record" and hash out a deal right now. Heck, I guess i could sign a guy to a minors deal with a spring training invite, and a wink wink agreement that we can sign the REAL contract once the lockout is lifted. Perhaps I've made this a little to simple, but you get my point. I'd think there'd be all the motivation in the world for teams and players to "cheat" on this...
    Maybe. But those kind of deals would open up some questions about some pretty important lockout rules being broken. If anything, the pre-lockout rush on free agents would suggest the rush would come late not early, as in at the last moments before some sort of expedited spring training started. It's possible deals that were close to happening could be wrapped up after the lockout rather promptly, if the situation has not changed, but let's not forget the primary reason the lockout is happening. It's because players and owners are restructuring who gets paid what. Post-lockout deals will be made based off a new structure. I imagine many who resisted signing pre-lockout wanted to see that get finalized before accepting a contract.
    Question about Travis Ford: I understand the bad breaks he has had with his best player injured , the Covid situation last year but for all the years he has now been at SLU , provided the resources in facilities, etc. he still has not really progressed beyond a 40th to 60th ranked team. Maybe that's just what the program is ....a third/fourth tier team . He's a veteran coach and maybe that's what he is . Your thoughts?
  • He's recruited well and has really improved the Billikens' standing in the A-10 over the past few seasons. He's gotta break through and start beating some ranked teams to raise the profile higher. That's the next box to check. I think he's been a good fit for SLU and there's a trajectory that suggests there's bigger and better days ahead.
    Hey Ben, I asked this question of Derrick and didn't get a response.. A lot of the Cards fans complain about this/that move, and of course sometimes have ridiculous expectations (sign Sherzer for $40+ million/year). However, much of the time the response from the PD writers is "You could live in Pittsburgh/Miami/Cincinatti" to show that some cities have consistently bad teams, or have to wait decades for their team to get good. And while that is all true, I think what's missed is, No one in STL cares about the suffering of Pittsburgh's fan base, how terrible they are. Just like Pittsburghs hockey fans dont' want to hear about their sportswriters harp about how lucky they have had it compared to poor Arizona's fans, blah blah. The reality is, the Cards fans are a lot like Boston fans, NY fans. They don't want comparisons, much like they don't want excuses.. And while some suggestions are extreme (see above), the reality is they want to have a shot to win the world series every year, and that's not fanaticism, that's just where the expectations have been set.. mutually-- by the Cards doing a lot of winning, being in 20 world series the last 95 years, etc etc, but also by the fans, who just want a winner. Why can't we just live with that expectation, instead of the consistent 'lessons' about how we should be patient... I don't want to be patient. And I'm not sure I should be expected to. The goal is to win the world series every year, and the team should be duly criticized if they clearly don't put a team out that doesn't have at least a shot at a WS title...
    The Cardinals signing Scherzer should not have been viewed as unrealistic.
    Pricy, sure, but he would have been a great fit for this team.
    Same for Marcus Stroman, honestly.
    You are attacking some straw men here.
    No one here is telling you not to want championships.
    But if you think the Cardinals are a World-Series-or-bust team every single year, you're going to be frustrated often because that's not how the people who run the team view the team.
    That kind of thinking goes against the philosophy of being good annually, and believing that this is the best chance to win a championship while also, you know, being good annually.
    If that doesn't mesh with what you think, that's fair and fine. But take it out on the team, not the sportswriters. Blaming the messenger is easy for some.
    Cardinals fans, most of them, are not like Boston fans and New York fans. See for example the ovations for Matt Carpenter's final hits in a Cardinals uniform. Just one example. No shot there. Just noting a difference. There is a difference.
    In 1994 MLB and the players left a huge amount of money on the table ending the season and had a late start to 1995. How is this labor situation different? Both sides have dug in their heals on some pretty serious issues and I don't see either side budging. I honestly don't think we will have much of a season next year if one at all. If they were willing to do it then I don't see why they wouldn't do it now.
    They are informed by the understanding of the damage done back then. It contribute to the timing of the lockout. That mess was specifically mentioned by Manfred in his reasoning for the lockout now, so early. And don't forget the pandemic's pinch. Both sides want to make money, no matter their differences about how they split it.
    In hindsight I have to believe that both the Big Ten and Mizzou wish they had pursued one another. I know Mizzou fans love to boast about being part of the SEC but you're treading water. Mizzou was much better suited for the Big Ten in both football and basketball.
    You can always grow the size of your fish. You can't change the size of your pond. Mizzou is in the big one, and needs to figure out how to grow. An invitation to the Big Ten never happened. Speculative wish-casting was played out long ago. Time to let it go.
    Ben: I'm going to disagree that "at best" Bazelak has been a "game manager." At best, he's been dynamic. Huge games against LSU and Arky last season as well as a really good game against Tennessee when he came in for Robinson (remember that early long pass that was dropped by the WR who ended up transferring later when his PT disappeared?). His lack of TDs hurt his stats because they were so good at scoring via the run last year. 4 TDs vs KY this year and that defense was dynamic at the time (SEMO numbers were also great, but that's SEMO). I believe he was hurt early in the BC game as he had a couple of just weird throws that a guy with that kind of accuracy would never make, and never got healthy and it showed as it got worse and worse. He was turned into a game manager thanks to his compromised body, but I think he has greatness still ahead of him if he's healthy. The big question is whether Drinkwitz agrees.
    I wouldn't say dynamic as he' not much of a running threat, but certainly solid to something better than that at his best. The big question this season was if he was going to be able to stretch the field vertically, and we have seen some flashes of it but nothing entirely convincing. Some of that could be his injury, for sure. If he's healthy, he's Mizzou's best option it seems. That said if Drinkwitz is recruiting a graduate transfer it suggest he's seen reasons beyond the injury to look for potential upgrades there.
    Do you have any familiarity with MLS Next Pro where the league is revamping their "second" division league? I heard that St. Louis City will be participating in it for 2022. I was curious where they would play the games and whether the team will consist mainly of youth players or will they try to acquire older players.
  • Correct, STL is in on this. Details not yet determined yet in terms of the other stuff, as far as I know.
  • If you were given a year of paid leave to write a book what would you want to write about?
    I want to write a kids book about my neighbors' dogs. Tyler and Tiffany. Tyler is a mean son of a gun. Tiffany is very sweet. They're both tiny. Brother and sister. It could be a whole series. I could retire early. Spin it off into a cartoon. Movies. The next Garfield or Clifford, you know. I'm sitting on a million-dollar idea here, folks.
    Time to run. Thanks for the lively discussion and debate. Let's do it again next week. Cheers. If I missed you, find me on Twitter: @Ben_Fred
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