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! Sorry for the delay. I'm here and ready to roll. Some good news: It sounds like there is some action scheduled for MLB, finally. Bargaining session scheduled Thursday, per ESPN. And it will include a proposal from MLB on financial stuff, so that's the meat of the issue here. At least, hopefully, a sign both sides are getting serious about negotiations .Congrats to Georgia, by the way. Let's roll.
    My biggest concern for football is Macon will see he can't beat cook out and transfer after spring ball. I did a lot of research on Horn and his baseball , he has a 93 mph fastball with a great off speed pitch. He plays for the number 1 traveling baseball team in Georgia.also listen to an interview he did on Nov. 4 2021 he said he likes football but his dream is to play pro baseball. So if he opts for baseball were does that leave us. I trust drink he knows a lot more than me. But with the receiving core we will have we must have a decent QB YOUR THOUGHTS
    Horn was pretty candid in his interview with Dave Matter about really wanting to see how high he went in the baseball draft before committing to anything, so I have no reason to doubt that interest. He's also going to play baseball at Mizzou, with Drinkwitz's blessing, so it's more about if he's going to pick the college route or feels he's best off jumping straight into the pros. SEC baseball is a great grooming process for future pros. Now name, image and likeness can make it more financially beneficial as well, compared to the old model. So, if I'm Drinkwitz, and I'm convinced Horn is my guy, then I'm really hoping -- wink, wink -- some nice NIL deals come through for him that make playing two sports at Mizzou sound a lot more appealing than starting the MLB grind from the bottom of that brutal ladder.
    If Eli does not get a transfer QB and Horn doesn't show, the Tigers are going to be thin. Cook is a better option than Macon at this point, based on the small amount of evidence we have.
    Hi, Ben. Thanks for the chat. I'm trying to understand both sides of Major League Baseball's lockout. I understand the players' lack of trust with the owners (the owners negotiating a TV deal extension while asking the players for salary concessions during the 2020 pandemic comes to mind), but why do the owners distrust the players so much? Or is it that the owners just think the players are greedy?
    Follow the money. It's not everything but it's most of it. Players see the revenue produced by the game growing annually pre pandemic. They want the annual player salary to reflect that. Owners want to protect their growing portion of the pie, and point to the mega deals the best players continue to get. Players seem determined to try to find a structure better suited for every player, one that can only really happen if more money goes toward salaries. Owners would prefer to shift the amount of money that goes toward salaries around, but not grow it. Add into the mix that players, I think, feel they signed a bad collective bargaining agreement last time around and want to make up the ground they lost in this round. They seem more unified and more focused. They seem more like the owners.
    Has the city wasted the lawsuit money that it caved in for yet?
    That's the spirit.
    Never mind that it was one of the biggest NFL settlements ever, that the Oakland case has gone up in smoke on appeals and that COVID issues likely would have pushed the trial back again at least one more time.
    But hey, facts have never been easier to dismiss or outright ignore.
    My understanding is the discussions are ongoing about how the money will be split and spent/invested. That's going to become more of a news story than a sports story as it plays out, but I know the P-D will have it covered as there is a lot of interest in it, and understandably so. 
    Ben,

    Thank you for today’s chat!

    I could support Mo signing Colin Moran to a “milb” contract as protection in the event Nootbaar, Gorman, and Donovan fail to impress in in Spring Training. But I would like to see the remaining payroll used to fortify the bullpen, including someone who can close games and take pressure off of Gallegos.

    Your thoughts………
  • Bullpen improvement is going to be at or near the top of the Cardinals' list once the business of baseball opens back up again. Mozeliak pointed to it after the Matz deal, even suggesting some type of swing man could still be on the shopping list. Expect relief moves. Names? Not sure.
  • I don’t think smart Cards fans expect DeWitt to spend recklessly, especially on a long-term deal for a SS. But I think fans would appreciate some financial aggressiveness on a short-term deal that signals that the team aims to maximize the last season of Yadi & Waino and be more than just another post-season participant. FYI, Matz, a reliever, and bench bat isn’t that signal.
    I hear you. There seems to be this rush to disqualify Trevor Story as someone the Cardinals could and should be interested in on the right terms. If he goes to the Yankees on a long-term deal, sure. If he's open to taking shorter term or the market gets weird on him, that's a different story. I think he's a pretty good player.
    I thought Cuonzo's team played a really good game on Saturday. Kobe Brown led, Jarron Coleman got 18, Dajuan Gordon got 15, and Javon Pickett matched Gordon. To me, the most important statistic I saw was the Tigers relatively low (for them) 10 turnovers. I thought Kaleb Brown had a lot to do with that. If they can play low-turnover basketball, I think they can be a .500 team. What do you think, Ben? Thanks.
    Wait, I thought Mizzou's basketball season was already over? Kidding. Very good win for the Tigers, and a reminder that making sky-is-falling assumptions about a new-look team before January even arrives is usually risky business. I thought the Tigers looked more engaged and invested in defense, which they have to be if they are going to have a chance. They are not a good 3-point shooting team but they got some to fall, and you have to have that to have a chance, too. Kobe Brown seems to have realized he can be That Guy every night, and now he has to do it. Coleman has to keep shooting through this early-season slump. He made a high percentage of threes at Ball State. The distance to the basket and rim are the same in SEC. I just can't believe he will be this bad of a shooter all season. Most important, there is some promise showing in the youngest guys, like Kaleb Brown and the coming-on-strong Trevon Brazile, who I really like and Cuonzo can't play enough at this point. That's what you have to see from this down year. Some hard proof things are getting better and will be better next year.
    Will Alabama recover?
    Saban was smiling for a reason after the L, and I don't think it was retirement on his mind. That Alabama team was very young, and two of its most important playmakers were out. Tide will roll again, but now Georgia is officially an equal. Alabama of the East.
    BenFred, did you watch the Alabama-Georgia game? I was happy to see Georgia win—it is healthy for college football to have another champion.
    Of course. Three different SEC champs in the past three seasons. It just means more? Greg Sankey is happy, I imagine.
  • I agree with your point on Saban's process, but I don't connect the dots to the 12-team playoff being something that will work against that model. Saban's teams would have been just fine in the 12-team format. Expanding the bracket gives more team a chance. It raises the stakes for a bigger group. It works against the watering-down of the bowl games via opt-outs, because guys want to play for a championship. It would absolutely capture our interest, just like the NFL expanded playoff already has, and the NCAA basketball tournament does. What it doesn't do is stop the fact of cream rising to the top. It just gives more teams a chance to derail the powers, which is good and should make winning even sweeter for the teams that do. Just my two cents.
    The upcoming Pronger jersey retirement got me thinking. Why haven’t the Blues done anything for Mike Liut?
    Binnington just honored Liut with a helmet decal recently. So, that was something. Pronger will be just the eighth player to have his number retired. Tough crowd to make.
    Hello Ben

    I thought the Tigers played well Saturday. I was a little perplexed that Martin just NOW told the players to rein in shooting 3-pointers. It took until game 14 to tell the worst SEC 3 point shooting team to maybe drive the basket instead. Why did it take so long. I mean they are
    356 out of 358!
    He didn't tell them to stop shooting threes, though. They attempted 24 and made nine in the win against Alabama. You can't not shoot threes in college basketball today and have a chance of winning. He's told certain players to stop leaning on threes and start getting to the basket, after seeing too many not be able to shoot them well enough. Coleman (four-of-11 on Saturday) specifically has to keep shooting them because it's why he's out there, and they desperately need him to make some to compete.
    Derrick mentioned yesterday that Mo said the rotation was full and that he thought the Cards would go after a late inning reliever and a LH bat after the lockout is over. I am a bit concerned that Mo is making the same mistake he made last year: not having enough SP depth. Or is he counting Reyes and/or Hicks to fill that depth role?
    Fair concern. He did say that about the rotation, yep. But he did also mention the possibility of pursuing a swing-man type, too. That was back before the lockout. The Cardinals haven't said anything since it started. They made a very big deal about shuttering and not commenting on anything during this time. Matz will help the depth as long as he stays healthy. Last season the rotation looked strong until spring training started and the Cardinals did nothing to respond to injuries to Mikolas and Kim, and then were slow to react after Flaherty went down once games began. One way to avoid that happening again is of course better luck. Another would be to add more depth entering spring. Another would be to hope for the best entering spring but reacting sooner if something goes wrong there, and it usually does.
    Solid win for SLU vs. Iona. Looks like the Gaels might give teams fits this year.
    Indeed. Physical team and well-coached, whether you like Pitino or not. The Billikens just needed to play, and wound up getting a W against a team ranked higher than them in the NET. Good game. The A-10 is pretty much wide open.
  • With the popularity of MLB waning with younger kids and soccer becoming more popular, do you think within the next 10 years St. Louis Soccer Club will be more popular than the Cardinals?
    Baseball is indeed trending toward becoming a more regional sport, but it's about as strong anywhere in the nation right here in STL. I don't think the Cardinals are going to be struggling for fans or STL area kids who want to grow up to be Cardinals.
    With international signing day fast approaching January 15th, any guesses of who the Cardinals will be signing on the high end?
    The Cardinals, per international prospects ace Jesse Sanchez, are not favorites to sign any of the top-five this time around. They are in the bonus pool range of more $6.26 million along with the D-Backs, Indians, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Rockies and Royals. This group features 26 infielders, 16 outfielders, two pitchers and six catchers, most of which are younger than 18.
    Speaking of the Rams settlement,what ever became of the Rams practice field in Earth City?
    The Rams won that one. They can buy the facility for $1 if they choose to in 2024. Or unless another deal gets worked out. There seems to be productive stuff going on there now through Lou Fusz Athletics, so hopefully a compromise can be made. Hard to bet on it knowing one side a little bit.
    I know this will not be well received, but if I am the MIssouri AD, I get out of the SEC as soon as possible. We can not compete on any level in any sport in the Conference. This hurts recruiting, Alumni gifts and attendance at home events. We schedule games against vastly inferior schools in an attempt to reach 500 so we can qualify for the "I don't care Bowl", If we went back to our old conference or even the Big 10, we would have a chance to finish 9-3 or maybe 10-2. This would solve the recruiting and attendance issues. I see no advantage to always finishing in the bottom of the standings, just so you can claim you're in the SEC.
  • Check out how well that old conference is holding up. It just lost Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC. Have you ever watched Fixer Upper? It's better to have the cheap house in the nice neighborhood than the nice one in the block everyone is feeling. Tigers are in the rich neighborhood. Time for a lot of hard work and investment. It will be money better spent than paying an exit fee -- one that just went up recently -- to go to a less stable conference in what seems to be the most volatile era of college sports we have witnessed in a long time.
  • There is zero discussion about the catching position. If Yadi falters, or even just shows the need to cutback on games played, I don't think we have enough quality at the position to handle say 80 games as part of a championship level team. We could even be looking for a successor to share some this year and takeover next year. You see this at all?
  • Andrew Knizner would be starting for a decent chunk of MLB teams. Not starting like Molina has for the Cardinals over the years, meaning every day no matter what usually, but that's not how the position works in most places these days. It's often a timeshare, and Knizner would be in that mix for a lot of teams. I think the Cardinals are OK handing him starts if something happens to Molina.
  • I love Travis Ford of SLU,Do you worry he gets an offer to go to a more high profile school?
  • I like  Travis, but he has to beat a ranked team or make a tournament run before that becomes a realistic threat. SLU is taking care of him in terms of contract and salary. Billikens are competitive. My take on his situation always has been he should stick around and make the program better and benefit as a result, and that's what he's done so far.
  • Now that the transfer-portal era is upon us in full, what (in your opinion) has been the biggest transfer loss for an area program? DT Mekhi Wingo's departure from Mizzou football is a blow; so was Xavier Pinson's from Mizzou men's basketball.
    Transfers have been happening forever. Reminder: Travis Ford, subject of last answer, once transferred from Mizzou to Kentucky. I think Mizzou has been hurt much more by recruits it did not nab (EJ Liddell) than by transfers it lost. Depending on how next season plays out at quarterback, Connor Bazelak to Indiana could hurt the most. The QB played hurt this season, took his lumps and certainly looked like he needed to lose his job at times. But if he gets heathy and balls out for the Hoosiers, and the Tigers don't know who to take snaps, that would sting. The Wingo one hurts because he's exactly the kind of player you should not lose. He was a Drinkwitz recruit. He had a great season and made the SEC all-freshman team. He was set up to be a leader of the team moving forward. Those ones hurt. But, if he does indeed going to LSU, where his old high school coach Rob Steeples is now an assistant, and if that was the main reason it happened, I'm not sure what you are supposed to do to combat that, really. Gotta see if that is indeed the outcome. QB is the most important position on the field, though. Always. And Tigers lost a guy who started a bunch of games without a clear answer on who will be better there next season.
    True or False:

    The Cardinals are a left handed bat away from having one of (if not the) best lineups in the National League.
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