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.

    Far too early to judge that, sorry. Too many players left unsigned at this time.
    On the topic of the Cardinals' infield: I get the case for an upgrade at shortstop, but hear me out. There were stretches--brief stretches, but extant ones--last season when Edmundo Sosa was, debatably, the best player on the team. Since the days of Ozzie, rarely has a Cardinal SS manned the position with such consistently slick defense. His bat isn't bad, either. Bader's glove plays in CF; Sosa's should at SS.

    I should add: I'm a DeJong fan. Upgrading with a big signing would probably mean cutting bait on him.

    Players like Sosa seem to get dogged by the smallness of their sample sizes ... which in turn limits their playing time and perpetuates the issue. Sometimes you have to just find out; with. DeJong and Sosa both on the roster, the Cards seem well positioned to do that this year.
    I agree with you that Sosa played like a locked-in starter at times last season.
    That's one of the reasons it's seemed a little off to hear the Cardinals -- before they shuttered for the lockout --  insist that Paul DeJong, first and foremost, is the answer there.
    Maybe that's contract politics defining the offseason slant, or trade spin, but I think the Cardinals, if they are not interested in adding a clear starter at shortstop, would be better off  going with something like a 5-for-2 approach to the middle infield this season.
    DeJong. Sosa. Edman. Gorman. Donovan.
    Shortstop and Second base.
    May the best performers earn more opportunities.
    The benefit of the outfield experiment last season was that we saw some guys get chances and lose them, and then the answer -- O'Neill/Bader/Carlson -- emerged, locked in and performed, with Noot pushing them all from the fourth spot.
    A similar approach to middle infield could work now that every other spot is more or less set.
    That's not what the Cardinals were suggesting as much as pointing to their belief that DeJong will bounce back.
  • Off the wall question but an honest one. Teams and players have always looked for a competitive advantage over their fellow teams/players. IE shifts, analytics, and "steroids." Can you honestly say that the use of steroids in the past affected the quality of the game in a more negative way than the current version of baseball being played with excessive shifts and analytics and the 3 true outcomes? At least that era of baseball was interesting to fans.
    I'm not following the dot-connecting, for a few reasons. You're comparing mining data and putting it into use with something that is damaging for your health and, in many cases, illegal. At best, it's against the rules baseball adopted and players agree to play by. I've got a hard time comparing those things. The whole point of competition should be doing the best you can with your God-given ability and hard work on an even playing field. PED use changes that. And no, I'm not silly enough to think there are not guys still using. Of course there are. More than get caught. But the rules are stiff and clear, which is better than it used to be. I don't think guys who choose to not use still feel like they are behind because so many others are, which is good. It's not just about the enjoyment of the game. It's about players' health, and the message the game sends. The side effects of PED use are not good, and they are not short-term effects, either. Baseball has problems. No debate there. But I'm not seeing how they are problems a return of full-blown steroid use could solve?
    Last year, the post dispatch was telling anyone that would listen about an innings shortage for 2021.

    This year, I don’t see that being covered nearly as much, but in my eyes, it could be just as bad: Flaherty, Hudson, and Mikolas have yet to prove they can stay healthy and the options that the team has behind them might be worse than last year in terms of players that have actually started before.

    What am I missing?
    I won't be a phony. I thought the Cardinals looked OK in terms of arms entering spring training. I started hollering Mikolas went down at spring training. Then Kim's back tightened up and I started hollering more. Then Flaherty got hurt, and so on. So, I wasn't hollering last January. Full disclosure. There also wasn't a work stoppage. We were getting ready for Winter Warm-Up at this time last year. It's canceled this year. The lockout shuttered free agency and stopped trades so the snapshot of where teams and leagues stand now is not complete. We just know the Cardinals entered the lockout being OK with where they stood. Let's see how/if that changes. Or how things change around them.
    What is your best guess as for the timeline for OU and TX to join the SEC as full members (i.e. football scheduling)?
    Unless something happens to alter the current timeline, both schools would play as many as three more seasons in the Big 12. That's hard to believe, right? When you get divorced, you tend to move out sooner rather than later. Maybe one more season before an early split is arranged?
    Greetings from Hawaii
    Mo hasn’t got us close to the World Series for half a decade why do we think
    This is the year ? He’s not the guy!
    Dang, I just wore my Road to Hana shirt yesterday. I'm jealous. I'm seeing a lot about the narrative that this is the year the Cardinals are expected to win big, but I'll wait and see signs from the front office that suggest that is the case. No offense to Matz, he's a fine pickup, but that alone doesn't scream it. I can buy the idea of the Cardinals front office being more aggressive and assertive this season because the pressure is on after the managerial change, and have predicted as much, but again let's see it before we start planning the parade route.
    The reason I don't want the Cardinals to go after Trevor Story, even on a short-term deal, is that I'd rather see the resources allocated to a high OBP top of the order bat. The lineup doesn't need another high-strikeout, low-OBP guy with power, especially for a park that stifles power. But a .350+ OBP guy to lead off with Goldy, Arenado, and O'Neill behind him--that guy could score 130+runs.
  • Story's on-base percentage over the last three seasons is .348, for what it's worth.
    I think the Cardinals need more out of their leadoff spot, too, but I do think they have a decent chance of finding the right mix for it internally.
    Edman offers a lot: speed, switch-hitter, doubles power.
    Bader can contribute there if he's hitting well.
    Sosa perhaps too if he's playing regularly.
    Carlson could be a fit.
    It sounds like Marmol is going to be less interested in a static lineup, and I think that while it's a challenge, it could work for leadoff especially.
  • Congratulations on already getting the "Mizzou should go back to the Big 12" comments...I went to MU in the 80's - remind me, again, exactly when were the "good old days"? If you look at the win/loss over the last ten years, Mizzou is actually higher on the totem pole than fans want to give credit for. Mizzou is one of only three to have won the east. The teams are fine; we just need better fans.
    The top of the Gary Pinkel era would be the good old days, at least in the modern sense. I think a lot of people thought it was going to be easy to set up shop there. Nope. Dave Matter had a great reference on this at a recent Sports on Tap. He compared it to that scene in the office when Andy Bernard says, "I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've left them." When Pinkel retired there was a lot of talk about the Tigers building on that success. First they have to get back to it. Also: Congrats to GP on making the College Football Hall of Fame. Well deserved. People will clamor for a statue, so let's just get this settled now. Nothing against Pinkel, but I won't be advocating for any statues built of living people. We should all adopt this rule.
    Re: Bazelak, how much of an a factor do you think his lack of mobility (when healthy) played into HCED basically showing him the door? In other words, Cook's mobility was striking and clearly gave the offense some new options (that option play in the bowl game is case in point). Even when healthy, Bazelak didn't have that. I have to think that was a huge factor because I don't see another logical reason for pushing him out the door (and the decision to start Cook clearly did that) given the inexperience behind him moving forward.
    Coaching staffs familiar with playing against Bazelak could tell he was not physically right this season.
    It's hard for me to believe Drinkwitz started Cook without knowing Bazelak was transferring.
    That's not a knock on Cook. His play in the bowl game suggested he should have gotten some more chances earlier in the season. And he seems to be first in line for reps entering next year, and perhaps he would have been if Drinkwitz opened things up this offseason.  But Bazelak said when he announced his plan to transfer that he had been thinking about it for "several weeks" and the news included a Mizzou-produced graphic that likely was not cooked up in the hours between the end of the bowl game and the announcement.
    I think the decision came before and influenced Drinkwitz's decision to start Cook.
    Billikens vs Flyers tonight. Billikens somehow picked up the win at home vs Iona with 1/3 of their points from FT (far cry from the French days!). Normally I would think STL doesn't have a chance at UD arena but flyers have been beyond average at home this season (and I'm a Dayton fan). Who you got?
    At some point SLU has to win a game at Dayton Arena. Billikens have lost eight straight there. Vegas predicts a close game. Dayton favored by 3. I think SLU can get a big road win if Jimerson continues to play like he has flashed recently.
    Do you think DeWitt (and thus Mo) will play a role behind the scenes in the CBA negotiations? Would they try to influence the arbitration/free agency question in order to keep players like Flaherty longer? They are not a team built on big contract free agent team. It is not in their interest for young talented players to reach free agency earlier.
  • I don't think that's an angle that needs advocacy for owners. It's not in any team's interest to have young, talented players reach free agency earlier. The owners are pretty unified on that front. They like to keep their talent, preferably for as long as possible and for the lowest amount of money possible. Wouldn't you if you were an owner? What I hope chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. will advocate for, if given a chance, is the need to prioritize compromise in time for a full regular season. I think he understands and appreciates how bad things would be if that does not happen. And I do think he cares about baseball's image.
  • Do you ever feel like the Cardinals ownership and POBO want to win the trophy for most wins per dollar spent instead of commissioner's trophies?
    That's not a Cardinals trend, it's a baseball trend.
    The obsession with "value" is real.
    You mentioned this in reference to Matz. i think he makes the cards better in the regular season (although i still don't think we should have committed 4 yrs to him). That being said I don't think our current rotation can stack up in the postseason to any of the other NL big hitters (I don't even think Matz would make the cut). To me the trade deadline is the cardinals big chance to prove they really want to contend. Lok no further than the Braves who remade their OF and won a title by being active. Card did too little too late last season and cost them the division.
    The Cardinals' trade-deadline moves -- or lack thereof -- have not stacked up in recent seasons when compared to teams that win championships. That's very clear. Not every team that pushes it at the deadline wins a World Series, but there's a pretty clear track record of recent World Series winners pushing it at the deadline.
    STL FC - how does expansion work in MLS? How do you get players, where do you draft in the first season and what is the timeline for these things to occur during? And is it close to hockey where you can come out of an expansion draft and have a pretty solid team with marketable and exciting players? Not a huge MLS fan but would like to get more into it.
    All great questions that I imagine many share. I'm going to point you toward a really helpful article from P-D colleague Tom T that he wrote specifically to answer questions like this. It's a lot more information than I can cram in a chat answer. And good timing, too, because the Billikens are projected to rock the MLS Super Draft today. Here's Tom's in-depth explainer that holds up from last April.

    MLS begins its 26th season: Get to know the league St. Louis City SC will join

    STLtoday.comJust over 25 years ago, on April 6, 1996, Major League Soccer played its first game on a narrow college football field in San Jose, Calif. Eric Wynalda of what
    With John Klingberg's time as a Star seemingly coming to an end, does making a move for the Dallas defenseman peak your interest? The Stars are an aging team looking to make the postseason and are in desperate need of more scoring. Blues just happen to have a point-per-game forward with all his bags still packed. Take that, throw it into a pot, add a potato, and baby you got a stew going.
    Perhaps. One to add to the watch list, right? Dallas has not yet decided to be sellers, and there is still some chance -- thinning perhaps -- that an extension could be worked out there, and that Klinberg's frustration voiced moves things in that direction instead. But he could wind up a rental, and while the long-term deal he wanted from Dallas would probably not be wise for the Blues, he could offer in the short-term a lot of playoff experience, good size and a heavy workload for a defense that probably needs to be upgraded for a playoff push. Do you have any reservations about trading Tarasenko for a rental and within the division after how well he has played this season? I might.
    Is it fair to say that Shildt said something in the organizational meetings that led to his dismissal? Did he overplay his hand? totally his temper? were there underlying rift between Shildt and some coaches? Mo seems pretty pragmatic, evidently the Shildt personality conflict ran deep, cause 18 year career went poof!
  • We've covered the ground countless times. Traced the stress points. Pointed toward the stage that was set when something triggered the outcome. Unless or until someone decides to share the exact specifics on the moment that pushed things past the line, we are just rehashing. The team left Los Angeles not expecting to make a change. Something changed.
    BenFred, could you explain Manfred’s policy toward Atlanta? He moves the ASG from there because of a racial issue but gives his blessing to the tomahawk chop. He obviously is not listening to a brave player: Ryan Helsley.
    Nope, because he can't. At least not very well. When you make decisions based off what you think people want you to do versus what you think is right, you tend to get stranded in that bad place where you can't explain your thoughts or actions. That's where Manfred got himself with the All-Star game. He didn't seem to have real conviction in the decision to move the All-Star game, so he was flailing when he had to revisit the decision when the World Series went to Atlanta. His mixed messages on the chop topic have made it clear where he stands on that one: wherever he thinks he will get the least amount of shrapnel on that day.
    Looking at the numbers, Husso's goals against and save percentage are better than Binnington's. Admittedly, Husso has only played 8 games, so we are talking about a small sample size. Nonetheless, I think it would be a good idea to have the two of them split the next 10 starts or so, have a little competition, and let the best goalie win. What do you think?
    Binner looked pretty good against Dallas, no? I'd prioritize getting the guy with the ring in a good place as he continues to work his way back from his time in COVID protocols over anything else. Husso doesn't need to rust, but I'm not pro goalie controversy, at least not yet.
    I understand and agree that Colin Moran is a good fit for the Cardinals. He bats left handed, has power, plays 3rd, 1st and DH. He would be a starter on a lot of other teams.
    Here is what I do not understand.
    Fans, bloggers, Journalist, writes and other people are using his hitting stats when he plays at Bush to make the argument Mo needs to sign Moran.. Do they not realize that those stats are against Cardinal pitching? It is not because of the stadium. If the Cardinals sign him he will not be batting against the pitchers he hits great against at Bush. Am I wrong?
    I'm not leading the Moran bandwagon.
    I guess he's been a popular topic lately based on all of the questions/comments about him today.
    Certain guys do hit better in certain places. It's not just who is pitching. All stadiums are not the same. It's one of the things that makes baseball cool, and one of the things modern analytics work to iron out when comparing/contrasting players. A home-run total in a small park is not the same as a big one, for the most basic example.
    When the Yankees traded for Luke Voit, they believed their stadium was a good fit with his swing. And it was. The Cardinals talked publicly about shifting their stadium dimensions around because some of their hitters might benefit from it. (If that adjustment was happening in 2022, I think we would have heard about it by now.) Completely dismissing those splits is something I would not do. Same thing for building an entire argument off them. 
    Should the Blues be concerned that their best hockey so far has come when quite a few guys were not on the and we used call-ups. When/if we get back towards a healthier team, could we regress back towards a .500team. The struggles with health and the call-ups performing so well have really become a rallying cry or an identity almost for the season. Will the adversity make them stronger or better?
    That's the million-dollar question, and I thought we were going to get a chance to figure it out, and then more guys hit the COVID list. How do you play hungry as heck when you are finally fully healthy? It's a good problem to have. The way this season is going for the NHL and specifically the Blues, maybe it's a question that never gets answered. Should we expect that things are going to change with teams missing players night in and night out once the playoffs roll around? That's probably shortsighted thinking, isn't it? The secret to this season could be depth, and the Blues have a lot of it, so that's good. When -- if -- the Blues get to full strength they will have to bottle up that spirit they had when they were testing the bottom of their depth, and guys who had bigger roles during the thin times are going to have to accept and thrive in smaller role or call-up chances. That was the strength of the Blues -- the depth and the teamwork -- when they made their Cup run. So, the model is there. With guys who saw  how it can work still around and in prominent roles.
    Odds these idiots actually shorten the season?
    That would mean less money. Both sides like money. If postseason gets expanded, the regular season could be shortened a bit. That should not be a surprise. But shortening it as a result of not being able to get a deal worked out in time, I'm still hoping that can be avoided.
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