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.

    They can. Bryce Harper has been flirting with one of the foreign leagues via Instagram.
    I keep seeing Dick Monfort's name pop up with owners attending negotiations. How on Earth does anyone have confidence with him on either side of the fence.
    I have wondered the same thing. To his credit, he has not offered the players everything they wanted in addition to $50 million.
    I thought Jeff's Gordon's article last week about the potential spin of the SEC coaching carousel was a very good read. Not counting Georgia and Mizzou, all of the coaches listed from the SEC have had decent seasons and have in the past. I consider most if not all of them good coaches who this year have winning records and about .500 in conference. Yet all seem to be on the hot seat if they don't make the tournament this year. Once upon a time it was all about producing a winner year in and year out, but it looks like there's no room for error nowadays.
    The stakes have gotten high quickly in the SEC. Commissioner Greg Sankey deserves credit for ratcheting up the overall competitiveness of the league through forcing tougher scheduling to create better chances at NCAA Tournament participation. Teams started spending more money on bigger, more proven hires to go against Kentucky and Florida. Competition created more competition. Now there are some high-level coaches, some big contracts, some of the best athletes in the country, a high level of NCAA Tournament participation, and with all of that comes demands to meet those rising expectations. So, yeah, some good coaches are going to get fired. This conference went from a watered down one, to one that chews guys up, pretty fast.
    Ben: I'm a subscriber and am frustrated that I can never get stats on the Blues and Cardinals. I don't know who leads the Blues in points, penalties, assists or how many goals. I know this isn't your responsibility, but no one responds to my requests. Is there someone you can pass this request on to? I pay too much money per month to be uninformed. Thanks.
    The tab at the top of our Blues page includes links for the site for the latest standings.
    If you access that, you can find the league's official stats page from that site pretty easily.
    It's right there on the black bar of the site, and you can specify which team you're looking for.
    You could bookmark it so it's even easier.
    I'll let the sports editors know about your note, too.
    I realize that discussions cant be had with players, but I cant help but get caught up in the Freddie Freeman drama. Do you really think there is a legitimate chance that he signs anywhere other than the Braves?
    Braves fans saw those revenue numbers that just came out for their team.
    I'm not sure there could have been a better argument for the team to bring back the fan favorite.
    There's a chance, sure. The Braves didn't lock him up before the lockout. Still think a reunion is and should be in store, though.
    Hey Ben,
    As long as no games are cancelled, do you think the average fan will register this lockout at all? I'm the "baseball guy" of my friends group, and the biggest question I get is "what's going on?" There's no anger or anything, because until there's supposed to be a real game, and isn't, it seems like the average fan just sees this as the offseason. Thanks!
    That was Manfred's plan.
    He went with the "not every work stoppage is the same" playbook and hoped a messed-up spring training would fade from minds quickly as long as the regular season was not messed with.
    And if he pulls that off, it will not bite them much.
    The tune will change if/when the regular season gets messed with, and that's why we are witnessing a tide change in the owners' willingness to compromise now.
    I don’t have a question so much as I would like your comments on how I view the Cardinals. It has been stated many times that baseball is a business. I believe shortstop is a perfect example of the problem with the way the Cardinals are run now. There is a premium shortstop available, but the Cardinals won’t even look at him. From a business standpoint I understand why. He is going to cost $35 million a year, and how many more fans would he bring in? Nowhere near enough to cover that amount. The Cardinals have essentially maxed out their market In terms of attendance and tv viewing. Fans like myself want them to make the move though because it would give the Cardinals a legitimate shot in the post season. That brings up another problem though. Signing Correa wouldn’t guarantee anything. They could still loose, but I believe they are definitely going to loose without an addition like that. This isn’t 2010 when the Dodgers leave obvious problems in their bullpen because the team is going to make the playoffs without an addition. You aren’t going to face a gassed Kershaw in the 8th because the stud reliever they traded for is in the game. Look at how the playoffs have gone the last few years. I believe that leaves the fans and ownership at an impasse. There is no financial incentive for the team to make a, what I believe is necessary, move to really improve the club. Will we ever see current ownership move to a more aggressive approach?
  • I think you're talking about a couple of different things.
    The Cardinals' tendency to avoid marathon mega contracts for free agents has been around a long time, and there's a pretty long list of ones they have passed up on or finished in second place on that have proved that hesitancy right, the biggest and most painful, of course, being Albert Pujols. When a historically great player walks, and you wind up as a team feeling in the long run like you made the right call letting him, it hardens a viewpoint.
    That said I do think the Cardinals have in recent seasons gotten too comfortable baking in too much hope into its roster every season while being too slow to react and pivot when things don't work out. They either need to bulk up their preseason additions or make stronger, more aggressive in-season moves based on the ups and downs of the season in order to get back to going deep in the postseason, I think.
    Safe to say that free agent values are going to go sky high? Assuming the best bet for a key player was before the lockout?
    No different than usual. Some guys will get teams competing and get bigger money because of it. Others are going to take bargain details because there is not much time. Bargains will be had.
    A friend of mine made a comment about the Cardinals losing Arozarena to TB, and my point to him was if the Cardinals had played him more and he had started to play to his potential because of playing time O’Neil would not be on the Cardinals. O’Neil would not have gotten playing time to develope to the player he is today and they both would not be here because of playing time.It come down to who would you rather have Arozarena and Gonzales or O’Neil and Lebatore. Your thoughts.
    There are multiple outfield positions, though, and most outfielders can play different outfield positions. Arozarena can. Same for O'Neill. O'Neill wasn't the only Cardinals outfielder who played more than Arozarena in 2019. So did Harrison Bader, who struggled that season. So did Tommy Edman, just barely. The Cardinals underestimated Arozarena. They have admitted that. It's OK to just state it as fact. That can be true along with the Cardinals having high hopes for the players they prioritized above Arozarena. We'll know who got the best end of the deal, in the end, when we see what all of these guys become, and how they maintain.
    Brady Cook looked good in the bowl game, and Tyler Macon looked good as a prospect. I take the point that Drinkwitz saw enough of an edge in Bazelak to stick with him through injuries, but don't coaches in all sports tend to stick with fatigued or injured starters when less-proven but fresher players would perform better? There's a reason they do it, but perhaps that reason is fallacious.

    (And yes, I have my own cognitive biases as a fan. I thought the Rams were on the verge of a breakthrough every year from ˜2010-2015.)

    Have you heard (or witnessed) any solid intel on how Cook and Macon perform in practice? Just hoping to dig a bit into what we might expect from either.
    Based on how physically limited Bazelak was this past season, I figured Drinkwitz was factoring in his desire to keep Bazelak for a healthier 2022 season into his plans on continuing to play him week in and week out last season. That's why the Bazelak transfer was somewhat surprising -- until it became obvious when Cook started the bowl game. Those close to the program think Cook is ahead of Macon in the current competition, and that he would be the starter if there was a game to start tomorrow. That Drinkwitz brought a QB visitor to campus, Arizona State transfer Jayden Daniels, the same week spring camp started suggest to me he thinks he needs help at the position on top of incoming freshman Sam Horn.
    I sure love the Cardinals and enjoy a day at the ballpark. I grew up near St. Louis but have lived elsewhere the last 28 years--the most recent 6 in Connecticut. Going to games up here in Boston, NYC, and Philly are always fun--especially when the Cards are in town. But it's getting harder and harder to spend so much money going to watch the game when I see how much greed and/or entitlement exists among the players and owners. I suppose the best way to stay connected to the game I love is to support my local minor league teams. Even if they are the "Yard Goats" and the AA team of the Rockies....
    Great name, yard goats. The good news is that a new CBA will push this labor strife stuff to the background until the next go-round. That, we can all celebrate. Hope it happens. Hope it happens today.
  • ben fred will the owners get to a point where there will be no more longterm contracts for 8-10 yrs when a players is 30-32 at free agency but more like the mo offer to albert for 5 yrs with more money per
    Owners are willing to pay big money on short-term deals to older, elite players, like Max Scherzer.
    They are willing to pay big, long-term money to young, elite players because it usually gets them great players at a discount, for the trade of life-changing wealth guaranteed in a sport where injuries can change everything in a hurry.
    The days of paying non-elite, older players long-term deals worth massive money, within the context of baseball salaries I mean, are gone. Teams got wise to the analytics and the post-steroid-era aging curve before players did, and readjusted their aim. Players are now doing the same in how they try to get players paid, but they didn't move as fast as owners, and spent some wasted time trying to argue for teams to spend bad money before waking up and realizing their best answer was to get younger players paid sooner, which owners don't want to do but will begrudgingly have to agree with.
    Based on what I've been reading from DGoold, I feel like the players are getting pushed around again. I don't see the expansion of the playoffs to only 12 teams as a compromise. The playoffs shouldn't be expanded at all as every new playoff slot essentially drives down salaries. The owners haven't given an inch on arbitration timelines, and the pot of bonuses that the owners seem willing to commit to is a pittance. We all know that the days of paying top dollar to +30 age players is over unless you are among the absolute elite in the game. So, if the money doesn't start flowing into players at a younger age, the players will still be on the short end.

    I know the players have always rejected the idea of a salary cap, but I actual feel it would benefit them because it would force the owners to open up their books, and then the revenue sharing would raise the salary pool, not diminish it. And you could then set up a situation like the NBA where teams that have the rights to a player when he is in the first few years can offer said player more money they if he were to sign with another team. I know that's unrealistic, but I don't see any other way the players will ever be able to get a fair cut of the overall revenues that MLB has been bringing.
    Before you can go down the road of potential salary cap and revenue sharing, baseball would have to figure out how it defines its revenue. That's not an easy agreement for players and owners. Is the money generated by the entertainment districts around the ballpark included? What about MLB Advanced Media? The two sides would not be quick to agree on a percentage each side should get, but before that could even have a chance of happening they would have to agree on what fit under the umbrella of revenue. I don't see that going very well.
    What would it cost to acquire Josh Bell to be the Cardinals DH? He's a switch hitter, but his splits look like a lefty's (.270/.356/.483 vRHP .235/.328/.425 vLHP).
    Washington got him from the Pirates for a couple of pitching prospects. One is still in the low minors. One is Wil Crowe, who made 25 starts (116.2 innings) with a 5.48 ERA for the Pirates last season. Bell had a strong season for the Nationals after a bad 2020, but he's owed a projected $10 million in his final year of arbitration and he has one less year of control to offer a team, both things that would cut into a trade return. The Nationals might be best off keeping him. If not, mountains would not have to be moved to get him.
    It seems to me that every concession so far is by the owners to the players...what are the players giving up? I can understand why the "negotiation" is going so slowly when only one side is giving up anything from the last CBA. (I don't consider DH and expanded playoffs a give from the players, these are in the best interests of both sides). why are you unable or unwilling to see this objectively?
    I'm both willing and able to see it objectively, promise.
    I'm not convinced you are though based on that comment.
    Players backed off their biggest hopes for this round of bargaining last month, when they tabled hopes of getting players to free agency sooner and gave up the idea of adjusting the league's revenue sharing.
    If you are labeling things they have green-lighted as something other than a give in negotiating, I'm not sure what to say to change your mind.
    If they wanted the last CBA, they would have agreed to it all over again. They're trying to change it because the average player salary has decreased in past seasons while revenue has grown, so they're going to be arguing for things that are adjustments of the current setup.
    Basing your opinion on the old format is going to make you biased against the players, because the players would prefer to change it and the owners would prefer to keep it.
    I would favor giving Martin one more year for two reasons. One, six million is a lot of cash that could be used in other ways to improve the program. Two, people seem to have forgotten how down the program was when he took it over, and how quickly he returned it to credibility. Dumping him now seems disloyal and would send a bad message to whatever coach they would recruit to take his place. Give him one more chance, see what he does with it, then decide.
  • That's what I would do, too.
    But we are in the minority on this one.
    When the idea of daydreaming about how things could be better under a new coach -- whether that's realistic or not -- becomes more exciting than a team in year five of a coach's time at a school, the avalanche of change for the sake of change is hard to stop.
    And perhaps change is what is needed.
    But looking at some of the non-coaching reasons why things got to this point would be wise to do before someone else is hired. That's all. Nobody wants to hear that, but it's true.
  • Even if the Nationals wanted to trade Josh Bell, that would make no sense as opposed to simply signing Kyle Schwarber. That is, you know, if the FO was actually interested in putting the best team possible on the field.

    They are not.
  • Every question can't be about Kyle Schwarber! Just 99.9 percent.
    Hopping in late, what did I miss?
    It's the players' fault.
    Or the owners'.
    I forget.
    How involved do you think DeWitt is behind the scenes? I bet he is calling the shots for the owners, or, at least, has major influence. He is hosting the negotiations, isn’t he?
    He's one of baseball's most powerful owners and is a close ally of the commissioner's. He's been involved in the review of proposals among owners during this process, but not negotiating with the players himself. He's involved, and his voice carries.
    Let's talk baseball for a sec. I don't fully understand Carlson being the backup CFer. His few games in CF last year were terrible. Why is O'Neill not considered?
    I'll offer my usual reminder, which is that Carlson is just 23. Determining what he can and can't do based off the past season should take a backseat to figuring out what he can be in the future, which could perhaps in time be this team's starting center fielder. We'll see. He's got things to work on there, no doubt. He seemed smoother there in 2020 than 2021, but got a lot more experience last season. If the Cardinals thought O'Neill was a legitimate CF option we would probably have a better sense of it by now. He's played only 43 innings there, and none since 2019. Lars Nootbaar is going to need to prove himself there if he wants to be the fourth outfielder. He hasn't played there yet in the majors.
  • Is Joe Kelly just a bit to far out of the cards price range? It would be nice to see him in our uniform again.
    A potential JK reunion has been suggested as a possibility by many. I wouldn't rule it out just yet.
    Greetings again from SE Colorado. Full 🌞 and 65F at 1100. Recovered from last week cold, but not MLB cold shoulder. Yesterday I cancelled my MLB.TV. Listen, this is a massive move for me. I love baseball. I live and breath MLB. I have closet full of jersey and hats Advertising Cardinals and MLB. They will have to pay me now. I am officially on Fan Strike. Hike anyone?
    Speaking of hiking, how about the back-and-forth treks taking place at Roger Dean Stadium. A lot of fake hustle for guys who waited 40+ days to talk after the lockout. Kind of reminds me of how I handled projects in high school. Wait. wait,. wait. Panic!
    Bem, I have seen the Cards were linked to Colin Moran. The reasons were for both the short length and the per season cost. IF that is the lane that they go down, how is it better than just resigning Carpenter who could be had for the same type contract and might be better?
    That's not happening.
    Matt is hoping to bounce back and could get a shot with a team that likes his swing for its ballpark -- maybe the Reds of Cubs even -- but the Cardinals are ready to turn the Carpenter page.
    How are expanded playoffs in the best interest of the players?
    More guys get postseason shares with more postseason spots. Some players have postseason bonuses. Relatively small potatoes in terms of who benefits more financially from an expanded postseason, which is the league/owners because of the big TV revenue it brings in. That's the reason owner want to expand it. Many don't realize players are not paid for the postseason beyond postseason shares and whatever financial benefit for endorsements, etc. is created by playing in the postseason.
    Time to run, folks. Thanks for the discussion. Hope by the time we meet next week, there is a deal done and a full regular season saved. Cheers!
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