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.

    Will a 4 win season with only a conf win over Vandy, get Drink fired? I feel like perhaps we are headed there given our QB situation. I would hate to see HCED go mind your but particularly if LB bolts for Bama or LSU Drink would have little to show for his time here...
    If Drinkwitz is fired without cause, Mizzou would owe him 70 percent of what's left on his annual compensation in his contract. I think that would be something like $8 million, off the top of my head. I don't see that happening, but then again he is now working for an AD who did not hire him, and Desiree Reed-Francois already turned the page on the other revenue-producing coach she inherited. I'm not expecting Mizzou to be a world-beater this season. I think the following season, the fourth one, will be a much more telling one. Mizzou needs to stop running off coaches and start addressing the real reasons it's hard for these coaches to succeed.
    Why do I think many of the people complaining about Mo now were complaining last year because he would not trade Gorman and/or Yepez for a mediocre starter last year? For a few, everything wrong is Mo's fault and everything good has nothing to do with him. It's tiresome. As for Plummer, so what? He was behind many for the outfield. Now they give up on O'Neil, after 30 homers last year. And the Cards keep winning.
    Gorman and Liberatore were the players the front offices suggested were demanded in trades for starting pitching last season.
    We did not hear much about trade requests for Yepez.
    Your point is a valid one, though.
    The winning part is what can be debated. Winning seasons, yes. Winning when it matters most, not so much of it lately. 
    I know that the prevailing opinion is that Tommy Pham slapping Joc Pederson was a really poor decision, but I at least found it refreshing to see a ballplayer respond to some perceived disrespect without throwing (or having a teammate throw) a 95 mph projectile at a fellow player?
    I don't think any Reds pitcher was going to settle a fantasy football beef for Pham with a fastball.
    I do imagine there are some players across the league who enjoy betting on other sports and playing high-stakes fantasy sports with teammates who wish those two would not have opened up that story to the world, because now the league is going to have to at least pretend to care about it.
    It's pretty rare to see any sort of sports fight result in a real blow.
    Usually it's just pushing and shoving.
    Amen to Tom! It's so tiresome that Mo is the worst guy ever when he makes a move that doesn't work, but all of his success -- and he's had more than virtually any other team has had -- is completely ignored as an outlier and that he somehow succeeded despite his best efforts to fail.

    Can we criticize? Sure. But we should also acknowledge both the good and bad.

    (This is similar to the crowd that wants to discount the 17 game win streak last year but in the same breath won't discount the terrible June. Both are outliers. Discount one then you should discount both. Or, better yet, keep them both because all games count and both tell a story.)
    I don't think the 17-game winning streak should be ignored.
    I just try to keep it in the proper perspective.
    The 2021 Cardinals won 17 straight and still didn't win their division.
    They had a historic regular-season winning streak and the postseason lasted one game.
    The postseason is very random but recent history shows the Cardinals have been trending in the wrong direction once they get in.
    This season should be about fixing that. Not fixing it by derailing the future forever. That narrative is tired. The Cardinals can be more urgent than they have been, and still be competitive annually. That's where, I think, most fans are. They're not ripping Mo at every turn. They want to see their team operate with the same urgency after spring training that the team talks about annually during spring training. They are tired of listening to chase-a-championship chatter at spring, then feeling like they're guilty of expecting too much when they're disappointed by an early postseason ejection.
    My two cents.
    In response to Tom’s question about being glad the Cardinals held onto Gorman. Mozeliak puts himself in that box. They won’t spend up to their capabilities in the off season because they could make in season moves. In season moves require prospects. Is it really that complicated to understand? On a side not I hate this false narrative that the Cardinals could only trade their top prospects. Alec Burleson should have some real trade value now. Zach Thomason’s stock should be rising too. I understand why the Cardinals say that as an excuse for their inaction, but I don’t understand why so many people believe it.
    Correct. Trades get done for non-top prospects all the time.
    I'm not as worried about the QB situation for Mizzou as many are. I liked what I saw out of Brady Cook in the bowl game. I actually think he's a much better fit for what Drink wants to do than Bazelak was because of the mobility factor. I think a lot wondered why Drink kept going to an obviously compromised Bazelak if he had any faith in Cook, and I think it's more complicated than the logical conclusion that he had no faith in Cook. The bowl game showed me that the two had very different skillsets, which means different game plans and plays, and I think Drink weighed the potential struggle of trying to change gears in-season with only a few practices to prepare vs sticking with Bazelak. The bowl game gave him a lot more time to do this. I also think the search of a QB this off-season was as much about fearing going into the season with only two QBs, which means they'd be one injury from having no back up. I wonder how much of the struggle to sign a QB was about the guaranteed starts rather than "fit." If that's the case, then that would actually suggest that Drink likes his current QBs but doesn't want to get caught short.
    I hate to be this blunt, but Drinkwitz didn't chase (and not land) three transfer QBs who would have arrived as the starter because he was worried about his positional depth. He's worried about who starts at quarterback. Not wanting to change gears from Bazelak during last season didn't have anything to do with Drinkwitz trying to upgrade over his current options all offseason. Now, perhaps Cook (or Macon) can beat out the incoming Abraham and prove the head coach's concerns were not accurate, but let's be candid about what this competition is about. It's the returning QBs Drinkwitz tried to recruit over, the late addition who may or may not be better than those guys, and the incoming freshman -- if he shows up -- that the head coach thinks is the future. As much on the line this season as the QB spot is Drinkwitz proving to fans he can pick the right QB in a competition, and make sure the future of the most important position on the field is a lot more predictable moving forward.
    Ben - Where do you come down on the line of thinking to trade Barbashev now while his value is likely as high as it will ever be?
    It would make a lot of sense. I'm not convinced he's a 20-goal scorer for years to come. He has been pretty invisible in the most recent few playoffs. He's not a guy you have to get rid of, and his teammates like him, but he could be a good trade-high option as Armstrong looks to make some tweaks.
    Are we headed down an "irrational loyalty" path with this team and Nootbaar? The guy had one good month in August last year. Since the start of last September, he’s batted 65x, struck out 26x (40%), he has 2 extra base hits, and is batting .160. Great last name and he tore up winter ball and AAA pitching, but he is not a major league hitter.
    He's had 26 at-bats and got demoted once this season.
    Two outfielders (Tyler O'Neill and Dylan Carlson) are hurt and another (Corey Dickerson) is not doing anything good at the plate.
    If he can't take advantage of this window, he's probably going back to Memphis, or elsewhere. And it wouldn't be the worse thing in the world if he flashed and helped form a trade package for pitching. Similar to Lane Thomas last season.
    St. Louis is never getting an NBA team.

    N. E. V. E. R.

    You got that?!?
    They used to say the same thing about XFL . . . Kidding, but I do think the B-Hawks are coming back.
    Paul Dejong stat line in 62 PA's in Memphis. Roughly same AB's he had in StL this year.

    AVG OBP SLG OPS
    .177 .232 .274 .506

    Guessing Winter Warm Up will be cancelled again to keep from being asked about their eval process. Can someone legitimately ask on camera what key indicators they saw that there was something left. I'm really curious what exact analytics were used.
    Paul DeJong questions are not limited to Winter Warm-Up.
    That question has been asked and answered many times.
    They thought injuries and COVID had clouded his mind and limited his body, misrepresenting the hitter they think he can be.
    They love his defense and see it as a big part of a defense-first team.
    They believed the evolution of the lineup that led to him being in a less-pressurized spot would help.
    Didn't work.
    You not liking their answers is not the same as the question not being asked.
    And yes, part of the reasons they came up with those answers is because they like to be right about a player. They gave him the extension. They believed in him. They were invested -- and not exactly wanting, apparently, to go swimming in the big, deep and competitive pool for shortstop free agents instead.
    Hey Ben:

    The Blues gave fans a highly entertaining season regardless of the 2nd round exit to a better team.

    Seeing the improvement made by Robert Thomas should be a hint that Justin Kyrou can do the same. These players are still young men and their bodies are not fully mature, but once they do, IMO people will be talking about them in the same way they talk about MacKinnon and McDavid.

    Despite an uneven game 6, Colton Parayko is a shutdown defenseman the team needs to keep, while simultaneously adding another shutdown-type to the D. Hopefully this would complement the presence of Krug, Perunovich, and Faulk on the blue line. Maybe Mikkola is the answer as he simply needs more experience.

    Jordan Binnington is here to stay (at least for now) and probably matured and learned more from this season than any other. I predict he will return to form next season and prove 2019 was not a fluke.

    His backup - assuming Husso signs elsewhere - will be the goalie already in the system who proves he deserves the position. Lindgren is a fun story and might start next season as #2 , but I expect Hofer or Ellis to eventually be the backup, unless one is traded to improve other spots on the roster.

    I agree that the team should do its best to keep Perron. Though he can be inconsistent he has proven he is a big game player and those are hard to find.

    Trades are impossible to predict, but no one should be surprised if Doug Armstrong does something unexpected and makes a bold move that alters the chemistry and/or makeup of the team. His track record speaks for itself.

    I’m eager to hear your thoughts and greatly appreciate your chats and patience with us chatters!
    Matthew Tkachuk is a fun trade name to daydream about. The Flames probably want to keep him, but if they don't think they can long-term? It would be a massive splash. It would demand a trade package that included some pain. But it could be worth it, if there is a window.
    J A Happ just retired. Mo missed out on a dumpster dive.
    Ben, guess who wrote this... "Colton Parayko must have value to another team. He is regressing with this team. Nice guy and all, but his play lacks pride". It goes on but this is an exert from a piece you wrote in the PD 11/26/2018.

    Also, a follow up to my previous question about Ottawa. I've beat this drum on other chats about Nikita Zadarov. He's a UFA now from Calgary. He's big and physical, plus he makes half of what Parayko does. I believe he's a year or two younger as well. Parayko seems to make boneheaded plays at the most inopportune times. He's too careless with the puck. Why try to make these long stretch passes from behind your own net when you could just as easily skate it out?
    You got the wrong Ben, brother :)
    Andre Pallante was a starter in Springfield last year. Can the Cards build his innings up to be a starter?
    It's a fair question. The other day his 3.1 innings of work were more than the Cardinals' "starter" Packy Naughton provided. Per Baseball Reference, he has provided more Wins Above Replacement (1.1) than any other pitcher on the team. He's about to pass Jordan Hicks in innings on the season. I think, honestly, he's probably more valuable in this role. You can use him more often when he's not on the starter's schedule. But could he be an opener type, like Naughton was? I don't see why not.
    Randy Karraker had stated that the BattleHawks are back, and the announcement will be tomorrow. Will you be wearing your jersey tomorrow?

    KaKaw!
    Randy's been out in front on this one. I heard announcement coming soon and that team will play here in STL but will fly in and out from an out-of-state hub to keep costs down. Interesting setup. Will be interesting to see official news and reaction -- as this edition of the XFL is closely partnered with the NFL. I liked the idea of it more when it was kind of anti-NFL, to be honest.
    Ben: When the Cardinals signed Pujols, I figured this wouldn't turn out too badly if they used him they way he should be used at this stage--vs lefties. He showed he can still hit them. My worry was that they wouldn't have the discipline to stick to that script. I don't know what Marmol doesn't understand about .122 vs righties, but his reasoning vs Martinez that even though AP was 1-16 coming into the game against that pitcher, he's not the same pitcher that he was. You really have to want it to buy that nonsense. I get that sometimes AP needs an at bat against anyone just to keep sharp, and the manager will need to figure out those moments, but at this point, Pujols is helpless against righties, even if he has a good history against them. Will Marmol learn this lesson?
    If Pujols is batting against a right-handed pitcher, and Juan Yepez, Brendan Donovan and Nolan Gorman are sitting because of it, raise hell.
    But the game you're mentioning, they were all in there.
    Gorman at second. Yepez in left field. Donovan in right. (O'Neill and Carlson are hurt.)
    I don't have a problem with Pujols hitting over Lars Nootbaar or Corey Dickerson.
    Hello, Mr. Frederickson. Thanks for the chat. I have a couple questions, please.
    1.) I would hate to see Ville Husso leave. I think, overall, he did a very good job, although those goals in the third period in Game 6 were brutal. It mirrored his history of playing steady, but letting in soft goals too often. Do you think he moves on?
    2.) I don't watch the MLB Network often because I think it is a p.r. arm that favors big-market teams like the Dodgers, Yankees, Mets, Cubs, and Red Sox. But, this morning analyst and former Cardinal Mark DeRosa called the Marcell Ozuna-Sandy Alcantara trade "disastrous" for the Cardinals. Seems the Cardinals traded a future ace (Alcantara) and a No. 2 starter (Zac Gallen) for an outfielder (Ozuna) with a bum shoulder.(How could the Cardinals not know Ozuna's shoulder was that bad/) I agree with DeRosa; do you? Alcantara sure would look good in the rotation instead of Hicks or Naughton.
    Thanks for your time.
    It's been mentioned often here in The Chat that Sandy Alcantara is the real one that got away. Yes, the Marcell Ozuna deal was largely praised in the moment. I thought it was what the Cardinals needed. I'll own that. And he played pretty much every game and was one of the Cardinals more reliable hitters during his time with the team. But the shoulder issue was sketchy -- I did not know that of course -- and the defense was bad, and more importantly the Cardinals didn't get but a couple of seasons out of him before he headed out to free agency. Meanwhile Alcantara has become one of the most dominant young pitchers in the game, and Gallen is coming on strong. Hindsight is 20/20, and I'm sure DeRosa didn't know who Alcantara and Gallen were when that deal went down. But the Cardinals are supposed to know, better than anyone. When they have suggested recently -- usually during times of being resistant to trades -- that they need to be sure about what they have before they let it go, this is one of the trades that that sentiment is about. Alcantara is one of the first to point out, though, that trading him might have helped him. Challenged him. Created opportunity for him. Sometimes we all fall guilty to the idea that a player turned out elsewhere exactly like he would have here.
    What do you think of Illinois basketball this upcoming season with all of the new players on the roster?
    I like the Mayer pick-up. He brings some grit and experience that should help Underwood's team. It's going to be a different-looking team without Kofi but should be highly competitive once again.
    I’m in favor of a straightforward, open manager during discussions with the media. That said, I think it can be taken too far, which, in my opinion, Oli did when discussing Woodford’s slider. What did you think of his comments?
    I'm not goin to criticize a guy for being candid. It's appreciated in this profession. My experience with Oli is that he's not going to say something to us in that setting that he has not already told the player.
    In the same way that MLB teams have gone to shared catching duties, many NHL teams have gone to a 1 and 1a goalie situation. 82 games is a grind and staying focused in net for that entire span is incredibly difficult. Most teams are at a roughly 50-30 split on games. Is Lindgren up to the challenge? He's played less than 30 games in his 5 year career. If there is a way to keep both Husso and Binnington, I'd be all for it.
    If Husso will take a deal the Blues are willing to offer him, that would be great news for the Blues. I just think another team is going to be likely to pay him more to compete for their top job. We'll see. I do think Lindgren deserves a shot.
    Will Armstrong hand out extensions and back slaps for making the second round or is that just a Cardinals thing?
    I talked to Army the week after the Stanley Cup win.
    Asked him how it's going.
    Said he was one more day closer to getting fired.
    There's a bit of a difference, as you can tell. 
    Hi Ben - Thanks for your time and insight! I'd like to nominate the nickname 'The Terminator' to Tommy edman. Last year he terminated Kolten Wong as our second baseman, and it looks like this year he's going to terminate Paul DeJong as our shortstop.
    Who will he take out next? Tune into Season 3 of Tommy Terminator. 
    Can I take just a little bit of credit for telling you all the "concerns" about Edman playing shortstop were a bit overblown? 
    Great chat today, friends. I couldn't get to them all but have to head down to the park. Same time and place next week. Cheers.
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