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.

    Hey gang, hope everyone is staying safe and dry with all of this crazy rain. Some of the pictures are pretty gnarly. I'm here for the next few hours. Lots to discuss I imagine. As always, we will go where you all steer us. Fire away.
    Good morning, Mr. Frederickson. Thank you for your time and the chat. I have three questions, please.
    1.) Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic reported that the rumored deal that the Blues offered for Matthew Tkachuk was Tarasenko, Scandella, and a high draft pick. If that's true, it seems like a half-hearted attempt by Armstrong to get Tkachuk. I can see why that deal was turned down. Do you agree?
    2.) Bill DeWitt has been quoted as saying he regrets the Cardinals not signing Scherzer because Scherzer outplayed his contract. Do you think the Cardinals' regret about not signing.a generational pitcher like Scherzer will make them more determined to land a generational hitter like Soto? Frankly, as much as I'd like to see Soto in a Cardinal uniform, I think the team's more urgent need is pitching. I'd disappointed in any deal that costs the Cardinals Walker or Wynn.
    3.) The post-Yadi Molina future is looking pretty bleak now with Knizner and Herrera. Do the Cardinals acquire catcher Sean Murphy from Oakland, and say "You back up Yadi this season, and then take over in 2023"?
    Thank you.
    Hey Dennis, here goes . . . 
    1) I don't know what the Blues offered, but there have been conflicting reports about what was and was not, and if the offer was officially offered, or not. It's spilled milk now. He's not coming, and he's extended with Florida for eight seasons. What is always unknown entering a trade is what the team trading away the asset wants in return. Does it want to get better for the here and now? Does it want to lean into a rebuild for the future? Does it want to shed salary? Some combination of all of the above? Clearly. Calgary wanted to continue to be good. It netted a 100-plus point forward and a top-four defenseman. Plus a prospect and a first-round draft pick. The Blues could not have matched that offer because they a) don't have at 100-point forward and b) their best defensemen have no-trade clauses. Also don't overlook that Tkachuk was pretty fired up about going to Florida. He could have given Calgary a one-team list. He didn't. To answer your question as direct as possible, I can see why any deal other than Florida's was not interesting to Calgary once Florida made its offer.
    2) That was team president Bill DeWitt III not chairman Bill Dewitt Jr., just to be clear and make sure we are all on the same page. And the Cardinals should be disappointed all over again that they didn't sign him this time around, too. Max Scherzer would have loved to pitch in St. Louis. He was told he was out of the Cardinals' budget before he signed a big but short contract with the Mets. I don't think Scherzer affects Soto discussion. If it does, the Pujols discussion does as well. Cardinals let Albert walk and wound up being glad they didn't have to pay him big money for his down seasons. I think that has really shaped some of the organizational thinking on mega deals. Of course, trading for Soto now means you could get three postseason cracks with him on his current deal. That's why he's extra intriguing, and why the Nationals appear to be asking for the moon.
    3) I don't think the Cardinals will add a meaningful catcher this season. It's going to be Molina's shot at one last stand, and the current guys. Maybe some tweaking to the backup crowd, but I would not expect much. Now, after this season, all bets are off. Willson Contreras, likely to be traded at the deadline, could be a free agent if he doesn't sign an extension. The Cardinals could really use him.
    If the League doesn't name the St. Louis Team the BattleHawks, then they are marketing invalids....Ka-Kaw!!
    by Get your Ka-Kaws's not Ca-Caws!! 7/26/2022 4:16:04 PM
    Agreed. My hope is they are just delaying to build suspense? I like what Randi Naughton suggested. Even if they are named something else, we can still call them the BattleHawks. It wouldn't be the first or last time STL stuck with its preferred name for something over the "real" one. But I'm hopeful BattleHawks will be the name. Would be pretty dumb to go a different direction from something that worked.
    So on the next week, we will know what the Cardinals real goal is. Marmot says it is to win the World Series - extremely unlikely without major improvements. Mo and DeWitt say it is to “contend”, or perhaps to sneak into the last wild card spot. All that would require is some minor tinkering around the edges. Actions speak louder than words. Any action will need to take place on the next week. We shall see.
    The season of the front office is about to step into the trade-deadline spotlight, or shrink from it once more. No other way to view it, really.
    Hi Ben. I remember when sports were truly for entertainment and folks tuned in for enjoyment and to get away from the serious things in life. Recent STLtoday stories on Goldie and Arenado were obviously done to elicit discussion AND to stake out the writer's position as the "high ground."
    So, serious question, and with respect, because I think you are an excellent writer: When did you recognize that sports writers, and sports figures, started to be so political and so willing to dive in to polarizing topics? Do you think that is a good thing, or do you wish it were more neutral as it seems to have been in the past?
    With respect, I think you have it twisted in this example.
    No one was sitting around hoping there would be stories and columns about players and their COVID-19 vaccination status.
    I don't recall any P-D articles quizzing guys on their vax status before it became news, which it did when those choices caused two star players to miss a game.
    That's news. Significant news. Has to be covered. Should be covered. Whether people want to read it or not. Significant news, whether it's a big trade a big injury or a story like this, required analysis and commentary. As a columnist, you don't avoid a topic just because it's polarizing.
    I can understand folks saying they don't like non-sports topics colliding with their sports, but sometimes collisions happen. Ignoring it isn't an option.
    As for how things have changed media-wise, I would say there used to be more of a clear line between news and commentary in all media, and that has changed a lot. Political commentary is often found on TV being offered from behind a news anchor desk, the kind that used to be reserved for straight-news anchors.
    Personally, I have kind of decided to keep my focus on sports -- but I'm not going to bury my head in the sand when things cross lanes. And things have crossed lanes in sports since sports exited. As long as real live humans play sports, "sticking" to sports is impossible. Always has been.
    I don't pretend to have any high ground when writing about this stuff. As I wrote in my column, I have people in my life who I care about who made different decisions than me when it comes to COVID-19 vaccination. We can disagree without belittling one another. I disagree with the decisions Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado made. I still respect them. 
    Where was the 'love' for this past weekends HOF induction? Could not find anything on it online in STLToday. The so called. self loving, Best fans in baseball deserve better
    I'm pumped for Buck O'Neil and all of the folks who worked long and hard to make his induction possible. Just wish he could have been there for it. We usually send a writers or writer when there is a clear STL tie. Like, Scott Rolen when he goes in next year, I imagine. Cardinals crushers, like David Ortiz, get the Associated Press treatment I suppose :)
    Here we are at what’s become an annual rite: the Cardinals chasing patches to fix a stumbling roster in a limited market with high prices at the trade deadline. Maybe Mo and his guys will find magic, but this again seems to be the product of best-case scenario roster construction over the winter premised on injured players returning to robust health, players performing up to or exceeding career standards, “value” finds producing at high levels, prospects maturing, quantity (depth) being better than quality, injuries being manageable, and all of it coming together simultaneously. Why does the Cardinal “sustained success model” keep operating this way? One might think seasoned baseball people would see their expectations are unrealistic and change their approach. Has that lesson been learned? Thanks for your thoughts.
    The Cardinals once again are dealing with a team that was put together with the idea of "if everything goes right" only to be reminded that things rarely if ever go right. Difference is, they're not sagging in the division race. They're two games back. They're not that far off from being pretty good -- though they are pushed back more by Steven Matz, who had a chance to perhaps offer some reliability to the rotation, getting hurt again. There's not much point in pontificating about what we will or won't see at the deadline. We will either see action that backs up all that talk about this season being more than a feel-good nostalgia tour, or we will see more of what we have watched at recent deadlines: "Trades are hard. Did the best we could. Etc."
    Hi, Ben. Which players would you consider untouchable in a trade package for Soto? I'd list Walker, Hence, Gorman, Edman, Carlson, Helsley, and possibly Wynn. With that list, would I be guilty of being overprotective of the prospects, like the Cardinals' front office? Thank you.
    Yes. Walker would be the only one to consider as potentially off limits. But there's no guarantee he's ever as good as Soto. Teams that have traded for elite MVP like players in their prime (that part is important) rarely regret it -- especially if they can keep them. That's not suggesting the Cardinals will do it. Nationals per reports are asking for a handful of top prospects and/or very young and cost-controlled major leaguers with high ceilings. That's steep. And if the ask doesn't drop, there's a chance Soto doesn't get moved at all this trade deadline. Some don't think he will be.
    Thoughts on MLS' deal with Apple TV starting next year? Seems like terrible timing for City to work on building its brand. The hardcore soccer fans will pay for this service, but regular sports fans and casual/social fans will be shut out of watching the games.
    I think it shows what target market MLS is really prioritizing. They want everybody, sure, but they're really focused on the younger crowd that is more familiar with streaming services as an every-day part of their viewing. That group also is less likely to want a traditional cable package. This partnership gives people who pay for the service all of the MLS games without local blackout restrictions, dodging off the bat one of the big complaints about baseball's MLBTV. I haven't heard a price yet, but it sounds like regular Apple TV subscribers will be able to get some (not all) of the games, with people who grab the package being able to access all. Do I love it? Nope. But I'm a realist. Live sports is one of the few things people are paying for and advertisers love it because no one watches later and skips commercials. There's money to be made and leagues are going to make it.

    I disagree (and that's ok) with your premise that the XFL will be harder to capture fans in STL for the 3.0 version. Season ticket deposits are already strong, and fans saw how fun it can be to cheer for a team that's ours. There are a lot of fans leftover from the last version that are ready to jump on board with the new version. The affiliation with the NFL is a necessary evil that can help the league survive. Would you rather have the old XFL back, knowing it would only last 2 more seasons or the current version that can build a league that actually goes the distance?
    All good. I have zero doubts some are fired up. And I'll never bet against a sports team of any kind that shows it cares about STL succeeding in terms of support. I just think some of the folks who were pulled in last time will be harder to reach this time around. We'll see. I'll also press pause on assuming this one goes the distance. Let's see if it lasts 3 seasons first.
    Holes that need to be filled. Starting pitching for a long time (before the season)! Question if we have Arenado which is the premiere 3b in baseball for years - why wouldn't we trade Jordan Walker for a big prize? If we are going with Edman at SS (which I prefer him at 2b) and keep Gorman at 2b - why don't we trade Masyn Winn for a lot? I simply don't understand holding a potential star (that we have someone excellent in their position) for getting one now? We need Starting pitching! A catcher who can hit and field! And yes a Soto type outfielder (left hander with power) will raise the entire lineup! Wish we could have a steady leadoff person as well.
    No one I've talked to expects Nolan Arenado to opt out after this season, and I don't think he will, but until that window closes, you can't count eggs before they hatch.
    More importantly, Jordan Walker doesn't have to be a third baseman. He could be a corner outfielder. He could be a designated hitter now that the assignment exists. He could play at multiple spots when he arrives,  just as Albert Pujols did because his bat was ready, or just as we are seeing the Cardinals use the DH to work in guys like Nolan Gorman, Brendan Donovan and Juan Yepez this season.
    Your theory makes sense and some teams do operate this way. The Padres love trading their prospects. The Cardinals are more of the prospect-clutching variety. That's a part of it too. 

    Derrick had an answer in his chat yesterday that was based on a conversation he had with a Cardinals official in spring. The official bemoaned the possible situation of adding another starter during spring and not having a spot for them if all 5 of their current starters were healthy and performing. Have they not learned anything about pitching from last season? That is extremely disappointing to read. There is a reason for the adage that you can never have enough pitching. Does the FO need a new voice (I am not advocating for anyone to get fired) to break up the status quo? The definition of insanity...
    That's one popular spring-training talking point.
    Another is that free-agent starters don't like to join teams with crowded rotations, therefore making it harder to sign them.
    Regardless, the trend is pretty clear.
    The Cardinals lately have stopped short on adding rotation talent during spring because they feel good about everything going right with that they have, and they stop short on adding rotation talent during the season because the asking price is "too high" outside of marginal upgrades like last season's, with LeBlanc and Happ and Lester.
    Don't get me wrong. Those guys helped a lot because the rotation was in such bad shape. But it should not have reached that point lasts season or this one.
    If you want the front office to have a new voice, someone is likely getting fired -- or changing roles, or stepping down, or some other version of a change, perhaps softened in the wording. There has been open wondering about what happens when the current front office contracts start counting down. John Mozeliak's runs through 2023. Michael Girsch's is up after this season if he's not extended.
    Hello Ben, greetings from SE Colorado. Been a Cardinal fans since 1967 when I went with family to first game. Question, I see need for number one and number two starting pitching. Plus 2-3 pitchers in pen. Cards must upgrade pitching. They always say wait till summer dead line, then off season, then spring training. Yes, they made moves for Arenado and Goldschmidt, but its time for a big starting pitching move. Will they make the moves needed?
    We will know a week from today by 5 p.m., if not before.
    Morning Ben, How can the cardinals justify not going out and getting Juan Soto and then at the end of the season let Nolan Arenado opt out and walk away because you didn’t get him. Then next year you don’t have Yadi, Pujols,Waino, and still going say this is a playoff team that has no face of the franchise?
    I don't think Arenado is going anywhere, but sure, until he says that himself then people will wonder and I get that.
    Ben, safe to say the P-D Editorial Board not big fans of the two Cards superstars. The story doesn’t seem to have gained much national interest. Would it even be a story locally if it encompassed lesser players?
    Depends on how you define national interest I guess. National outlets ran the news Sure, bigger star players means bigger news. That's how this stuff works. Can't speak for the P-D editorial. Had nothing to do with it.

    There was a piece in the Belleville newspaper that has Nolan saying he hasn’t made up his mind yet on if he going to opt out or not he’s waiting to see what happens at the trade deadline. Is that a hint to Mo to go get the big name bat like Soto or else he’s walking?
    I'm unaware of him address the opt out publicly this season. He did last season when he informed the team he was not taking it. He made comments before the All-Star break about not wanting to settle for the wild-card and saying the team needed some help, and comments like that are always going to be underscored by the reality that he has a second and final opt-out looming.
    Do you have an opinion regarding Molina’s absence from the team? I find it odd and insulting that he is allowed to rehab away from the team. Isn’t he supposed to be helping these young catchers learn how to be effective for the club? His experience and skill in this regard is being wasted while the young players are losing a great opportunity to learn from one of the great catchers of our time. Shouldn’t he be on the bench with everyone else? How is that leadership?
    I do. I wrote almost a month ago that it was time for him to get back with his team. Link below. 

    BenFred: It’s time for Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina to rejoin his baseball flock

    STLtoday.comThe Cardinals don't need a catcher. They need their catcher.
    A question MVP voters will have to take into account this season, indeed. Goldschmidt seems to be in the driver's seat, but a guy who hardly ever misses games willingly missed two because of declining COVID-19 vaccination. I don't think it will hurt him too much in that discussion if he keeps performing, but would not be surprised if some voters knock him for it if things get close. If they do, they should be honest and accountable for why they chose that route.
    It's pretty obvious we need starting pitching,which ones would you realistically like to get,if you were in charge?
    Unless there is a sleeper starter out there on the trade market, the market is . . . not great. I'm higher on the potential (and playoff success) of Madison Bumgarner more than most, it seems.
    Circling back on something commented on earlier. Chatter asked about Arenado addressing his opt-out and I said I wasn't aware that he had. Correcting that now. Over the break USA Today's Bob Nightengale sent out a tweet saying Arenado is not opting out. But it wasn't sourced as a quote. Just as fact. Jeff Jones (Belleville News-Democrat) asked Arenado about it and Arenado said he has not made a decision. So, there you go. My assumption is that he's not leaving but again, until he says from his own lips that he's not, none of it really matters. And yes, what happens down the stretch and what the market could look like -- Dodgers? -- can always impact things. I've heard a lot about how happy he and his wife are here.
    In one of your earlier answers you stated that Goldschmidt willing missed 2 games because of declining the COVID-19 vaccination. Is he willing missing 2 games or being forced to miss 2 games?
    He's willing to miss two games because of the choice he made not go get a COVID-19 vaccination.
    Pretty simple.
    It's too bad the non-contending Angels don't want to trade Ohtani, he'd fix so much for this team
    Now we're talking. Forget Soto. Forget Trout. Get Ohtani.
    how can goldy, nolan and austin only miss 2 games if they are on the covid IL? Isn't it for 10 days??? Please explain
    They're on the restricted list.
    BenFred -

    Putting my tinfoil hat on - but when you see the bare minimum offseason that the Cardinals put together in terms of player acquisitions in light of GLARING needs, you have to wonder.

    Do you get a sense that Mo looks around at his division, sees the Brewers likely getting a bit worse than they were last year, sees the Reds, Pirates and Cubs all selling everything not tied down for future considerations, and thinks to himself "I don't have to improve my team at all to eek into the playoffs"?

    Does the competition play into his decision making? It seems clear he isn't trying to build the best team he can. Just the team that is good enough to sneak into the playoffs and keep his job safe for another year while he banks on Randy Florez's masterful drafting to elevate the team to championship status organically in 5ish years.
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