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 all of your Cardinals, Blues, St. Louis City, Mizzou and SLU questions in Tuesday's 11 a.m. live chat.

    Ben, I have to disagree with you somewhat when you say pitchers have been trying to throw it as hard as they could long before the radar gun showed up. I'm a pretty old guy (62) and I go back with the Cardinals a long, long way. While I think it's true that maybe more than most have tried to throw as hard as they could on every pitch, I have to think back to Cardinal pitchers of the past like Bob Forsch, John Tudor, Alan Foster, Bobby Tewksbury, et al. If you watch video on those guys it's pretty clear they are not TRYING to throw as hard as they can. They are relying on location, change of speed and other deceptions. I really believe today's pitchers are just gunning it up there with all they've got and some are going to release some very dangerous pitches to hitters
    I think you are falling into a trap of generalizing.
    There were guys who were throwing gas long ago, even if the mph reached was not what it is now. That's the evolution of the game, and the evolution of the athletes playing the game.
    Adam Wainwright isn't up there throwing it with everything he's got every pitch, velocity-wise.
    Neither is Jack Flaherty, who has realized he's going to get better results if he adjusts his pitching so his defense can help him this season.
    This notion that all pitchers are pitching the same way just isn't true. They can't. Some guys have the stuff to simply throw it hard and that gets them to the majors. Other guys have to be masters of deception. The best can do both. That's how it's always been, and always will be. 
    Carpenter have till end of May to see a spark? 506ops with 125 AB’s for someone his age, he’s lucky to still be on anyone’s roster. Errrr maybe Pirates....
  • Perhaps you know something I don't about the Cardinals' interest in paying him to not play for them. I have not heard them shift their tone on that front.
    Every time pujols gets a hit there will be a wave of comments about how the cards missed out on a great reunion. But it’s a bit surprising coming from a fan base who has complained about the front office not bringing in enough talent over the years. And now they’re mad that Mo didn’t bring in a player that’s not very talented anymore? It’s interesting for sure.
    I'll just point out he got that hit while starting at first base. Wouldn't be a possibility for the Cards. Dodgers are banged up right now.
    I was reading Mr. Hummel’s chat yesterday, and he made the comment that you are what your record says you are. I agree with that but I’m not thrilled with what it says. The Cardinals are clearly better than the bad teams, but clearly worse than the good teams. I won’t be the least bit surprised if this team makes the playoffs as currently constructed. I will be shocked if they are even competitive in the playoffs. There are players coming back who will definitely help, but I don’t think they will bridge that gap. Do you believe the team will stick with what they have, and then claim the “randomness” of the playoffs, or will they make meaningful additions?
    The Cardinals should find a way to improve this team at the trade deadline if they are serious about sending Wainwright and Molina out in style and impressing Nolan Arenado before his first opt out comes around. They should be a division-winning team but they can find ways to get better for the playoffs. What exactly they should do before then is hard to determine now. Lots of games left to be played. The outfield of O'Neill, Bader and Carlson has looked better than some think. The rotation could need help. The bullpen too. The bench. All fair areas to poke and prod as teams near the part of the season that will determine who is buying and selling. The Cardinals should be buying, not meandering like they have at recent trade deadlines. That's my two cents at least.
    Do you think we see more younger guys in the Blues lineup tomorrow? Guys like Kostin, Joshua, and MacEachern all have speed and play physically, which should help slow down Colorado, right? No offense to a guy like Clifford, but this doesn't feel like the right matchup for him.
    I'd like to see Kostin get a shot, and Berube has said he's an option. The physicality has to be a part of this if the Blues are going to win. Colorado just looked too comfortable for most if not all of the game. Sure, Clifford pushed some people around. But I'm talking about uncomfortable rolling those waves. Someone who can break it up -- not mix it up during stoppages might be a better fit for the style. It's funny, the Blues spent a lot of time talking in years past about how they had to get faster, had to be able to skate with the best, but then they won the Cup with a heavy, hitting, grind it out team. Now they are somewhere in between, and I'm not sure they can play their game well enough to slow down Colorado, and they're not fast enough to beat Colorado at Colorado's game. Tough spot.
    Thanks for doing these chats. We hear a lot about the leadership in the Cardinals' clubhouse. Has anyone approached Matt Carpenter about changing his approach at the plate or given him help or advice -- not coaches, but players? Thanks.
    He's 35 and in his 11th season in the majors. If he was going to (and could) change to start dropping bunts and spraying the ball, he would have done it by now. His best bet is to try to hit the ball out of the ballpark.
  • How do you personally balance patience with urgency? What brings this to mind is the coming 10 year gap between Cardinals championships. I believe that the Dodgers change in the front office, and Huston/Chicago showing that tank and rebuild can work has changed how a playoff team has to be built. You can disagree with me, and if the Cardinals win it this year you come of patient and wise. I come out looking like a short sighted hot head. I’m sure you could easily add to the insults. However, if they don’t win one in the next 5 or 10 years your talking about a long gap between championships. Then people like me are less likely keep reading you because you come off as oblivious or “carrying water” for the team. It seems like a tough spot for you. How do you balance that?
    The Cardinals don't need to wait 5 or 10 years to have a long gap between championships, for them.
    They have a long gap, for them, right now.
    It will be 10 years with no ring for the Cardinals if they don't win one this season.
    That's a decade, for the team with the most championships in the National League. The Dodgers, the team with the second-most, just added to their collection and they want to keep adding. The Cardinals are on the clock, and yes, should be feeling the pressure.
    So, we agree the Cardinals need to win a championship soon. We disagree, I think, on the how. I don't think the majority of Cardinals fans would appreciate or enjoy a tank and rebuild. I think they value being relevant annually. But that alone is not enough.
    The Cardinals added a superstar caliber player they had been lacking in Arenado. The approaching trade deadline will present another opportunity to improve the team, and they should take it. I don't think I'm carrying water for the team when I say a tank model is not fun for people who care about having a competitive team to watch every season. I think I speak for a lot of people. In fact, I know I do.
    Hello Ben. Thanks for the chat! Do you know if the Cards made an offer to Pujols to join the team? Do you think the Cards brass are still mad that he rejected the Cards offer back in 2011 (even though he would be making less due to Cali taxes)? Even though it worked out better that the Cards didn't sign him do you think there is still some resentment on both sides?
    I know the Cardinals discussed the idea internally but I don't think it got that far.
    Bill DeWitt III said in a radio interview last week that it didn't really make sense, and that was the end of the wondering for me.
    He wouldn't have said something like that if it was going to happen.
    I think most of whatever resentment that might have been left faded during the 2019 return, if it hadn't already.
    The Cards don't have anything to be resentful about. They are glad they did not have him on a 10-year deal considering how he aged. They won't say that of course but they don't need to.
    I could see Pujols having some connection to the Cards after he retires. I doubt there is going to be much interest in him having that persona services relationship with the Angels after the DFA and his signing on with the Dodgers.
    Who goes to the pen when CMart and Mikolas come back? I actually think Kim is not a starter—he can’t get through 5 innings—and should be a bullpen piece. Grant should stay.
    Gant's been fading as of late. I'd put him in the pen when Mikolas returns.
    After watching Sunday's STL-SD Game, I am convinced umpiring has hit an all-time low. It is not just my "Cardinal" eyes. I watch a lot of non-Cardinal games as well. Why does baseball continue to allow many old/overweight overly prideful men negatively impact the game? Because of the Union? It is time keep ball/strike and out/safe statistics on all umpires and make that data available to fans in real time on telecasts/MLB Website. It is also time to phase in robo-home plate umpires It would also be good if Mike Shildt would get ejected sticking up for his pitchers once in while.
    The union has power, sure. That's part of it. We also have more of an ability now to see missed calls. The strike zone -- or the TV's version of it -- is on the broadcast live. Replays go viral on Twitter. Some dedicate their time to scoring umpires and making those results public. Some of that already exists. And of course no one ever gets any attention for calling a good game, or even an average one. So sometimes things get a bit distorted. 
    I think umpires need to be better about raising their standards. Guys who are consistently bad at balls/strikes should not be behind the plate. Simple as that. They should remove their worst offenders. They should also make themselves be accountable to explain controversial calls in real time, not in a press pool interview after games. 
    I'm against robo umps. I think pitch framing is a part of the game and an art of the game. Removing it from the equation would be a bummer. Also: Wait until the first team finds a way to hack and alter the virtual strike zone, or the first time the tech fails and a game goes off the rails because of it. The human element is a part of the game I'm not sure we want removed. 
    I do not understand why players slide headfirst. That led to O’Neill’s most recent injury. I was not taught to slide that way. The first player I ever saw do that much was Pete Rose. Lou Brock never slid that way and he had a “decent” career. I think the practice should be abandoned. What do you think, Ben? Thanks.
    If guys want to risk banging up their face, arms, hands and legs, it's up to them.
    Sometimes it makes sense and is the best play, but not nearly as often as we see it.
    What drives me bonkers are headfirst slides into first.
    While rare, they are always dumb.
    Until Olympic sprinters start sliding through the finish line headfirst, I will die on this hill.
  • Hey, Ben. I do not think the Cardinals will pickup Carlos Martinez’s option in the off season. I think a lot of fans are exhausted waiting for Carlos to really reach his full potential as a consistent, winning major league pitcher. Do you think there is any chance the Cardinals decline the option but offer him a contract at a much lower amount? Thank you.
    I think the most likely result for Carlos after this season is that he is a free agent.
    I've said that from the start.
    Let's see how he pitches once he's off the injured list. His performance could change things. He was pitching well before his injury.
    Any news on when Miles will returb
    Nothing official yet, but would not be surprised if he's back as soon as this weekend. He's made three starts in Memphis and looked sharp in his last one, which was Sunday.
    I know we've talked plenty about Scherzer, but what kind of package do you think it would take to get him?
    The Nationals have a terrible history of developing catchers, and are constantly relying on short-term veterans past their prime. So . . . I'd start there. The Cardinals have Andrew Knizner and Ivan Herrera.
    Any idea how the expansion roster for STL City will work? Are we going to look like the soccer version of the vegas golden knight expansion team or how it used to be and in full tank mode for the first couple seasons.
    The last expansion draft let Austin select five eligible non-protected players but not more than one from each team. It will be a way the  team is built, but not the only way. There will be a pool of money for free agents to be added and the team hopes, fingers crossed, that some of the players who are beginning to play in the academy could be ready to help sooner rather than later.
  • I know this is putting the cart WAY before the horse, but if Jordan Walker's the real deal, does that change anything as far as a possible position change for him? Does it make Gorman any more expendable for a big deadline deal (Scherzer)?
    I think Mo once said Carlson could be traded for if someone pried him from his cold, dead hands.
    Gorman's probably close to the same.
    He won't be traded for a rental.
    I know it's a relatively small sample because of injuries, but how would you describe and rate the outfield experiment thus far this season? Both individually and collectively?
    As of today Cardinals outfielders are producing the sixth-best OPS in the National League (.747).
    I remember writing in the chat entering the season that if the Cardinals can just get average offensive production from their outfield, they should be in good shape.
    Right now they are.
    O'Neill and Bader have been impressive since their return from the injured list. It's fair to wonder if they will continue, but so far so good. Bader looks much better against RHP. O'Neil's power has been potent.
    Carlson is likely to win National League Rookie of the year. Natural fit at No. 2 and he's been strong there.
    Defensively they are solid.
    It's been much more good than bad.
    The price of a Flaherty extension goes up with every win. If he wins 20 this year and is in the Cy Young convo, does he just ride to free agency? Or would the Cards try to trade him?
    You missed one option. The Cards could try to extend him. Jack's not a free agent until 2024. There's plenty of time to negotiate and plenty of reasons for him to take an extension if it offers millions of dollars worth of security that could come sooner instead of later. I'm sure both sides need to know what the landscape looks like after the new CBA before things get too serious.
    Do you think STL ever will have a shot at an NBA team, seems like the Kings and Magic are destined for new homes
    Not without an owner who is determined to bring a team here, and one who has the cash to make it happen.
    Thank you for answering my question about urgency, but I I did a poor job of writing the question. I wasn’t trying to say you were pro or con on the Cardinals, but rather trying to frame the argument. I do see, because of the way I worded it, why it came off that way. I also wasn’t saying that the Cardinals need to tank/rebuild. What I was saying is that’s changed the way you have to build a team to really have a chance at winning it all. Tank and rebuild is brutal, and if it’s not done properly the team can have years of bad baseball. The problem is so many teams are doing it, and some will get it right. Tank/rebuild made “make the playoffs and anything can happen” a false statement. 10 years ago a team like the Brewers might make a run in the playoffs. That pitching can take you a long way. Except now the Padres and Dodgers, assuming health, can pitch and hit. Good but flawed doesn’t cut it anymore. Excluding last year, for obvious reasons, when was the last time you saw a team in the World Series that surprised you? I know not everyone will agree with what I just wrote, and that’s where my question comes in. How do you balance patience and giving the Cardinals front office a chance to prove their method still works against people like me who want them to do more?
  • 2020 doesn't count?
    OK, how about the year before?
    I was surprised the 2019 Nationals won the World Series.
    They had Juan Soto and a rocking rotation, but they also started out like junk and had a bunch of "old guys" who were supposed to be past their prime.
    That team turned out to be good enough to win the World Series.
    The Cardinals team that got swept by the Nationals? No.
    I think this team, the one playin this season, is better than that 2019 team.
    The biggest reason is the biggest contract in team history the team picked up this offseason in a trade. Trading for Arenado was both a commitment from the Cardinals and an acknowledgement that they want to do more than have a winning season and make the postseason. They're feeling the itch. They need to lean into it.
    If the formula to win a World Series was as simple as loading up on the best and most expensive players, the Yankees would not have a longer championship drought than the Cardinals. No new ring in New York City since 2009. It's just not that easy.
    The Padres have not won a World Series. The Dodgers failed three times before figuring it out during pandemic-shortened 2020. The Cubs wave crashed after just one. It's hard. 
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