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.

    I find this angst over the Cardinals quick departure from the post-season somewhat humorous, in that you can look at the Dodgers and Mets (and possibly the Yankees) and realize that there are absolutely no guarantees in the post-season. Yes, there are areas the club can (and should) improve on in the off-season. But the bottom line against Philly is that the club didn't hit. They had two MVP bats (and a hot Pujols) and they didn't hit when they needed to. Nootbar led off with a double... and died at second base with the Cardinals biggest bats at the plate. Philly got a leadoff double and turned it into a run. As simple a difference as that. In a short series, against top pitching, it happens.

    After watching this post-season, I fully understand the "Just get in..." mentality. And after watching the 2007 season (not to mention years of the late 1970s), I can appreciate the value of a team that is competitive day in and day out. Success in the post-season is fickle and enjoyable. But it can't be the only definition of success, because by that definition 29 teams fail every year.
    Everybody sees it differently I suppose. The last definition you gave -- 29 failures -- is the one the Cardinals manager picked at spring training and referred to often during the season. I'm more gracious. The Cardinals had a really special 2022 regular season. But they also had a really bad postseason. And the really bad postseasons are adding up. That's the bigger issue here. They are 1-9 in their last 10 postseason games and have won just one single National League Championship Series game -- a game, not the series -- since 2014. They have more postseasons missed (three) than NLCS games won during this time. The Cardinals' bar should be higher than that.
    We always knew the best regular-season team is guaranteed nothing in the playoffs. Because the Dodgers and Braves got bounced there seems to be this rush to label the Padres and Phillies as some sort of Cinderella. I don't get that. The Phillies spent like crazy to build this team and made a bold move firing a manager when they started the season in a bad way, because they felt it was so important to give time for a rally that could lead to a return to the postseason. The Padres spend like crazy and made one of the biggest trade-deadline deals in baseball's history, acquiring Juan Soto and selling off their farm and perhaps future to do so. I'm not saying those are great approaches. I'm just saying some seem to be warping the narrative intentionally to give the Cardinals' continued postseason struggles a rosier outlook.
    I would love to understand what effect bumping the payroll $20m has on ownership. This fan base showed out in '22 for this team and their stars, if they just run it back with the same payroll and a few tertiary additions that is pretty much spitting in the faces of fans. I'm not saying they have to pony up for Judge or Turner but adding a couple players making north of $20m is well within the scope of their financial flexibility even if it bumps the payroll up quite a bit, if only for a season or two.
    Fans showed up this season. They were happy paying customers in Pujols-palooza. I think it's more than fair to expect that investment of fans to be put toward improvements for 2023. That's what good business partners do.
    Maybe it's his lower key personality but Montgomery when asked how is it to be ;pitching with the Cardinals does not seem to be overly effusive. about joining them. Gould when asked how he fits in said something to the effect "hard to tell". Wonder if he is another Tino Martinez who's spent half his time here talking about how great it was playing in New York. You have any sense of his thoughts?
    I don't think Montgomery had any problems fitting in with the team. He never seemed to much enjoy answering questions from the media bout his pitching, or anything in general really. He's not the first one. Won't be the last. But he pitched well and seemed to settle in fine after the shock of being traded faded.
    Are bases harder to steal these days? I always loved how Brock and Coleman leadoff. You had to pitch to them because if they walked it was probably a double or triple. Plus the pressure it put on the pitcher to the next batters. Fastballs or pitch outs otherwise you have a runner in scoring position. Seems like a lost art. Why is that?
    Teams don't value it as much as they once did. Would rather not risk the out and wait for the two-run homer. Fans want more base thievery. Polling and surveying done by the league proves it. Part of the proposed benefit of the increasing base sizes is to improve player health but also to perhaps encouraging more base stealing. We'll see if it works. If the modern catcher is going to be nothing more than a backstop who isn't allowed to frame or call pitches, the athleticism at the position will decrease and it will make sense to steal more often. During one of the Mets games one of the broadcasters was suggesting players wear wristbands and call their own pitches to the catcher moving forward. Good grief.
    The Cardinals last won the WS when my son was in 1st Grade. He's now a Senior in High School. If you are going to go with the Get in / Get Hot philosophy, it helps to actually get hot once in a while instead of going meekly 1-9. An entire generation of young fans have no meaningful memory of a championship. For an organization that likes to promote its history they may want to tweak their plan.
    If not, probably should take down the massive Commissioner's Trophy replica in Ballpark Village. Hard to blame fans for getting mixed signals, eh?
    Who do you have to win it all? Does Dusty Baker get his first ring?
    I think I picked the Yankees before the season started. I'm still alive, at least for now.
    I'm not thrilled with the post-season outcomes of late. I just don't see any guaranteed way to improve that going forward. Building the biggest baddest team doesn't guarantee that. Boosting the payroll doesn't guarantee that. Signing Trea Turner or Aaron Judge doesn't guarantee that.

    I would have loved to see the club be more competitive against Philadelphia. Take away the ninth inning failure and they would have won another postseason game, if that is a measure of success. But what move can they make to ensure that doesn't happen again next year - get a different closer? They had two MVP candidates at the plate - both failed to score Nootbar in the first inning. Do you replace them?

    The team that was playing in August would have rolled through the post-season with no problems.
    You are right that nothing is guaranteed.
    Building a better team certainly helps your chances, though.
    And no, getting rid of Goldschmidt and Arenado would not help.
    You don't base your changes off the two games, but you probably should not ignore a growing body of work that is indicating most recent Cardinals teams have not had the proper mix of talent, execution and whatever else it takes to make it out of the wild-card format.
    Compared to most of the other teams, the Cardinals were light when it came to the top of the postseason rotation.
    Some of the teams still playing have three very proven scary bats in the thick of the lineup.
    The Cardinals had two before Albert Pujols surged in the second half, and he's gone now.
    Ben, with the new scheduling format next year, it is safe to assume Cards are more of a 84 win team than 94. They are losing 20 games against the NL Central Dregs
    A lot of that depends on what they do or don't do this offseason. The 2022 team went 34-38 against winning teams. The Brewers (35) and Cubs (37) finished with more wins against winning teams.
    Gordo rated Yadi over Knizner in his column. Knizner showed up on time, in shape and didn't leave the team. They were both terrible at bat. Yadi's last season didn't add to his legacy. Your thoughts?
    Molina was still the Cardinals' best option behind the plate despite a really rough final season. He came through with the season on the line in the playoffs, and no one picked him up after it. This season was a chance for Knizner to prove he was ready to be the guy. Didn't happen. Great young man. I really enjoy covering him. But that's the reality. Molina's legacy is not dinged by the weird last season. He was there when it mattered most, and now he's gone.
    Who you taking in the NLCS? Looks like pretty much a coin toss to me so I guess go with SD and the extra game at home.
    I lean Padres. Should be a fun one. Machado and Harper are hot, hot, hot.
    Hi Ben! With the dodgers and other big spending clubs out of the playoffs already and with the braves winning it all last year it concerns me that no matter what they say, Mo and company are going to keep the same philosophy of just get in and see what happens. They might try to dress it up with nicer words or different phrases say yes when the world series is our goal but they are who they are and have been running the same philosophy for over a decade it's not going to change. And I actually think and believe, yes they would love to be in the world series and win it all but the real goal is to keep the team interested enough to keep Busch stadium full, sell tickets, have people pay for parking, spend at the village and buy overpriced food and drink in jerseys. And based on those metrics they consider this past year a supreme success. And anything success wise in the playoffs or the world series it's just a bonus
    I don't think the tune is going to change. And it has nothing to do with what happened with the Dodgers and Braves. Cardinals president of baseball operations John Mozeliak has been very clear about his view in recent seasons: "Get in and hope to get hot." I'll give him credit for being candid. The stance is made known for all to agree with, or not. The team views this past regular season as a success. And they should. Won the division. Made lots of history.. Sent Pujols out with the kind of season no one could have imagined. They're not happy about how it ended but they can apply their "didn't get hot" label on it and move on, and that's what I expect will happen.
    If MLB was starting from scratch, which markets would not have teams? Which markets that do not currently have teams would?
    Vegas and Nashville would be in.
    Oakland and Tampa out.
    For starters.
    One STL sports prediction that hasn't been discussed yet?
    SLU men's basketball is winning the A-10 this season and will advance to at least the Sweet 16. Billikens have weathered their bad luck and this time the hype will come through. The team has athleticism, depth, shooting and defense. A special point guard in Yuri Collins. Chris May's big vision will pay off. Book it.
    Thoughts on the ESPN story about Kroenke having to fork over the bulk of the money the league fronted for the relocation settlement?
  • Big picture, it makes little difference to STL who pays what. The money was received long ago. This debate among owners was about how the league sorted out the back end after putting up the settlement money. STL was paid to go away. The league could then sort out who paid what on its terms. And that part wrapped up today, per Seth Wickersham of ESPN. But, I know some will relish in Kroenke not weaseling his way out of as much as he initially hoped. He did manage to spread it around more than most of the owners hoped. Kroenke will reimburse the league for $571 million of the $790 million settlement. Another way to look at it, if you like: After the lawyers' fees, the parties in the relocation lawsuit (city, county, dome authority) got about $513 million. So Kroenke's cut covers all that and then some, for those keeping score, and I know some of you are. Perhaps the best case scenario for those wanting the NFL to continue to pay for how it treated STL is that neither side will be happy with this. Most owners wanted Kroenke to pay it all, as they believed he agreed to in the indemnification paperwork he singed upon being granted permission to relocate. And Kroenke feels back-stabbed because he felt certain owners were working against him. So, there could be future fights down the road related to this. I'd expect it. Kroenke can afford any punishment but what he truly hates is a) losing these types of arguments and b) parting with money he does not believe he should have to spend. So he could seek way to retaliate, and he has Jerry Jones on his side.
    Do you think Yepez can be that third bat we need? Is he a 30/100 guy with 600 ABs?
    I think he can be a part of the puzzle. Asking him to be THE third hitter seems too much too soon.
    Gotta jet. Thanks for your time. Same time and place next week. -BF
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