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, thanks for swinging by. I'm in the saddle for a few hours. Whatever's on your mind, we can discuss and debate as always. Did want to start out by sending a whole lot of love to the students, families, teachers, first responders and everyone else affected by yesterday's shooting. Thank you to the heroes who run toward danger, and to P-D colleagues who covered the chaos expertly. OK, here we go . . .
    Thanks for your chat
    A deep run into the playoffs, would have really helped the region, and the impression of the Cardinals, with all the bad news and lack of NFL football,. Why won’t the Cardinals ownership step up and said we’re going to be the shining light in sports for this town? one or two good free agents would put them over the top, but they’re happy to make the playoffs and exit in the first round and pat themselves on the back. Then they reinforce this method by extending front office personnel, who haven’t given us the World Series since my son was in grade school
    While it's a nice idea, I'm not sure sports team success correlates with how people feel out about the city as much as some want it to. Either way. I don't think Pittsburgh is a lousy place because the Pirates stink. Only fools thought the Rams relocating to Los Angeles had anything to do with St. Louis. Some fools are out there, sure. But we can't surrender common sense to them. As for the Cardinals needing to put the foot on the gas a bit more, you know I agree with that idea. Have made the case here for a long time, and in columns, and on the radio, and anywhere I talk or write about it. The Cardinals have built a straw-man defense. They think anyone who nudges them to get more aggressive doesn't respect or appreciate the fact they are competitive every year. But I don't hear anyone really calling for a massive tank and rebuild, or an adoption of the boomerang method. The Cardinals can afford to iron out a few more hopeful spots in their roster-building with certainty. They can spend a bit more; and that is not an accusation that they don't spend, period. They can be a little more aggressive in the offseason and during the season, and we saw a glimpse of that during the most active trade deadline the team has had, and how that paid dividends when Montgomery and Quintana performed well. There is another gear for the Cardinals to reach if they choose to. It does not mean abandoning sustained success. It does require wanting more than what has become the status quo. The Cardinals have not weighed in on their latest early postseason ejection. Expressing sense of disappointment in it rather than referring to the Phillies as a buzz saw would be a good start.
    Do you think if the Cardinals added a left haded corner outfielder who could give you 25 hr and 80 rbi plus an upgrade at catcher would be enough to start spring training with? My feeling is that this team is still very good, just need some upgrades. O’Neil could be that guy but it is very obvious that he will continue to get hurt because of his body type.
    The Cardinals got a .728 OPS from left fielders this season. That ranked 14th in MLB.
    They got a .552 from catcher. That ranked .552.
    I'd prioritize catcher first.
    The Cardinals could and should have chased Bryce Harper when he was a free agent.
    They were not into it as much as they could and should have been.
    One of the reasons was their long-term view of what Tyler O'Neill could turn into.
    I don't know if they're ready to punt on that, but I would not be surprised if they give him one more shot, like they did with Paul DeJong.
    Hi, Mr. Frederickson. Thanks for your time and the chat. Coach Drink can talk all he wants about improving Mizzou's offensive schemes, but the program isn't going anywhere until he starts buying, er, recruiting, more 4- and 5-star offensive linemen. Three-star lineman aren't going to cut it against the front sevens of SEC teams.
    Well said. Adding some proven transfer offensive linemen is a must for Eli before next season -- if he gets that fourth season. This group should get better as it plays together but it needs help before then. And not freshmen help. Help that can help upon arrival. The QB situation Drinkwitz allowed himself to get backed into in season three is concerning but the offensive line one that has trap-doored him could be even more concerning.
    Will Gallegos and the other slowpokes have trouble adjusting to the pitch clock next year?
    They'll adjust. They are professional athletes. If they couldn't adjust, they would not be here. The few who can't will have to go.
    So a lot of angst, anger and disappointment here in the Low with the melt down Helsley had against the Phils. But can you imagine how Padres fans must feel after seeing what happened Sunday afternoon with leaving the Best closer in baseball in the pen and then one of the hottest players in the playoffs going deep with not just the game but the Pennant winning homer.
    Using Josh Hader is usually a good idea.
    Is Pujols still obligated to the Angels for service?
    Unless he declines the contract, yes. He's indicated he will not decline it. We'll see. No one really seems to know what exactly the contract means for him in terms of obligations, including the new Angels front office leader.
    BenFred,

    Since you can speculate a little more than DG, do you think the Cardinals will be more aggressive this offseason and get that 3rd big bat and a starter/catcher?
    Actions speak louder than words.
    Cheaters or no cheaters, one thing everyone should agree on, is that Houston has gotten tremendous mileage from their tank and rebuild strategy of over 10 years ago. Any wonder many teams are still engaging in this approach?
    The losing is the easy part. Building what the Astros have built since then is the hard part, and few tankers can pull it off. As evidenced by the ones that have tried and continued to try. Houston has been in the ALCS or the WS every series since 2017. The "postseason is random!" crowd conveniently skips over the Stros.
    Was taking out Quintana in the 6th inning scripted before the game? Did Marmol have the autonomy to keep him in the game over the front office? Major mistake to take him out. Thanks
  • There's a blueprint before the game but it can be altered as the game goes on. Yes, Marmol could have stuck with him. He didn't, and had planned on removing him even earlier than he did before letting him pitch a bit longer. I don't think pulling Quintana was the mistake, at all. I think asking Helsley for multiple innings not knowing how the finger would respond was the mistake. And not lifting him after the second walk if you were going to let him push it. Cards had all hands on deck. Plenty of arms healthy and rested. They were proactive with Quintana but reactive with Helsley despite the unknown of his finger in live action. That was the Game 1 mistake, not Quintana's use. The series story, of course, was an offense that scored in three of the series' 18 innings.
    How should the Cards handle Jordan Walker in 2023? Look no further than the Astros’ blueprint for Kyle Tucker - patience. Did the Astros anoint Tucker as their power hitting savior and thrust him into the middle of their line-up at age 21? Nope. In fact, this season is the first season he didn’t hit 6th behind guys like Altuve, Springer, Correa, Alvarez, Brantley, and Bregman. The Astros insulated Tucker and nurtured him for two full seasons and now he is paying big dividends. And because they were patient, they could then let big contracts like Springer and Correa walk and still be a World Series Contender. Please tell me the Cards brass is paying attention and they aren't going to "Grichuk" Walker.
    Walker should get a chance to make this team and no one should be surprised if he's on it leaving spring training. Asking him to go from that to being a middle-order presence seems rushed, I agree. Go get a third scary hitter and hope he turns into the fourth. That would be the opposite of what the Cardinals have done in recent offseasons by baking in too much optimistic hope into the roster-building equation.
    I'm pretty sure Drink will be back next year. He's personable and a great recruiter. The season has not been a complete disaster in that their defense has kept them in every game excluding the K-State debacle. However, the offense and Drink's play calling is seriously lacking. Does DRF force Drink's hand in hiring an OC next year? And do you think the underutilized Luther Burden moves on no matter what happens?
    I think he should be. You have to bet on the potential of him pulling it all together with fully developed, highly touted recruiting classes over the risk of blowing it up and starting all over again with a new hire. If things don't get rolling in year four, then you have your answer, definitively. There are, of course, things that could expedite the make-a-change momentum, though. Like not winning another SEC game. Or fan attendance taking a nosedive. Or a mass exodus to the transfer portal when it opens again. I'm not convinced Burden transfers. He has not been fully healthy. He has dropped too many of the passes that hit him in the hands. If he's candid with himself, he knows he could have played better and realizes his ankle has more to do with his lacking numbers than the system. He's getting targeted a ton. There's a misconception that they're not using him enough. Figuring out how to use him best is the conversation, and he has to be a part of that solution as much as the QB and play-caller. If Drinkwitz is going to be forced to hire an OC, he should be fired, in my opinion. You don't pay a guy $4 million per year to recruit. I think fans hollering for an OC hire should just say the quiet part out loud -- they want a head coaching change.
    Question about Arenado. The Dodgers have a ton of money available with expiring contract, and an opening at 3rd (assuming they decline their option on Justin Turner). If Arenado opts out, won't the Dodgers offer him $200M+? Why wouldn't Arenado do this? More money, better team, and he's from Southern California. Why are we not all expecting that?
    Because of what he's said, mostly. That he loves it here. That he came here with the long-term in mind. That is family has settled in well. Etc. Could that change? I suppose. It would be a surprise though. And a big one.
    Any chance Army steps in and stop this ROR/Kyrou experiment Berube keeps trying. Fast offensive forward and slow defensive forward together doesn't make any sense. Kyrou's overall game will develop over time, don't blow his confidence by giving him such a tough assignment, emphasize what he can do now and put him with other dynamic players.
    Keeps trying? I think it happened three times last season, and there have been just four games this season, three of which were wins. It's going to take some time to work, or not work. Berube has proven he's perfectly fine with going against one of his own ideas if he feels a better line combo can spark something, and he's rarely held on too long to something that has simply not worked. But I can understand him wanting to give this one some time, especially with some early injuries limiting options. Deep breaths, for now.
    I keep seeing articles talking about how far behind the Mizzou rebuild is compared with the instant success realized by new coaches at Arky, SCar, Tennessee, Illinois, and, god help me, kU. Any idea what the issue is there? I know those SEC schools out recruited Mizzou when Odom was at the helm despite their losing records, but Ill and kU certainly didnt...
    In the era of instant transfer impact and immediate eligibility, the blame-Barry-Odom timeline has officially expired. Every captain on this Mizzou team was an Odom recruit. Same for the starting QB. That's not on Odom. It's on the current third-year head coach who had chances to recruit transfers and freshman who could out-perform those players. Drinkwitz chooses who starts. He has chose to start a lot of Odom's guys. I don't think that's some huge knock on Drinkwitz. I do think it's something that should make the Odom bashers reconsider how much they've ripped him for not recruiting as well as they thought he should. Recruiting is great. Retaining and developing is just as important. Drinkwitz's Tigers are trailing some of the teams you mentioned because those coaches have had more success establishing and advancing their programs in their respective conferences. Getting the right QB is a huge part of it. See Heupel at Tennessee and how his reality has been achieved with Hooker, whom he inherited from the old staff. Getting stability in the coaching ranks is a big part of it. Few have had as much assistant turnover as Drinkwitz at Mizzou. Getting an identity offensively is a big part of it. This team has struggled to find one, at least a positive one.
    Signing Wilson Contreras to a five year $100 million dollar contract would be a huge FA mistake. Even paying him 3 year for some large amount of money is not the move they need to make. His offense is good but not $20 million or more a year good. His defense and pitching staff abilities are average at best.
    Molina was making $20 million per year through 2018-20 at ages 35-37, for what it's worth. Some of you all are hollering for a Sean Murphy trade, and I get it, but what are you willing to give up? Paul DeJong ain't going to cut it. Contreras is viewed as a potential fit by some in the organization. No one is going to match Molina's defensive mastermind. Contreras could put his own stamp on a position that is evolving, and if you wanted to have Knizner and later Herrera split time, he can DH. I think he's an intriguing name.
    Tyler O’Neill should be the Cardinals starting left fielder and they should give him a solid raise in arbitration not because he has earned it. They need to do so because their is no one on the trade or FA market that will not cost more or take more prospects to acquire at this point.
    Jordan Walker could make it interesting. Just saying .Cardinals really challenged O'Neill to step up and take what was waiting for him this season. He did not. Some of it was injury related, sure. But there were also times when he was healthy and not hitting. Do they run it back one more time or see if another team wants to play the O'Neill waiting game? Very interesting question for how the offseason plays out. And the kind of thing that will be asked if the Cardinals ever get around to hosting that end-of-season presser.
    Do you see the cardinals making any moves?
    They have holes to fill, yes.
    Will they be moves people go bananas for? We shall see.
    Hey Ben, Do you think Drink turns it around in year 4? It's kinda sad that after a win more people seem to be jumping ship, however, if the Vandy game is an indicator for the rest of the season, it's going to be tough. Back to the original question, my fear is that next year's success is based on an unknown and unproven redshirt freshman QB, an atrocious Oline that may have 3 new starters, and a fantastic D that may blow up as many guys may leave for shot at NFL if they get the 2nd day grade, rather than come back. I fear next year is still rebuild 4.0 and maybe even need 5.0 to get everyone up to par. I think Drink still needs a huge splash in the transfer portal for next year, which is unfortunate considering he his first recruiting class will be here for 4 years now.
  • If he gets year 4 and it doesn't pop, then there will be no year 5.
    If year 3 ends with little hope left for year 4, there's no guarantee year 4 comes.
    Remember, Mizzou AD Desiree Reed-Francois did not hire Drinkwitz, she inherited him.
    She pulled the plug on Cuonzo Martin to hire Dennis Gates, whom she had identified as a coach on the rise.
    And don't forget the presence of president Mun Choi in the equation. He went to bat on the Drinkwitz hire, but he wants winning football sooner rather than later. He doesn't mind injecting himself into decisions. He was out on Martin before most others.
    If Drinkwitz touted himself as an offensive expert he should be fired just for lying on his resume. The way I see it the only way he can stay for another year is he must be required to hire an OC in the off-season.
    Again, if you are going to make him hire an OC against his wishes, just go hire a new coach. Enough with the semantics, please.
    Another reason to go get a legit ace for ‘23 is because they have just one projected ‘23 starter under contract for ‘24, Matz. Matz is at best a #3 so you are on track to go I to next winter with no ace or #2.
    Here's another reason.
    Cardinals starters produced 670 strikeouts this season, ranking 21st in MLB.
    Check out the first five on the list . . . 
    Astros: 949.
    Braves: 924
    Mets: 919
    Padres: 918
    Yankees: 897
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