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.

    If you're going to advocate for a proven winner with a questionable past, why not pick Bobby Petrino?
    He's worked wonders at Missouri State.
    There were some Mizzou types who wanted to go for Lane Kiffin.
    Ole Miss has been rewarded for doing so.
    Ben,

    When the Rock and Danny Garcia first took over the XFL I was excited for the revival, and thought their clout would be good for the league. I wasn't thrilled with the NFL partnership but understand it. However, we are getting to November and the league still has not released the names of the teams. What a waste of marketing opportunity. I am starting to lose faith, what is your impression so far?
    I think Mr. Rock is too busy promoting Black Adam, or something.
    I know there are B-Hawks fans out there ready to get fired up.
    This can work in STL.
    Will it work elsewhere and with this hub model? Are the leaders of it invested for the long haul or just looking to use it as a launch point into the NFL? Not so sure about those ones.
    Missouri Football talk: Obviously Coach Drinkwitz isn't going anywhere this season regardless of how bad the Tigers finish but we have to see some staff changes right? Bush Hamdan the QB coach and pass coordinator has been atrocious this season along with the OL coach Marcus Johnson's group.
  • Mizzou's offensive line isn't too far off from the kind of performance that got the last defensive line coach fired.
    A lot of the penalties (holding, false starts) are byproducts of players trying to cheat a little bit and reach a little bit because they are physically overmatched.
    Scheme can help but you've gotta have the bodies up there most importantly, and right now Mizzou doesn't. 
    Cards need to up the payroll into Top-8 territory +/-200m. We've listened to them cry poor for two seasons now and there is no hiding the impact this summer had on their revenues. The fans are giving a 10-out-of-10 and getting a 6-out-of-10 in return. No more betting on bounce backs or career years, we need proven assets even if they have to pay retail.
    I don't think team success can be equated to payroll in a vacuum, but certainly fans did their part this season and it's fair for them to expect their money invested into the team should show up in how the 2023 team is constructed. More than fair.
    Hello Ben

    Cards seem to be in a tough spot. They tend to not win the free agent sweepstakes very often and their AAA and major league roster isn't as deep as it once was. Sure you have Winn and Walker but they are staying with the Cards and Carlson, O'Neil, Burleson, Knizner, Nootbar, DeJong, and even Edman are all .200-.250 hitters (thanks J. Albert) but there isn't much to trade (of any value). So, what will the team do? Once again (like this past year) will they hope that in 2023 the players I listed will at least perform to their capabilities? We cannot expect for Goldy to have the year he had (same for Arenado....) and Pujols is gone, so unless they all hit better this team is going nowhere.

    So which way should they pivot?
    I'd reconsider your view of the Cardinals farm.
    They have one of the most desirable crop in baseball.
    As evidenced by the gravitational pull that got them into the Juan Soto talks, whether they really wanted to be there or not.
    Washington wanted the Cardinals to be interested, perhaps more than the Cardinals wanted to be interested.
    The Cardinals are far from handcuffed here.
    They can spend whatever they choose to spend coming off of a year that exceeded internal expectations in terms of money flowing in.
    They can make trades with prospects that have others' attention.
    The world is their oyster, as much as they want it to be.
    It seems I read that Montgomery's wife got accepted to a prestigious med school in NY....right before he got traded. So I assume they were apart during the season. I also assume next year will be the same. Is that why he doesn't seem to be very gung-ho about being here? I know he was very upset about the trade. I heard he was a bit stand-offish (may be inaccurate). Do you think they may trade him back to NY so he can be back with his wife?
    I just don't think he likes talking to the media very much. Isn't the first. Won't be the last. I would not read into it much more than that.
    LA Times reported that Pujols will honor he's obligation to the Angels. Google it.
    I read it. It quoted an anonymous source, as if the subject was Watergate. And still, no one on either side seems to know what the agreement will look like. The Angels are for sale. There's a chance Pujols fulfills the contract and still gets to do stuff here when he wants. La Russa came for opening day all the time, even when he was employed by other teams. My prediction is that all of the oxygen spent on the personal services contract is going to wind up being wasted on something that isn't a very big deal. I think Pujols will be around as much as he wants, or doesn't want to be.
    Do you think that Coach Drinkwitz is going through a learning curve. He does know his offense but he doesn’t know how to fix this Missouri offense.
    He tried to take a big step toward fixing it this offseason when he brought three transfer QBs to campus and could not get one of them to commit. That was a significant whiff, and it's showing now. Especially as Jayden Daniels starts excelling at LSU. Mizzou thought it had him.
    Ben - your point about the self-imposed payroll by the Cardinals is 100% true, but so is the fact that most fans and media accept it at face value. I've seen their spending questioned but never so boldly as asking DeWitt point blank "explain to us why you can't spend more."
    He's been asked plenty of times about the team's approach. Please don't blame the media for not liking the answer. The Cardinals want to be a draft and develop team. They want to supplement from the outside as needed around that. They want to be in the upper end of league payrolls and are consistently, but don't want to spend beyond the luxury tax and fiercely -- perhaps too cautiously, it can be argued -- protect the idea that getting stretched too thin one season could lead to the derailment of the consistently competitive approach they still value as their best chance to win at a high level, and often. Beyond that they are reluctant to tie up too much guaranteed money in a single player over a decade-plus long contract, something that makes them less likely to win the chase for tip-top free agents on an open market. That's the answer.
    Would Eric Bieniemy Jr.,name carry enough weight around the state of Missouri to be the next Missouri Tigers head coach. He is definitely an offensive coach. A man who has spent many years learning from one of the best. The Tigers could definitely set him up money wise compared to his NFL contract
    Would feel pretty random. He's never been a college head coach. Just a short-time stint as a college coordinator. Running an NFL offense is not the same as recruiting, managing a staff and roster, selling the program to donors and fans, and all of the other stuff that comes with SEC head coaching. Mizzou learned firsthand with the Wilks flop of a hire that doing something in the NFL doesn't always translate to college ball. 
    Again, I lean toward giving Drinkwitz a fourth year.
    But if you're ready to run him off, I'd get somebody who has coached multiple seasons as a head college coach and done so with impressive results. If not you risk similar growing pains with the new guy. Drinkwitz is going through some growing pains, for sure. Mizzou should at least see if it can benefit from weathering them before spinning the wheel once again.
    Wouldn't it be easier to make a commitment to one of the big name SS rather centerfielders this offseason? There will likely be at least four big name shortstops with proven production vs maybe Nimmo in CF that would be an offensive upgrade.
    Shortstops were all the rage last offseason too. And Cardinals passed. Winn is one season closer now and Edman and Donovan both held their own at shortstop. Just saying.
    There are 30 teams in MLB. Only 1 team can win the World Series each year. If titles were "handed out" evenly each team would only win once every 30 years. Cardinals fans should consider themselves blessed to have a team with 11 WS titles.The mightiest of teams fall short. It's not that easy. With that being said, when a team can fill a couple of holes to give themselves an edge over the others, they need to step up and take notice, and not muddle along within the pack.
    Let's go MO and show us what you've got! The fans are begging you!
  • Well said. I'd add one line. Especially after the fans showed up big time last season and did their part, making it easier to swing a bit bigger this offseason. Scrap the model? No. But turn it up a notch or three.
    Are you trying to get Travis Ford fired? The Billikens should be good but your setting the bar really high.
    Not at all. I'm just being real. This team should be good. If it can stay healthy, it's time for the breakthrough. Because Dayton is getting better every day, the league has made some bold hires, and this group is losing A LOT after this season, including one of the best PGs in the nation, the kind of player who could be a key to a run.
    Hey Ben, it took me a few weeks this fall, but I'm increasingly on board with the idea of Contreras behind the plate for the Cards next year and beyond. I liked the case you made for him, and hopefully that'd work out better than Fowler, the last valued Cubs player poached by Mozeliak.....

    My question is about Jordan Walker, though. Looks like he's enjoying the AFL every bit as much as he did AA this year, so of course there's rampant speculation about his potential promotion to the bigs in '23 if he shows well at Spring Training. But even setting aside the offense's struggles in recent years against good pitching and in October, it seems like prized young hitters that have thrived in Jeff Albert's revamped minor-league system haven't converted that to *sustained* success at the major-league level yet (Carlson, Knizner, Bader, Burleson, DeJong who was already up with the team and hitting well). Is it fair to worry that Walker might similarly struggle to adjust to major-league pitching, or do you see something different with guys like Donovan and Noot this year that gives you hope Walker can reach his potential with the current coaching staff?

    Relatedly, if the playoff cold spells don't do it, could another top prospect falling flat with the Cards be the thing that finally sours the FO on Albert's ability to translate his broader philosophy to the day-to-day work he does with these guys?
    Welcome aboard :)
    Young hitters are going to struggle at times. That's the reality. Progress is rarely linear. Linear progress from prospect through repeat All-Star is quite rare. It's why Albert Pujols is so amazing. He never really struggled as a Cardinal in a sport defined by failure. How young hitters respond to and adjust to said struggles is the telling point. I think Juan Yepez showed good signs of that this season. Edman has but needs to iron out the downswings. Carlson is in prove-it territory moving forward after not capitalizing this season. Let's see what Donovan and Nootbaar and Gorman do next season. DeJong doesn't look like he's going to figure it out, at least not here, I'm afraid. More than anything, I think a lot of this conversation revolves around unproven young guys being relied upon a bit too much, and I do think Oli Marmol has done a better job of trying to manage around that. He's moved guys in and out, up and down, and not let one blip turn into a season-ruining freefall. He was OK giving guys more chances after they had cooled off, and we saw some of those guys -- Yepez -- get going again. He seems to have more realistic expectations of some of these guys, as opposed to thinking every one is going to be the next big thing every time. Maybe Walker is that. We'll see. But the Cardinals should let him make that clear, not forecast it for him with how they assign his role this upcoming season. If it's clear, it will be obvious, and it will make this team better for baking in some time for growing pains.
    This question is for you, as opposed to a team. I give you a lot of credit for calling for the Cardinals front office to be more aggressive, and you’ve been it for some time. After the last abrupt post season exit I’ve read many more articles, from multiple writers, talking about how the front office needs to update their model. I wasn’t reading anything like that from them before. The only thing that’s changed is those other writers finally realized what’s been going on for several years now. Do you ever get frustrated by how slow some are to react?
    I just try to focus on my own work. I'm not the first to suggest the Cardinals can get after it a little bit more. They role their eyes at me and that's fine, but I do think people who are feeling this way are multiplying. You can respect the team's tradition and annually relevant regular seasons and still believe the gas pedal can go down a bit more. I've said it before but I'll repeat it again: It was not the fans who plopped a replica of the Commissioner's Trophy in Ballpark Village. A team that does that cannot get too mad when asked why it's not showing more signs of being upset about no championship since 2011. Can't have it both ways.
    Hi Ben, since the Cardinals got an early exit there has been several articles about what they could learn from the Phillies which is generally in reference to the long ball. I'm not sure I understand this notion that this is the only way to win. The Phillies have bad defense and a bad bullpen, which until very recently would be a poor recipe for winning in the postseason. I understand home runs help but the cardinals were top 10 in that category this year. To me the Cardinals were one bad 9th inning from swapping places with the Phillies this postseason. Sometimes can't it just be the randomness of the postseason? I would not change this teams identity, just improve upon it.
    It pays to have a really good catcher. The Phillies have one. The Cardinals need one.
    If there is internal doubt about a manager, make a proactive change. The Phillies did this. So have the Cardinals.
    Two dueling aces are great to have in the postseason. The Cardinals did not have this. They didn't come close.
    Signing Bryce Harper is a great idea. (The Cardinals should have done this!)
    For me the Cardinals and Phillies are not drastically different offensive-minded teams. They both want to hit the ball hard and launch homers. The Phillies just have more guys who can do it. That's the story of the Phillies. They have more dudes. They didn't always play up to it during the regular season, but they are now. In large part because ownership got fired up and pushed the envelope in roster construction.
    Do you think the Transfer QB's saw the offensive line and decided they'd be better off elsewhere
  • That would have been wise but I think most transfer QBs have other thing$ on the mind these days.
    Obligatory ex-Cardinal comment with a twist: Harrison Bader lighting it up for the Yankees this fall is a reminder, not of yet another former player suddenly becoming super-human after leaving, but of the randomness and streakiness of the postseason and the need for *some* players to get hot at the right time.

    The Cardinals of postseasons past saw October heroics from guys like Descalso, Kozma, Freese, Jay, Craig, Adams, and Belliard, not just Pujols and Edmonds and Molina. It should be a concern to the FO that despite adding Goldschmidt, Arenado, a rejuvenated Pujols, and multiple talented youngsters, they still can't seem to get those heroics from anybody anymore (other than one glorious first inning against a not-particularly-good Mike Foltyniewicz back in 2019).

    Whether the issue is with their revolving cast of characters in the lineup, or the guy working with those characters during and between games, I sure hope this is the last year for a while that we have to hear "those pitchers over there are really good" and then see other playoff teams score 5+ runs against said good pitchers (SD put up 6 on Aaron Nola, so even he is human after all).
  • No love for Juan Yepez? Dang.
    How is Mike Shannon doing. I miss him on the radio.
    He has a new book out with Rick Hummel. Every Cardinals fan should check it out. Available pretty much everywhere. You will laugh, a lot.
    Will Missouri finally get their heads out of their rears and make sports gambling legal next spring? Between the cost of gas and the mileage on my car getting into Illinois I could probably fund my entire college football season.
    When you are bordered by states that are green-lighting something that can make money . . . probably time to join the party. Responsibly, of course.
    Ben, will we ever know what happened to Paul Goldschmidt from Aug 26th through Oct 8th? Otherwise, fans are left to speculate one of the following scenarios: a horrid season ending slump, fatigue from a long grinding season, a recurrence of a back injury or some other injury, loss of focus after locking up division coupled with Pujols mania. Surely the front office must know by now how the leading MVP candidate literally fell off the earth over the last six weeks. Time for the P-D to make some calls with the front office.
    I think that will be a big topic tomorrow, when Mozeliak meets with the media. We'll have plenty of coverage from the postseason presser. 
    And with that, I've gotta run.
    Thanks to everyone who stopped by. Same time and place next week. Cheers.
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