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 your week is off to a strong start. Nice weather, eh? TONS to talk about this week. Cards offseason. Blues have switched streaks, from losing to winning against good teams. BIG game for the basketball Billikens tonight. Mizzou needs to win out to get to a bowl game, at least one that can be celebrated with any decency. And CityPark opens, officially, tomorrow night. Musial Awards on Saturday. Good times. Busy times. Let's ride.
    In yesterdays chat with DG many chatters are wanting to trade for a catcher. One fan mentioned that
    Andrew Kizner was a pretty good hitter in the minors above avg. for a catcher. DG made the comment
    that the Cardinals where concerned they may have hurt his growth as a hitter due to the shortage of playing time behind Yadi. I have always been of this thinking myself. I would like to see the Cardinals
    get a experienced catcher as a backup and hope for Andrew to start hitting like he has in the minors.
    We made it (to the play offs) this past season with poor production from that spot and several others. If we do any trading we need a top of the rotation pitcher that can be counted on every fifth day. A true stopper, pitching is the name of the game.... as the old saying goes good pitching stops good hitting.
    If you can please play GM for a moment and tell us who you would trade for. Thank you as always for these chats.
    I wouldn't trade for a catcher. I'd sign free-agent Willson Contreras to be my catcher, and let him DH sometimes so Andrew Knizner could still get some reps, and later, that person getting the secondary reps could be Ivan Herrera -- if the Cardinals are still as high on his long-term potential as they were before his premature debut this past season. Catcher. Lineup protection for Goldschmidt and Arenado. Swing and miss stuff for the pitching staff. Those are the obvious needs. Free agency and trades offer chances to strengthen the weaknesses. The kind of pitcher that makes a lot of sense to me is not a reliever (volatile) or another mid-rotation starter type (the Cards have plenty of those), but a top-end starter who can make the rotation better at the top and the bullpen better by trickle-down effect. Carlos Rodon is very good but also will be quite expensive. I like the idea of Justin Verlander on a high-paying short-term deal. The Astros probably do, too, though.
    Ben Fred, thanks for your Chat
    Write article today about the Cardinals misfires on free agents. I don’t know how a group of individuals can get an extension based on their track record of free agents. It’s one disaster after another not to mention trading rookie of the year, which they haven’t had since rookie Albert Pujols, and trading the first and second best pitchers in the major leagues this year!
    If the Cardinals front office was graded solely on free agency, you answered your own question. It would be a bad grade over recent seasons. But the organization often views free agency as one of the least prioritized ways to improve the team. The Cardinals are always going to be a pipeline driven, development based team under this current ownership group and front office. Their big moves have come in trades, two of which have been brilliant recently, the swaps for Goldschmidt and Arenado. Free agency around here is often used more to supplement. That's what makes this offseason interesting. The spots that need help are not small fixes. A very important position at catcher. Lineup muscle and potent pitching. That's why I'd encourage those exhausting free-agent possibilities (we all do it) to not overlook potentials for trades.
    Did you see the crowd in Munich singing Country Roads at the NFL game this past weekend? Its time to embrace "The Road" as a world wide phenomenon!
    Regarding the Blues: Yes, the losing streak was a stinker, but I've tried to keep the mindset that it is a fluke or aberration, and that anything that can be done in 8 games can be undone in 8 games. However, it seems like a lot of people really jump on extreme solutions quickly, such as "trade X, Y, and Z", "fire Berube" or "burn everything down for draft picks". Most of the time, I think that this is just armchair quarterbacking, but would there actually be any reason for Armstrong to make moves like this so early in the season? If someone was intent on letting the team burn in order to get better draft picks, why make any moves at all? Why aren't fans willing to just "see what happens"?
    Overreacting to early hockey is almost always a bad choice.
    The Blues are showing some signs of life, but they've still dug a damaging hole for themselves.
    We'll see if they can keep climbing out of it.
    This is what Armstrong hoped to see; he would much rather watch this than have to start following through on rebuilding threats.
    And that, to me, is what kind of opened the door to the snowballing of panic.
    Armstrong gave the snowball a hefty push down the hill, let's not forget.
    When a GM goes into the room to defend the coach to the players, and then says publicly that if the product doesn't start improving then changes will be made to the room, and the team goes out and loses some more games after that, there is going to be a conversation of, well, what will it look like if he actually follows through?
    Fortunately the rattling of the cage seemed to work, at least for now, and some of the blow-it-up stuff can pause at least for now.
    But the talk about it being a possibility was not just from disgruntled fans or social media angst.
    Army set that table, desperate for a response. It seems he's getting one.
    You think the Cards are actually going to sign a major hitter?? Never..their going to go internal and promote someone from Triple A and hope they will be the next superstar
    Their next big hitter could be coming the pipeline -- Jordan Walker is legit, folks -- but that doesn't mean they should put him in that pressure-packed spot of being the lineup protection to Goldschmidt and Arenado the Cardinals have admitted they need. Give him a shot to make the team out of spring training. If he forces the hand, and he could, then let him be the pleasant surprise in the lineup, the guy who moves up due to his performance (hopefully) as the season progresses, not one who steps into the box for the first time at Busch feeling the weight of the middle order and the expectations it provides. National League rookie of the year Michael Harris just posted a spectacular adjusted OPS+ of 130 in 2022; league average is 100. He spent most of his at-bats hitting ninth, and didn't have more than 20 at-bats above the No. 6 spot in the Braves order. That's how you give a young guy a chance to star, without asking him to do too much even when he does.
    What do you make of Isiaih Mosely thus far? I was expecting he'd be top 2 or 3 in minutes going into the season and shooting a bit more when he is on the floor.
    I thought he would start and likely be the team's leading scorer. I don't know the specifics of what the beef is between him and Coach Gates, but it's pretty clear Gates is taking the long-term view of this butting of heads. He's here to build a program, and he's not going to adjust his expectations for the star transfer, period. If it hurts him some in season one, I think he will take that risk for the standard it sets later. And hopefully Mosley gets on the same page and starts playing more, maybe even starting, moving forward. I do think they are a better team with his scoring potential on the floor, and some of the defenses the Tigers will face moving forward will be tougher than the ones featured in the undefeated start.
    Mosley is a player, for sure. But he's not the perfect player. I got dragged on social media and the Mizzou message boards -- shocking, I know -- for daring to suggest when he committed to Mizzou that there are some elements of his game that need work. The young man can score. When his shot is dropping, he's as dangerous as you will find. When his shot is not falling, or when he's not dominating the ball, what else is he bringing to the floor? Gates it seems wants to have a nice tempo to the game and wants his guys moving the ball. Great. Sometimes Mosley can dominate the ball and slow things down. Also: Defense. Mosley doesn't need to be a great defender, but he has to be an invested one. Sometimes that was not always there at Missouri State, and that's putting it nicely. He was a good pickup for the Tigers, but Gates seems to be making it clear he's going to have to play within Gates' parameters -- or not play as much as everyone thought.
    I have quit watching college basketball, even my alma mater, due to the constant roster churn as a result of the new transfer rules. I wonder if other fans will follow suit and attendance and tv ratings will drop.
    College hoops is not the TV juggernaut that football is. The March crowd is the money driver. I imagine those numbers will be up, as they always are. We'll see. I agree with you that it was more fun to follow players over the course of their careers at one place, instead of learning a new team every season. But, hard to knock the players for pursuing greener pastures when coaches do the same, regardless of contracts.
    Does Drinkwitz's livelihood with Mizzou hinge on this years transfer portal? It's looking like the defense will be losing a lot of it's front seven, and I haven't seen much from the O-line to suggest internal options will drastically improve the unit. QB is of course the biggest x-factor. Do you anticipate he'll be able to add enough instant impact through the portal while retaining what talent he has?
    Keeping the fringe NFL guys out of the draft on defense will be a big key. Guys who are clear and obvious picks, you tell them go and good luck. Guys who could improve their stock with one more year in Baker's system, you have to sell them on staying and hope they listen. Transfer O-line help is going to be a must, I think. Drinkwitz has had some success there and hopefully can again. Remember Mike Maietti? Go get some more guys like that. QB is a real puzzle. If he goes portal chasing, what could he lose? There is no guarantee you get a better answer if you take that route. See last season as an example. If there's a QB transfer out there with multiple years of eligibility left that Drink feels he has a good chance to get, and would upgrade the offense for seasons, plural, I think you have to take a run at him and hope it doesn't backfire. Depending on who Drinkwitz targets as a play-calling offensive coordinator -- the extension included assistant salary upgrade that makes that likely -- maybe there could be package deal of some sorts out there? Maybe this answer gets a little more obvious if Sam Horn plays some against New Mexico State. I hope he does. Time to see him.
    Boy..Bryce Harper's contract sure looks like a good deal now. I guess the Cards will shy away from signing a real hitter because of price and length. Don't they realize the longer they wait the more money they have to spend or are they just counting on these young guys to come up through the system, then find out they can't hit MLB pitching. It took them three years to figure out Bader and O'Neill cant hit a breaking ball.
    Don't waste your time trying to convince The Chat that Bryce Harper is a stud. It prefers to stick to outdated takes that been proven false :)
    The Cardinals are not writing off O'Neill, at least not yet. Could be be traded this offseason? Perhaps. But so far the talk is that he's sticking around STL to work with the training staff on a program that will keep him on the field for more games. After stressing for seasons that O'Neill was not injury prone -- despite proof of the opposite -- the Cardinals are now prioritizing a shift in gears in training for him that they hope can keep him healthy. When he's healthy and locked in, he's one of the more threatening hitters on this team. But getting those two things -- healthy and locked in -- to sync up have been difficult. The talk around O'Neill this offseason reminds me a little bit of the pledge the Cardinals gave Paul DeJong entering the 2022 season. That's why I could see O'Neill being back, and DeJong not being back. We'll see.
    I am happy MIZZOU still has a chance for a bowl game. Beating Ark will be a huge challenge, especially if Ark great QB plays, he was hurt vs LSU. IT will be interesting to see what Drink does in the off season. Tennessee just wore us out with their incredible pace they run their offense at, and skill they have. Basketball wise, so smart for Gates first year play a watered down non conference schedule. Their lack of size will make it very difficult in the SEC. I see a 10 and 3 non conference record and 7 and 11 conference record . Win one in the SEC tournament and get a 3rd seed in one of the regions of the NIT. That would make for an incredible first season for Gates.
    If Mizzou takes care of business against NMSU and beats Arkansas, the Tigers will be deserving Mediocre Bowl participants. No shame in that game. However, if they wind up in that group of 5-7 teams that get bowl consideration because there are not enough legitimate bowl-eligible teams, that's a cloud I can't help but yell at. I get it. The SEC wants the bowl revenue and more teams in bowl games helps that. Coaches like the extra practices, especially if you could be starting a young QB next season. But attending a bowl game -- and expecting fans to go -- to see a team that, even with a bowl game win, would finish the season with a losing record? It goes against the entire idea of what bowl games should be.
    I'm jazzed up about City SC. However, I read the most-recent PD story about the stadium with a bit of concern. The plan to have the supporters' end be standing-only, with drums encouraged, sounds inorganic to me. Why not simply let STL City fandom emerge and evolve on its own, as the STL soccer ecosystem fosters it? Why tell everyone there must be drums?

    Broadly, I find US soccer fandom to involve forcing elements from overseas. At times, it feels a bit unnatural. And I say this as a big soccer fan who gets excited about Team USA, both men's and women's.

    FWIW: I just attended a game in the EFL Championship league (English football's second division) and sat in the Kop end--the UK equivalent of what City is talking about. There were seats; people sat and stood as the game action flowed. The stadium held ˜33k, attendance was ˜29k, and the energy was off the charts. There were no drums or smoke bombs. The local scene was true to itself, and it was awesome.

    This is, I think, the first thing I've heard about CIty SC that has given me pause.

    Any thoughts?
    The layout of the stadium gives some choice to the fan. If you're looking for the most raucous point, the general admission supporter section will be where to target. There are other sections for assigned seating, if you're looking for something a little more subdued. I don't get the sense anything is being forced. A lot of the chants and songs that will be heard Wednesday have already become a part of the team's DNA due to fan support of the City2 team and the previous Saint Louis FC team. The Louligans group has adapted well, and they are welcoming to newcomers. This thing isn't starting from scratch, or being dictated by the team.
    Is it okay to wish that Waino had just retired with Pujols and Yadi? I love the guy, he’s first class all the way, but I find myself wondering how paying him $17.5m (all on the ’23 payroll per Goold) moves this team closer to a title? And, while I’m certain he did find the flaw that plagued him his last 5 starts, he’s still 41 years old and is taking a rotation spot and dollars that could have been used on a true ace for 2023 and beyond. Also, I’m kind of farewelled out because it seems that took all the focus down the stretch leading to yet another Wild Card exit.
    I will do all Cardinals fans a favor and print this out so Wainwright can have it at spring training for motivation.
    He' going to have a full bulletin board material again after everybody was singing his praises post-pandemic.
    And he will use it accordingly, or go down trying.
    I get it. It's easy to pick Father Time in this battle. Father Time, eventually, is going to beat every one of us.
    Wainwright thinks he has gas left for one more season that can end better than this last one did.
    The Cardinals were never going to not bring him back if he wanted to come back.
    The salary, love it or hate it, is based on his performance, which was very solid until September.
    Wainwright had a 3.09 ERA entering September.
    It's important to remember that the Cardinals set their own budget. It is not set upon them. It is not a hard salary cap. They chose to bring back Wainwright back on that deal, and they did so knowing the other areas their team needed to improve. If there is not enough "room" in their budget to help those areas but they had to have Wainwright back, there is something they can do. They can expand their budget. It's not against the law. It would not push them beyond the luxury tax. The Cardinals can afford to spend whatever they want to spend this offseason, especially after last season's Pujols palooza.
    Giving Wainwright what he got to be a middle rotation guy isn't going to stop the Cardinals from getting better elsewhere -- unless the Cardinals allow it to.
    Illinois loses at home to Purdue

    "The Big Ten is really down this year."
    -SEC fans

    Kentucky loses at home to Vanderbilt

    "The SEC is really deep this year."
    -SEC fans
  • Well, the Big Ten West is certainly down.
    No team there has more than 4 wins.
    And four of them have 4.
    No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan unfortunately share turf in the East.
    Meanwhile SEC has four teams in the top eight.
    SEC pretty clearly has more good to great teams than the Big 10, and still has a chance depending on how things break to get three teams in the four-team playoff.
    Are there OK to bad teams in the SEC that shouldn't get to attach their wagon to the braggin' rights? You bet. It's why the S-E-C chant is so popular. And why even revenue sharing keeps everybody happy. 
    BenFred -

    Realistic opportunities to add the slugger the Cardinals covet seem few and far between. Joc Pederson is looking more and more like a Giant next year after they offered him that QO. Bryan Reynolds would be a dream trade scenario, but the Pirates will have no motivation to pull the trigger since he's under club control for years to come. None of the Angels are likely to go anywhere until the team has sold. There just aren't any obvious answers.

    We have the prospects needed to pull off just about any trade under the sun, but it takes two to tango.

    My question is - what is your confidence level that we actually get the lineup reinforcement the FO has advertised? Will it need to come from Japan, or do you/they see something us fans don't?
    It's November 15, and the winter meetings are still about a month away.
    There is a lot of time for things to develop.
    You don't get any extra wins for being done first, as long as you're done by the times game count.
    I don't think the Cardinals would advertise a need for lineup protection and do nothing after putting that out there.
    Now, will it be an answer fans universally stand and cheer? No guarantee there. There never is.
    What's your assessment of SLU Billikens? I see a deep rotation that might be a struggle to jell into regular patterns. Tonight and next several weeks are BIG if the team has aspirations of getting polling respect that can lead to top 4 seed in the Show. Hughes looks like a sleeper for playing time even if a walk-on. Your thoughts?
    Don't be surprised if young Hughes is the backup PG behind Collins sooner rather than later.
    Ford has been really impressed with Hughes and Thames, and the word on Hughes is that he has really invested in strengthening his defense, and has won over the older players' trust by knowing the system and doing the right things when he's on the court.
    When you have an older team like this one, a young guy knowing how to fit in with the vets is key, and he's figured that out. Good basketball IQ.
    I think the Billikens know they should be pretty good, and I think we have observed that in flashes in these early games. That's why Memphis and Maryland and Auburn offer such good tests. Because they are opponents that should be good, and SLU knows it can't turn it on and off and still expect to win. Time to see a complete game, locked-in defense and unwavering effort.
    If the Billikens are hitting shots, they could really make a statement in one of these games .There will be nights for these guys where the shots are falling. I'm curious to see how they hang tough (or don't) on nights when the 3s don't drop against a good team. Can they create offense inside. Can they get to the free-throw line and battle for boards and second-chance points? This team has more talent than previous editions. It needs to have as much grit.
    I think the Billikens should be ranked, but what I think doesn't matter this week. If they take care of business, they will be.
    I know his numbers do not look great, but Binnington has been standing on his head all season to give us an opportunity to win games. Quite a few goals that he has given up were hard to near impossible saves, as well as, 8 goals that we have put in our own net. Hope he can keep this up all season, if we make the playoffs, we will be a hard team to play against.
    He's been the the one what-if story line entering the season that has checked the box in a big way.
    It's getting overshadowed, and understandably so, by the team's struggles.
    But I'm with you, and seeing the same.
    Interesting take on Contreras. I feel like that goes against the draft and develop mindset due to them losing their 2nd best pick and $$ due to QO?
    Good players cost stuff. Money. Picks. International spending dollars. The Cardinals would survive.
    I think there are people in the org that see Contreras as a fit.
    There are also people who don't like his defense.
    And there are some who wonder why he wasn't traded for last trade deadline, and if that's a tell to stay away.
    The Astros were on the doorstep to trade for him. And they're meeting with him again this offseason. They don't seem deterred. 
    The payroll accounting tricks by the Cardinals are an absolute slap in the face to a fanbase that did their part last year. Absolutely infuriating.
    The team's self-imposed payroll is not a salary cap.
    The team's self-imposed payroll is not a salary cap.
    The team's self-imposed payroll is not a salary cap.
    There seems to be a lot of talk about Bryan Reynolds and he will cost a lot of prospects for two years of arbitration. Should there be some focus on Andrew Benintendi? Last year Reynold's slash line vs RH pitching was258/345/469 with an 815 OPS. Last year Benintendi's slash line vs RH pitching was 318/384/428 with an 812 OPS. Seems like the Cardinals could get what they need with Benintedi which is a lead off batter against RH pitching. Thank you and keep up the great work.
    I think it's a good name to kick around, but have some questions.
    Is he going to be pursuing a platoon-type role at age 28 coming off an All-Star season?
    Probably not.
    He was a little more splitty last season than his career norm.
    2022: .812 OPS against righties; .675 OPs against lefties
    Career: .808 OPS against righties; .709 OPS against lefties.
    Last season was his most encouraging season since 2018 with the Red Sox. 
    In between has been seasons of league-average-ish offensive production.
    He's a new name, but is he definitely better than what the Cardinals could already have? 
    I'm not sure.
    I'm so excited for the soccer team. Will they're game be on TV tomorrow night?
    It will be streamed on ESPN+ if you have access to that, and also broadcast on Facebook by Lider Sports Media with a Spanish call. KMOX has the radio call. Post-Dispatch will have gobs of coverage, spearheaded by soccer guru Tom T.
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