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.

    BenFred, Carlos is pretty much a box of chocolates except more times than not his starts are sour balls these days. He had previous success and was a valuable member of the bullpen for a couple years. Has there been any thought to switching Carlos and Jake Woodford at least until Mo can acquire pitching help? Carlos could help the “big three “ from being overused and I find it difficult to believe Woodford would be much of a drop off if at all. Thanks and I look forward to your comment.
    The Cardinals have convinced themselves Carlos is a starter despite obvious signs of the opposite since spring training started -- even before the injuries started -- so I have a hard time seeing them change their tune now. The track record of him preferring the rotation, and them factoring that into their decision making, is already in place. It's a bizarre situation and has been for a while.
    Do you think the Cardinals front office feels any pressure since they have been dethroned as the gold standard in how to run a franchise? The Cardinals have the overall championship title number, but the Dodgers have been the best run organization for a few years now. I would compare the response after two different post seasons. The Cardinals got destroyed in the 2019 playoffs, but the team did very little going into 2020. Many of us saw what the Nationals did to the Cardinals coming from a mile away. Now contrast that with the Dodgers. They win it all in 2020 and going into 2021 they sign the best starting pitcher available. Do the Cardinals realize fans have access to what other teams do outside the Central division? Before you point out that the Dodgers have more money I would like to remind everyone that teams like the Dodgers and Yankees had more money in 2010 when you could easily make the argument the Cardinals were the best run organization.
    The Cardinals don't sound too pressured at the moment, at least according to John Mozeliak's recent interview with Derrick Goold.
    Granted, some of that is likely an attempt to paint a calm picture a) to make better deals from and b) to speak it into existence.
    But let's not kid ourselves here. Pressure on the Cardinals comes from all kinds of places, but if it's not coming from the top -- that would be ownership -- it's not all that high. Fans having a lukewarm feeling toward the team is pressure. If attendance lags, that's pressure. But the biggest pressure comes from bosses, which in this case is owners.
    The Cardinals are not pleased with this recent downswing this season. They are concerned about some of the problem areas. But pressure to fix things or clean house, no, that is not a vibe that is being put out at the moment. They are more desperate than they are showing, though. I think.
    Re SCOTUS/NCAA ruling, in my opinion, ideal long term outcome would be a loosening of sports' link to education at all levels, such as already exists in US soccer and track&field to an advanced degree. This is the European template, as perfected by Germany. Appropriate in all kinds of ways! Your thoughts, Ben?
    Not sure the wheel needs to be reinvented. Just give the athletes a bigger piece of the pie, and let people keep rooting for their favorite college teams. No one gets bent out of shape about music students playing in bands that make money while on scholarships. Why should sports be any different?
    Gorman has hit at AA. How close is his defense at 2B to ML ready? If Dejong does not hit over the next 4-6 weeks is Edman SS Gorman 2B possible in August?
  • He didn't make his second-base debut in Springfield until about a month ago, so it would be a lot to expect him to be ready there at the major league level after such little experience in Class AA. If the offense reaches a truly desperate spot, maybe that doesn't matter much? I think the Cardinals would prefer to avoid starting his clock on top of assigning that kind of pressure on him as the guy who needs to come save the offense as a 21-year-old. There will be rentals, multiple, available who have been hitting well at the major league level who could be a better bet to help this team in the second half and postseason, if it gets there. That said, if Gorman keeps hitting three home runs in a game it's going to be hard to ignore wanting to find out how fast he can climb.
    Does the Tarasenko discord start with his snub of the C on the jersey last offseason?
    He was honked off about that, more than the cover-up job made it seem.
    But I think the idea that the Blues could be better off without him and his cap hit came more from how he played this season, which was not all that good.
    If Tarasenko isn't scoring, he doesn't bring that much else to the ice.
    If he scores, all good.
    If not, he's paid a lot to be a player who doesn't move the needle in other areas.
    Do you remember a few years ago when a ball was pitched to Molina and bounced up and stuck to his chest? He stood up and it was there attached to his chest. No one batted an eye. Seems now like it was one of our pitchers using spider-tack. Do you know who pitched that ball?
    It was Brett Cecil.
    MLB did an investigation and closed it without any punishments, another sign of just how disinterested the league was at enforcing that kind of stuff at the time.
    Just because we all need a laugh, here's some breaking news: Creighton just got hit with NCAA penalties in the basketball bribery case. Not Auburn and serial cheater Brue Pearl. Not Louisville and the reign of chaos that Rick Pitino led; not Kansas, against whom the evidence is overwhelming. Nope, none of the crooked power 5 teams. Just Creighton. Meanwhile, Will Wade still coaches on at LSU and nothing has happened to Arizona despite both programs being shown for the cheaters they are with their coaches on tape talking about paying players. It's just so funny.
    Those others will get theirs eventually. The Creighton news is news in that perhaps some of these decisions are starting to be made. I can promise you there is no celebrating on the plains or in Baton Rouge today.
    Can we agree that the Noobaar is the tastiest of the candy bars?
  • Could you envision a scenario in which the NFL has a draft-and-develop system like MLB's minor leagues, where high-school athletes who are interested only in a professional career would bypass the whole NCAA thing altogether? This would hopefully allow/force schools to refocus on the "student" side of "student athletes," and maybe they'd even pump less money into sports, as well as freeing up a handful of spaces every year for students who aren't arriving on athletic scholarships.

    I know, this would require a tectonic shift in the economic landscape of how higher education and university athletics works, but a fella can dream, right? If this is even remotely possible, did the SCOTUS ruling this week potentially help to make it even slightly more so?
    I see some big factors pushing against that.
    The biggest: Money.
    An NFL development league would require the league paying for those teams and players and trainers and everything else, for a setting that is not likely to generate a lot of revenue compared to the free development league now offered -- which is college football.
    And college football makes a whole lot of money for college athletic departments and even universities. It helps fund other non-revenue sports, too.
    Again, I don't see the problem in simply giving college players in revenue sports a bigger piece of the revenue generated by those sports. Not doing so is ignoring the obvious. Don't reinvent the wheel. Just modernize it so it turns more equally. 
    I'm not sure what these chatters want Shildt to say when the offense tanks. Is he supposed to say, "Well, unfortunately, our hitters suck?" Or "We could have won, but none of the guys on the team give a ---" or maybe "Our strategy was to hit the ball really hard, but none of our guys were buying it." There's nothing a coach can say when talented players are struggling, so long as they're putting their effort into trying to succeed. What does he accomplish if he says, "Well, we really needed Arenado to come through in a couple of spots, but he failed. Bad job on his part"? Twelve angry chatters will be pleased and he'll have lost the locker room.
    There's a difference between ripping guys publicly and defending a product that is not good enough and getting bristly about fair questions about it.
    Shildt sometimes gets too far on the wrong side of it, and I see why it ruffles the feathers of some.
    Some seem to think the comments Shildt makes into the Zoom cam after the games are the same ones he's sharing with the front office, his coaches and players. 
    I don't think that. No one should.
    Dylan Carlson - Zero HR at Busch this season. His output overall is considerably less than advertised. Oversold to the fan base as an offensive force? or is this just the impact of playing in an extreme pitchers park?
    I'll push back on this one, a lot.
    Dylan Carlson's .756 OPS this season is fourth among rookies who have more than 200 at-bats this season.
    This chat has spent a lot of time wishing the Cardinals had Randy Arozarena.
    His OPS this season is .763, one spot ahead of Carlson's on that list of rookies.
    So, no, I don't think Carlson was over-advertised. I think he's a really good young player who is playing like one. He's 22 years old. 
    Javy Baez is one of the leaders of the Cubs team and his manager, only in his second season, had the guts to pull him out for a complete lack of awareness. Shildt should show a little bit of that. There's not a world where Yadi would be pulled for the same thing, but there should be. No accountability, they keep losing, Shildt's message will lose its voice.
    Maybe. But I'd like to see how Baez responds to the challenge before I say it's a genius stroke. I'm one of the few around here who thinks Ross is a decent manager. He doesn't get much credit.
    What happened to Lane Thomas? He was days away from being the starting centerfielder in 2019, gets covid in 2020, thus a lost season, and now, he's just not a major league player. Not great in the field, completely lost at the plate. What happened?
  • Man, no clue. He was poised to have a real shot this season and the door has opened multiple times due to injuries or lack of performance of others dating back to spring training. He just has not capitalized. I think he needs a chance to play often in Memphis before and if another attempt occurs.
    Hi BenFred, I have to respectfully disagree with you on the college athlete compensation issue. Yes, today's college sports scene is far different than 30-40 years ago. Yes, no one is paying to watch students learn or teachers teach. But just because there's an influx of major cash doesn't mean it should go directly to players. Yes, they likely warrant some type of compensation, in addition to a quite valuable full-ride scholarship, and I have no problem with NIL rights. But in terms of that big pool of money that broadcasting fees is bringing in ... instead of doling it out to athletes in primarily two sports, how about it goes toward the colleges and universities themselves in a way that starts driving down the costs of a college education for all students? Because right now, it seems colleges are only spending this money in ways that only increase costs for your everyday student, including many athletes.
    Respectfully, I disagree with the premise. I think student athletes who are helping generate massive revenues with their athletic accomplishments should be in line to get a bigger piece of that revenue before it is used to attempt to tackle the student-debt topic.
    Thoughts on the foreign substance thing? The way MLB has handled this feels to me as if they are using it as a tool against the union. MLB wins either way here. They can say that the players were cheating and thus were poor stewards of the game. And then they can turn around and include some universally approved substance as a bargaining chip for the upcoming CBA negotiations. It is just a win / win for the league.
    The crackdown needed to happen, and we are seeing that in the uptick of offense that soon followed.
    But the timing is fair to question.
    This should have been implemented entering a season or at least during the All-Star break.
    It's chaotic to drop changes like this during a season, and it does raise questions about CBA-related motivations, I agrree.
    Ben, great article this morning on the batting coach. The stats are fairly conclusive that the team is not responding to the coaching techniques. But in all fairness, offense across all of baseball has never been this bad due to defensive shifts and power pitching. Not sure how much to pin on the coach but ultimately the player has to figure this out and produce. And the major league has never been more populated with inept hitting, that if it continues, will drive fans away. Thoughts?
    That's why I included the ranks. Offense, in general, is down. But the Cardinals, including that context, are too often found toward the bottom of the NL lists.
    If there was a free agent/trade for a significant right field bat, would Carlson or Bader suffer more playing time loss at this point if Bader was healthy?
    Bader. Carlson's an every-day player.
  • There's been plenty of angst on social media - and in the chat - about Mo and the front office. And while I'm sure the recent skid plays a role, how much of the angst do you think is simply due to Mo fatigue? He's been the face of the front office for well over a decade, I could see some fans simply being tired of him in a leadership role, regardless of how the team is doing.
    There's some of that, sure. It's hard to be loved forever. And he enjoys being combative and standoffish at times, which makes people more opinionated about him.
    Do you really believe Shildt's lineup is a plea for help to the FO? Do you really think the FO needs a reminder of how things are going?
    Have you tried making up different Cardinals lineups with the group currently available?
    It's not all that easy to come up with something that feels much better than the status quo
    Sure, shake it up and all that is a popular cry, but take out a paper and give it a go.
    You will run into the same concerns the manager must be having.
    Shildt has said he has the team he has.
    Mozeliak has suggested a lineup shakeup.
    Seems to me like there's somewhat of a standoff going on here.
    Are you convinced O'Neill is the real deal. Mr. Hummel has more faith in him than a do.
    I want to see him play 145 games in a season before I'm sold. He's impressed. Just needs to stay healthy. If he plays 140+ I bet he will be an All-Star based on home runs alone.
    Not a huge NBA fan and probably never will be, but the playoffs this year has definitely been entertaining to watch.
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