Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Join columnist Ben Frederickson for a live chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Ben Frederickson will answer all of your Cardinals, Blues, St. Louis City, Mizzou and SLU questions in Tuesday's 11 a.m. live chat.

    Hey, Ben: Last week in wrote in trying to restrain my giddiness over Bazelak, and, among other things, asked what will go down as one of the dumbest questions ever in this chat: do you think he'll win the starting job?

    Now, the reins are off. I'm in full gush-mode about this kid. I still can't get over how poised he is and how he seems to put the ball in the spot he wants nearly every time. I honestly believe that, barring injury, he is going to challenge Chase Daniel as the all-time best at Mizzou. He's got Lock's size and arm combined with Daniel's touch and accuracy.

    I also think we're going to look back and remember the infamous first list of coaching candidates that Sterk submitted and thank the hiring committee for throwing it in the trash and demanding someone else. I'm just so impressed that Drinkwitz has been able to create such cohesion and execution (especially on the offensive side) under such challenging circumstances. If the only the D-line were performing like the O-line! I don't see Mizzou beating Florida or Georgia, but I think they'll have a good shot at a .500 season, which would be impressive under the circumstances and the schedule.
  • Give yourself a break.
    There have been dumber questions.
    There have been much dumber answers :)
    If we knew what we know now about Bazelak, the season predictions for Mizzou would have been rosier than they were.
    And remember -- his eligibility is frozen this season so it's not even counting toward his college total of years he can play.
    It's safe to say the Tigers have their quarterback of the future as long as he's healthy.
    Now, let's breathe.
    The win against LSU was big. Big for Drinkwitz. Big for Bazelak. Big for recruiting, perhaps most importantly. But I think we might find out this LSU team, over the course of the season, is not all that good. So, enjoy the win and feel great your team has found its QB, but remember to breathe, too. Lots of season left.
    I guess the hard thing for a Cardinals fan like me to wrap my head around is reading how the Blues were willing to break the bank for Pietroangelo, but yet I am reading built-in excuses for the Cardinals not to spend real money on free agents to improve the team. I guess the Blues are spending to the cap eventhough they are looking at another pandemic filled season? It's weird. I thought the Cardinals were in a better position financially than the Blues? If they are, how can financially challenged Blues who play the less popular sport be able to afford to continue this way? Is the Cardinal ownership in bad financial shape? What other reason could their be? This Cardinal ownership has always delivered winners. They were always aggressive. It feels like there is something missing here. Any whispers that they're going broke? What else could explain the sudden shift in support the last few years?
    One of the differences is the Blues played the bulk of their season in front of fans, with just the postseason switched to the bubble.
    Baseball played zero of its games in front of fans, until just now in the championship series, and a limited crowd at that.
    The other thing is what you mentioned -- the cap.
    There's one in hockey. Not one in baseball. It means there isn't a set line in baseball for payroll where teams can be called out by fans for not hitting the line.
    The Cardinals traditionally have been among the higher end of teams in terms of payroll. It's why cries of "cheap" have never made much sense -- and why looking into money that was misspent makes more sense.
    The other thing to remember, and I'm sorry for beating the dead horse here, is that there is labor strife going on in baseball. The collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season. Players want more. Owners are insisting they don't have more to give, especially after the pandemic. Its politics, and it's not done with the fans in mind.
    Meanwhile hockey ironed out a new CBA during the pandemic. Not bad for a sport often criticized as the "garage league."
    All of these factors are going to be in play when you compare NHL to MLB at the moment.
    How much concern do you have that a 60-game season was the perfect tonic for an aging Waino but that asking him to make 30 starts next year will see diminished returns?
    Betting on Father Time in Wainwright's fight against him is a popular bet. Has been for some time now. It will get more popular the longer he plays, no matter how well he plays. A similar contract to what Wainwright had in 2020 -- low base with performance-based incentives would make a lot of sense -- unless he wants a raise in guaranteed money based off how well he pitched in 2020.
    Two questions, sorry. Does Schenn move back to wing? I know he wasn't super comfortable with it before because he was approaching his contract year, but now that he's locked up, I feel like Perron-ROR-Schenn would be our best combo for the top line, and then Thomas could get that 2C opportunity. Also, do you know if the Cardinals have looked into Ha-Seong Kim at all?
    That could be in play. He spent some time there in the bubble when Berube started scrambling lines. Could happen again, and who knows maybe for good.
    As for targets, the Cardinals have been more or less silent since the season ended.
    In a small sample against the Padres the Cards pitching gave up 19 runs which 17 were earned in 3 games. Yet the Dodgers only gave up 9 runs, 8 earned in 3 games against the Padres. With the exception of the Twins, Indians, and maybe White Sox the Cardinals played really poor teams this year. Are we grossly overstating how good our pitching is?
    No.
    The Cardinals were in the upper realms of starter and bullpen ERA in a season they lost Miles Mikolas at the start and Dakota Hudson in crunch time.
    They didn't have John Brebbia or Jordan Hicks for the season, then lost John Gant in crunch time as well.
    The pitching is good, and deep.
    How much of Mizzou's win was about Mizzou being better than believed vs a LSU team only returning 5 starters and having a bad down year?
    There's some truth to the LSU-is-overrated angle.
    But let's also mention Mizzou was without three of its top receivers -- although it might have found new top receivers -- and a top defensive lineman.
    Seemed to me like that went overlooked on the TV broadcast, which immediately flipped from how dominant LSU was to how they were set up to lose the game because of all the turnover and venue change without every giving Mizzou much credit for, you know, winning the game.
    Arozarena to Tampa was not valuing him over O'Neill, but valuing Liberatore over Arozarena.
    If the Cardinals would have liked Arozarena's upside more than O'Neill's, Arozarena, not O'Neill, would have been starting in left field this season. And he would have received more at-bats as a result of his strong but very limited play in 2019. Liberatore could turn out to be great. But the Cardinals entered 2020 with big outfield holes and big bets on the players they hoped to see fill them. Arozarena was not one of those players. O'Neill was. That was my point.
    The Cardinals have the second longest consecutive winning seasons in mlb history behind only the Yankees of the 20s-60s. Yes we can expect more but we should let that sink in. Wow.... and for those that say it’s about championships, we have more recently than almost any other team can say.....
    Oh, yes. Cardinal Nation's problems are first-world problems. Sometimes that needs to be pointed out.
    Was Waino’s commentating during the Braves/Fish series a tryout for his next career? If so, he better work for FSMW instead!
    It sounds like he wants to do it on some sort of basis after his playing days are over but maybe not full time. I think he wants to be home with his family, at least for a good long while, in the beginning of his post-playing retirement, maybe with some TV gigs here and there. He had a good interview with Andrew Marchand, media writer at the New York Post, about how he sees that idea playing out when he's done playing.
    My connection to the chat sometimes only lets me write 1 sentence. What I wanted to say was I don't believe the team valued O'Neill higher than Arozarena, but Arozarena was what it took to get Liberatore.
    Got it. I think/hope I answered below. My response was that if that was the case, Arozarena (not O'Neill) would have been first up among the internal options to get a crack at a starting job, not O'Neill.
  • does Martinez and Miller in a money Contract swap for a higher paid Outfielder make any scence I know there will be moving parts also, thanks
    I believe Andrew Miller has a full no-trade clause, so he would have to agree to be moved in any deal.
    Does Jeff Albert wear a Cardinals uniform next year?
    Fair question. I don't know. Team has been mum on Albert and his future. Said it's an offseason topic, and they have not addressed it yet publicly since their offseason started.
    Do you think that the Cardinals would have any interest in Kris Bryant and if not any guess where he might end up?
    Who's going to lead the Kumbaya session between Bryant and Yadi?
    Can Randy Arozarena live-steam it?
    Bryant isn't a free agent until after the 2021 season.
    If he's moved, I doubt it will be to an NL Central team, let alone the rival Cardinals.
    Everyone is afraid of being on the wrong end of the next Brock-for-Broglio.
    My point regarding Flaherty is, based off of his comments, he doesn't seem to be one in the camp of hometown/homegrown discounts in reference to contracts. Especially his first one. The Cards for quite awhile now, have lived in the hometown discount arena. My guess is there is a huge gap in each others' evaluation of Flaherty's worth, so why not maximize the value. His 3 year running ERA is 3.66. Not 2.25. Its good, but not otherworldly. Yes Cards are pitching and defense, because that's all they got. Add another .300 hitter and maybe that pitcher with a 3.90 ERA ( who I'm positive the Cards got 4-5 of those laying around ) and now you have something. All games don't have to be 3-2 no matter who your point of contact is in the Cards FO.
    My point of contact in the Cards FO? What are you talking about? I've been pointing out the problems with the lineup all season, and before that. I just don't think trading Flaherty is the way to answer those problems. If it brings in Arenado? OK. Sign me up. For some guy who hits .300? Nope.
    I found your response re Bauer interesting. I think you're right, he's not a personality fit. Do you think the Cards have an issue with valuing personality over production, or at least weighing personality too much?
    One person's issue is another person's strength.
    Just depends on how you view it.
    The Cardinals -- and many of their fans -- were uncomfortable with Marcell Ozuna wearing a neon yellow arm sleeve.
    I don't think they would feel comfortable signing a pitcher who goes on YouTube to rip into MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, a close friend of the Cardinals owner.
    Certain things that fly elsewhere don't fly here.
    Some celebrate that.
    Others see it as a stuffiness that could limit an ability certain players' fit here.
    Just depends.
  • Whom do you think Doug Armstrong will choose as the next Blues’ captain? My guess is Ryan O’Reilly with Braden Schenn and Jaden Schwartz as assistant captains. Long shot - Alexander Steen as the captain for a year if he is well enough to play.
    It sounds like there is a decent chance Steen might not be healthy to start the season, and at least some chance that he could retire, based on the kind of vague but telling comments Doug Armstrong made the night of the Krug signing.
    So, I think that's less likely now.
    I think it will be O'Reilly. Parayko would be by second guess. I would pick O'Reilly.
    is tyler o'neill arb-eligible yet? if yes, i'd imagine a nontender is on the way. I think 2020 gave tyler ample opportunity to prove what he can do, and, frankly, it wasn't much. If the Cardinals come to spring training for the 3rd year in a row singing the same song and dance about giving O'Neill more opportunities, then they're lying. They pinch hit for him with another right handed hitter, against a righty, in a playoff game.
    I don't think he's arbitration eligible until 2022.
    I'm with you on this topic.
    He's had his chances. Time to move on.
    Didn’t the Cards lead the NL in homers in 2016 or 2017? That certainly didn’t help them. Just thinking out loud.
    That's why the goal should not be to add power at the expense of pitching and defense. Keep your strengths. Improve the weakness. Offense, alone, is not the answer.
    One of the keys to being successful is surrounding yourself with people that raise you up and avoiding those that bring you down. Being stabbed on two separate occasions suggests that Pham struggles to surround himself with the right kind of people.
    One of those stabbings was from a family member, so I'm not sure that one was completely in his control.
    Hanging out at a strip club? Not a great idea.
    When will MLB let the NL know weather the DH will be in play or not?This is very important information that teams need to know about crafting their team.
  • If next season is "back to normal" there will be no DH in the NL, and the players and owners would have to agree on changing that.
    If next season is another season like 2020, where a one-year deal is worked out between players and owners, then I imagine it will be in play.
    And I think it will probably be here for good after 2021.
    Teams would be wise to build like it's here to stay, but there won't be a hard answer until baseball can get a feel for what 2021 looks like.
    That's why this offseason is going to be so wacky. There are a lot of questions and no answers at the moment.
    I read something the other day about Petro holding out when his last big contract came up,and about the Blues wanting to get something done before last season started,and Petro wanting to wait. And,when he didn't want to sign before the deadline to get the 8 year contract/ What else was there to know?The signs were there for all to see,and it was clear weeks ago that Vegas wanted him. I mean,what else could DA do,to appease him? Lastly,could the Blues file tampering charges against Vegas?
    The tampering angle is coming from Larry Brooks of The New York Post as far as I can tell. He wrote this recently: "There has been so much talk about St. Louis right defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, the premier free agent on the market, fleeing to Vegas when the market opens on Friday that I am hearing substantial talk the Blues might be prepared to file tampering charges if that’s the way it shakes out." That's a bold claim. I would be surprised if the Blues go that route. I think it would do as much harm to the Blues than it would anyone. It would look vengeful and a little sour-grapes. The Blues made a strong pivot to Torey Krug. They should plan on beating Vegas, not proving tampering allegations. I did find it interesting that Pietrangelo's tune has changed now. He told Andy Strickland that he was interested in playing somewhere other than St. Louis. That's a pretty different tune change than we heard previously. I've said it before and I'll say it again. The only person that kept Pietrangelo from finishing his career with the Blues was Pietrangelo.
    A question and a comment- What are your thoughts on a realistic best case scenario for the 2021 redbirds?

    Additionally, think the cards were unfortunate to trade JMart and not sign Ozuna for a year that allowed a DH (no way to predict, I know.) Im hoping that the cardinals are better are reading the CBA tea leaves and can either find a great option at DH (and not use the position player isnt good enough to be a starter otherwise) or not be wrong and have another 4th outfielder or backup 1B/3B that is a defensive (and financial) liability.

    As always, thank you to you and the whole staff for these chats. Will be here all winter for them.
    Best case scenario? They are honest and critical about the state of their offense and the instruction of it, and make changes that reflect what needs to improve there. Uptick in power. Perhaps a new voice contributing to or leading to the offensive approach. This team does not need to be a juggernaut of run-scoring to be a postseason threat. It does need to not be the least powerful offense in the postseason when it gets in.
    Understandably, all the talk lately has been around Petro and Krug. Krug is not as complete of a player as Petro, but he will keep the Blues among the league leaders in getting offense from their defenses, which we will need with Tarasenko on the mend. Krug is probably even an upgrade over Petro in terms of being a PP QB. But the key to this upcoming season is clearly the play of Jordan Binnington right? I thought the Blues might look at the deep goalie UFA market this year to give him some cover, but on further reflection it makes sense to get a better idea of what you have in Husso at the NHL level before you have to make a decision on Binnington. Hopefully, Binnington will play lights out, and the only issue will be fitting him under the cap. If that does not happen though, at least you'll have 25+ games to see what you have in Husso to inform your decision making.
    The Blues are indeed making a bet on Binnington and perhaps a more quiet bet on Husso. A common trend among most teams this offseason is going to be scaling back the money paid to goalies, especially backup goalies, and taking a little more risk there. Armstrong was a big fan of the two-goalie setup until the pandemic pinch arrived. Gotta cut somewhere when the salary cap stalls.
    Any thoughts on the Cards signing Gregorius and playing him at 2nd or 3rd or even the outfield? He is a good bat which might be affordable.
  • Not sure about that one. He's barely played anywhere else but shortstop in his career. Seven starts at second. One at third. Zero in outfield. He made $14 million on a one-year deal season and hit well, but I think there will be better fits, defensively, in the don't-break-the-bank pool of free agents. That's if he gets there. Phillies could keep him.
  • Gotta run, folks. Hope everyone has a great week.
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