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.

    Ben, I can’t tell you how upset I am about Tarasenko’s comments to the Russian press over HIS disappointment at not being named captain. How do you think this makes O’Reilly feel? Statements like this can divide a locker room. As far as I’m concerned let the Kraken have him. He’s just one hit away from injuring his shoulder permanently anyway.
    Maybe see how he bounces back from the shoulder before prematurely sending him to Seattle.
    I rarely knock a guy for being candid, so I'm not going to do that here.
    But two things came to mind when reading JT's story on Tarasenko feeling snubbed.
    The big one: Tarasenko kept citing his eight years with the team as the reason he felt he should be named captain. Perhaps he should instead try to answer why an eight-year body of work did not earn him the title he wanted. Seems like a better way to look at it, to me.
    The small one: One of the biggest roles in being the captain is being the most forward-facing member of the team. You have to talk, all the time. After losses. Bad losses. Tarasenko has never seemed to have much interest in talking all the time. Sometimes he has little interest in talking when he clearly needs to talk, like back in 2016 when reports were swirling of his discontent with the team, and he bailed on putting it to bed -- until the team rescheduled a later availability for him. That's been water under the bridge for a long time, but the point stands. O'Reilly was the obvious choice to everyone, except for Tarasenko, I guess.
    Sup BenFred,

    Is there any motivation for the Cards to improve if the rest of the division is actively shedding talent? It seems like signing a 38 year-old catcher and a 39 year-old pitcher may somehow be enough to win the division, or at least contend for one the many playoff spots. Not to mention the uncertainty of the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
    If simply getting into the likely expanded postseason is the goal, the Cardinals have a decent shot of that right now, without Molina and Wainwright. I do think both will be back, and I think the Cardinals will take some sort of stab at improving their offense on top of that. Likely a DH if the rule gets approved. As far as timing, who knows. The Cardinals are preaching patience for a reason. Deals arrive late. But yes, there is hesitation across the league due to the uncertainty about 2021 an the future beyond it, and the Cardinals are one of the teams operating with that uncertainty. Well said.
    Its starting to look like the Cardinals are becoming the division favorites by default. The Reds have pushed that large 'Self Destruct' button, the Pirates are blowing in the wind, and the Cubs are in jettison mode Maybe - just maybe - the idea of not adding a bunch of new parts this year and (hopefully) spending money next off-season could be a win-win.
    A win-win for everyone but NL Central baseball fans. 
    This season is going to include a lot of bad ball it seems.
    With Darvish heading to the Padres, the NL Central could be wide open to win. What can the Cardinals do to take a step forward to winning the division?
    Bring back Yadier Molina and Adam Wainwright.
    Improve the offense.
    Pretty simple.
  • While the Cardinals ownership/front office hasn’t exactly covered themselves in glory to start this offseason, WHEW, at least they aren’t the Cubs!
    Any thoughts on if the Darvish trade alters the trade market in the minds of other front offices, or you think it’ll be viewed much more as an outlier than establishing market? Seems like if that’s what it takes for a salary dump, the Arenado conversation is much less what the cards can stomach giving up in talent, and this is a pure money thing they wouldn’t want to do.
    It would depend on the motivation of the Rockies.
    If their goal was to purely get rid of Arenado's salary, taking on more money would give the team trading for the third baseman reason to argue against offering fewer and/or less heralded prospects in return.
    Clearly, the Cubs were willing to make a trade to dump Darvish and his salary that featured zero top-100 prospects.
    That's surprising to me, and I don't think the Rockies would accept that kind of deal for Arenado.
    If you're going to trade Arenado, you need something to show fans you got a good thing in return, even if it's years down the line.
    At least I think.
    Who knows.
    2020 is weird. 
    The 2021 Cardinals will be a snooze fest yet again. But they will win the division because the Central is throwing in the towel. Guess what will happen in the Post Season when they play elite teams? MO will say “eh, we tried.”
    Sounds like you read my 2021 predictions column early
    Ben, with the Darvish move for the Cubs it looks more and more like the cardinals will be the best team in the division if they simply stand pat and field a similar team to last year. I know we as cards fans are impatient but this sets up perfectly in my eyes for them to wait until the final hours of free agency, bargain shop and win this division with relative ease and set themselves up for more spending with the payroll flexibility next year provides. The division is doing our FO a big favor
    I often felt like when the Cubs were trending up in a major way, the Cardinals were trying to rise with the tide jus enough to not use unnecessary rope, because they felt like the tide was going to drop, hard, soon enough. Well, it has. Low tide in the NL Central, and the Cardinals are sitting pretty.
    BF, the Cardinals bump into La Russa again May 24-26 at Guaranteed Rate. Of the dozens of possible sidebars, which one or two do you intend to pursue most vigorously?
    We'll see if that schedule holds.
    The most interesting and obvious local angle would be Shildt's view of managing against the resource he never figured he would manage against.
    TLR has been a big ally for Shildt, and they are closer than some realize.
    One of the first things Shildt did when he was made full-time manager was make sure a TLR photo was displayed in his office.
    There had not been one before.
    Bigger picture, it would seem like a good time to check in on how La Russa and his players are getting along. There was a lot of talk about him not being able to mesh with a young team. I bet that is not the case in reality.
    Who will have had a better career when it's all said and done...Drew Lock or Chase Daniel?
    Ouch. You do realize Lock has already started more than three times as many NFL games as Chase, right? I'll take the 24-year-old who is becoming a victim of recency bias.
  • Just because fans will be allowed in the stands (eventually) if the Cards don't improve offensively, the fans may have a hard time justifying spending their money on tickets to see the same team as 2019.
    The same team as 2019 had Marcell Ozuna, at least.
    I imagine you meant the 2020 team, and I think that's a fair point.
    I've mentioned this in chats before, but the Cardinals continue to talk about payroll being tied to how many fans are in the stands, but they are not saying much about the kind of offense they need to have to fire up people to attend games. Maybe they're banking on the return-to-sports bump that is inevitably coming, but having a lineup that could score a league-average amount of runs doesn't seem like too much to ask, either
    Cards should try to add la stella. Plays IF. Back up incase carp flounders
    Decent power, too. Would make sense. Realistic.
    This will be categorized as really complaining for complaining’s sake, but some like to point to the Goldschmidt trade as an example of Mo’s good judgment and trade acumen, but I don’t see it. We gave up 3 players and $130 million for him and his performance has been solid, not great. I like Goldy and he is our best player, but in terms of value his acquisition is not up there. We could have had Voit manning 1B for a pittance, without a trade.
    Goldschmidt was not traded on his current contract. He agreed to an extension after the trade that kept him from becoming a free agent. I guess I just have a higher, much higher, opinion of Goldschmidt as a player. He pretty much singlehandedly saved the Cardinals from having one of the most porous infield defenses in baseball with his stellar play at first base. His 2020 season, offensively, was equivalent to what he did in his final two All-Star seasons with the Diamondbacks, and he would have been an All-Star if there was an All-Star game in 2020. He can't help he's getting pitched around constantly because opposing pitchers are smartly saving their strikes for less threatening Cardinals hitters, of which there are plenty.
    The Cards cannot make a move b/c they don't know whether there will be a DH. DeWitt is well-known to be one of the most influential owners and the owners, even though they all want universal DH, are withholding it in an attempt to extract more concessions from the Union. DeWitt is harming his own team's ability to compete in order to squeeze more money out of the players. Where's the lie?
    Being influential is not the same as being able to impose your will, and have the players' union agree to it.
    It's more than anything a sign of the standoff that happens every time these two sides need to reach a conclusion that helps both sides. 
    There is more discussion about what should or should not be given up than there is about how a compromise benefits both sides.
    It would make sense for DeWitt to come out and publicly call for a resolution, but he's in lockstep with the owners and has been on pretty much all topics, including not admonishing tanking teams publicly.
    The other thing? Imagine the angst he would receive from NL traditionalists, including many Cardinals fans, who would be upset he advocated for DH.
    He's better off to lay low on this one, and he will.
    I'm sure the San Diego Padres owner, Peter Seidler is probably getting the "stink eye" from a lot of other owners who have been crying poor mouth. Yes, the Padres have not been a good team for a number of years and have amassed a lot of top prospects in which to deal from but at least they are going for it, which I admire.
  • He's off the Christmas card list, along with new Mets owner Steve Cohen, White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf and perhaps Royals owner John Sherman. This group has forgotten it's supposed to be about owners vs. players, not owners vs. owners as the next collective bargaining agreement looms.
    How exposed do you think MLB owners would be if their financials were made public record?
    If they made the owners' case as convincingly as the owners would like, wouldn't we see more of them?
    Kofi C at U of I definitely has a NBA body, but he's inconsistent game in and out, do you think he is really ready to move up?
    He's averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds in the best college basketball conference there is. That's up from 13 and nine a season ago. The NBA is increasingly willing to take guys who have more to learn at the pro level. If he's been told he's a lock for a first-round pick, he should go. I'd say the same for any player. I imagine Cockburn will be a first-rounder by the time this season ends.

    Did you see Steve Cohen's tweet about the Blake Snell/Yu Darvish trades? I thought it was a candid and sincere explanation as to why the Mets weren't able to go after those players. I think he will be a good owner for Baseball.

    Here is the tween below:
    "Hey , Give the Padres credit. They had a top 5 farm system that gave them flexibility to trade for Snell. Newsflash, the Mets farm system needs to be replenished."
    Cohen is smelling like roses so far. Let's see if it lasts. It's always easy to be the new guy. Will he be as candid and refreshing when one of his moves flops? We'll see.
    The Cardinals decline in success begins with Moe’s decision to hire Matheny. The old guard gradually retires or it’s gotten rid of by Moe . They were replaced by less and less capable players. You see the final result which is mediocre baseball as far as the eye can see. Why doesn’t Moe’ get more criticism?
    He is the Maestro of mediocrity
    Mo doesn't get criticism? I guess I've been in the wrong chats. He gets plenty of criticism. What he doesn't get is fired, and a lot of people seem to equate criticism and getting fired, it seems. He doesn't get fired because, overall, he's done a lot more good than bad, and most importantly, his boss, the one person who can fire him, approves of the job he's done. That would be Bill DeWitt Jr, Cardinals chairman. You know, the most powerful person on the team. I would argue some of the criticism that is so often targeted at Mozeliak should be directed toward DeWitt, but that's just me.
  • As much as I love Yadi and Waino, I think the Cardinals are better off letting them walk and giving Knizner some playing time. I honestly don't think that those two legends make us better in 2021. However, I will miss giving them their proper goodbyes, Busch Stadium style.
    I'm a sucker for nostalgia, but I don't think it has clouded my vision so much that I'm kidding myself about Wainwright and Molina helping the Cardinals in 2021. Am I missing something other than their age? Wainwright was the team's most important pitcher in 2020. Pretty much every time the Cardinals needed a big start, he provided it. Molina was the team's best hitter in the postseason. He is the heart and soul of the defense-first plus pitching ethos that Shildt has made the cornerstone of the team. If those two guys walk, that's going to be missed.
    If Tarasenko never had the shoulder troubles, do you think he'd be captain, or do you think it was O'reilly's regardless?

    Additionally, were you annoyed with all the people on social media saying we should trade him, he's a malcontent, etc... when the story broke about his disappointment? It'd be a problem if he didn't care. Shows his passion to trying to be a leader on this team.
    That's a tough what-if to answer. I just know that from the moment Ryan O'Reilly showed up in St. Louis, the Blues have slowly adopted a little bit more of his demeanor every day. He is the guy on the ice before practice and after. He is the guy playing with cracked ribs in the postseason. He's the guy constantly turning attention toward his teammates. I don't say these things as a knock on Tarasenko, at all. But some guys are cut for the role, and coincide with the right timing. O'Reilly did, and it was very clear. 
    I'm always afraid of what gets lost in translation when it comes to Tarasenko, especially when the quotes are translated from an outlet overseas. Sometimes context doesn't make the leap. Tarasenko did stress that his focus is on getting healthy and helping the Blues win. I don't doubt that.  He can be disappointed and still be a great teammate and player. Winning cures all, and this Blues team is built to win, whether Tarasenko is healthy or not. They are better with him, though. That's for sure.
    Hey Ben, after hearing Tarasenko's comments about not being named captain do you sense any growing discontent between him and the Blues FO? He hasn't been healthy all that much the last several years which I'm sure is frustrating for both sides. The second half of this year could be very important for that relationship with the expansion draft coming and his contract only having 2 years left after this shortened season.
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