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

    Greetings chatters, I'm here. Sorry for the delay. I'm in the saddle for a few hours. Let's roll.
    Any word on how we are to watch the Cardinals this season? I got rid of Dish and got YouTubeTv to watch the Birds. Now, no Cards or Blues there either. I can't find anyone who knows anywhere except ATT.
    There are only a couple of options at the moment, I'm afraid. Cross fingers that Sinclair strikes a deal with your streaming service, or find another way to watch, whether that is returning to cable or going with Direct TV. Unless Sinclair and the carriers it has lapsed deals with come to a compromise, or some sort of stand-alone streaming services is offered for Fox Sports regional sites -- soon to be renamed Ballys -- then those are the only options as I understand them. I'm sorry. It's brutal.
    What is more true given what we’ve seen. The Tigers are the 10th best team in the SEC or a the top?
    If those are the only two options, they are closer to the top than 10th. They beat two top-25 teams in the non-conference and already have a win against Arkansas, which was undefeated at the time. The Tigers are not as good as Tennessee, but the Vols have taken some lumps since, too.
    Where do you see the Blues finishing in the division? Do you see another Cup run? Who will be the surprise player this year?
    The Blues should challenge to win the West. I know sportsbooks like the Knights and Avalanche quite a bit more, but I'll need to believe that before I see it. If Jordan Binnington proves the bubble edition of the goalie is long gone, I think the Blues can and should be in the mix for Cup contention once more. Jordan Kyrou needs to be a surprise in a good way. The Blues are clearing out time for him and his offense. He has to do what is required of him defensively to stay on Berube's good side. I recently received updated odds from one of the popular online sportsbooks about the NHL season. Here's how Vegas sees things now, if you're interested.
    Stanley Cup

    Colorado Avalanche 6/1
    Vegas Golden Knights 7/1
    Tampa Bay Lightning 8/1
    Toronto Maple Leafs 11/1
    Boston Bruins 12/1
    Philadelphia Flyers 14/1
    Pittsburgh Penguins 16/1
    Dallas Stars 17/1
    Carolina Hurricanes 18/1
    Washington Capitals 18/1
    St. Louis Blues 18/1
    Edmonton Oilers 18/1
    New York Rangers 18/1
    New York Islanders 22/1
    Montreal Canadiens 22/1
    Nashville Predators 22/1
    Vancouver Canucks 28/1
    Calgary Flames 30/1
    Winnipeg Jets 30/1
    Columbus Blue Jackets 35/1
    Florida Panthers 40/1
    Arizona Coyotes 50/1
    San Jose Sharks 50/1
    Minnesota Wild 55/1
    Buffalo Sabres 60/1
    New Jersey Devils 60/1
    Chicago Blackhawks 66/1
    Anaheim Ducks 70/1
    Los Angeles Kings 75/1
    Ottawa Senators 150/1
    Detroit Red Wings 200/1

    Central Division
    Tampa Bay Lightning 5/4
    Carolina Hurricanes 4/1
    Dallas Stars 4/1
    Nashville Predators 7/1
    Columbus Blue Jackets 8/1
    Florida Panthers 9/1
    Chicago Blackhawks 16/1
    Detroit Red Wings 60/1

    East Division
    Boston Bruins 5/2
    Philadelphia Flyers 3/1
    Pittsburgh Penguins 4/1
    Washington Capitals 6/1
    New York Rangers 6/1
    New York Islanders 7/1
    Buffalo Sabres 15/1
    New Jersey Devils 15/1

    North Division
    Toronto Maple Leafs 5/4
    Edmonton Oilers 4/1
    Montreal Canadiens 5/1
    Calgary Flames 7/1
    Vancouver Canucks 7/1
    Winnipeg Jets 7/1
    Ottawa Senators 100/1

    West Division
    Colorado Avalanche 3/2
    Vegas Golden Knights 2/1
    St. Louis Blues 5/1
    Arizona Coyotes 11/1
    Minnesota Wild 12/1
    San Jose Sharks 14/1
    Los Angeles Kings 16/1
    Anaheim Ducks 16/1
    Ben, of the four major sports what are each of your favorite arenas you been to?
  • I'm not nearly as well traveled as some of my colleagues, but I think Wrigley Field is really cool. It's kind of a loveable disaster combined with some smart recent upgrades. Sanford Stadium, where Georgia plays, is an incredible place to watch a game. Allen Fieldhouse same thing for college basketball. Petco Park, a first for me during the Cardinals' series there last postseason, was really impressive as well. Great vibe, even without fans in the stands.
  • Looks like things be stsrting on time for mlb. Cards have two players that need to come back. Clock is ticking
  • We shall see. I love the optimism about the 162-game season with spring training starting on time. I'm not convinced right now that this will be the case. A lot can change between now and then. We've learned that by now.
  • Ben,

    Not a lot of love for the Blues to win the West. I think it may be closer for the top 3 and I think the Blues have a great shot. So excited for the start of the season. How refreshing!
  • I'm with you. I would have a hard time discouraging Blues fans from putting a little action on their team, given the odds we are seeing.
    I'm still livid about letting Wong go. Matheny retarded his progression for several years. When you have no offense, you can't let a Gold Glove player in his prime go. Plus, his offense was finally starting to click. Ignore covid season because of that ridiculous schedule. He plays hard and was getting worn down. Even Goldschmidt's numbers kept trending down. He should have been next years lead off man. Pop, speed, cutting down on strikeouts and taking more walks. I cannot believe the Cardinals could not afford him. They couldn't afford not to keep him.
  • Fair points, other than the one about Goldschmidt's numbers trending down. Goldschmidt's numbers trended up in many ways last season. He was just hitting in a lineup that was making it obvious every opponent should pitch around him. Wong did take a step back offensively in 2020, but I'm with you that it's funny how that seemed to matter to the Cardinals when at the same time they are willing to overlook other more concerning trends, like, say, Matt Carpenter's regression of two-plus seasons now. If the Cardinals used the money saved by letting Wong walk to improve the offense, then I think people would more or less understand. If the Cardinals got Wong back at a cheaper rate, that would be a good thing. But if neither happens, I think fans should be upset. It would mean the team got worse at a strength while not improving a weakness.
    Ben, thanks for giving us your time. Do you think Manfred's direction to teams to plan for a 162-game schedule might give MLB leverage to get the universal DH approved by the players now? And if so, beyond Nelson Cruz (who I know you like for the Cardinals), who are some less obvious DH-type hitters the Cards might do well to acquire?
    Honestly, who knows. The recent headlines about baseball attempting to adhere to its normal schedule -- 162 game season and normal start times to spring training and season -- would suggest that, for now, the league is planning on playing things straight up. That would mean no DH in the NL this season. The topic would then get sorted out once and for all in the debate that occurs after the collective bargaining agreement expires following the season. If something derails the plan -- and something very well could, such as a series of quarantines during spring training -- and the situation turns into another single-season agreement, then that conversation opens the door more for single-season tweaks like the DH, etc. What Manfred seems to have told owners is to prepare for a normal season until something changes that. That would mean no DH. The chances of things being normal, though, seem pretty optimistic, don't they? It seems like players wanted a chance to play thing straight up, and owners are at least willing to try, but where things go if that plan encounters turbulence, no one knows at this point.
  • Hi, Ben. If the Cardinals don't upgrade their offense somehow this offseason, do you think their theme song for 2021 will be "Stuck in the Middle with You" by Stealers' Wheel?
    They might have enough pitching depth to claw out a first-place finish in the National League Central, but as of now no NL Central team looks like one that would be capable of winning a postseason series.
    Do you see the cardinals bringing Gorman up to start the season if they don’t make any offseason moves.
    I do not. The timeline for Gorman's debut is more 2022 than 2021. It could happen in 2021, but I don't think it would happen to start 2021. Remember, he did not play in any games last season. Just alternate camp stuff. And the Cardinals will likely give Matt Carpenter a chance to hold down his spot at third, as much as the chat doesn't want to hear it. (I understand why the chat doesn't want to hear it.)
    30,000 foot view, what grade would you give the Cardinals FO and Ownership from 2014-current?
    We can crunch some numbers for a better read.
    The Cardinals are fourth in the National League in wins during that span (568), but second in their own division, trailing the Cubs (578).
    They have made more postseasons (four) than they have missed (three) and have continued their streak of 13 consecutive winning seasons.
    They have reached the National League Championship Series just twice during that span, and looked overmatched both times.
    The span includes a three-year gap of missed postseasons, the longest the team had experienced since 1997-99.
    Cardinals problems are first-world problems compared to many other teams, meaning a lot of teams would love to have the years you cited mentioned as a period of frustration, but the Cardinals set a high bar and their fans reward them for pursuing it.
    I'd give it a C-minus, and tell you the Cardinals would call it convenient you picked the season after their last World Series appearance to start your clock :) 
    Usually, I am not a big fan of sports and politics mixing, but you are to be commended for your article on sportsmanship last Friday. Well done, Ben.
    Thanks for giving the column a shot. I really appreciate that.
    White Sox payroll for 2017 thru 2020...308M
    Cardinals payroll for 2017 thru 2020....539M
    Evidently the White Sox have lots of money to spend since they spent 43% less than the Cards in the last 4 years. Liam Hendricks, 3/54 plus a 15M buyout says a lot.
  • It's pretty confusing to hear about 95 percent of owners telling fans baseball teams are in a terrible financial position while a handful of other teams -- Padres, White Sox, Mets, Dodgers -- seem to be taking full advantage of the great selloff by building better teams. I guess the opportunistic will look shortsighted if the bottom drops out on the 2021 season or the 2022 season, considering the collective bargaining agreement fight that looms, but is there not a chance that the buy-low teams are going to come out of this thing smelling like a rose?
    In your column about Lindor, you mentioned that the Cards could move DeJong to third base to free shortstop for him. My question is, given DeJong's offensive trend year over year, could that be sustainable in the future years? I would agree at this point, it would push Carpenter to the bench and improve the offense for 2021, but would it make sense to have someone there who doesn't provide real thump? As a shortstop his offense is serviceable, but as a third baseman wouldn't he be middle of the road?
    You stopped reading too soon! For 2021 that would have been an obvious answer. DeJong to third, Lindor at short. (Again, we are living in hypothetical fairytale land here, but hang with me.) After that, the Cardinals would then be able to determine who to keep and trade. If Gorman is the answer at third, flip DeJong to another team and play Gorman. Or if DeJong is the answer at third, flip Gorman to first or corner outfield, or assign him the DH role because that's likely in play at that point, or trade him, or figure out something else. Point is, it would have made the Cardinals better, and there is never a long-term problem to having a player like Lindor on your team. As long as you pay him, which is the problem the Cardinals keep running in to when it comes to the reasons they find to not add in-their-prime players like Lindor.
    I know Cards apologists (not you) counter whining Cards fans by bringing up the team’s winning percentage since 2004. But would you agree that it needs context? From 2004 – 2013 the Cards were over-achieving A students from the first bell through the final exam. The post-2013 Cardinals not so much. Yes, they get their homework in on time, they raise their hand in class, and they ace the pop quizzes throughout the semester, but they no longer participate in the available extra credit (trade deadline), and they usually fail the final exam. So, they may carry an A for most of the semester but their final grade averages out to a C. That’s the Cards right now. Regular season wins keep the team interesting but when it counts they don’t show up.
    Getting to and winning the World Series means a lot. That span you mentioned, 2004-13, included one losing team, two others that also missed the postseason and that got swept in the National League Division Series. What was really the difference? That four of those seasons included a trip to the World Series, and two of those trips turned into two World Series wins.
    Do you know if Ohio State has decided to try and stop Devonte Smith yet?
    DeVonta's injured finger did what Ohio State could not.
    Team might not be complete at the moment, but where do you see the Cardinals finishing in the NL Central in 2021? (Feel free to throw in your predictions on possible trades/signings they might make)
    I've said all along I think the Cardinals can and should figure out a way to bring back Molina and Wainwright, and find some way -- likely a budget friendly way -- to improve the offense.
    Still think all of those teams are possible.
    It's not like other teams are making moves left and right, at least teams not named the Padres, Mets and White Sox.
    Most of the free agents are still available. 
    The NL Central is a mess right now. No team is going for it. The Cardinals are not oblivious to that. The Cardinals, as they are a the moment, would be in contention to win the NL Central. But no one can honestly think they are built to go beyond that.
  • If you made a team of the best players to leave the NL Central this offseason could that team win the division in 2021? You'd already have one of the best 1-2's in Bauer/Darvish and could be gaining Castillo or Gray. Iglesias as closer. Wong at 2B. Caratini catcher. Braun in LF...
    Sounds like a blog.
    Don't forget Josh Bell at first base.
    Thanks for the idea! 
    Can the Cardinals and Blues push back on the current state of affairs with FSMW/Bally's to try and get more fans to able to watch, or are they stuck until their contracts are up?
    I doubt they love the situation some of their fans are in, but they signed the contracts and they get paid regardless. While it would be refreshing to see a team to that route, it's rather unrealistic. Sinclair points to the streaming services and Dish, and the streaming services and Dish point back to Sinclair. The teams point to both and say it's on those two to work out. The fans who just want to watch the games? They get ignored.
    Let’s say mlb plays a full 162 game schedule. If that’s the case, is that good or bad for the cards revenue? On one hand they’d get more money from the tv deal by more games being played, but on the other the gate revenue likely wouldn’t be enough to cover the costs. Now before anyone overreacts, I’m not showing pity for the owners or mr. Dewitt specifically. But my initial reaction was that the more games they play, with little to no fans, could mean the cards are even more cautious about signing players. Is my initial reaction wrong?
    The players want to play games as possible.
    The owners want to play as many games as possible in front of a good amount of fans.
    There's a big difference.
    So, yes, I would expect more signs of financial concern from owners if it's a full 162-game seasons with small, limited crowds. Part of the reason something close to 90 percent of free agents are without a deal, and part of the reason we will see MLB teams ramp up efforts to get cities and states to allow as many fans as possible in the ballpark if this full-season plan sticks.
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