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.

    People that are so consumed with Flaherty’s stance on social issues have a choice - don’t watch him pitch, don’t go to his games, etc. Why is it so tough for others to hear a different viewpoint? Call him out about his performance sure, but his personal opinions - spare us please.
    Outspoken players are going to create conversations. All good. I'm just going to push back when I see someone attempting to correlate things that don't compute -- like a T-shirt someone wears being the reason they played poorly in a game. No, that's not how anything works.
    A full house at Busch by July? That’s wishful thinking. We will still be vaccinating the other half of the population by then. Hope Cards are not basing their financials on that.
  • As explained in the story you're referencing, DeWitt III said that would be the best-case scenario. Certainly not a guarantee. But I'm OK with some optimism. Hope he's right.
    It seems like Thomas could overtake Bader in CF if he plays well. Still good defensively with a better bat and power.
    I think all options are on the table. It's the second inning of the second Grapefruit League game. The Cardinals outfield is under a microscope, and cleared for competition. Sure, there are guys who are going to get the first shot. But pretending anyone is a lock is an assumption I'm not making. Carlson is going to play unless something goes really wrong in terms of his performance. The other stuff is very much up for grabs. At least it should be.
  • Hi, Ben. Thanks for the chat. First time up at-bat, runners in scoring position and less than to outs, and Arenado strikes out. In spirit and tone of the usual chat with "BFIB", trade Arenado -- now!. Seriously, why is it that the Cardinals don't get much love from the statistical analytics crowd? One prediction has the Cardinals finishing like 8 games behind the Brewers, and in fourth place. The Cardinals should have an outstanding defense and bullpen, and good starting pitching depth. Where's the love?
    Hey, he singled today. Extend him seven extra years! PECOTA, especially, tends to be down on the Cards. I think it tends to underrate their strengths, and I think that's happening again here. It doesn't seem to have as good of a measure for pitching DEPTH and defense as it perhaps should. The Cardinals are strong in those categories. Including entering this season.
    The Blues obviously have some areas they need to clean up, but kudos to them gutting out some regulation wins with a depleted roster. Finally getting some contributions from the depth guys is a night and day difference. Also watch out for Marco Norris nee Scandella.
    Blues GM Doug Armstrong did a half-hour Q&A with us yesterday, and he had a line that stood out. He said a stretch like this can potentially "harden" a team in a good way. The Blues are wounded. Some big money is healing up, hoping to return. It's on the healthy guys to hold down the fort until help returns. That means opportunities for guys who not too long ago were ticked they weren't getting many. Looking at you, Vince Dunn. The silver-lining theory here says that if the Blues can keep their head above water, they can develop some strong depth that will help big time when some of the big dogs return. It's not entirely uncommon to see low seeds take off for deep runs in the playoffs if they get healthy at the right time. That's the spot the Blues could find themselves in, just being realistic with the injuries. Getting Tarasenko back soon could help a lot, too. On the ice, sure. But also mentally. The Blues have watched player after player after player depart with injuries. Getting one back, and one of Tarasenko's caliber, should really lift spirits. Especially if looks like himself out there sooner rather than later.
    My friends get a chuckle out of my texts whenever a Blues game goes to OT. I send a pic of of any random ice capades cuz it isn't hockey. Then, god forbid it goes to a shootout. Then I send a pic of Brandi Chastain's shirt shedding kick because it ain't soccer either. And then to revert back to playing actual hockey when the playoffs start???? Just seems silly. MLB seems to be headed down the same path with the rule changes being used. Anyone else hate this crap?
    I'm not fond of the runner on second base in extra innings rule, but I realize I'm fighting a losing battle. The game's decision-makers seem to be quite find of it. A lot of this stuff is TV pressure, too. TV/streaming wants games to fit into a tight, pre-determined window for scheduling and planning purposes. Games that bleed over into extra innings and overtimes, while fun for fans, are TV/streaming nightmares. Especially if it's a regular-season game that does not have as huge of an audience as, say, a World Series game. The hockey changes don't bother me too much. I like the thrill of a shootout. A little something different. I'm all over the board on this one. I like some of it and dislike some of it.
  • Is 2B Edman's job to lose, or does Carp make this more of a competition? I know that spring play will dictate this, but if the season started today, who do you think is playing at the keystone?
    I think Edman is the starter there until we hear differently. They're going to get Carpenter a lot of at-bats and move him around during spring to see what he can do. But I would not assume that means he's jumped ahead of Edman.
    A lot of veterans get away with the "he was working on things" excuse when their ST numbers are sub-par. Is that excuse going to be applied to those fighting for jobs this spring or will they actually have to hit i.e. Carpenter, Bader, O'Neil?
    Sometimes it's not an excuse.
    Sometimes guys are working on specific things -- like a two-strike approach, for example.
    The guys who are trying to earn a starting spot or place on the team should not be operating like that, though. They need to prove what they can do. They need to make it obvious to the team that the team is better with them playing.
    One more thing. And you won't like this, but it's the truth so I'll bring it up. The team is not studying the box score. It is looking at the measurables it cares more about when evaluating hitters. Hard contact. Exit velocity. A drilled ball caught by an outfielder on a sprint will be viewed differently than a slow roller that sneaks through the infield, when it comes to evaluating spring at-bats.
    Would you say that the Wong decision was made more on the basis of financial concerns or Edman’s potential? The narrative has said it was the money but I think it was more a combo of the Cards being high on Edman (and wanting to find him a permanent position) plus that Wong had hit his ceiling. No one mentions that Wong seems to screw up at the most crucial times, like last year against the Padres when he made a throwing error on a double play ball in the last game.
    It was mostly a combination of the money they could free up by not picking up the option, the lack of financial flexibility they saw elsewhere, and the fact they viewed the offseason readjustment of value caused in part by the pandemic making the salary Wong would have made for 2021 higher than market value.
    Edman's existence played a big part in it, sure. You are less likely to let Wong walk if you don't have a replacement you are confident in. The Cardinals did, so they made the call, for that and the reasons mentioned above.
    Good players make mistakes some times. Wong did a lot more good defensively for the Cardinals than he did bad. The Cardinals had no issues whatsoever with his defense. He's the best defensive second baseman in baseball. Gold Gloves support that.
    The "rollover inning" really shouldn't be used with paying fans in the stands. Bring in a reliever to finish the inning and send Flaherty to the back fields to finish his work. Another possibility would be for Shildt to go to the mound and tell him to suck it up and finish the inning.
    Fans buy the tickets knowing they are going to an exhibition. If they want to see competition that counts, wait for the regular season. Most folks I know who go to spring training do not go to see hard-as-nails, structured competition. They go to see some of the new faces, to catch some sun, to be around baseball in a fun, sunny setting. It's far less formal than the regular season.
    I'm evaluating my vote for Cardinals HOP. Only one vote. So, I'm looking at Hernandez and Carlton. Should I only be looking at the years each player played for StL? Boy, I would have liked to have seen Carlton stay in a Cardinal uniform for the duration. I understand the need to trade Hernandez with the substance problems. I'm still torn. One thing I did realize from looking at that....don't go trading away Flaherty because you don't like his politics. Take a look at what Carlton could have done for us vs Rick Wise. It's baseball, and it's a business, and both say to me....keep Flaherty as long as he's good for both!!
  • If you're asking me what I would do, I'd go with Keith Hernandez. I think Hernandez should have been in by now, and have said as much in columns and blogs before. If you're asking me what you should do, go with your gut. It's a fan vote, for a reason. There isn't one stat or span that makes one decision better than any other. It's a barometer of how the bulk of the voting fans feel about a player. So, I defer to the fans there. It's their baby. And I'm not on the red ribbon committee that helps pick the ballot, so I'm pretty removed from the whole process. Agree with you on the trading Flaherty stuff. It's silly, and also way to premature. Even if he is determined to go to free agency as soon as possible, that's not until 2024. The Cardinals could get A LOT of good innings from him before then, and then thank him for his very affordable service if he is not interested in an extension. Or, and more likely, strike an early extension that swaps security for span. Still plenty of time to work that out, despite the noise.
    Does Carp have the arm strength to quickly turn and make a strong throw to first on double plays? I still remember seeing a lot of the wounded ducks he threw over from third base.
    Those ducks usually arrived in time. Doesn't have to be pretty to get an out. Carpenter's bat, not his glove or his arm, will determine how often he plays at second. Edman's bat, too.
    Does Illinois have a shot against Michigan tonight and how far can they go in the tourney?
    If Ayo is back, and it sounds like he might be, the Illini have a chance, sure.
    Whether they beat Michigan or not they can make a deep run in March.
    A Michigan loss followed by a Ohio State win could still lock up a No. 1 seed.
    They're playing well and have one of the best closers in college basketball in Ayo.
    They're battle-tested thanks to the brutal Big Ten schedule.
    I like them to make a deep run as long as Ayo adjusts to mask-etball well enough after his nose injury.
    I think he will.
    It's been just over a year and Drinkwitz is already making a mockery of Odom, how far do you think Drink can take the Tigers?
    No love from you on Odom signing Bazelak, I guess.
    Drinkwitz's good vibes are back in motion again thanks to some big recruiting wins.
    It's made folks forget about the Mississippi State flop that cost the team a winning season.
    The Sam Horn commitment is big, as long as it holds. He's the highest-ranked out-of-state QB recruit to pick Mizzou since recruiting rankings became such a big thing. That means he should be good, sure, but it also helps recruiting by the ripple effect. It gets players talking about the Tigers.
    Seeing how Drinkwitz will manage the QBs is going to be interesting. There could be some tension based on how the depth chart is stacking up. The best way to guard against transfers thinning the field is to keep recruiting talent, and Drinkwitz seems determined to do that.
    I think if Drinkwitz continues to improve the talent level, he can make the Tigers one of the best teams in the SEC East. The Tigers can be that team that is steadily just below and sometimes at or maybe even better than the level of Florida and Georgia.
    If he can do that, as big of a long-term question will be how Mizzou can keep him.
    But a lot has to go right before that conversation really gets started.
    Ive been going to ST since 1986 so I'm ver much aware of what Spring Training is all about. Rollover innings are totally unnecessary.
    My intention was not to question your spring training intelligence.
    It was to point out that spring training games are exhibitions.
    They are meaningless in terms of their outcome.
    Meaningful things happen in them, sure.
    Guys earn spots. Lose spots. Make impressions, good and bad. All of those things.
    Spring training matters.
    The integrity of spring training innings? Not so much. Clearly, because both teams can agree to end them whenever they want, just like they can agree to shorten them to seven innings if they like, or add a DH or not. It's a pretty fluid situation, every day.
    Maybe I'm a fumducker but I'm on the Cardinals website and I can't find where to vote for the Cards HOF. Can someone post a link?
    Ben- the chat nor cards fans aren't turning against Flaherty. A small number of small minded fans who seem to think athletes cant disagree with their views are becoming vocal. that doesn't put them in the majority or even a high minority . I for onw welcome all opinions even those I disagree with and certainly appreciate athletes who are willing to stand up for their views and respect them even more for it .
    Update: The Chat is divided on Flaherty. Good point. I imagine a lot less will be said about his tweets and T-shirts if he pitches well.
    Is there a chance the Cardinals bring in a middle infielder from the outside during ST? If they don't who's the backup SS?
    Right now it looks like that job is Edmundo Sosa's to lose.
    Edman could play some short as well.
    Did you understand why Shildt called the inning on Sunday when Flaherty had not yet hit his pitch limit? Was he agitated because of the missed strike calls by the plate ump?
    Eight hitters. 23 pitches. One inning. That's a hefty inning for the first spring start. The strike zone, as you mentioned, was a mess. He was getting frustrated with that. Yadi too. No one had been warmed up yet to replace him, either. So, they just rolled the inning.
    Who's the next Cardinals legacy pitcher, the likes of Wainright, Carpenter, Forsch, etc? Or is that a thing of the past?
    If Wainright rides off into the sunset after this season who takes on his leadership/mentorship role?
  • The best option, where things stand right now, would be Jack Flaherty.
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