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 Tuesday at 11 a.m.

    As far as Drink and the Tigers go, they have been exciting and won some close games, but lets not forget that they have been outscored and lost three games to currently ranked teams 114-48. Not so good there.
    Fair point. They have played poorly on the road. That's gotta be fixed. I'm basing it off my expectations entering the season. I thought this team might win like 2-3 games to be honest.
    If Sam Bradford wasn’t a bust, would the Rams still be in St. Louis?
    Or, what if the Patriots didn't cheat?
    Fun what-ifs but they all ignore Stan Kroenke's greed.
    Ben, Hope your Thanksgiving was uneventful & Covid-free. I missed being able to respond during last week's chat to the many chatters that seem to revere Theo Epstein (over our own MO). In fact, if it wasn't for a HUGE draft mistake by the equally revered Jeff Luhnow, and the Astros in 2013, the Cubs 108 year old drought may still be going on. In 2013 the Astros had the first overall pick, with the Cubs picking second. Houston chose pitcher Mark Appel (who was a bust). The Cubs chose Kris Bryant, who in 2016 led them to the curse-breaking title as he won both the NL MVP and the NL Rookie of the year awards. IF the Astros and boy-wonder Luhnow choose wisely and take Kris Bryant, then the Cubs title probably never happens, and how then would Theo Epstein be viewed. Not to disparge Mr. Epstein-his resume speaks for itself..but he got lucky in 2013, resulting in 2016 happening. BTW, Bryant stands out in that 2013 draft. The only other notables might be Austin Meadows, Hunter Renfroe and Marco Gonzalez...and neither of those would have taken the Cubbies to the WS. Personally, while acknowledging that MO has made mistakes (ALL GM's in every sport do), he's also made some pretty good deals too. I appreciate the sustained success that we have seen for quite some time. He's done a pretty good job. Thanks for the chats.
    It's almost as if you are suggesting that in a sport where hitting the ball 3 out of 10 times is good, we should evaluate a career in baseball by the full body of work? Get that context out of here. Mozeliak has had some strikeouts. So have Epstein and Luhnow. I get the appeal of Epstein. He's the curse breaker who rides in on the white horse and takes off when that whole sustained success thing gets hard. I do not get the obsession over Luhnow, who has been exposed.
    If the XFL returns as an official NFL developmental/minor league and the St. Louis Battlehawks still exist, will they still be supported? Will people here support an official NFL entity like that?
    Oh, man. Good question. Is there talk of that? I missed it if so. For me, part of what was fun about the XFL was that it had nothing to do with the XFL. I think that would spoil it some, if it became some sort of NFL feeder league.
  • MLB.com did a “what if Albert Pujols never left St. Louis”. What is your favorite “what if” in St. Louis sports history? Mine is what if the Spirits of St. Louis were added to the NBA. Would they still be in St. Louis? Would the Blues have left due to too much winter sports competition? Would they have picked up an All Star?
    Mine would be more recent. What if the owner of the St. Louis NFL team cared more about his legacy in his home state. If he did, the Rams would have been here for the long haul, and they would have been more competitive because they would have cared about finding a coach who could have a better chance of winning. It's still crazy to me how someone with so much money can care so little about anything other than money.
    Some minor but interesting news: Shelly Duncan has been announced as Tony La Russa's analytics coordinator with the White Sox. Maybe that's a way to groom him to become the next White Sox manager? I would not be shocked.
    Fauci doesn’t think that MLB, NBA, or NHL will have full capacity fans in 2021...but NFL could. Why the NFL? It isn’t looking good, Ben. I wouldn’t be surprised if they cancel the 2021 MLB season. Sad...
    It's about the timing of the rollout of the vaccines, from what I've read.
    Fauci's recent comments suggested it could be toward the end of summer before restrictions lift on big gatherings like sports events.
    That's good for the NFL but not as good for MLB and others.
    And it's part of the reason we have yet to see an NHL schedule, and why hockey is now wrestling with some of the same thorny debates baseball had last spring.
    How many fans? How spread out? How many more if seasons get pushed back a bit later? All of these talks are happening, but I'm in agreement with you that assuming things are going to be "back to normal" in 2021 is not realistic. 
    When people in St. Louis say they hate the NFL, what do they mean? Do they hate Goodell, the owners, the idea of pro football? Because Goodell and the owners will eventually be replaced.
    I won't pretend to speak for everyone, but my personal distaste is for Goodell, the owners and the league's general way of acting like a cartel. Yes, names will change over time. I'm not sure the league's direction will. For me, and I think many others, it's not about the sport of football at all. This area supports and loves football. That's crystal clear, from the production of top college talent from great high school programs, to the waves of support the BattleHawks received in their pandemic-shortened season.
    Ben, why can a city like Minneapolis-St. Paul support 4 teams and St. Louis can't.
    I understand we're not NY or LA or (God forbid) Chicago. But if Minneapolis, Phoenix, Milwaukee (3 teams only), and even Cleveland (again, 3 teams) can support more than 2, why can't St. Louis?
  • Enjoy your chats and columns and respect your opinion. You said last week you didn't think the Cards were that far away...I disagree when compared to talent Dodgers, Padres, Braves have. So in ideal scenario and quality team architecture where does current roster belong? Assuming Cards sign Waino/Molina

    Appropriate position based on talent/projections: Rotation based on stuff:
    Molina - 8th Flaherty: 1
    Goldy - 3/4th Kim: 3 (expect regression AKA Mikolas)
    Edman - unclear-seriously Mikolas: 3/4 (preinjury expectations)
    Dejong - 5/6th Waino: 5th (2016-19 ERA >4 in NL)
    Carp - Bench/Utility Rest of the bunch unclear/unproven
    O'Neil - 4th outfield
    Bader - 9th
    Fowler - 7th
    Carlson - 2nd? Really need flexibility if struggles to avoid damaging his approach/development
    Bullpen is really good as is defense.

    Still seems pretty far away to me when you draw it out?
    I said they're not that far away -- but that they need to upgrade their offense.
    If they don't, they will still be on the outside looking in.
    The Cardinals are a top-10 team in terms of wins (121) the last two seasons.
    They have been to the NLCS and a wild-card series in those seasons.
    The first season they got swept because their lineup went AWOL against the World Series champs.
    The second season they got out-clobbered by the Padres and then shut down by a bullpen game.
    All of these were offensive issues.
    They pitch well. They defend well. Their manager doesn't miss much and does a lot more good than bad.
    They need to get better hitters and get better at hitting.
    That's what I meant.
    Any chance the Cards make a better move this winter than to sign someone like Howie Kendrick? Gotta be a greater move than something like that and the return of Molina and Wainwright. Can't get excited about this team unless a Beltran or Berkman like addition happens!
    Howie Kendrick is not the answer for 2021, but the guy who hits like Howie Kendrick did in 2019 sure could be. He was on an affordable two-year contract at that time. The Cardinals don't need to worry about making a splash with the signing as much as they need to worry about finding an addition who will be looked back at as a wide one. They need to get back on the right side of those types of moves, because they have had more of the other kind as of late.
    Do you think it's possible the NHL doesn't have a season in 2021? They just cancel it and focus on making the next season on time?
    The conversation happening in hockey now is super similar to the one baseball had at spring training last season. A lot of bluster is involved. The owners are trying to rework the CBA they agreed upon not very long ago. Players are pushing back. If they can get the money sorted out, I think they will get an agreement in place, but I would not expect it to be a normal season, and it's hard for me to see things lifting off the first of January liked the league initially said it hoped. Some season is better than no season for players, who have a much more limited career span than owners.
    Ben, I have to disagree with you. Kroenke cares about more than just money. He cares about being seen as a player, a guy that moves the needle, and being an important figure in a glitzy market. However, he would do well to read The Great Gatsby. His money can buy him a fancy new pad in a cool locale, but it can't buy him the love of the beautiful people who care far more about the movie industry (or the NBA for that matter) than they ever will about the NFL. Alas, he will always be staring at the green light across the bay.
    So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
    Ben: Would a trade for Benintendi of the Red Sox make sense/ He is 26, bats left and plays goo D. The Sox need pitching, so many a couple of pitchers could get the job done.
    I would have liked the idea more if he was still putting up 2018 numbers.
    I just looked this up because I was wondering.
    Dexter Fowler's OPS since the start of the 2019 season: .747
    Andrew Benintendi's OPS since the start of the 2019 season: .751.
    Benintendi would be a new name, but I'm not sure he would be all that much better.
    Interesting timing, but one of the latest headlines at the Boston Globe reads: "What happened to Andrew Benintendi? And can he rebound from it?"
    The former first rounder was a No. 1 prospect according to Baseball America entering the 2017 season has received worsening marks about his defense and his bat has dropped off significantly. Some injuries have been mixed in there. If the Red Sox sell low and the Cardinals have numbers that suggest his dip has been a fluke, maybe. But I would be interested in what those numbers tell them, because he's a tough one to read from afar.
  • Will Cardinal fans ever forgive Mike Matheny?I would like to see him in the Cards Hall of Fame someday,after all,he spent many seasons here between player and manager.
    A lot of managers would have liked to have his record, so I would pick a different word than forgiven. But, to play along, forgiving him and putting him in the Cardinals Hall of Fame are two pretty different things. He did not win a World Series with the Cardinals as a player or a manager, which would help his case. That said the fans vote on Cards Hall of Fame. It's their thing, and I'm not part of the red ribbon committee that decides who is up for election, so I won't have a say in it. Matheny had a .555 winning percentage with the Cardinals and went deep into the postseason many times. It did not end well, and there will be moments that stand out that could have been handled differently, but those things tend to smooth out over time. His body of work does not scream Cards HOF to me, though.
    Am I the only one thinking the Shildt is Matheny 2.0? He does not utilize the newbies and keeps going with those that have proven they are offensively challenged. Those who are the BFFs play.
    I don't see that. Shildt has opened the Cardinals up to shifts, and they have benefited from that. He unlocked Kolten Wong, something Matheny could not accomplish. He has not been as quick as some would have liked to pull the plug on certain guys, but he has not pulled a Brandon Moss on anyone. You can draw a comparison between both of the managers liking to give veterans the benefit of the doubt, for sure, but that alone ignores other differences. Shildt did swing and miss on Arozarena. Had him on his bench and did not play him as much as he could have. That's on him in addition to the front office.
    BenFred, what do you think about adding Kyle Schwarber to the mix? Brings LH bat and power.
    If he gets non-tendered, and he might, he's work a look, sure. His 2020 was pretty lousy, which could drive down price if he becomes free agent. Would need confidence that was a blip. He's only 27. I bet Cubs hold onto him.
    We have Gorman and Montero down in the minors about ready to play in the next 2 years hopefully.Both play 3rd,so could one be moved to another position/What is the ceiling for these two players?
    The Cardinals think both can be significant players for the major league team as soon as 2022. If you can play third, you can learn to play somewhere else. Corner outfield. First base. And soon the DH will be here to stay, I imagine.
    Do you think college football should have a commissioner?
  • I think the NCAA should create a common-sense commissioner to step in and fix obvious problems before they blow up in the organization's face.
    I think Andy Staples was the first person to mention that, so I want to give credit, but it's a good idea.
    That could have included the NCAA making it clear, from the start, that having such drastically different approaches to college football this fall was going to be a nightmare. The commissioner could have recommended all get on the same page, then stepped back and washed his hands of it.
    We tend to forget that while the NCAA rules the NCAA Tournament for basketball it really has little influence/control over the College Football Playoff.
    Can you explain why MLB benefitting from sports betting and keeping Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose out of the HOF is hypocritical? Shoeless Joe was banned from baseball for throwing a series. You can argue whether he actually did accept money and botched plays, but that is why he is banned. Pete Rose bet on baseball games while still in baseball, possibly games that he managed, a violation of MLB rules. I think there is room for baseball and other sports to embrace sports betting as a source of revenue, but still think that players and managers active in the sport should not be allowed to bet on their sport, as it brings in to question the integrity of the game. Is the argument that if baseball embraces gambling, it should turn its head if/when players/managers throw a game or bet on the sport they are active in?
    My point about hypocrisy was to say baseball will have no problem taking a cut of gambling while telling players and managers they can't do the same.
    Yes, the big fear is that gambling creeps into the game, and there are countless examples in all sports of that happening.
    I do think when you embrace gambling as a league you chip away at that wall, whether that is the intent or not.
    That's my biggest concern, not the what-do-we-tell kids stuff.
    Using that argument, how do parents describe the Viagra commercials and the beer commercials and the tobacco lump in players' lips and the fawning over steroid users and so on?
    They explain it or ignore it -- and that's if they can get Little Johnny to get off his iPad and watch the game.
    Since you asked us to single out your comments about Arozerana I have a question. The PD writers have repeated the myth that Arozerana "gained 15 pounds of muscle by doing push-ups and eating chicken and rice." That is not possible and anyone who has weight lifted knows this. So instead of reassuring your readers of this myth maybe one of you should write an article about how this is physically impossible to do in a month. A good place to start would be to call ATT Evolution where local UFC star Tyrone Woodley trains and ask them. I'm in no way insinuating that Arozerana cheated or took Peds. I always rooted for him and even saw him play in Jupiter Florida.
    We fought this fight last week. I'm tapping out. (Get it?)
    Shouldn’t this off-season be perfect for the cards? They’ve had success finding the diamonds in the rough. And there’s several opportunities to find diamonds this winter.
    It would be a good time for them to prove they can evaluate and project hitters, yes, because teams that can do that well are going to be able to find lineup boosters on the relative cheap. Again, the Cardinals' most recent whiffs have not been because they were reluctant to spend. It has been because they misread their own players or misread the players they decided to add. What is interesting, to me, about the 2021 season is that the Cardinals scaling things back while keeping an eye on 2022 does not excuse them from finding some way to boost the lineup.
    Did you see Jaguars President Mark Lamping mention that they will not extend their lease unless their Jacksonville stadium is upgraded. Do you expect the Jaguars to be playing in Jacksonville in 10 years or is London calling?
    Interesting comments coming out of Florida, for sure. They probably sound familiar to folks here. Lamping told the Florida Times-Union that TIAA Bank Field needs big renovation before NFL owners approve a lease extension. The push for upgrades is being called Project Lifetime. It's a hard time to be requesting taxpayer-aided sports subsides at the moment, especially in a place as cool on the team as Jacksonville seems to be toward the Jaguars. The Jags have convinced folks in Jacksonville that it's a must for the financial wellbeing of the team to play games in London on a regular basis. The league has a wandering eye there, and sending a team -- if global expansion becomes a goal -- that resonated due to previous trips there would make a lot of sense. Could just be a matter of time. It will be interesting to see how Jacksonville responds: with a step up, or a shrug.
  • What does Mikolas need to do this year to get off the bust track?
    Stay healthy first and foremost.
    And after that, throw first-pitch strikes.
    When he has command of the count from the jump, he can use all of his pitches as he pleases.
    When he was an All-Star in 2018 he was up 1-0 more than 71 percent of the time.
    Gotta run, folks. Thanks for a lively chat. See you same time and place next week.
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