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, did Kim Anderson leave the Men’s basketball program in such bad shape that it actually took 3+ years for Cuonzo to get it back in some semblance of order? Is the difference between where Kim was coaching and Division I that great? He did win a national championship at Central Missouri. I tend to look at Counzo’s first year as an anomaly. Thanks.
  • It's a couple of things.
    Mizzou had been one of the least competitive Power 5 programs in the nation for three consecutive seasons when Martin took over.
    Basketball can be flipped faster than football, but you don't get out of the basement -- no, the crawlspace beneath the basement -- overnight.
    And then the injury bug bit.
    Between Michael Porter Jr's bad back, Jontay Porter's torn knee, Mark Smith's foot/ankle/lower back issues and Jeremiah Tilmon's problematic foot, the Tigers just had a brutal stretch of not having some of their most important players healthy.
    Those guys combined to miss more than 130 games over the past three seasons.
    It showed.
    Now the team is fully healthy, and benefitting from the experience it has gathered along the way.
  • Hey Ben. Any chance at all Kolten Wong still returns? I remember seeing him linked the Angels, but that is it. Also that the cardinals might still try to get a long term deal. What are you hearing? I am not sure I am ready to close the door on Wong
  • I would be pretty surprised if that happens. Guys usually go elsewhere when the option is not picked up. Even if they wind up taking a little less to do so. It's a pride thing, partly. And I get it. I don't think Wong will be back.
    If the Cardinals can't trade Martinez's contract, how can the FO improve the offense AND keep wainwright AND keep yadi AND lower payroll? Where would the money for an offensive improvement come from?
    There will be teams in 2021 that benefit greatly from a low-cost, short-term deal with the right hitter. The Cardinals need to be one of those teams.
    If we are going to look at the Covid-shortened season and give the young outfielders a pass on their limited production for not having a full season, then don't we have to look at Waino's production through the same lens? I don't think we can forget his road ERA from 2019 because he looked good in most of his 10 starts. They will need 3x that number of innings in 2021 from his spot in the rotation.
    That's a good read on a trend we are seeing across baseball. Teams that want to justify shrugging off bad performances are blaming the pandemic season. At the same time some of those same teams are using the same pandemic season to move on from players or bank on other players. It's funny how that works, right? It's fair to poke holes in the logic. As always, teams see what they want to see.
    3rd place finish for the Cards in 2021?
    Let's see what the team looks like, while also acknowledging the National League Central opponents are not exactly nudging the Cardinals to improve. The NL Central is slash city.
    I am sure 2020 hurt the Cardinals & DeWitt financially. And if they want to shake their tin cup this coming season I totally get it. Unfortunately, they had 2 decades of financial dominance prior to that one off-year, and that was after they reeled in spending the winter before Covid (maybe they knew?). A year from now expectations will be the team signing a star not two complementary players to platoon with two young players.
    If DeWitt know COVID was coming, I want him to sell the Cardinals and join the federal pandemic response team.
  • Here is the thing about pursuing another outfielder, it is one more mouth to feed when it comes to innings. Let this team feed O'Neill, Bader, Thomas, Fowler, Carlson, Williams, Dean, etc. in 2021. So next winter at least 3 of these names will be gone. Instead, let's hope they go get a 3rd basemen.
    Justin Turner would be a good fit in St. Louis.
    Of course it would require the Cardinals to officially admit the Matt Carpenter extension was perhaps this front office's biggest mistake in recent memory.
    True or false: Wong is an all-star next season
    It would not surprise me at all. I'll go with true.
    So the PD staff, Derrick and Benjamin, are now offended by the Cleveland baseball team using the word " Indian " as their logo/mascot and the Braves chant while typing in the press box hurt their feelings? Huh?? How about you? This is such BS. Larry Doby didn't have a problem with it. Robbie Alomar? Sandy Alomar? Carlos Carrasco? CC Sabathia? All the cast of The Major League movies didn't have a problem cashing those checks. Nobody was protesting during the World Series in 2016 against the Cubs. Maybe the Cubs shouldn't of showed up to play unless they agreed to change the name. Maybe Derrick should give a pro rated portion of his salary thru the years for every game he's covered that the Indians were involved with and create a scholarship for a reservation kid. And to top it off, they aren't removing it today, but a year from now. If it's so dang offensive, it should be stricken immediately no? What about the states of South and North Dakota? They next? This is such bull anymore its ridiculous.
    Derrick chats on Mondays, my man.
    Hochman's email is mentioned right there in his column.
    Feel free to ask them your questions, not me.
    I'm not affected at all by Cleveland changing the name of its baseball team.
    I really don't care.
    I think if the group of people your team name represents ask you to change it, you should hear that argument and if it's a good one, then act on the request.
    I care more about what Native Americans think about the name than I do what White people think about the name, to be honest.
    Because the team's name was not Cleveland White People.
    But I'm also not going to sit here and pretend changing the name does a damn thing for almost all of the disenfranchised people in our country.
    In college I did a Habitat for Humanity trip to a Native American reservation in South Dakota. It was a tough place to live. For a lot of reasons. I don't think the name change of a baseball team did anything to help those people. But, if they are happy it changed, I'm happy it did too.
    Hey Ben. Braggin’ Rights win was sure exciting, but what is the most exciting win (in any sport) you’ve got to cover live?
    That one's probably secured forever for me. Blues winning the Stanley Cup in Boston, and all the games that led up to it.
    It seems like the Cards are in need of a middle Infielder. Could you see a reunion with Greg Garcia? With the loss of Wong and Schrock he might be a good low cost fit. He also has a high OBP. Thanks for the chats!
  • Love me some GG, but I think that role is more likely to go to Edmundo Sosa than someone from the outside.
    If the Cards do sign an infielder, I think it will be someone who can power things up a bit, like La Stella.
  • The Cards seem rudderless this offseason. "We might be better we might not". They let Wong go so now the defense is worse off, and now Steamer/Depth Charts currently gives the Cardinals’ staff just 11.2 fWAR in 2021. That is pretty bad. I know there are a lot of unknows, but what type of team is this? It seems that the only way the will be able to compete in 2021 is because the rest of the Central is not getting any better either. I don't see how they will be able to compete if they get to the playoffs.
    Good read. Right now they are a team that let its strength get weaker and has not yet strengthened its weakness. Stay tuned.
    With no DH and no honest upgrade at 3B or in the OF, this team will be super reliant on the Paul's again for offense. They have no leadoff hitter (Edman is not a leadoff hitter) and about 5 penciled-in starters who would project as 7th or 8th hitters on a playoff-caliber roster. There will be a ton of pressure on the pitching staff this season to basically give up 1 run or fewer.
    If no improvements are made, yes.
    Regarding third base,is it possible to play Yadi there in a pinch?
  • I don't think that would be a good idea on a regular basis.
    Good morning Ben,
    It's no secret the Cards need to upgrade their offense (no talk about pitching here). But hasn't most everyone been saying that for at least 5 or 6 years (maybe since Albert left)?
    The Cards weren't hitting enough home runs, so they brought in Mark Reynolds, then Brandon Moss. That had some bright spots but ended in disaster.
    Then the Cards determined they needed a leadoff hitter, so they signed Dexter Fowler, who was not the answer at lead off.
    Then it was Marcell Ozuna. We know how that went.
    Then it was Goldschmidt.
    All the while they cycled through many different outfielders and a few infielders brought up through the organization without any of them truly standing out for the Cardinals. DeJong could be an exception.
    Each of the Cardinals moves came with the tagline of how it was going to make a big difference in the offense. But none ever did. The overall offensive result never changed. A signing here or there but it was more of the same.
    When will the Cards see that it takes more than one significant signing to move the needle? While they're good role players they can't say things will vastly improve if you only get a Gyrko, Jose Martinez, or Brad Miller. Think of the great Cards teams of the 2000s and how the team worked to get Rolen, Renteria, Edmonds, etc. None of these guys were brought in as role players strengthening the bench. They were meant to move the needle. I'm tired of seeing the FO sign one player then say they've fixed things. No,
    you sign one player, then you sign another the next year, and build your team.
    That Matt Holliday guy was pretty good.
    Seems like he should be mentioned here.
    We can check some numbers on this.
    Let's look at average runs per game since the Cardinals won their last World Series in 2011.
    2011: 4.70 runs per game, NL average was 4.13, Cards won World Series
    2012: 4.72 runs per game, NL average was 4.22, Cards lost NLCS
    2013: 4.83 runs per game, NL average was 4.0, Cards lost WS
    2014: 3.82 runs per game, NL average was 3.95, Cards lost NLCS
    2015: 3.99 runs per game, NL average was 4.11, Cards lost NLDS
    2016: 4.81 runs per game, NL average was 4.44, Cards missed postseason
    2017: 4.70 runs per game, NL average was 4.58, Cards missed postseason
    2018: 4.69 runs per game, NL average was 4.37, Cards missed postseason
    2019: 4.72 runs per game, NL average was 4.78, Cards lost NLCS
    2020: 4.14 runs per game, NL average was 4.71, Cards lost wild-card series
    I bolded the years with an above-average runs per game and italicized the years with below. You'll notice that the Cardinals are trending down in runs per game while the NL trends up. Bad sign. But there is also a reminder of the years the Cardinals did not struggle to score, but struggled to play clean baseball in other areas, like baserunning and defense. It takes it all. The good news is Shildt has really cleaned up the baserunning and the defense. The team's weakness, at the moment, is offense. And no, it has not always been the case since Albert Pujols left. Sorry for the delay. I wanted to look up those numbers.
  • if Mlb starts in June do you think it will be fan safe by then and do u see a work stoppage in the future,
    That first one is above my paygrade. I just don't know and it's not something I should guess about. I think it's best if fans expect chaos after the 2021 season ends, no matter what it looks like. Players and owners are like oil and water now. Bad time to be hammering out a new CBA. But, if the players wind up playing the equivalent of one season over the last two seasons, then they would be wise to do everything they can to avoid a work stoppage. The shelf life of a player's career is much shorter than that of the owner. Missed games always hurt players more.
    10 days? maybe less?
    the total number of days the cardinals have not been in playoff contention, since 2007?
    and yet a ton of people are calling for Mo's job. crazy.
    I do think we have had a regression in talent--pick some free agents poorly, and the rest of the league has caught up in developing pitching..somewhat
    thoughts?
    I don't think a ton of people are calling for his job. A vocal minority, more like it. But the overall approval rating from the fans has slipped. No doubt about that.
    Mizzou bball..... you buying or selling? Expectations for this team?
    Buying. Should be a tournament team. Should finish in top three or so of SEC. Of course, that's if there's a tournament. This situation with Florida's Keyontae Johnson is very concerning, and if it's linked to his COVID diagnosis this summer, the calls to pause or scrap the season entirely will grow.
    Of course, we can all agree that there's nothing good about Covid. That said, in the very narrow context of sports, I wonder if fate is shining a bit brighter on Mizzou for change in terms of basketball. This seems like a season where having a veteran team is a decided advantage given the limitations that the virus imposed on the pre-season, the limits in direct contact with players, the ever-changing schedule, etc. They don't have superstar talent, but they are cohesive unit with depth, an understanding of their coach's expectations, and execute well in pretty much every aspect of the game. How much of an advantage do you think their experience is in this unique situation?
    I think that has A LOT to do with it.
    Some of the bluebloods that are currently struggling -- like UK and Duke -- are built on super freshmen.
    This current season -- no fans, no campus life, limited practice times and strict guidelines -- is going to be more challenging for young freshmen then it is veteran college players.
    We're seeing that play out on the court I think.
    Hey Ben, thanks for all you do. Since finances are such a big topic right now with COVID wreaking havoc I'm curious your take on which professional sport (4 Major sports) has the best free agency process both from a financial standpoint and from generating positive energy and attention toward that respective sport. And finally how would you do it if you could pick and choose strategies from different sports to create the best free agency and trade markets.
  • The MLB is last among all of the leagues, I think.
    I think much of it has to do with the looming CBA and the animosity that has grown between two sides, players and agents.
    A lot of it has to do with the new trust-fund management style baseball has turned to, where everything is cold, bloodless and calculated.
    With baseball, deadlines are the only things that seem to drive action. So, more deadlines. Move them up. Force action.
    Baseball also either needs to institute some type of salary floor or cut teams that loose a high enough percentage of their games out of league revenue sharing.
    Tankers have to stop being rewarded for there to be any meaningful improvement there, though I don't think it will happen because owners protect one another.
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