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.

    Do you think the Blues will retire Alex Steen’s number and hang a banner in the Enterprise rafters to honor his career?
    A case could be made.
    Twelve seasons with the Blues.
    Stanley Cup champion.
    Respected team leader who took a selfless role in a championship season, the first in the team's history.
    I looked this up the other day.
    Here's where Steen ranked among ALL active NHL players when he retired:
    55th in postseason minutes played
    Tied for 52nd in postseason games played
    40th in postseason shifts
    40th in regular season minutes played
    Tied for 38th in regular season goals
    35th in regular season assists
    33rd in regular season points
    Tied for 21st in regular season games played
    Seventeenth in regular-season shifts
    I don't know if it's an automatic lock, but now that Pietrangelo is gone, it might make a little more sense to have Steen be that guy. Especially if O'Reilly keeps playing for a long time, as is the plan for now.
    Are you surprised at Cincinnati so far this offseason in looking like they are going to cash in after ramping up spending going into last season? It seemed to me that they were really trying to compete in a Central that they thought was there for the winning. Going into next year, it would seem to me that it is the Cubs and Cardinals again with Milwaukee a bit further behind (but not to be counted out with the division's best player)
  • Many teams in the American and National League Central are singing the same tune, just with different pitches. The outliers, at least for now, seem to be in the American League. The White Sox and the Royals. Unless we are presented with any reason to think differently, the best way to view the NL Central is a jumble at the top: Cardinals, Cubs, Reds and Brewers with a clear floor in the Pirates.
    Sounds like Tarasanko is going to be a non-factor this year. Any chance the Blues will sign another player to replace his goals?
    The Steen retirement will free up some money for the Blues to put toward that effort, and if it is later determined that Tarasenko will not be able to play at all this season, that number could grow. Yes, the Blues could look to add some scoring punch, and probably should. They are fortunate in that the flat salary cap meant there are some decent unrestricted free agents still on the market.
    Ben, enjoy your writing in the Post, keep up the good work, one question, if the Mizzou game on tv tonite? And if so where?
    Thanks! It is. SEC Network.
    Happy Holidays Ben, I'm curious how much you think the success of former cardinals with other teams will affect the rotation in the outfield this year? Do Bader, Thomas, and O'Neill get extended looks because the FO is scared of a repeat with their young prospects performing better elsewhere? The way they have talked so far this offseason, this seems reason enough for the cards not to add a bat in the outfield which is a shame.
    I think it's a factor, for a few reasons.
    One, the Cardinals are wary of making the same kind of mistake more than once.
    Two, repeated chances for the current group gives them repeated chances to prove their projections were right.
    Three, they are reluctant to make big decisions based on the strange season that was 2020.
    I can understand press reset on the outfield group, more or less, because Carlson will be playing every day and Thomas will be healthy, but if that's the case then the team needs to add some proven slug somewhere else.
    If that's at DH, the answer is easy.
    If DH is not available, things get a little harder.
    Why are the Cardinals letting Molina hold up the offseason? There are several cheep free agents that could really help the Cardinals. Eddie Rosario, Yasiel Puig, Maikel Franco, others. Puig has bat, glove, speed, and is EXCITING!!!
    The Cardinals are capable of doing more than one thing at once.
    Molina is not the sole reason other wheels are not turning.
    I don't think the Cardinals are dead set on adding an outfielder, and think they probably want that punch to come from the DH -- but they don't yet know for certain if they will have a DH in 2020 because that rule has not yet been decided. 
    Hence, the wait.
    Also: The Cardinals are interested in spending as little as they can in order to get what they want, so waiting could mean they get what they want, or something close to it, for less later than they might right now.
  • If Tarasenko does not return this season do the Blues then make him available for the Kraken to take? If not who do the Blues not protect?
  • I know some people like to suggest that, but I still don't think I would do it.
    Would you want to see Tarasenko turn back into a 30-goal scorer in Seattle?
    I wouldn't.
    I can't imagine Doug Armstrong would.
    Even if Tarasenko is a more limited player, he would still be taking a step back from a very high level.
    And it's not like his contract is horrendous. It's pretty team-friendly, all things considered.
    The most painful names to consider leaving unprotected -- if they had to be picked right now -- would probably be David Perron, Sammy Blais and Ivan Barbashev, among others.
    Maybe pull one of those off for a Schenn if you think Seattle would shy away from that contract, but that' a risk that's probably not worth taking.
  • I think a big reason that M:B hasn't decided on the DH in the National League is that they know spring training will probably not start until April or May.
  • I tend to think it has more to do with players and owners having such a lousy working relationship that they can't get anything figured out until begrudgingly and at the final possible moment. It makes no sense, no matter when the season starts, for this not to be settled by now. There was no point in having the so-called virtual winter meetings when 15 teams had no clue what kind of lineup they were supposed to be building. It's insane.
  • Re Cubs
    Cubs have two proven rotation members and two outfielders Ian Happ and Jason Heyward

    They just signed a back up third baseman so they (maybe) trade Kris Bryant

    They are (as of now) not competing in 2021
  • As far as I know they have not traded KB yet, and don't forget they won the division by three games last season. Assuming they're not going to be competitive in this ho-hum division is an assumption I won't be making.
  • At one time, the FO and ownership were ahead of the curve in draft and develop. This allowed them to compete without having to invest as much. Now they seem to be behind the curve in finding inefficiencies to exploit. They are dumping salary this year with nothing to show for it, and are likely to use the expiration of the CBA as an excuse not to invest next year. Is there a rational reason this team deserves my emotional and financial investment?
    I'm not the one who should be convincing you of that. That's the team's job. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Teams can't treat everything like a business and not expect fans to start to do the same. If a business does not earn your investment . . .
    Why are the Cardinals not signing free agents like outfielders Eddie Rosario, Yasiel Puig, third base Maikel Franco, second base Kolton Wong, Jonathan Schoop, Cesar Hernandez. Utility player Jedd Goyrko, Danny Santana. Once top pitching prospect Carlos Rodon.
    All these could help the Cardinals.
    Wow Yasiel Puig as a Cardinal? Talking about EXCITING!!!
    Marry Christmas to you and your family!!
  • Because they are trying to trim payroll, not expand it, and while they seem to realize they need to do SOMETHING to improve the offense they have stressed "patience", meaning they seem to be interested in seeing what deals present themselves later on, and also interested in if one of those deals could come at the designated hitter spot, which would allow them more time to vet current outfield candidates they already have.
    Cards are going to look silly in the eyes of the fans after letting all these players go in cost saving measures and then not get both Waino and Molina. If I’m Molina, I’m playing hard ball. If I’m the Cards, I let him walk.
    I'm curious how the Cardinals would sell letting Molina walk, unless it's for a drastically different payday elsewhere. How do you explain to fans why Matt Carpenter got an unnecessary legacy extension that has turned out terribly, but the same effort was not put into bringing back Molina and Wainwright? That's a hard sell, even during a pandemic. If Molina gets paid a boatload elsewhere, things get easier to explain. Is there a team out there willing to make an offer that much greater than the Cardinals? I doubt it. The Cardinals are probably going to have to give Molina a little more than they would like. If you're going to draw a hard-line stance on legacy contracts, and maybe they should, it is probably best PR wise to draw it AFTER Molina and Wainwright not between Carpenter's extension (ouch) and the beloved battery.
    What's your take on Molina's latest instagram stunt? Why does he post such things? If he's going to play elsewhere so be it! Does he remember we watched Pujols leave?
  • I'm usually the first to roll my eyes at Molina's social media use but I've got no problem with him taking suggestions on where he should go. He's a free agent. He's hearing from other teams. He's trying to turn up the heat on the Cardinals, something he has done in previous negotiations, negotiations that ultimately ended with Molina getting what he wanted. Molina is using his leverage.
    Is the reputation of the depth of SEC football a little overstated? Once you get outside the top 2-4 teams out of 14, the records really don't look that good and it has been that way. Bowl records from year to year don't consistently show dominance, either. No denying Alabama's better than mostly everyone, of course.

    It just seems reminiscent of the Big Ten's reputation for depth in basketball, Once you get outside the top 2-4 perennial teams, the other teams aren't always all that great. And other than Michigan State, the conference's performance in the NCAA tournament doesn't exactly show dominance.
    I think this season Alabama is better than everyone, period.
    But yeah, there is a lot of pro-SEC propaganda out there.
    Vanderbit isn't going to switch to another Power 5 league and win a bunch of games.
    Let's not kid ourselves.
    That said I do think the middle of the SEC is better than the middle of most other Power 5 leagues.
    Just look at the NFL talent it produces compared to the others.
    I think Texas A&M is better than Notre Dame, for example.
    Don't put too much stock into bowl records. Increasingly they feature uninspired teams after opt-outs by guys who are headed to the NFL Draft.
    I cannot figure out why we're seeing mostly normal free agencies in all of the major sports leagues, except for MLB. The NBA is still handing out max contracts and fair contracts to other, non-star players. We have not seen major cuts or owner's complaining in the NHL or NFL (at least in comparison to MLB). Why is it that MLB is acting like they are going bankrupt while other sports leagues who are enduring the same hardships are going about business as usual, for the most part?
    One reason is that MLB is the only league that has played a full season -- not just a postseason -- under the pandemic's pinch.
    Another reason is the cliff that arrives after the 2021 season, when a big fight awaits between owners and players about how the revenue pie needs to be split between the two.
    There's a lot of politicking and positioning going on, and there has been for a while
  • Much like the players and owners the fans need to sit back and wait till the season starts, whenever that is, and then pick the Cards FO apart if they haven't significantly improved the team. Lets face it, it's going to be a long boring winter waiting for the FA iceberg to thaw.
    Sounds like decent logic to me.
    It seems with all the hype about St. Louis University don't you think the team is really a 30-40th ranked team in the country ? Minnesota, a above average but not a top 20 team was clearly better in pretty much all facets .
    If you believe Ken Pomeroy's rankings, the Billikens are the No. 31 team in the nation. Then again, LSU, a team SLU beat, is ranked No. 28 in those same rankings. I think SLU is a top-25ish team but it missed its chance to force the issue by losing its first road game. A win against NC State and Minnesota in the same week would have likely forced them into the rankings. Minnesota looked much better against SLU than it did at Illinois, where it got spanked. Illinois turned around and lost to Rutgers. My point? Don't read too much into one game this early in the season. The Billikens have looked pretty sharp so far other than the Minnesota game. They're not going to win many games when Gibson Jimerson and Javonte Perkins both have cold shooting nights, and that's what happened against the Gophers.
    I keep hearing about Arozarena and Voit getting away. But let's think about it. The Cardinals could have played Voit at first base but they chose to play Carpenter. They could have played Arozarena in RF instead of Fowler, but again they didn't. If your starters aren't hitting, that's the time to play your young kids and see what they can do. Carp and Fowler haven't been much help the last couple of years and I really don't care how much they are making - you still have to be able to help the team. Between O'Neil, Bader, Thomas and Carlson, the Cards could have a pretty good outfield. They do need someone to play either 3B or 2B that can hit.
    The Cardinals very much cares about how players are making.
    Guys with significant contracts are going to get more chances than guys without them.
    We have witnessed many examples of the Cardinals being reluctant to punt on contracts -- or steer contract players toward lesser roles -- in recent seasons.
    And yes, you could argue sometimes the mistake of a bad contract can be compounded by not shifting away from it sooner. Fair argument. Totally.
    One quick thing on the backstory. Jose Martinez had as much to do with Luke Voit being blocked as Matt Carpenter. Voit was traded in part because the Cardinals were finding Martinez's strong bat at first base, despite the defensive problems it caused.
    The Cardinals let Matt Adams flirt with corner outfield. I'm not sure why they never gave that much consideration with Voit.
    The Cards OF presumably consists of O'Neil, Carlson, Bader, Thomas and Fowler. Assuming no DH and they sign an OF bat, which one do they get rid of?
    Don't forget Justin Williams as another option currently in hand.
    I'm not assuming they sign an outfield bat, mostly because of the names you mentioned.
    We'll see.
    Do the owners and players not think there will be significant ramifications from a work stoppage? The actions on both sides seems to hint that they either don’t think there will or they just don’t care if there are.
  • I think part of the problem at the moment is that both sides (owners and players) are so focused on beating one another that both fail to see the image problem the game is starting to have with fans.
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