Join columnist Ben Frederickson for his live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

Join columnist Ben Frederickson for his live STL sports chat at 11 a.m. Tuesday

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

    Greetings, chatters. Hope everyone is having a good week. I'm in the saddle for the next few hours, ready to talk whatever's on your mind. Hopefully your brackets are filled out by now. I've ot Gonzaga winning it, with Purdue, Tennessee and Iowa making the Final Four. Fire away.
    I wish coach Martin great success in what ever he chooses to do next. Wish it could of worked out he is a great leader of young men. Brookshire entered the portal that opens up another scholarship to get a good point guard. Not really confident shaw , brazille and kobe brown stay, I think they probably will leave. I could see as many as 7 new players.
    Cuonzo will be just fine. He's got a $6 million buyout coming his way while he determines what's next, whether that's coaching or somewhere else. He could get interest in A-10 or mid-major if he wants it, but I would not be surprised if he changes gears professionally. 
    Brookshire said he's open to sticking around depending on the coach Mizzou hires, though that will depend on if the coach Mizzou hires wants him to stick around, or if he has committed elsewhere by then. Good teams are going to come for Kobe Brown, Trevon Brazile and incoming four-star freshman Aidan Shaw. I would not be surprised if those players leave. You open yourself up to that chance when you make a change. Players were not happy Martin got let go, but that's not surprising. They came to Mizzou to play for him.
    You have to make the hire based on the vision for the new coach, and can't worry much about the turnover that happens in the immediate aftermath. The best thing for players to do is keep their options open, but give the new hire a shot. Sometimes that works out great. I've watched it firsthand. Josh Richardson, who has had  really nice career in the NBA, became a more aggressive attacking guard when Cuonzo Martin left Tennessee for Cal and Donnie Tyndall took over for one scandal-plagued season with the Volunteers. He changed his game in  a different system and thrived.
    What odds you giving Kyle Schwaber is a Redbird before too long?
    Perception from the national writers seems to be that Schwarber is being pursued hot and heavy by some big-spending teams. That's usually not a race the Cardinals win on the free-agent market. He would be a really strong addition to this offense. No doubt. Still hard for me to believe the Cardinals are as comfortable handing over the DH role to a trio of hitters who have a combined 109 major league at bats in their career (Nootbaar 109, Yepez 0, Gorman 0). Some more proven production would be nice. The Cardinals winning that bidding war would be really impressive, and it would speak to acting on these World Series quotes that are pumping out of the Florida sunshine.
    Hi, Mr. Frederickson. Thanks for the chat and your time. I have several questions/observations, if I may, please.
    1.) I feel bad about Coach Martin getting fired. I'm sure he's a good man, and obviously widely respected by a lot of his fellow coaches. I don't think enough blame has been placed on Martin's assistants. Martin didn't recruit and coach players all by himself. His assistants would have been the ones who suggested recruiting players, signing players from the transfer portal, running practices, and developing game plans. They deserve a good deal of the blame for Mizzou's poor showing.
    2.) Are the Blues the best 40-minute team in the NHL? If they could consistently put together three good periods of hockey, they could be dangerous. How does such a veteran team so frequently show up not ready to play a game or a period?
    3.) It's interesting how quickly Cardinal fans have gone from complaining about spoiled, overpaid players and billionaire owners to perceptions of the Cardinals lack of spending on free agents. I wonder if it were their money and their team how many fans would be so quick to spend so freely.
    4.) Finally, what's your over/under on how many times Tom Brady retires?
    Thanks for your time.
    1. Martin's assistants were not good and he did not have good enough resources to upgrade them. Part of that is on the gamble Mizzou took with Porter Sr., who was a dud of an asset of a coach, to be frank. Part of it is on Mizzou for not increasing the resources available to hire better assistants. Part of it is on Cuonzo for being too loyal to his guys and not making more changes when he could have. Throw it all together and, yes, the assistants were a collective minus instead of a plus. And it contributed to how things ended.
    2. They can be as good in regulation as they can be bad in overtime. I think the Blues are guilty of knowing where they sit in the standings, as much as anything. Four points ahead of Minnesota. Not catching Colorado. They will need to flip a switch at some point if this season is going to be special, but their up and down play is not really costing them too much at this time, and they know that.
    3. I don't and won't knock the Cardinals for making low-cost plays on relievers, ever. Because their big spends on relievers have mostly been busts dating back seasons, and some of their best performances have come from guys they identified as a fit that were overlooked by other teams. So, keep on keeping on with that approach. I do think they should spend some coin to add some power to the offense. If Paul DeJong is going to get another shot at shortstop, then add some been-there-done-that at DH. Or, if the DH is going to be the way young guys get MLB at-bats, then make the move for Trevor Story and make it clear the World Series is the goal this season. Picking one of those two seems doable for this team, if it's serious about bringing another parade to STL in Wainwright and Molina's last season. 
    4. It's good Brady is back to being a heel. He was getting to likable. This makes him annoying again. I approve.
    Where do you for see Dylan Carlson ultimately being best suited for in the line up versus righties and southpaws?
  • I think he would be a good leadoff hitter at some point. Not sure if that's this season or not. I'll wait to lock in the lineup until we find out if the Cardinals are going to add a bat.
    I asked Hummel but he didn't really answer. Why can't baseball teams trade draft picks like every other sport? Hummel said it was an antiquated system and if so why don't they change it? I think it was to stop teams from trading away their future but free agency changed that. So does tanking. Teams trade their really good players for prospects because they don't want to pay them so what is the difference. They are essentially trading away their future there too.
    The short answer is it's not allowed by the CBA.
    Long answer is, as much as owners don't mind teams tanking on their own terms, they don't like the idea of certain big-spending owners -- like Steve Cohen of the Mets , for example -- hoarding prime picks from teams that don't care about their future because he doesn't mind paying the bonuses that are owed to those high picks. If a terrible team with no plans of winning got a shot at a high pick, it could and would offload it for the right price. Rich get richer. Owners don't like certain owners getting out too far ahead of the pack, as evidenced by the recent luxury tax debate.
    It's all well and good for Marmol to talk about conviction, as Ben Hochman reported on. And certainly Waino, Molina, Arenado and Goldschmidt have that conviction and can lead the others. Drew VerHagen and Nick Wittgren do not show us that the front office has conviction. Corey Seager would have. Carlos Correa would show us. Schwarber or Moran wouldn't show us completely, but would certainly help. And let's face it - booting Schildt for calling out management's lack of conviction sends players the wrong message.

    How do you think the players deal with this split - full conviction on the field, less conviction from the front office?
    A better question is how the fans handle it. They're the ones who are asked to pump money into the business. Marmol saying the World Series is the goal is fine. Shildt said the same thing. But when Shildt started talking about what the team needed to get closer to a World Series, that got him into trouble. Marmol hopefully learned that lesson. The goal of a World Series is approved by the front office. Becoming more vocal about what you would like the front office to do to get you there, not so much. Marmol has likely been instructed to manage the team he has, as Shildt often said before he started coloring outside of the lines. I bet Adam Wainwright on truth serum would say this team could use another bat, but spring training is not the time to lobby. That usually happens around the trade deadline.
    Thanks for your views. So, the new faces on this year’s Cardinals team are a back-end starting pitcher and two undistinguished bargain basement relievers. While other top teams are aggressively acquiring talent and generating excitement coming out of the lockout, the Cardinals appear passive and cheap (again). With significant money coming off the books, this off-season seemed like the time the Cardinals could get creative and take a big leap forward into elite territory, but instead it’s disappointing. Oli is talking about the World Series, and this is the best Mo can do?
    Some teams are generating excitement.
    Others are waving the white flag, including one in the Cardinals' division.
    The Reds have sold off two of their best players, making fans long for the lockout blues all over again.
    The Cardinals are looking for certain things in pitchers that they believe fit baseball's best defense, and they have been pretty good at identifying under-the-radar guys who fit over the years. Especially compared to their "impressive" free-agent relief additions.
    They'll figure out the pitching. They did last season, though they waited too late to start. Their defense is an incredible weapon.
    The offense should be the focus, I think.
    DH and shortstop offense are big question marks, and they're a lot of happy talk about the production that hopefully comes there.
    Why not add some certainty?
    Who are the 3 coaches on your wish list that mizzou can actually get and can afford to lead the basketball program. To you is recruiting or game coaching more important.
  • The Jimmys and the Joes are always going to matter more than the X's and O's, but you don't have to pick one above the other. Go get someone who can do both. Because those are the coaches who consistently win. There's so much more that goes into recruiting now. Coaches have to either have or create name, image and likeness action. They have to combat poaching for the transfer portal while also lining up potential transfers themselves. Connections matter more than ever before, as does knowing what talent is out there in high school and college for quick pivots when a need emerges.
    If Dana Altman has any reason to want out of Oregon, you start and end there. Whether it works or not, that's a hire no one could complain about. It would be a head-turning hire. He's proven. He's connected. He's going to be a Hall of Famer.
    He hasn't been mentioned much but I would make Greg McDermott say no. It didn't work for him at Iowa State but he has turned Creighton into a force in the Big East and he is regularly landing wow-worth recruiting classes, including the four-star center out of Trinity Catholic in STL recently. His AD recently retired. Maybe he wants a change? Creighton popped up in the FBI probe but it seemed far less scandalous than what was going on at Arizona, with Sean Miller, which included some bad academic misconduct.
    Golden is intriguing at San Francisco, and his all-in analytics approach could impress Desiree Reed-Francois, who values that approach. Grant McCasland is really good at North Texas; I like his track record. I'm not cold on Murray State's Matt McMahon, but I do wonder how much of his success is the program's as much as his. One of my most trusted basketball guys said he would have McMahon at the top of Mizzou's list if he was running the search.
    One thing that should be mentioned. Kim English did not have the debut season he wanted at George Mason but if Mizzou started missing on certain guys, a pivot toward English and his potential would sell. He has relationships that would help instantly with NIL action. Rick Barnes doesn't hire bad coaches, and he learned a lot from his time at Tennessee. Good recruiter. One of Barne's top assistants just got the head job at East Carolina. So, I don't hold English's 14-16 first season at George Mason against him too much. A lot of those losses were by a few points, too. English is going to be a really good high major head coach one day, I believe. Maybe the timing isn't right, but he does run the risk of being the alum who got away if this is the one shot Mizzou has to hire him and does not take it.
  • With the talk of MU BB coach succession, I was wondering what a coach considers when defining success for his season. To the fan it really depends on where we have been - for SLU and MU just making the NCAA would be success. For KU not so much - probably the final four or championship.
    Is having the team improve over the season enough. Have you ever had this discussion with coaches.
    Depends on the coach and the school.
    Coaches, more than fans, know the randomness of the NCAA Tournament.
    Matchups determine everything in the bracket.
    Coaches tend to look at individual player development and team growth as much as record, but they also know it's a bottom-line business that prioritizes wins and postseason success.
    If the question is specific to Mizzou, good luck determining expectations there.
    I don't think anyone knows for sure, including the people running this search.
    I would say it's to be in NCAA Tournament contention annually with a deep-ish run once in a while.
    Martin went to two in five seasons (four NCAA tournaments during that span because one was canceled due to pandemic, but Tigers were not likely to make it that season) but he never got out of the first round. If he had made a deeper run there could have been more patient. Losing seasons erode patience. Especially after a certain point, like year three.
    Does an apparent ling over injury make it lot easier on the Cardinals to insist and justify that Alex Reyes needs to get used to the idea he is best suited when healthy to remain a fixture in the bullpen for another season?
    The Reyes to rotation talk can cool off quite a bit now. Here's an example of how the lockout can hurt. Teams and players can't communicate, and Reyes shows up to camp with soreness. The rotation jostling has started and Reyes, who was already on the outside looking in, is not throwing. He has to shake the soreness, pass the medical checkpoints and get on the mound before he can be counted on in any role, but it will be some sort of a bullpen role it appears. He would rather be a reliever than starting in the minors, and he's too talented to do that anyway, when healthy. Maybe he's not the closer; we learned that last season. But the bullpen needs him.
    At best the SLU Women's BB season could be call disappointing. To have two starting Junior players leave the program before the season was mysterious - above average players who had plenty of playing time for two years. Then the best rebounder and physical presence in the post out with injury in preseason was devastating. Somehow Harbison and Flowers continued to put up big numbers but only one newcomer (McNeil) showed progress for the future. The immediate future looks bleak. All that said I find it ironic that with all the equal everything being clamored for women athletes that the PD can not write an archive extolling the performance of Harbison who has been top 5 all time in SLU BB. Don't know how SLU ever stole her from Louisville (her home town).
    She's mentioned in just about every SLU women's story we write, and Stu Durando wrote this feature about her less than a year ago. Why not ask if we have done a story instead of assuming we have not? 

    Harbison has thrived as three-year starter for SLU

    STLtoday.comIf SLU had played a full slate, she would be on pace to become the program’s all-time leading scorer.
    Where is Yadier Molina? Is there cause for concern yet?
    Not sure. "Personal reasons" is the word out of camp. I'm not headed down until Friday. Mozeliak said it could be a couple of days. We'll see if he cares to share when he reports. Hope everything is OK.
    What's your take on Gorman being the only non roster invitee working out with the mlb club
  • They want him to hit his way onto the team. Mozeliak has laid down the gantlet. Hit well enough to be a regular, or start in the minors. He didn't word it like that, of course, but when he says that he's not going to risk the star prospect's development so he can sit on the bench in St. Louis, he's saying there's one way to break camp with the Cardinals, and it's to force their hand.
    Cincy hasn't read the new CBA and it's attempt to stop Tanking or the 6th pick in the lottery isn't too bad. The MLBPA executive committee recommended that the players turn down the proposal. WHY, I thought they okay.
    I legitimately feel bad for Cincinnati fans. I'm old enough to remember Flexin' Nick Castellanos and days of great expectations in Cincinnati. Those feelings have not settled well. Worse than a bad batch of Skyline Chili.
    There seems to be a lot of smoke about the Cardinals being tied to Story. That goes against what we hear about DeJong being the starter. Is any really anything there, or is it just MO making the standard check in calls? Personally I don't see Story as that big of an upgrade over DeJong.
    The Cardinals often find themselves linked to free agents who could potentially make sense during the rumor mill, in part because they do not push back against those connections when they are made without merit.
    Just once in recent memory did Mozeliak really shoot something down.
    It was when he called a report about the team being interested in Bryan Dozier, "fake news" during the 2017 Winter Warm-Up.
    Mozeliak has said often, and since the lockout ended too, that the team has confidence in Paul DeJong as its shortstop.
    Could that change? Perhaps.
    Story could be willing to go short term or something, or could really want to play with the Cardinals, who knows.
    But it would be a heck of a misdirection by Mozeliak.
    He did spend a lot of time talking about confidence in Carpenter and third base before they got Arenado, remember.
    He has been known to have some tricks up his sleeves.
    That said the owner has said the team is pretty much set, and the confidence-in-DeJong talking points have been revived since the lockout ended. So that's what seems most likely now.
    According to Cot's, the Cardinals are still a little more than $65M Million under the 2022 CBT with only 6 players (Arenado, Goldschmidt, Mikolas, Matz, DeJong, VerHagen) committed past 2022. I know their method of putting a competitive team on the field works nearly every season. But, it is insulting to fans to be so low and sign dumpster dives like Drew VerHagen, Nick Wittgren and Zach McAllister instead of actual big league pitchers like Joe Kelly.
    I'd get mad about not spending on offense instead of not spending on the kind of pitchers the Cardinals have had a lot of success with scouting and using to better-than-expected success. Just my two cents. No pun intended.
    What are your thoughts on the Unions Executive Subcommittee voting 8-0 against CBA and membership voting 26-4 in favor? Seems they were really out of touch with their members.
    That can be one view of it, sure.
    Another view could be they were determined to get the best deal they could, and now they can say they wanted more when it's time for the next one.
    If their strategy was to continue to push the owners for more until the rank-and-file players said enough, it worked.
  • As free agency restarts Cards fans are quickly reminded that this organization is here to compete, not to contend. You can’t contend without competing but competing is not contending. Signing Matz, a couple tertiary bullpen pieces, and putting a 3rd bet on DeJong are all moves done by a team whose focus is on taking 4 of 6 from the Pirates and Reds on a mid-June homestand, not chasing a 12th ring. Marmol can talk about about the World Series as a goal all he wants, the fans can see the roster and this roster (as constructed today) cannot compete for a WS, if it could it would have done so last year when it was virtually the same.
    If the tone of today's chat is any indication, the front office might want to consider adding a little more sizzle to the camp before it ends. I'll be sure to pass along the good word when I head down. I'm sure it will be well received. I'm Mr. Negative, after all.
    Love that the people complaining about the bullpen signings are probably the same people that complained about the $$$ spent on Cecil, Miller, etc.
    Only after it went bust. We have spent a lot of time in recent seasons banging on the Cardinals for spending bad money, and it's a better complaint than them not spending enough money. So, no, I'm not going to go bananas that they are doing what they do well when it comes to these complementary pitching pieces.
    Any chance DeWitt gets booed opening day? I hope so
    To the point that it can be heard audibly from the press box? Zero percent. The Internet is not real life.
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