Join columnist Jeff Gordon for his live STL sports chat at 1 p.m. Friday

Join columnist Jeff Gordon for his live STL sports chat at 1 p.m. Friday

Bring your Cards, Blues, Mizzou, SLU and MLS questions and comments, and talk to columnist Jeff Gordon in his weekly live chat.

    Jeff, Thanks for the in-game chat Wednesday night. You certainly earned a deep-fried Yumbo or two..... if you can find them. I also enjoyed the article by Joe Hollamen. One can imagine the dismay of some of the consistently negative chat regulars to see that there are many fans who recognize the flaws that the front office must address in the off-season in order to truly contend for a World Series title and yet still appreciate the magical, clutch September that redeemed a maddeningly mediocre season, provided 90 wins, a playoff berth and gave a 106 win team (loaded even without Muncy and Kershaw) more than a few anxious moments for 8 2/3 innings. Believe me, there were many times this season when I got so frustrated that I almost gave up on the Cardinals, but bottom-line, I consider the season a qualified success.
    Bobo is back or what should be a festive day in the old chat room.
    Ah, yes, you remembered my deep-fried Yumbo reference. Back in the day, Burger King had a hot ham and cheese sandwich. Pull the ham out of the packet, throw cheese on top and microwave. Kind of a mess, really, But drop that ham into the deep fryer and now you have a magical sandwich. Trouble is, it ruined the fryer grease for anything else. So management frowned upon in. 
    Randy A is still playing and the Cardinals are going home. Mo been getting lots of praise but he is a still a big screwup
    Yeah, but 14 consecutive winning seasons and eight trips to postseason play in 11 years will keep him around awhile. So you'll have to deal with it.
    Buckle your seat belt tight Gordo. Turbulents are expected and it’s likely to be a bumpy ride over fly-over country today!!
    Yeah, fans will go back into Franchise in Decline mode again. A lot of chat regulars are happy the team lost so they get back to their narrative.
    I was worried after the combination of the winning streak ending and clinching the WC that the team took their foot off the gas by playing the subs so much the last 5 games. Dejong was the only extra that got an AB vs the Dodgers so maybe it would've been better to "don't change what's working" heading into the big game. I'm sure this sounds like "Monday Morning Quarterbacking". Your thoughts?
    It's not like the regulars went on vacation. They still got in plenty of at bats in the closing days. They just didn't get hits Wednesday when they needed them.
    Jeff: As a front office driven by analytics, how do you think they will evaluate the 2021 Cardinals? Will the front office focus on the small sample size of a once-in-a-franchise month and think this is a team needing a light off-season touch or take a realistic view and see a team that was flawed and largely mediocre for five of six months? Sure, it’s likely somewhere in between, but except for the unsustainable sizzling September the 2021 Cardinals were a bust with obvious issues that need to be decisively addressed for 2022. Thanks for your thoughts.
    When this team had healthy pitching it was pretty good. Subtract that injury-driven 7-19 downturn from the end of May through June and the Cardinals won at a very good clip. Also, the strong finish by Tyler O'Neill, Tommy Edman, Harrison Bader and Edmundo Sosa raised confidence in the younger members of the nucleus. Lars Nootbaar and Jose Rondon upgraded the bench play at the end as well, Several key prospects finished well at Memphis after John Mozeliak decided to hang on to the tops guys.
    So the outlook on the team in October is a LOT better than the outlook at the end of June. So management is likely pleased with where the team sits.
    At the time I didn't like Wainright batting for himself in the 6th w 2 outs and Bader on 1st. This was another chance to score w possible steal and/or Nootbaar or Carp could've driven him in or extended the inning to Edman and Goldschmidt. Waino wasn't going to pitch to J. Turner again so even though he was dealing he was only going to get 2 outs at most and in this game (unlike regular season) the pen was rested and loaded. The Cards traded one out for a possible chance to score the go ahead run. What did you think at that moment about the decision?
    I could see leaving him in to pitch because he was pitching well. But like you say, if you are going to yank him so quickly the next inning, then why leave him in to hit for himself? Either you are committed to him giving you distance in the game or you're not.
  • Gordo even after a couple days to digest I am still struggling trying to understand why Mike Shildt brought Alex Reyes into that pressure packed game when he did. I need someone rational to explain it to me. I am not second guessing as I was screaming NOOOOO when I first noticed him warming up. I was texting a bit with the son-in-law about the game but informed him before Reye’s first pitch that I was putting the phone down in case he gave up a bomb. I was afraid I would throw it through my 70” big screen. I didn’t have long to wait. True story.

    A manager knows his team better than anyone and is supposed to put his players in the best position to succeed. In my opinion Shildt failed the Cardinals organization, it’s players and fans and most of all Reyes himself. Alex Reyes will hopefully go on to a great Cardinal career but right now his psyche is as fragile as a porcelain doll. To put him in that position with an all star type pitcher, a nasty lefty who can hit 100, and a noted sinkerballer sitting on their keisters in the bullpen is inexcusable. Can you defend or justify the move?

    I am done Gordo. On to 2022. Thanks for the chance to vent. Happy to report iPhone and big screen remain very much intact!!
    When Shildt went to Gallegos early, I figured he was committed to going two innings with him. When he took Gallegos came out and got what he could from McFarland, Shildt ended having to choose between established relievers with a wild side or going to one of the starters who moved to the bullpen. By shortening his bullpen earlier in the game, he put himself in a box later. Reyes had moved to lower-leverage for a reason and he had issues in three of his last four regular season games.
    I'm glad your TV survived. I'm guessing there are some that did not.
    I wouldn't call this Cardinals season an absolute failure until I hear Schildt, Mo, Girsch, or anyone else holding authority in the club definitively state that next year's expectation is anything short of a World Series. Go ahead, keep the whole coaching staff in tact, don't tinker too much with the lineup, only add a modest starting pitching candidate, ignore the booming SS market, all fine. But if this time next year we're still talking about small moral victories as we exit the wild card or even divisional series, then the architects of this team have to be thrown out by their trousers.
    The Cardinals' goal for next year will be the same as it has been through the Dewitt Regime -- get back into the playoff chase so the team has a chance to do big things at the end.
    How would you compare watching the record setting winning streak to watching McGuire chasing the HR record?
  • A team playing winning baseball is more interesting than one guy on a so-so team trying to blast homers. A winning team is interesting for three-plus hours a night why a slugger might step to the plate every 40 minutes or so.
    How do you view this team's reliance on the "steadiness" mantra? Does it serve us? I can see it if we said from the outset that this is a year of developing young players and not really competing for a championship. That would have been understandable this year given the budget crunch, the injuries, and the youth on this team. In that case I can see "steadiness" reading as "don't get too down on yourself, we don't really expect to compete". Personally I'd prefer not to hear "steadiness" from this club even once next year because the excuses should be gone. The development is done. This is the lineup. The club can choose to add an arm, or not. Whatever that choice is, they're saying that the rotation we start the season with is the rotation that they believe they can win with. Steadiness is a mantra for rocking boats. FULL STEAM AHEAD is the mantra for winners.
  • The Cardinals' goal in the DeWitt Regime has been to contend for postseason play every year. And they have met that goal. A lot of fans complain about this approach. And fans other teams -- like the Phillies -- wonder what Cardinals fans are complaining about.
  • Hi, Derrick. I just wanted to pop in here and say thank you to you and all the PD scribes who have gone above and beyond in providing coverage this season. I've enjoyed the season. (Also - and I know she's not a PD writer - but its been fun following Katie Woo on Twitter.) Do you have any thoughts on if Sosa's 'yips' Wednesday night might give the front office pause as they consider who the SS is next year? Anyway - thanks again - and I hope you have a somewhat relaxing off-season and here's looking forward to next season. All of you have certainly caused me to re-subscribe to the PD!
  • Derrick's not here. Wrong chat. Catch him when it's his turn and send along your thanks -- Derrick puts in crazy hours to do what he does for us.
  • " A lot of chat regulars are happy the team lost so they can get back to their narrative." Well said! One thing I learned early in my counseling career is that a few people simply aren't happy unless they are unhappy. It is their default mode.
  • I hate the idea of the Cards signing a Lester/Happ to "compete" with Reyes for the 5th spot. We all know how competitions go with veteran players in Cardinals Spring Training, veterans are undefeated. The Cards always take the easy way out and shift a Reyes-type to the bullpen. Cards can't be trusted with older veterans, the organization is too sentimental.
  • Well, a lot of chatters wanted the team to turn the page on Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina after last year. It's a good thing the Cardinals didn't list.
  • Over our hockey heroes first six games, the Blues start the season on the road with games against Denver and Vegas, and then must play LA , a team that gave them fits last season, 3 times and the Avs again. That's a brutal stretch considering how many new parts the team must integrate together. How concerned should fans be if the Note starts the season 1-4-1?
  • Playing Colorado twice early will be tough, but they should take points from Arizona. San Jose and Anaheim early. I expect them to take points from the Kings in those home games as well.
  • How much do you read into James Neal's "decline" over the past couple years? Sure last year was a stinker, and so was his run with Calgary, but between those seasons he scored 19 goals over 55 games, and before that he never dipped below 20. We all know last year's playing conditions were anything but standard - he could be forgiven for an off year. Yes he's a bit older, but the guy looks like he can play! Will he be pulling on the blue note all season long?
    The Real Deal James Neal had a nice run of success playing on good lines and on good power plays over the years. But he has always been streaky -- and at some point in your career a cold streak could land you on a third line where those chances to finish around the net don't come.
    I could see him making the team if he finishes very well this week. There is an opening in the Top 9 for him. If he can stick, that would give Jake Neighbours more time to develop the offensive side of his game.
    On to the Blues Gordzonga! Baseball is over it was a great winning streak and we have a great balance of veterans and young players. So sign Scherzer and move on to next year. Can I ask you why Jimmy's and my favorite player Nate Walker never gets an opportunity? He's probably better than Neal you know! He keeps hanging in there until he gets a shot right? I think Berube really likes him. Men At Work was a really fun group don't you think! "Traveling in a fried Comvee heavy trail head full of Zombie..... you feel me?
    Walker is a little maniac on the ice. The knock on him is his inability to sustain that frantic play against the big boys at the NHL level. He has always been good for a  jolt of energy, but not for a sustained run of success.
    Jeff, the excitable Reyes gave up the home run and probably shouldn’t have been pitching in that situation. But if McFarland doesn’t walk the weak hitting Bellinger, the home run doesn’t happen. The advantage in that matchup was clearly to McFarland and he couldn’t throw strikes. Seems appropriate that a pitching staff that couldn’t throw strikes until Sept went down that way. Thoughts?
  • That's a great point about the Bellinger walk. That guy had struggled all season and that was the last thing McFarland wanted to do. Putting Reyes back into a high-leverage after protecting him at the end of the season in lower-level situations was inherently risky.
    Heading into next season a pipe dream would be adding Story at SS, Scherzer a SP and LH Schwarber as DH/4th OF/backup 1B. List in order of importance and which would you like to see and what chances any or all happen?
  • I could see none of that happening. I believe Nolan Gorman could fill some of that DH work while also being able to play a couple of spots in the field. I do not see the Cardinals going back to a suspect outfielder, even for a few games, when they have made fielding such a priority.
    I could see Sosa playing a lot of shortstop last year. And if Scherzer is going to get Trevor Bauer Money next year, I do not see him getting it here.
  • Jeff, not only did the Cards power hitters not hit, they swung through a ton of hittable pitches right down the middle of the plate. Perhaps it was due to good LA pitching, but still wonder if the two day layoff coupled with reduced playing time in Chicago didn’t take some of the heat from the bats. Did you see it the same way?
  • Again, it's not like these guys went on a cruise. They kept working on their hitting right up to the wild card game. Days off or partial days off at the end of a 162-game marathon shouldn't throw them out of whack.
  • Did Sosa having the yips and poor AB's in the big game diminish his great run and chances of starting next year or was SS already targeted to be the position to be upgraded?
  • Given his success as a starter -- and his lack of success hitting on the bench -- it would make since to give Edmundo a run at the job next season. His speed and energy added a lot to the team during its strong finish.
  • Why was Albert not given more credit for the offensive surge? Was his message changed and do you think management will stick w him heading into next year?
  • Since almost every hitter finished on a good note (until the playoff game), I would be surprised to see a change there.
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