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.

    One difference this season is Oliver Marmol's willingness to declare more urgency than Mike Shildt did with his public comments. Mike would admit urgency, but only after expressing belief in his players to soften the assessment. And Marmol has also been quick to plug young guys into key roles quickly, as we saw with Juan Yepez and Brendan Donovan. Maybe he has been a bit quicker to hold players accountable for poor production.
    Bobo's here. The crowd is gathering and I need to work through the queue so I can join the "Net Front Presence" podcast this afternoon. So let's go!
    It’s obvious that the cardinals aren’t even close to contending with the brewers, dodgers, Mets .. etc. might as well see what the young guys can do to decide next years roster and possible trade bait. Just hope Arenado doesn’t opt out of this offensive mess
    The young players were always going to factor into this season, which is why the Cardinals made stopgap additions instead of big investments where they had players coming. Juan Yepez has been as good as advertised and then some. It may be too soon to count on Nolan Gorman, but at worst this promotion will reward his work to this point and help speed his development.  The same goes for Matthew Liberatore, who is still trying to establish the consistency needed to fulfill his potential as a mid-rotation starter.
    Hey Bobo, were you caught off guard by the 15 total goals tallied by Calgary-Edmonton?.......I know I was.

    I doesn't happen a lot in NHL playoff's a quick review, with total goals and the year:

    I wasn't shocked because Calgary and Edmonton played that sort of wide-open offensive game earlier this season. Edmonton goaltender Mike Smith is certainly capable of having a really bad day. But I was surprised to see Jacob Markstrom fall apart in a playoff game. Not sure what got into him there.
    Hello, Mr. Gordon. Thank you for your time.
    1.) I think the Post-Dispatch has the best baseball coverage in the country (and I've lived in several parts). I have a lot of respect for the staff's insights and writing. But, I am surprised and disappointed that none of the writers has called out Tyler O'Neill for his absurd statement about a "burden being lifted" with the resolution of his arbitration hearing and his "Monopoly"-type salary. Waiting to find out if he will get paid either $3 million or $4 million (more than most people see in their lifetime) for one season of playing baseball is not a burden. A mother trying to find baby formula for her infant during a national shortage faces a burden. A senior citizen who must chose between being able to buy prescription medicine or food faces a burden. O'Neill and other players like him need a dose of reality.
    2.) In 1995, DeWitt's ownership group bought the Cardinals for $150 million; currently the club is worth over $2 billion, according to Forbes. And, Ballpark Village is just printing money for him. Yet, when Mozeliak had a chance to fix the shortstop problem this offseason, he went cheap. When he had a chance to fix the bullpen, he went cheap. When he had a chance to fill the DH role, he went cheap (though the Albert Pujols Nostalgia Tour will rake in enough money to have paid a good portion of the salary for the players/pitcher to solve any of those three problems). It's not hard to see why so many Cardinal fans are so frustrated and unhappy -- even if the team is in second place. Yes, DeWitt took on the salaries of Goldschmidt and Arenado, but when it came time to further strengthen the team and really increase its chances of reaching the World Series, the Cardinals did relatively little. DeWitt says he wants to win, but his reluctance in spending questions just how much he really wants to.
    The Cardinals were not going to spend big, long-term dollars on a designated hitter when they had Juan Yepez and Nolan Gorman on the cusp of the big leagues. That's why the front office went with the Albert Pujols/Corey Dickerson stopgap. So far, Yepez has rewarded that confidence. At shortstop, behind Paul DeJong they had a Plan B (Edmundo Sosa, who has hit well as a starter the last two seasons) and Plan C (Edman at short, Gorman at second base). Also, they have their best shortstop prospect in memory, Masyn Winn, starring at the advanced Class A level a s a 20-year-old. Combine those factors with the dismal per-dollar production for this winter's free-agent shortstop class and I have a tough time sharing your outrage.
    Moe’s brilliance is again on display. Calling up untested rookies for ineffectual veterans for a Team said to be World Series material. Corey Dickerson what a brilliant move! Relying on Jack Flaherty to be healthy , another brilliant move! PDJ will be a guaranteed bounce back. We don’t need no stinking new shortstop.I’m glad he smarter than the rest of us
    So far rookie Juan Yepez has a .945 on-base plus slugging percentage and Brendan Donovan is at .990. Fans should wait until they cool off before railing against the presence on the team.
    I like both the libby and Gorman call up. I hope this ends the hicks starter experiment. He belongs in pen.
    Jordan Hicks and Dakota Hudson are having the usual struggles trying to come back from major surgery and establish themselves as starters. But this team can't afford to have both struggling at once because it is killing the bullpen. That's why adding another veteran starting pitcher this winter would have been wise.
    Can the hicks expirament end?
    There is no experiment here. He is a pitcher. He is pitching. It's not like the Cardinals decided to shift him to right field. That would be an experiment.
    What do you make of Saban vs Jimbo spat? It seems NCAA proven it is disfunctual and NIL is open for abuse in paying players. Do you put more safeguards in place for NIL or just acknowledge that college football is a professional league like when Olympics finally let professionals play?
    It would be great to see some safeguards put in place, but who will do that? The courts have essentially rendered the NCAA powerless, so now it's a free for all. If university presidents want to run pro sports teams on their campus, they have the green light to do so. Maybe the right path is to do just that, so at least the athletic departments could control the payroll, set salaries and hold athletes accountable. As it stands today, Timmy Touchdown can get a $600,000 NIL deal and show up to practice when he feels like it. The coach can bench Timmy or toss him off the team . . . which would just free him up for more partying. It's not hard to imagine bad outcomes with the unregulated NIL model.
    Jeff, as Mil once again pulls away from the Cards, their formula for success in today’s modern baseball is simple: power up with sluggers, and pitch well with a solid rotation and shutdown closer. The Cards don’t match up in any of those areas. While the Cards organization, its fans, and media still relish in the past, Mil has developed a smarter front office that better competes in today’s style of baseball and responds quickly to fill gaps. Where am I wrong?
    Baseball has always started with the pitcher. Milwaukee assembled an excellent low-cost rotation and backed with a shutdown closer, so it has a pretty good team. There is nothing revolutionary in that. How long will the Brewers keep Josh Hader, Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff, Freddy Peralta, Adrian Houser and Eric Lauer together? The cost for each will keep climbing and by 2025 they could all be gone.
    The challenge for Milwaukee will be reloading that pitching on the fly, probably by trading at least a few of those guys for younger (and cheaper) players before losing them to free agency.
    The Cardinals have not been as successful sustaining their pitching, due to injuries and the disastrous Marcell Ozuna trade -- which cost them both Sandy Alcantara and Zac Gallen. 
    Jeff, why Hicks is in our starting rotation? I understand he wants to be a starter but why is he not getting all the kinks out in Memphis? He averages 3 innings per start and has given up 15 walks already in 25 innings. Wainwright has given up 15 walks too, but he’s pitched 40 innings. I guess my point is, why is he learning on the job in St. Louis instead of Memphis? I think there are a few better options in Memphis that could be a bit more reliable while Hicks goes to Memphis and learns to be a major league starter. I’m glad to see Mo has finally woken up and decided to promote Gorman and Liberatore. With Yepez and Donovan, looks like we have a new Memphis Mafia.
    I'd argue the team did NOT have better options in Memphis, since Matthew Liberatore, Zack Thompson and Johan Oviedo all failed to deliver consistent result. Jake Woodford went down to Memphis and he, too, struggled in his first outing there.
    Now Liberatore is getting his chance to make his case. If pitches well, he will get his chance to hold down a spot. That could bump Hicks into some low-leverage long relief work where he could seek consistency in a less stressful setting. 
    The Cardinals' moves this month have been mostly dictated by necessity and player performance (as they should), but I'm wondering if there is also a new sense of urgency in the front office. After years of slow-playing and largely avoiding significant in-season moves, is team management seeing the need to be more meaningfully pro-active this season? Thanks for your insights.
    I would say that Oliver Marmol has been more willing to express urgency, without softening the assessment with sugar-coating qualifiers. And he has been pretty quick to sit guys who are struggling and give others their chance. For a first-year manager, I believe he is doing a pretty good job of holding guys accountable.
    Nice recovery by the boys last night. Now if we can get #91 to show up, we just might have a chance to close this out against the Avalanche. Barby isn't having a great series either. Do you change anything on Saturday for the Blues?
    Vladimir Tarasenko has more to give, for sure, but he landed four hits, put a couple shots on goal in tight and earned an assist. So he did show up. I liked the forward mix that The Chief created for the game and the 11/7 configuration keeps working well. So I see no need for changes.
    Is Darryl Sutter the Bill Belichick of hockey?
    Good comparison -- but I think Darryl Sutter actually has a sense of humor. It's pretty dry, but it's there.
    Calling up Gorman is great and all,but ,I thought Donovan did a great job.What happens to him,now?
    Brendan Donovan has the potential to be nice utility player, handling multiple spots and hitting from the left side. Gorman has the potential to be an every day power hitter. His ceiling is higher. Both can have a spot on the same team.
    Hockey Guy! In the first 10 questions you were asked, 8 were about the Cardinals - and none regarding the Blues big win! I know you peruse other newspapers for your TipSheet. Did you see the Denver Post article on Bednard? The first loss of the playoffs and he's already taking heat for looking like a Ken doll behind the bench and not being able to motivate his team.
    The pressure on the Avalanche is immense. The pressure on coach Jared Bednar is immense. This is the last go-round for this team as it is currently assembled, so failure is not an option. Another second-round exit would create big repercussions.
    Jeff, each playoff game this season I pick three players and focus on their play during the game. Last night I watched Kyrou, Parayko & Toropchenko.
    If Kyrou is going to be successful at this level he is going to need to add about 10-12 lbs of muscle. He gets knocked off the puck way too easily and seems to be tentative in the corners. He needs to be more direct with the puck instead of trying to be too fancy with it.
    Parayko makes too many bad decisions with the puck and is not physical enough for a player his size. Nobody in the league fears him, not like they did Chris Pronger. You can have a long reach and play a lot of minutes, but it doesn’t make you an elite player. For the kind of coin he’s making, we should be getting more from him.
    We have a diamond in the rough with Toropchenko. He’s gritty, not afraid to throw his body around and plays a physical game. I love how he goes hard to the net. He’s probably not going to be a 30+ goal scorer but I can easily see him getting 15-20 goals a year the way he drives to the net. I just wonder if he’s not better suited to playing defense.
    I, too, love Alexi Toropchenko. More importantly, Craig Berube really likes him -- which is why the kid was on the ice in the third period with Game 2 still in the balance. He can skate and he uses his size very well.
    Yes, Kyrou needs to get stronger and improve his puck protection skills. That's why he is a third line guy in the playoffs. But this guy wants to be a star and he seems well on the way there.
    As for Parayko, he is never going to be a big hitter. But he logs big minutes, takes the tough assignments and helps hold his this depleted defensive corps together. He wasn't great the first half of this season, but he has been very good from the second half through the playoffs. 
    Mo was way too casual this winter in reinforcing and bolstering the offense and now it is coming back to bite him. DeWitt needs a fresh set of eyes on building the offensive side of things, let Mo/Girsch deal with pitching.
    John Mozeliak knew he had Juan Yepez on the cusp. Sure enough, Yepez has stepped in and upgraded the offense. Brendan Donovan has helped as well, in a small sample size. Now let's see what Nolan Gorman does. And while Jordan Walker is too young to help this year, his remarkable play at the Double-A level further validates the decision not to throw giant long-term dollars on another hitter.
    I hope Oli realizes Pujos is not the answer.
    Oliver Marmol knows that Albert Pujols is a part-time player during his final season and that's how he is being used.
    Jeff, with the emergence of Perunovich, does this make Krug expendable after this season? Also, it’s unlikely Bozak returns. Does this open the door for Brown to get more playing time? Do you see the Blues keeping Rosen on the roster for next year?
    Logan Brown will face heavy competition for playing time going forward, since Jake Neighbours will likely have a regular role next season and Dakota Joshua will keep pushing for work. As for Torey Krug, he was a catalyst for the team's late-season push. At some point he and Scott Perunovich could become redundant, but I like the idea of having one puck-mover on each of the three pairings. And Krug and Perunovich could split the power play work, allowing Faulk to focus on 5-on-5 play and penalty killing.
    Happy Friday Mr. Gordon. I appreciate our Friday chats around the water cooler that is the PD website.

    Last night the Blues used the Vegas game plan from the 2021 playoffs to beat the Aves. If the boys stay out of the box and employ the same the game plan the Blues will defeat the Aves in 2022. I don't see how the Aves can change their game to become more effective against a team that collapses in the middle and block shots from getting thru. The Aves are designed to be an offensive juggernaut, they can't be anything else.

    What say you?
    I am not counting the Avalanche out. I fully expect adjustments from there side as they try to get back to generating speed through the neutral zone. The Blues have thrown down a defensive gauntlet, for sure, but Colorado can turn a momentary bobble of the puck or a ban bounce into a great scoring opportunity off the rush. They don't need much of an opening to become dangerous.
    Do you make a play for Xander Bogaerts now or wait till he opts out at the end of the season?
    I do not see the Cardinals paying a huge trade price for a rental player. And it would take total failure by multiple players to convince the front office to take on still another massive long-term contract for a hitter.
    Pujos shouldn't be playing or DH'ing against righthanders. This is Obvious!
    I'd use him here or there against certain righthanders, but, yeah, this team has much better options. This team can't afford to sacrifice team success to allowing a living legend to chase milestones.
    I don't view Gorman as an everyday player. His splits vs LHP have been fairly consistent at all levels. sub .200 BA slugs around .400 but his OPS is sub .700. I'm glad he is up but I have little expectation when facing LHP. I view Libertore promotion as a 1 game try out to keep from pitching Mikolas on short rest. If he has a good or better performance, he may stay longer. Hudson and Hicks are vulnerable to losing their starting status.
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