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

Join columnist Jeff Gordon for his live St. Louis 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.

    OK, it's great to be back from the holidays. People are lined up in the room, so let's get started!
    Thanks for your chat. So Moe goes to San Diego signs a catcher and retire for the winner. Pretty good gig. I’m sure these three older or injury prone pitchers we have as starters will have no problems. this year don’t you! agree? Three months to low hanging fruit picking season.
    The roster is not frozen for 2023. As we saw last year, when the Cardinals fortified their pitching staff with multiple additions in season, the front office will make changes internally and from external sources as needed. As for the free-agent pitching market, it was loaded with guys with extensive injury histories – from Jacob deGrom at the top end of the market to Rich Hill in the lower reaches. Every team has pitchers – either incumbents or new additions -- with extensive injury histories. Such is the sport of baseball.
    I'm old enough to remember the outrage over Dennis Gates' hiring, as well the outrage over the unglamorous pool of career football coaches that were under consideration prior to Drinkwitz's hiring. And the universal joy over the pivot to ED, a young, energetic and charismatic up and comer. Maybe red meat to the fan base isn't always the best move.
    Missouri was a pylon fumble away from being 7-5 during this regular season, which frankly would have exceeded some expert projections. He can point to a long list of infrastructure upgrades that were achieved on his watch as the program’s lead salesman. And he can point the massive disparity between Mizzou and upper-tier SEC teams in terms of revenue and NIL resources. That said, he will have his hands full heading into next season with Brady Cook compromised by shoulder surgery and Sam Horn moving forward with no meaningful experience. The top quarterbacks in the transfer portal have come and gone, so what does Mizzou do now?
    I get a Lamont Frazier vibe out of Tre Gomillion.... and maybe a little Melvin Booker from Nick Honor. Do you see either of those comparisons?
    Tre Gomillion’s physical play and stuff-disturbing harkens back to Jason Sutherland or Jordan Geist, although Tre is not at their level offensively. Honor can knock down some shots, so the Booker comparison works for me.
    Bobo,
    Mo takes considerable criticism, at least some of it well-earned for his “communication” style, but he is just carrying out the wishes of Bill DeWitt Jr. Does the chairman want to win another world championship with the Cardinals? Is he willing to adjust and pay up to produce Cardinal teams that are better equipped to win the World Series or is his vision still just to eke into the playoffs as winner of the weak NL Central or wild card then hope for a miracle? Surely, he has seen that the game is changing and it’s going to take a lot more from Cardinal ownership if this franchise is to live up to its championship brand. Thank you and Happy New Year!
  • Bill DeWitt Jr.’s stated goal is to contend every single year, with no big falloffs. So I expect him to stay the course. I believe he can see an organization that is much stronger today than during the latter stages of the previous decade, after the "Hackgate" mess. Of course he wants to win another championship, but he knows from experience that the postseason is a crap shoot. Currently the Mets are trying to outspend the Dodgers, Padres and Phillies to win a championship – and at least three of those teams will fall short in the fall, if not all four. That said, the price of doing business is going to go up. Just to maintain the current business model will be more expensive. Changing the business model to keep pace with the Mets would be way, way, way more expensive – and history tells us that the cost of that change would largely be passed on to the fans. DeWitt doesn’t want to operate the Cardinals at a loss and there is justifiable concern that the lucrative regional sports network revenue stream is in peril. So I expect him to stay his course. 
    Hi Jeff,
    Assuming the addition of Contreras roughly compensates for the loss of Albert and Yadi, the other big off-season roster change was subtracting their best starting pitcher down the stretch (and Game One playoff starter), Quintana. How are the Cardinals any better? What is the front office doing these days to build a team more capable of winning the NL pennant in 2023? Or have we already reached the “we like our team” stage of the off-season? Hope you have a happy new year. Thanks for your reporting, chats and Inside Pitch.
    The Cardinals did lose their potential No. 6 starter for next season, Jose Quintana, and I have advocated adding another pitcher of that caliber for insurance sake. But at the moment the Cardinals currently a five-man rotation with proven quality, a deep bullpen and a set lineup with the potential of elite prospect Jordan Walker displacing an incumbent outfielder at some point and interesting competition from Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and possibly Alec Burleson at DH. And by hanging on to their top prospects, the Cardinals have the assets to make a trade before the season or during it, as they last year.
    The Braves are sure making the Cards look bad with all their business. Just goes to show how penny pinching the Redbirds are. Full stop. Don’t want to hear that they’re spending 180 MIL, that’s not going to cut it. I get it it’s their “ philosophy “, but sucks for the fans. The goal should be WS and they have too many “ IF’s “.
    Going forward, I do believe the Cardinals should follow the Atlanta model of developing potential cornerstone players and then locking them in for the long haul. Invest the money in players in their 20s rather than in their 30s, as some of the bigger-spending teams are doing. Of course, that will mean developing more young players of the caliber of Nolan Gorman, Brendan Donovan, Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn and Tink Hence.   
    What type of results do you believe Drinkwitz needs in order to keep his job for a fifth year? I can’t imagine another losing season would cut it, but would 7-6 be enough? What does he need to do this off-season to take this team to a solid, competitive 8-5 or better?
    Winning seven or eight games a year would be an impressive accomplishment in Boone County. That is a big ask. Step one: Drinkwitz needs to go into next season with a very good quarterback. Brady Cook made some progress this season, but now we know that he was playing hurt just as Connor Bazelak played hurt before him. Drinkwitz took steps to upgrade the defense during this past season, so now all the focus is on the quarterback room. But let’s be real here: Missouri is a second-tier SEC football program and will remain so. I don’t see the school adding 30,000 seats to the stadium and selling 90,000 tickets to every game. No do I see the boosters matching the power school boosters in terms of donations and NIL collectives.
    Gordo- the cards outfield is injury prone O'Neill who has had one great year out of 5, Carlson one good year out of 3 , Nootbar who has had one/half of one year that was great and until that half year was not looked at as a great prospect but likely utility player / Burleson who has done nothing at the majors and Yepez one half of one year good and is horrible defensively . How can a team that claims it wants to contend for the world series suggest that is a recipe for success?
    Getting Tyler O’Neill to play at his near-MLB level of 2021 would help, as would the development of Jordan Walker – who is universally regarded as one of the top young outfielders in the sport.
    Krug, Leddy, Parayko, Faulk all have NTC. So we're pretty stuck with them as our top 4 on D? Rosen seems every bit as good as Leddy for 1.2 million per year. Don't you think it's non sensical that he hasn't resigned Mikkola? Good young defenseman where the others are older and more injury prone? Has he already spent over his budget on the Defense? Not good!
    The Blues should have the money to sign Mikkola. And, yes, adding Calle Rosen was a very good move. Shout to the pro scouting staff for that one.
    Jeff, count me as very disappointed in the Cards off-season. The Contreras add at best offsets the Molina/Pujols departures. Quintana, the team’s best pitcher down the stretch was given the boot as the organization opted to spend more money on the aging Wainwright. And chalk up a near certainty in a significant regression from the two superstars after MVP years. So the fate of the team again comes down to the younger players living up to their hype. Oh, and if things go wrong, we can fix them in July. About right?
    Yes, the Cardinals well-positioned to make in-season adjustments -- either internally, through the promotion of young players, or with the sort of moves they made last year to upgrade the rotation and bullpen.
    I read in your paper that O'reilly has a summer home in the Detroit area. He was having his vegetarian Christmas there. Kind of makes sense for Stevie Y to reunite him with Perron to increase the Wings offense. He has a good chance at extending him there. Don't you think? Is Bertuzzi a good fit coming back with a draft pick?
    That would be a weird move for a team at its current rebuilding point. The Red Wings have lost a lot of games while building its next nucleus, so I would expect Yzerman to stay the course. With the Winged Wheel heading into the ditch, I could see Yzerman sending Perron to a contender for prospects/picks.
    Bobo, is it too late to nominate Bill DeWitt Jr for Time Mag Person of the Year? What other sports owner could get away with a payroll in bottom half of league at 16 following another year of second highest league attendance. All the while, he knows he can count on 3.3 million fans to return next season. What a business model, congrats to Bill.
    I would be very surprised if the Cardinals payroll finishes in the bottom half of the league this season. Could it fall to 16th or lower? Sure, if all the young players pan out and the team doesn't have to commit more dollars in the summer. But I'd bet on the payroll ranking pretty close to the team's MLB revenue ranking.
    As great as Goldschmidt and Arenado were in 2022, isn’t it a little overly optometric to assume they will duplicate that in 2023? I don’t blame Dewitt for not wanting to give 8-10 year contracts for multi-millions to players that are 30 years old or slightly younger. Very few of those work well. However, the price to play has gone up and left the Cardinals in the dust. It seems that Dewitt is happy to pocket the profits and field a good, not great, team. A left-handed thumper in the line up is needed. Your thoughts.
    I would expect some regression from both Goldschmidt and Arenado, but I would also expect more production from Tyler O'Neill (who added little last season) and progression frpm Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Lars Nootbaar. Willson Contreras is a big offensive upgrade over Yadier Molina and Jordan Walker is among the top few hitting prospects in the sport.
    What's with the Blackhawks GM? He had Dach, Kubilik, Debrindecat, Kane , Towes, Seth Jones. Good youth and veteran mix. That's was not a bad team. So he blows it all up to tank? He's hoping for Conner Bedard? Every year there's some crazy hype about the first overall pick. Lafreniere--bust. Wright--in minors. NHL is highly competitive the media makes stars out of guys who haven't even made the league yet right? I bet Bedard is good not great. Blues are better off with numerous picks in rounds 1-4 then simply going for more first rounders. Crap shoot.
    I did not understand why the Blackhawks refused to build around Alex DeBrincat. Guys with that sort of talent, like Kyrou and Thomas, are hard to find. Unless Chicago makes the right purchases after moving on from Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews, that franchise could punish its fan vase for years to come,
    Happy Holidays Gordo,

    What in the wide wide world of sports do we need to do to get Sweden's version of Bobby Orr, Calle Rosen in the starting lineup on a every game basis. The Great Swede does what so few Blues refuse to do, shoot the puck at the goalie. "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" -Wayne Gretzky -Michael Scott
  • Given Torey Krug's injury, I'd expect to see a lot of Rosen during the next six weeks. And I imagine Tyler Tucker will get time, too, because the odds of everybody staying healthy are not great.
    Thanks so much for excellent insights and chats. As you noted, Mets, Phillies, Padres spending big. Atlanta has gotten better. Even Milwaukee and Cubs made good moves, at least on paper. Dodgers treading water as Bauer hangs over them, and Giants taking chances on comebacks. Even if youngsters come through and veterans are at their peak ( both big ifs), Cards face tougher competition. Making a mid- season trade will cost talent that Cards have hoarded. Even applauding DeWitt model of constantly competing, tit doesn't look like Cards have closed the gap with others. More money alone is not the answer, but Cards need to hit it big on at least two players whether from within are outside acquisitions. Is that a fair summary?
    As I wrote this week, the Cardinals will have to do an even better job of doing what they do. To stay their course and chase playoff berths every year, they will need to continue improving their player development and they will need to find small advantages every way possible. What money they spend will have to be spent wisely. And their model will be harder to operate more than ever before, since more teams have smart front offices that are also seeking every small advantage. On the other hand, the Cubs ownership refuses to leverage its massive revenue advantage for whatever reason and the owners of the Brewers, Reds and Pirates aren't nearly as committed to success as DeWitt.
    I love Berube and don't want to see him leave, but was there ever talk of elevating Jim Montgomery to head coach, so as not to lose him to the Bruins? I know coaching isn't everything, but man alive he ran a good power play.
  • There was no reason to fire Berube last season, given the team's excellent regular season and its playoff success right up to the second Jordan Binnington got hurt. Also, Berube did win a Stanley Cup here. So firing him just to keep Montgomery would have been an outrageous move at the time.
    What do you think of ROR being traded and Vladi resigning and becoming the Captain? He'd have to take a pay cut to 6 million per year or so. I think it's a good move. Something is weird because no one is talking about next year with Vladi and ROR. I think Vladi would go for this idea. The Restaurant Vladi goes to Konstantinos Dead Cow Palace --is where I heard this rumor from Konstantinos himself! I think I heard it right but he has a very thick accent......anyway he lets me throw my shot glass into the fireplace after consuming Russian vodka. Just saying.
    The list of people who believe Vladimir Tarasenko should be captain of the Blues is very, very short.
    I would love to see as many players from the Cup team stay around as long as possible, but that isn't realistic with the cap and you risk the wheels falling off, like the Sharks. If the Blues were to trade 90 and 91 for a good haul, they would have some prospects in the pipeline and some cap space to retool in the short term. Is that a realistic possibility?
    That is a realistic outcome for this season. Doug Armstrong has avoided their sort of megacontract that killed the San Jose Sharks and he will know when its time to reset. Fortunately has has Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou as long-term offensive catalysts to build around and a solid veteran group locked into contracts, so this team should be able retool and remain pretty competitive at the same time.
    I always root for local guys, but I just don't see what Logan Brown has to offer. Appears to be an awkward skater, a bit slow to react to developing plays, and maybe not the softest hands in the world.
    Big forwards usually take extra time to develop because they were able to use their size to dominate at lower levels. Logan's challenge is to play at the faster NHL pass, with both his feet and his hands. To stick around, he will need to win more board battles with his size and remain wound with his positions, given his lack of quickness for recovery. But he does seem like a tweener, an offensive-minded player who doesn't offer enough scoring potential to stick in that role and who doesn't grind hard enough to fill a fourth-line role.
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