STL sports chat Ben Frederickson

STL sports chat Ben Frederickson

Bring your Cardinals, Blues and St. Louis sports questions, and talk to Post-Dispatch columnist Ben Frederickson in a live chat starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

    I'm guessing you missed the line from Mozeliak about the team looking more or less the same next season.
    I'd expect a new face, two or three, but would spare yourself the angst of getting your hopes of for Rendon or a similar-sized splash.
    Ben! You're my favorite, I literally read every story you write.

    But ONE LEAKING BUCKET! A few other buckets with some seepage:
    1.) Identifying baseball players who throw with their left hand towards home plate
    2.) Inability to find/develop franchise players in their prime, no draft picks is not the answer...see LA Dodgers
    3.) Identifying left hand hitters with the ability to hit the ball over the fence without ruining the rest of their game (see M Carp)
    4.) Signing left hand relief pitchers or any relief pitcher for that matter (long list)
    5.) Free Agency in general (Goldy assessment pending)
    6.) Inability to speak to and about fan base and media without being condescending or obstinate (see video following trade deadline...the question wasn't even to him)
    7.) Pushing young unproven guys before their time, because well you have to put someone in their and they are better "value".
    8.) Generating entertaining teams while they are at bat
    9.) Acting as if you're the 1927 Yankees after winning an imploding division

    MO has been incredibly consistent and good at his job, no doubt. But, there is a legit undercurrent within this fan base that isn't good...they're not all ingrates. There isn't a flood of supreme talent in the system (see Houston, LA, San Diego, Atlanta, ect), there are bad contracts of the same 30 year old players they historically said were bad contracts. Projections and trajectory is a concern. Pitching looks good no doubt.

    I am now prepared to review how I'm a terrible fan. Keep up the excellent work (not sarcasm)...seriously
    No claims of being an ingrate here. And I've been writing about what seems to be a growing distance between the fans and the team for a while now. DeWitt downplayed that again today, but I was in both DC and STL for those NLCS games. It just wasn't the same. And it wasn't just the start times, either.
    Mozeliak became the GM of the team before the 2008 season. Since then, the Cardinals rank third in baseball and second in the National League in regular-season wins (1,076) and are tied with the Yankees for third-best in postseason wins (35).
    That kind of record would look pretty, pretty good to about any other team.
    Under Mozeliak's tenure of GM and now president of baseball operations, the Cardinals have won a World Series, played in two, and have five first-place finishes in the division, the latest coming this season, which ended in the NLCS, against the team that won the World Series.
    Mozeliak has made some questionable free-agent signings lately that would have go be graded poorly if graded today.
    The extension to Carpenter looks like the worst extension of the Mozeliak era.
    And he's still led a team to its goal of sustained success, annual relevance, a championship parade and a shot at another.
    These things matter to the ownership, as evidenced by today's extension.
    As for the draft complaint, the Dodgers are really good. See the numbers mentioned above. The crop of position players the Cardinals have coming might change your mind on how they draft/develop. The crop of pitchers they have benefited from for years should, too. It's hard to get elite players when you don't draft high. It's impossible to draft high without tanking in a league that does nothing to stop tanking.
    As for Mozeliak's public image, I think you have a real point there. If he was less, I don't know, prickly, when it came to talking about his decisions, perhaps he would come across better with some. But, it's a results-based business. He knows that. And his bosses like his results. A lot.
    Yes! A bit foggy after a fight with food poisoning, but other than that, good enough.
    So much for my comment to amputate Mo and stop the redbird necrosis. Don’t know what to say. My hopes are dashed and we’re stuck with mediocrity for half a decade.
    Review the definition of mediocre.
    So just what IS the Jeff Albert philosophy? I’ve never seen it REALLY explained. Saying it relies on technology and provides lots of tools doesn’t really say anything
  • Great question. I've yet to see it answered in a simple sentence, or two or three.
    I asked Mo today what he saw in Albert this season that told him he was the right guy for the job. His answer: "He is someone who understands modern technology. He understands modern analytics. And he understands how to bake that into his teaching strategy. I'm not saying everybody will hear what he has to say. Part of what he has to do is learn how to adjust his messaging. But, the way he looks at the world is, in a lot of ways, what we want to see happen moving forward. He puts a lot of tools in the tool box for young hitters. Ultimately, he has to find out which ones (tools) to pull."
    Do you think Ozuna will accept qualifying offer. Some think so.
    OK...but I still don’t have a clue what Albert is teaching hitters.
    The best explanation I have heard or read boils down to this: Albert pushes back against the notion of a cookie-cutter approach to hitting, or one team-wide plan. Instead, he focuses on matching a player's strengths and weaknesses to an approach that works best for that individual player. Behind that individual approach, there is said to be an emphasis on pitch recognition, decreased strikeouts and increased contact. Signs of that were hard to find this season. Signs of the Cardinals' commitment to Albert were not. They have continued to support him, and have made firings and hires based on getting the entire organization more in line with his vision.
    Mediocre is trading Pham for Not much and Mercado for nothing. Mediocre is signing aging players to high value contract. Mediocre is signing aging relief pitchers and saying they could close if necessary. Mediocre is signing Mike Matheny and then admitting several years later I made a mistake. Mediocre is watching Luke Voit leading in All-Star votes for his position. Mediocre is Luke Gregerson for two years. Mediocre is paying Seattle to have our pitcher pitch for them
    I don't believe the Cardinals have ever referred to Matheny as a mistake, and can't imagine they will.
    He never had a losing record, and didn't the day he was let go.
    As for the other stuff, mediocre is an understatement -- except the Luke Voit trade.
    Remember, that produced the Cardinals' most reliable reliever this season: Giovanny Gallegos.
    Just trying to stick to facts today, because today is one of those days where facts seem to be forgotten.
    You mentioned the bruises. All fair to point out. But safe to say there were some good decisions made during a 91-win season, too?
    The Cardinals got a breakthrough season from a homegrown, emerging ace.
    They got stellar play from a rookie surprise named Tommy Edman.
    Kolten Wong had the best season of his career.
    Mike Shildt managed his way to a NL manager of the year finalist.
    The defense committed the fewest errors in baseball.
    The baserunning was a weapon, not a gun that the Cardinals used to shoot into their own feet.
    Did Mo have nothing to do with these things?
    Those who are here often will know that despite the claims of some, I'm no Mozeliak apologist, but to ignore all good while hollering about the bad kind of ignores the nature of baseball -- a sport where 3 hits in 10 at-bats is good. 
    Whatever Albert's philosophy on hitting is, one thing is certain, success of any system is based on results. His results are alarmingly bad. Bader was a .260 hitter last year, this year, barely cracked .200. The only position player on the team that actually improved over last year was Wong. Proven hitters that have come here have regressed SIGNIFICANTLY. As far as the Cardinals not having drafted high in recent years, that may be true, but it hasn't stopped the Yankees and the Dodgers, they are so deep in position player talent that their guys waiting for a chance could easily have made our team better.
    Ozuna's slugging improved as well. He and Wong were the only two non-rookie regulars who had a better on-base plus slugging percentage this season compared to last. Certainly not the results you hope for in season one of a hitting coach. And the Cardinals have acknowledged that this year was not a ringing endorsement of their shift to the Albert philosophy. What they have doubled down on -- both in comments and by firing longstanding coaches who did not fall in line -- was their belief that a) Albert was in part limited this season due to conflicting voices and b) that Albert over time will get the team where it wants to go, both at the MLB level and the farm system that feeds it. The Cardinals are a draft-and-develop team. With their sustained success model, their best chances of elite, young starpower is going to come from within, because they don't like to commit to those kind of contracts and/or make those kinds of trades for players from the outside. They feel those moves are not compatible with the sustained success plan. So, their best shot at having stars in the prime of their careers is to draft and develop them, and seeing as how they are always competitive, they are always playing from behind when it comes to when they draft. You can see, then, how appealing an organization-wide hitting approach that helps shape hitters every step of the way would be to a team that does it right. The Cardinals believe Albert can be that guy. Clearly, a lackluster offense from the MLB team in 2019 is not enough to change their mind. In fact, they have doubled down. Time will tell if it was the right choice.
  • Are you just gonna dance around how you got food poisoning? We need to know where to boycott!
    No dancing today. Just straight truth telling. Problem is, I'm not sure. Either chicken or half and half. Both in Nashville. Don't want to slander the coffee shop or the taco place, because I'm still not sure who done it.
    I saw something on Facebook about Waino coming back for 2020. Is that true?
    There was not official confirmation today, but the Mozeliak quote of "I think both parties would love to find a way to make it work," was pretty telling.
    Sounds like that presser just blew up any hope of re-signing Ozuna, adding Moustakas, and Hamels. Your thoughts? Last season was pitifully boring! Can't imagine going in to next season with just the hope that the same old improves...
    it would be pretty rare for the Cardinals to do nothing -- like, literally nothing -- during an offseason.
    This offseason projection was a bit different because in the past the Cardinals have at least been willing to put their thumb on a position or idea -- leadoff hitter, impact bat, starting pitcher -- that gave some clue as to what they were looking to add --- but this did not include that.
    Basically, Mozeliak said the team will look more familiar than different, but that they would investigate ways to improve.
    The staunch defense of Carpenter and the stiff-arm of the notion of him playing left field seems to suggest the plan is, for now, to send Carpenter back to third base.
    I still think that's a position the Cardinals have to look at upgrading if a realistic and short-term option -- Moustakas -- exists, especially if they mean what they say about seeing one of Edman's key strengths being his ability to bounce around.
    I don't agree with what seems to be the post dispatch's stance that trading wong would be bad. Yeah if they gave him away it would be stupid, if he's part of a package that landed Lindor you'd do that right? I mean you have to give up something to get something
    The argument that good teams don't trade their best player feels wrong too. Wong's OPS was .784 that shouldn't put him in untouchable range. If you want to point to his defense, The 2013 cardinals won 97 games with Matt Carpenter at 2nd so...
    Having a gold glove second baseman is awesome but its not a necessity. The nats won a world series with Howie Kendrick or Asdrubal Cabrera at 2nd.
    I've not seen anything credible that suggests Cleveland is serious about trading Lindor, the face of its team.
    Speculation, sure.
    But he's also just one year away from free agency. So, let's pretend he really is up for grabs on the trade market. The team that trades for him gets only one guaranteed year of Lindor. Then, he's a free agent. Of course, you could extend him during that lone season. Any team that trades for him will certainly plan on that. Doesn't mean it happens.
    He's 25 as of today. His free agency will be one of those blockbuster ones that match a premier free agent with a premier age. Knowing what we know about the Cardinals, and their hesitancy to a) pay the trade cost of a player who is only guaranteed to be in uniform for one season and b) pay the mega contract (in free agency or extension) that Lindor will have earned, do you think this is realistic?
    I don't.
    Do you or any one else there know why Dejong got no rest this past season? There seemed to be complete lack of trust for anyone else to play SS even for one or 2 games to give Paul a break, I do not understand, can you explain it to me??
  • I think it was a mistake, and that was mostly acknowledged today. Edman can play shortstop, and has played it at every level before this one, but got no time there this season in the majors. Part of that was because he wound up starting so much at third. Another part of that was over-using DeJong. The other option was Munoz, but the bottom kind of dropped out there. His OPs dropped by 100 points compared to last season and he was hardly used toward the end. If Edman is the third base starter, the Cardinals have to get some sort of trusted SS backup, even if DeJong is better prepared to handle the grind in 2020.
    To those wanting to trade Wong:
    This is why we can't have nice things.
    Depends on whom you trade him for, as always.
    It's pretty rare in general these days to trade a performing MLB player for another performing MLB player.
    Because of the tanking era, teams are usually trading performing MLB players for prospects.
    That's more in line with the trades the Cardinals would likely be making this offseason -- unless they decide to offload one of their bad contracts, at a cost. 
    Fowler and Carpenter come to mind, but the commitment to Carpenter was quite strong today.
    Fowler was not specifically mentioned today. Like Carpenter, he has a full no trade clause.
    Is it possible that Wainwright does pitch next season, but in a different uniform?
    I guess technically, yes, but it sounded today like he's gonna be back
    In your opinion is Odom gone? If we didn’t have such low expectations he would be gone already. He doesn’t sell seats and his record is below .500 in the SEC.
    No, I really think Jim Sterk wants to see how the season finishes.
    Odom was in a similar spot before his last win against Florida, and that certainly changed the tune.
    Sterk has said time and time again he views seasons as a whole, so I expect him to do that.
    Factoring into his analysis of this season will have to be some bad marks against his coach. 
    The Tigers have lost three games to double-digit dogs. They have squandered an ideal schedule. They have gotten mediocre play from an offensive line that should be better than it is. Their offense is not as good as its talent.
    Now, they've been dealt a really bad injury to starting linebacker Cale Garrett, the QB of the defense. Kelly Bryant has been roughed up. The NCAA waiting game is a distraction.
    Sterk will weigh them all.
    As for fan expectations, Mizzou faithful can't pretend its support of the program dictates firing a six or seven-win coach, even if that team should have won nine or more.
    Compared to the SEC, Mizzou is one of the lowest programs on the totem pole when it comes to measurable fan support, in both donations, attendance and passion for football.
    You get what you pay for, or something like that.
    Anything surprise you at the press conference today?
    Not really, no. Pretty predictable. I was curious how the front office viewed the Nationals winning the World Series, considering how the Nationals stepped all over the Cardinals. They shared the same view. The Cardinals feel as if they were pushed out by a "team of destiny." And I kind of agree with them on that. The Blues and Nats had a similar vibe. That doesn't mean the Cards get a pass for the worst offensive performance in the history of the NLCS.
    What's up with the Blues and Fabbri?
    Certainly seems to be some level of tension there. Gotta wonder how sustainable the situation is and if it ends in a trade sooner rather than later. Fabbri felt he was playing his best hockey -- then started getting scratched. For whatever reasons, he and Berube have never really hit it off in terms of role and playing time. I'm not sure Fabbri plays a physical enough style to be one of Berube's favorites. With Tarasenko down, it was make-or-break for Fabbri and Chief. Seems more like the latter lately.
    The Cardinals explanations of the Jeff Albert System are reminiscent of my college essay tests when I hadn't read the materials. Or my gambler buddy whose system is too complex for anyone to understand, but trust him its amazing.
    If you ace the test -- of if your buddy hits the jackpot -- then you're a genius.
    The explanation of Albert's method has not changed.
    It was celebrated when he was hired. New! Innovative! Advanced!
    It is questioned now, because didn't work this season.
    Results determine the tone, and the Cardinals need better results at the plate.
    Blues aren't flashy but they are getting it done in the most important stat column, wins. Still think the boys have another gear in them as well. Your thoughts on the team so far sans Tarasenko?
    Agreed. Hard to get too worked about about any faults at the moment, considering the wins and the response to the Tarasenko injury. If there was any leftover Stanley Cup happiness, that news seemed to sap it right away. The Blues will probably not be a better team without No. 91, but they might be a team that is more determined. We'll see. I specifically like the signs of progress on the power play. That was the one issue they had to address, and the changes this offseason seem to have helped. The puck is moving again. I'm eager to see what some of the youngsters can do as the Tarasenko temporary replacement carousel turns.
    Hey Ben! I hear a lot of discussion about protecting Goldi and how the cardinals will approach their #4 spot this offseason whether through Ozuna, young Outfielders or an outside addition. I agree that is important but I think as important and lost in the discussion is the top of the order. Do you think they have the pieces on this roster or in the system to consistently produce and get on base? We had some of the worst OBP's from our 1 and 2 spots in baseball. I'm concerned!
    Wong and Edman would be atop my list as of today. 
    I'd feel better about their chances there than I would anyone at cleanup, at the moment.
    Ozuna's cemented grip on cleanup never really made sense, either.
    It was like it was in his contract that he HAD to hit there. (It wasn't.)
    Even if he does return, it would not be the craziest thing in the world to spin the lineup.
    I don't think any lineup changes can be off limits at this point.
    As 56 year old no hit,no field, no throw sports fan I would gladly accept a fraction of the qualifying offer :)
  • Same here!
    That's a wrap, today, folks.
    See you next week, without interruption.
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