STL sports chat with Ben Frederickson

Bring your Cardinals, Blues, Mizzou and STL sports questions, and talk to columnist Ben Frederickson in a live chat starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday.




  • Greetings, everyone. Thanks for stopping by. Looking forward to chatting today. Just a reminder: We don't have to stick to Cardinals, even though I imagine that will dominate much of the discussion. Something to throw out there as we get started. I just filed a blog on the reason I think the Cardinals' postseason push never really felt real. I mean, it was real. When you have a shot in September, it's real.  But it seemed like it was hard to really believe. And the sweep at Wrigley confirmed that. I'll post the link when it's live. But I'd love to hear if you agree or disagree, and why. Let's get rolling.
  • Yadi looking pretty good against those Padres and Giants and Reds. Not so much against Contreras and the Cubbies. Just sayin' ...
  • Which Cardinals have looked good against the Cubs? Or any team from the division not named the Pirates, for that matter. That's the bulk of why this season has been so disappointing, in my mind.
  • Conceivable that Coach Odom could get fired DURING the season?
  • I would be very, very surprised. Unless there is some sort of catastrophic event, I believe Barry Odom will coach this team the rest of the year. And I would wager that, at this point, Jim Sterk hopes he coaches next season, too. My point is I think Sterk favors end-of-season evaluation. But look, let's acknowledge the facts. Sterk didn't hire Odom. Sterk has big money pouring in thanks to his fundraising efforts. His hire of Cuonzo Martin brought a buzz to the basketball team we haven't seen in quite some time, if ever before. Meanwhile football is your doorstep, and right now it stinks, and there isn't much evidence other than hope in Odom that it's going to get better. That said, it's three weeks of the season. Teams pull themselves out of the ditch sometimes. Call me crazy for saying that, but it does happen. If I'm Sterk, that's what I want to see. And I'm not going to start a search until I get my answer. Can Odom save this thing? If he can't, then the heat is on. I don't think Sterk would watch this team -- as it has played so far --  the rest of the year, then go into another year of it. That would be bad business. The fans are already applying pressure. Really interested to see what attendance will be Saturday. This could turn into a Kim Anderson decision, which wasn't much of a decision at all. I'm not ready to say it is yet. But it's trending that way so far, and that's a very bad thing.
  • I blame producer Chris Gardner. For everything. 
    Kidding, of course. We (Goold, Hochman and I) had a good radio run. More importantly we had a ton of fun.
    We liked doing the show. But the show wasn't great at making money, for a few reasons I won't dive into here. And honestly, it was often a challenge for the three of us to be in the same place all at once -- simply due to our schedules.
    I'm glad, and so thankful, we got the chance. And thanks for listening, if you did.
  • Got an opinion on athletes taking a knee during the National Anthem? I had moved on from it, until I saw a Channel 2 news report last night about an 8-year-old JFL team in Cahokia kneeling in protest during the anthem. "Train a child up in the way he should go ..."
  • I stand and honor the flag for the National Anthem. What others decide to do, whether they are adults or children or professional athletes or Average Joes, it doesn't bother me. The flag means different things to different people. Recently I read this letter to an editor from a veteran. He wrote to the KC Star to share his view. I though it was pretty enlightening.
     

    In regards to the controversy surrounding whether NFL players not standing for the national anthem constitutes disrespect for our flag and for veterans such as myself who served and sacrificed in defense of our flag, I offer the following point of view.

    I understand that for many our flag represents the sacrifice we veterans have made in serving our nation. However, for most veterans, our flag represents the ideals for which our nation stands, and the most important ideal is freedom.

    As veterans, we are proud that we served a nation that believes in liberty, in the freedom to be whatever we choose to be.

    We are proud to have served a country where citizens are free to peacefully dissent to actions they believe to be unjust without persecution from government or citizenry.

    From our perspective, the real slap in the face to veterans, and the true disrespect to our flag, comes when those we served attempt to stifle any of those freedoms we served to protect.

    Robb Welker

    Kansas City, Kan.

     

    Here's a link: 

    Letters: Readers discuss Jeneé Osterheldt, NFL protests and deals with God

    kansascityMy understanding of scripture leads me to say that the Lord is not in the “making a deal” business. That is a TV show, writes pastor Bill Stephens.
  • Two Lance Lynn questions.
    1. Do you think Lance Lynn will except the qualifying offer? I hope he does!
    2. If Lynn does not except the qualifying offer where in the draft is that Cardinals draft pick from this? In the new players agreement is it after the 2nd round? I do not think it is after the 1st round anymore?
  • 1. No way.
    2. Correct. After the second round.
  • Carlos Martinez is a very good pitcher but. Why not trade him this winter to get one of the power bats we need and a couple top prospects?
    I bet the Marlins, R.Sox, Yanks, Dodgers, Rockies, Astros, other teams would give up a lot for C. Martinez?
  • And replace Carlos with ...?
    Martinez is the one guy you don't trade.
    Next year's rotation is long on intriguing talent and short on proven success. Carlos is in the latter category, compared to the guys who will join him next season. The Cardinals cannot afford to have a long list of players they won't trade. But there's no way I would put Carlos on the market.
  • Photos of the new jumbrotron are making there way around social media. Holy jumpin! You really had no idea how outdated and small the old one was until you see a picture of the new one in comparison. Have you been able to get any in person peeks at the renovations yet?
  • Looks sharp, indeed. I'll be there soon. Spending the afternoon with you fine folks instead. Reporting for a special section column awaits.
  • The hands laced together gesture from the Cardinals players is getting tiresome. I believe even to them as it seems to be an effort to remember to do it. Why did it take a team meeting over dinner in the middle of the season to decide to play as a team? Shouldn't that be accomplished in spring training? Please don't cite the influx of young players from Memphis because the bulk of them came after the dinner meeting. Can MM run an effective spring training? They are not coached up in base running, fielding, basic baseball, and (Oxford comma for Goold) they are not brought together as a team. Thank you and you are a welcome addition to St. Louis.
  • Thanks, Kurt.
    I'd argue the infusion of Memphis talent did more for this team than any team dinner or hand signal.
    A much-needed energy also made the trip from Memphis.
    And the guys who were left behind -- there weren't many this year -- are playing for all of the Tostitos tonight. It's incredible what the Redbirds did, considering how many of their players were poached.
    As for the big club, the defense did improve as the season progressed -- even if that didn't show up at Wrigley Field this weekend. (Although continuing to put Fowler in center was ignoring a problem instead of attempting to solve it.)
    The baserunning was a head-scratcher throughout. It took way too long for guys who were hurting themselves to reconsider their approach.
    Seems like we're touching on a theme here, no? Every problem seemed rather obvious before significant attempts were made to correct. The 2017 Cardinals always seemed a step behind. That's part of the reason some Memphis guys wound up leading the way.
  • Hey Ben. Wong looks like an injury-prone prima donna. What's the old saying, "you can't make the club sitting in the tub?"
  • That's a reach. And a big reach. Before this season, he hadn't hit the DL since 2014. Another way to look at it says Kolten has had a career-best season that's been derailed at multiple points by injuries. But I guess you won't agree with that.
  • Mr. Ben. Ever seen a more pathetic performance by a football team then the one given by Missouri last Saturday
  • Not that I can remember, no.
    I wrote it Saturday and I'll reiterate here, briefly.
    Losing is one thing. Quitting is another. And the Tigers looked like quitters Saturday.
    That's a heavy charge, so I asked Odom if he was happy with the effort. He said it was open to question.
    Now, that's not giving Odom a pass. You can't compete, or win, with players who roll over. It's on him and his staff to make sure that never, ever happens again.
  • Carlos Martinez is a very good pitcher but. I do not think he is a ACE. See last start against the Cub's as a example.
    My question Why not trade Carlos Martinez this winter to get the bat we need and a couple top prospects? Then re-sign Lance Lynn who is a ACE and Yu Darvish?
    I bet Marlin's, Astros,R Sox, Yanks, Rockies, Dodgers others would give a lot to get Martinez?
    Your thoughts?
  • There seem to be two schools of thought on the ace thing with Carlos. Some swear he's the ace. Others swear he's not. My take is that if you have to debate, the guy's not that much of an ace, right? I think Martinez is still an ace in the making. I think he is by far the most talented starter on this team. I think they sky is the limit when it comes to his potential. We've seen why this season. We've also witnessed the boxes he has left to check. I think Carlos can and will be an ace, meaning I think he can and will reach the point where we are no longer having this discussion. For that reason I'm not trading him. No way.
  • After watching your discussion on MLB changes in 2 Bens, how about fitting an augmented realty display onto umpire's masks to aid in calling balls and strikes. Think Google Glass (though shatterproof) that would superimpose a strikezone on the umpire's view through the mask that is anchored to home plate without showing an actual ball/strike determination. It would help him make the correct call by giving a set frame of reference without totally removing the human element. If that doesn't improve the consistency of strike calling, then change it from the box to an actual "foxtrack" type display that determines the call which the umpire then parrots to the stadium.
  • Hmmm. Sounds like an awful lot of trouble, and potential for chaos. Would the Red Sox use their smart watches to alter the zone? (I'm kidding, but the wave of all things electronic opens new avenues for rule breaking. And if credit rating companies can't keep hackers out, how are teams supposed to? OK, I'm off the rails) If we are going to go that far, just make it a robotic strike zone and get the umpires out of the balls and strike business. Personally, I'm against it. I like the human element. Replay has helped with other calls. The strike zone has always, always been a fluid thing. Molina benefits from that because his pitch-framing skills expand the zone and trick the eye. That's one of many elements that would be removed. I don't like it.
  • Since the offseason seems to be sooner rather than later...take a bold swipe at the most profile name currently wearing the birds on the bat to be elsewhere next season. I'll go first: Dexter Fowler
  • Anyone not named Carlos Martinez
  • Yet another round of rioting in St. Louis. My question: do athletes, particularly minority athletes, notice the racial unrest here, and tell their agents, "Not that town"? Or will they go to whichever team makes the highest offer, regardless of the civil unrest? Since the Cardinals don't make the highest offer, regardless, I guess it doesn't matter too much.
  • Tough to answer, considering each athlete is different.
    Poll your friends: If a job in city X offered money Y, who much would you care Z in said city? You'd get different answers from each friend.
    Fowler, for example, had questions. The Cardinals did their best to answer those questions, and obviously Fowler ultimately decided to come here.
    Any team -- any business, really -- would be wise to have a game plan when it comes to questions potential hires have about the many issues affecting our city 
     
  • Here is an idea. Drop Fowler and Carp from the 40 man roster. If someone takes them, we have addition by subtraction (including salaries). If not, we have lengthened our roster.
  • Do you see "little Pedro" still having upside, that could translate his career into a "Pedro type" HOF'er, or is he going to continue to muddle around as a solid, yet unspectacular frontline starter?
  • You can probably tell by the tone of this chat that I think Carlos Martinez can be really special. He's damn good. But he can be even better. It's not a knock on him to say that, either. He's too good to make some of the mistakes he's made this season, the fielding goofs especially.
  • Cards should have less flexibility. Need every day third baseman and 1st baseman . Backup SS.
  • Last season they needed more. This season they need less. What they need are fewer players who can perform at the major league level and more players who can dominate at the major league level.
  • Can you explain what Paul Edgerly and Jum Thomas wrote about mls2stl? Is there hope or not?
    Just don't understand the optimism.
  • I'd suggest reading Jim Thomas' story, which can be found here:
    It's not dead. It's ... hibernating? Basically, if something came together, the league wants to be here. As of now there's no concrete proof something is going to come together. That's a summary, but please read Jim's story because it has the necessary facts on a topic that was only discussed in whispers for far too long 
  • Ben: I know the Cards will play to win until the season is over, but will there come a time when we see Kelly catching more, Sierra and Bader in the OF with Pham, and Diaz try to recapture some of the past magic the remainder of the year? Thanks.
  • Good question. Because the Cardinals are not mathematically eliminated, I would imagine them starting the best team they feel gives them a chance to win until they are. That said, we haven't watched a Matheny team that's had to play essentially meaningless games before, as Derrick Goold pointed out in today's P-D. I'm as interested as you are. Why not give the young guns some more seasoning?
  • I'm one of many to be very hard on Matheny on this website as his prior success (along with Mo's) gets further away in the rear view mirror. Outside of the obvious things that once again plagued the team here again in 2017, it appears clubhouse dysfunction has been added to the dynamic as well. I'm of the school that believes new leadership is needed A-sap. I'd have to think this has crossed the minds of the Mo and Mr. DeWitt, but I can't see them eating that much of his extension. Are you in agreement that if things still have not improved by the 2018 Allstar break MM could be gone or does he get at least another year? Thanks!
  • Matheny is under contract through 2020.
    Clearly, the pressure on him is as high as it's ever been, from the fan base.
    That doesn't necessarily equate into pressure from the front office.
    I think it would be hard for the Cardinals to stomach three missed postseasons.
    History also tells us DeWitt doesn't like paying anyone to go away. He believes in Matheny. Using your scenario, I suppose All-Star break 2018 is more likely than before the season 2018. But I would think he'd get the whole season. I'll prepare for the angry reaction now.
     
    I do wonder this: What's Matheny's approval rating in person, compared to online. As in, what would a poll of people who show up at Busch look like compared to an online poll. This is something that fascinates me.
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