STL sports chat with Ben Frederickson

STL sports chat with Ben Frederickson

ring 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.

    MLB hasn't officially cancelled any games yet, only postponed. Right? In that case of course they aren't going to refund anything yet. Same as how Ticketmaster has my Rolling Stones money.
    Yeah, that's the logic being used. The fine print. The right thing, though? It's giving money back to those who need it and ask for it.
    I know you loathe the NFL, but will you be watching the draft? It’s the only game in town right now. Would be funny if they have connection problems: And with the first pick, the Bengals take.....bzzzzzzz
  • How bad will the Browns screw things up?
    I'll follow along to see where the local guys go, where the Mizzou guys go.
    Hoping to catch up with Edwardsville and Iowa star A.J. Epenesa after he comes off  the board.
    That part -- seeing kids realize their dream -- is always good.
    Will Covid-19 have any real affect on STL MLS other than delaying the team announcement?
    As with anything, it could. But for now the big risk would be stadium site prep and construction, and that's moving forward with precautions in place. I wrote about that here: https://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/ben-frederickson/benfred-st-louis-mls-ownership-group-moves-forward-in-some-areas-pauses-in-others/article_077fe907-5f8f-5412-abc0-6ae480795321.html
    Kroenke has the city and the county working together towards a common goal that will benefit the entire region? Talk about doing the impossible. And the windfall could result in hundreds of millions to billions locally? Local leaders managed to completely flub up doing just that by failing to re-unite city & county by worrying about petty stuff, but Enos to the rescue (at least in the short term) as a "uniter, not a divider"...Maybe the guy wasn't so bad after all!

    Obviously I'm calling for speculation, but could you envision an outcome where a potential settlement results in STL getting a new NFL team as part of an expansion (be it adding an international city or domestic) and if the NFL were to expand, given the current 4 per division 16 per conference split, would they actually have to add multiple teams to keep things balanced out competition and schedule-wise?
    There's nothing at the moment to suggest a settlement would be pursued by either side. Want to keep reiterating that. Personally, I don't think securing another team -- a relocated one or an expansion one -- should be anywhere on the list of things the St. Louis side wants. You're in a massive and contentious lawsuit with a company that ripped out a business and ripped the city in the process. And the settlement should include an invitation for that company's business to return? Why? The league made it very clear how it feels about St. Louis, and St. Louis should not forget that.
    What do you think will be the long term impact of this crisis on baseball? Will it come back with a vengeance and give folks something to have faith in, per Mo, or will it take a couple of years for fans to come back?
    I think people are desperate to watch games, whether they are in the stands or on their couch.
    If baseball starts in the near future, even in an altered form, I think ratings would be very, very good.
    I could see how we view college sports changing more than how we view pro sports.
    If college football season is delayed or god forbid canceled, we are going to have to have an uncomfortable conversation about how warped that world has become.
    DeWallet has been fairly quiet on this crisis. He should say something about the ticket refunds. In some ways it is divine justice, given the high price for tickets and concessions these days.
    I think you're going to see a unified front from teams on the ticket debate, and probably a unified audible at some point as public angst builds.
    Disagree with you about divine justice, entirely. Let's not forget the damage this virus is causing.
    Where will the money Team STL gets from the settlement/trial go? Who's in charge of how that money gets spent? In your opinion, is it more about the good that money can do in STL or a feeling of revenge against Kroenke?
    It would go to St. Louis, St. Louis County and the dome authority.
    The lawyers, who are working on contingency, would get their share.
    It's about holding the league accountable for pointing to its relocation rules as if they were the Ten Commandments one moment, then shrugging and saying they're really not that important the next moment.
    That can't happen, and this lawsuit is about stopping it.
    And yes, it's also about getting back the money that was spent trying to compete in a game that was rigged from the start.
    This case should go down as something that forever changes how sports leagues operate.
    That's my hope, among other things.
    Just a comment...it was not really dumb on Kroenke's part to think they could get it dismissed from court and decided in arbitration. That type of thing happens all the time. Objectively that is a pro-business contract term, sometimes bargained for ahead of time, usually by the party that would stand to lose more if a case were to go to court, but much of the time arbitration clauses are tucked into the form agreements & warranties people never read in every day life.

    Maybe both parties wish to remain out of court. Maybe the specific industry is one where both parties prefer to address issues in that venue. Courts enforce contractual terms between parties such as arbitration clauses, absent a short list of reasons not to enforce.

    It is more just tremendously good luck for STL it wasn't enforced due to the effort & argument of their lawyers, and even better luck the SCOTUS didn't take up the case, because the current make-up the SCOTUS would make it likely a pro-business contract term such as an arbitration clause would be enforced.
    Kroenke is a lot of things, but dumb is not one of them.
    Never said he was.
    I do think he and the league were overconfident that this was going to get harpooned, and it has not.
    That's not luck.
    It's the byproduct of good work by the lawyers involved on St. Louis' behalf, and perhaps the downside of the league's ego.
    It thought this problem was going to go away, and it's only gotten bigger.
    Reading through the documents, the NFL seemed to think the old lease agreement would be what forced this into arbitration, but that got dismissed pretty fast, at every level.
    A response to your comment about another NFL team coming here. I miss having an NFL team in my hometown. A team to passionately root for every sunday and all the community comradery that comes with it. Not to mention the economic impact it has on St. Louis. To me, that is more important than holding a grudge.
    I understand your viewpoint, but respectfully don't share it.
    It's not about a grudge.
    It's about moving on from a bad business.
    Look at it in a different way.
    Would you welcome back a roommate like the NFL? A spouse? Or would you learn your lesson and move forward?
    I would just rather see St. Louis invest in and support businesses and leagues that care about being a part of St. Louis.
    I understand not wanting the NFL back in STL until guys like Kroenke, Jones, and Goodell are gone, but at the end of the day if St. Louis wants to call itself a great sports city, it needs more sports. Frankly, being a two sport town is embarrassing. The NBA or NFL should return.
    There's an MLS team building a privately-funded stadium downtown worth checking out.
    Besides that, I don't think the number of teams in your city says all that much about what kind of a sports city you are.
    I think St. Louis has proven that time and time again.
    Cardinals just went to the NLCS. Blues just won the Stanley Cup, and packed the city for a a parade that was pure bliss and no nonsense. BattleHawks went bonkers before coronavirus clipped their wings. PGA Tournament shattered expectations. NHL All-Star game shattered expectations. The list goes on, and on, and on.
    It's not about what you don't have, it's about what you do with what you have.
    If the Cards played in Texas they could all stay at Carps ranch. I am sure there is enough space to social distance and they could have bonfires and ride horses on their off days.
    Are there wild boars there?
    Would not want to have a Cespedes-like situation.
    Ben, I don’t believe the NFL can be shamed in the relocation lawsuit, simply they have no soul. And for those who think the man from Malibu is concerned about his palace overspending or legal debts, Walmart stock is maybe one of five companies on the planet trading at an all time high. My advice, if the city can get a decent settlement (admittedly I don’t know what that is), take it and start helping the many people and organizations in the community badly in need.
    The hard part, as you mentioned, would be figuring out what is worth accepting.
    I don't know that number either.
    I don't think we know quite enough yet.
    More will come out, I'm sure.
    Depositions will be ongoing for another year.
    I agree with you that this is not about shaming the league.
    It could be about changing the league.
    But you're right, that should not come before what is best for St. Louis.
    You're also right about Kroenke not running out of money anytime soon, but don't forget he's billions -- with a b -- into cost overruns at his Inglewood stadium now, a number that will continue to grow now that construction members are battling coronavirus-related issues.
    What'd you think of The Last Dance?
    Hit on that earlier.
    Loving it so far.
    Think Krause got the short end of the stick so far.
    Of course Team STL should be looking for an expansion NFL franchise. It's the most popular sports league in America and will be top 3 most popular for at least 30 for years. Plus imagine what kinda of events a retractable roof stadium would get. Men's Final Four, Wrestlemania, college football championship, maybe even the superbowl. Every city that prides itself on sports should want an NFL team and, more importantly, NFL stadium.
    I'm good without the NFL.
    Sorry.
    Could the Cards guarantee to fans that have bought tickets that they could be used as a voucher for the 2021 season? I would be ok with that. It could be a win win. Or maybe that could be an option if folks want their money back now.
    I'm sure the leagues are considering multiple scenarios.
    Blues season ticket holders, for example, have been told their credits will roll over to next season if games don't resume this season.
    MLB is, at least for now, standing pat until it figures out what this season is going to look like.
    The big difference is postponed/cancelled.
    Postponed means there's a chance it could still happen.
    Canceled means it's off the books, and money goes back.
    The London Series was canceled, so those have been refunded.
    I know because I had family members who got tickets, and they have received refunds.
    The leagues deserved some grace period as they reacted to a totally unpredictable scenario, but they will face more bad PR the longer they hold fans' money without answers on what seasons are going to look like, especially as most of the options being discussed involve no-fan scenarios.
    Some people are in a pinch and could use that money now, and they need it a lot more than the leagues or third-party ticket sites.
    BenFred, just curious if you always work from home or you are based out of the PD offices? Is it more difficult to do your job from home or in some ways easier, given distractions in an office setting? I ask because I think there will be studies about telework and it’s productivity once this crisis is over. It could change how work is performed in this country.
    I'm one of the few sports writers who works out of the office regularly.
    I like working from there a few times per week, in normal times.
    That's changed, obviously, since I got back from spring training.
    Haven't been in the office since then.
    There are pluses and minuses, but I miss it more than I don't miss it.
    My first real job out of college was the Wyoming athletics beat writer for the Casper Star-Tribune. Great little paper. And it was a great job for me. But the only bad part was that I lived in Laramie, two hours and a pretty desolate valley away from the newsroom. I missed having colleagues that I saw, missed the conversations that pop up in the newsroom, missed the daily arguments about last night's games, etc. So, I told myself that I would work from the office a lot when I had one, and have ever since, everywhere I've been. I get a lot of good ideas from talks I have in the office. And I get to see Bill McClellan, which makes it even better.
    Would the Blues be able to off-load a contract at the expansion draft e.g. Faulk or a forward in order to sign Petro to an extension.

    Arozerena looked like the offensive spark plug the Cards need in spring training... another miss along the lines of Pham and Mercado?
    That could happen, sure. Faulk's no-trade agreement in the extension did not stop him from being poached in the expansion draft. And it's worth no-trade agreements in hockey don't tend to mean all that much, anyway. If a guy isn't wanted, he tends to agree with being traded. Guys who fight it can be sat down. I'm not predicting that will happen, but teams have ways of trading players they want to trade, no matter the no-trade.
    Randy was off to a great spring. Too early to tell if he will make the Cardinals kick themselves for letting him go. The Cardinals really, really like Liberatore, the lefty they got in that deal. Some of it will depend on how he pitches. Some of it will depend on how Bader/O'Neill/Carlson/Thomas turn out. Those were the names the Cardinals had prioritized over Arozarena. Stay tuned.
    Just as a point of reference for being a 'Great Sports City' - Phoenix has a team in all 4 major professional sports (along with an annual PGA Tour Stop, Spring Training and the Arizona Fall League) - and nobody is calling Phoenix a great sports city.
    This coming from Dave, in Phoenix.
    I have a controversial sports opinion - I would trade the Blues for an NBA team. And I think the majority of people in STL under 40 would agree with me.
    I think you might be underestimating the amount of traction the Blues have built with a younger generation of fans, before and after the Stanley Cup run.
    I'm pro NBA. Would love to have a team here.
    Not going to give up the Blues for one, in this hypothetical scenario.
    Because of all the reasons you mentioned the St. Louis is a great sports city (which I agree with all of them) why has there been 0 interest in an NBA team? Just curious even though personally I can't stand the NBA with all of the non-stop and seemingly arbitrary foul stoppages.
  • St. Louis has a rich history with pro basketball, and I see no reason it would not again if a new chapter started.
    It has received little traction in recent years because there is no deep-pocketed owner leading a charge to bring NBA to St. Louis, and there has been no burning desire from the NBA to be in St. Louis.
    It has teams in Memphis and Indianapolis, and probably would have more interest in Kansas City over St. Louis if it had to decide today.
    That could change, but unless there's someone who wants to change it, it probably won't.
    Chaifetz brings it up once in a while, but there's a difference between bringing it up and truly leading a charge.
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