STL sports chat with Ben Frederickson

STL sports chat with 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.

    Hello chatters, and Happy Tuesday That Feels Like Monday. Hope you all had a great, safe holiday weekend. This will be our last chance to chat like this for a while. The furlough fairy visits me the next two weeks, so the Tuesday chat (at least one with me) will be dormant until I return the week of the 15th. So, if you've been holding back a question or a take, it's time to let it trip. Let's roll.
    Seems to me that MLB players want to get in more than 80 games (obviously more pay) so is there any chance they could resume season in late June, not sure why the extended delay until first week of July as the KBO seems to have done quite well in their setup

    MLB seems very hesitant to get ball rolling with spring training and regular season resumption, are they just buying time to lower risk, proper mitigation not length of time seems more important
    I think July will be the earliest MLB game are played, and a lot more will have to be ironed out before that happens.
    The general consensus seems to be three weeks needed for a spring training 2.0, or summer training, if you will.
    There are no agreements yet on anything between the players and the owners -- not money, not testing.
    There have just been conversations, and the small step forward of re-opening up team facilities for players who want to use them.
    Finding a middle ground on all of the things that have to be agreed upon and getting three-ish weeks of a second camp in becomes a smaller window to hit every day there is not progress made.
    I think we will be lucky to be seeing games in July, not late.
    So would you agree that the owners and players need to agree to a financial deal for 2020 this week to save the season?
  • There are multiple reports out there that say the owners will talk today, and those talks will produce an altered proposal that will be sent to players regarding pay for the altered 2020 season. If that proposal drops the revenue sharing idea -- something players will disagree with for philosophical reasons as much as anything -- then that would be a good start. I said from the beginning that the best way to do this would bet for the player to take a little less than the pro-rated portion of the salaries they want IF the owners agree to pay that pro-rated amount later on, through deferred payments, once baseball gets back up and running. If that happens, or something close to it, I think there will be a deal. Both sides want and need games, and want and need to avoid the disaster of letting money foul things up.
  • Will I get to Ka-Kaw in the dome again next year?
  • I would pump the brakes -- or the tailfeathers? -- on that idea.
    Maybe Vince McMahon really is determined to emerge from the XFL bankruptcy as the XFL owner with an eye on the comeback, but his plans have not always worked out. His creditors are on to him, and there is a judge who will decide what can and cannot be done.
    On top of that, I would have some doubts about the support and the sponsorship that would await the XFL if it did return. A lot of people, not just XFL employees, got burned by the XFL punting. If that was just done to make a softer landing for McMahon's restart, he might not have as warm of a welcome in STL the next time around.
  • Was are your thoughts on Keith Hernandez not getting into the Cards HOF? Should character issues matter when honoring a ball player?
    I think Keith Hernandez should be in the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
    I think it's embarrassing that a fan base that prides itself in being so knowledgeable in baseball has not corrected that wrong.
    The Cardinals Hall of Fame does not have a character-issue clause.
    Mark McGwire is in it. The drugs he used helped him in baseball a lot more than the drugs Hernandez used.
    That said, it's not my battle to fight.
    I'm not on the committee that helps pick the candidates, and after that point the vote is up to the fans.
    Those who vote have strong, negative feelings toward Hernandez.
    I would encourage those who see his impact differently to vote differently, because he won't get in without that kind of movement.
    Goold's prospects series is good reading. But, one question: When did Knizner become chopped liver? Just like that, he's behind Herrera (in future terms)? What did you think of Knizner when you saw him this spring?
    by Jhonny Baseball edited by Mike Smith 5/26/2020 4:24:05 PM
    I'd suggest a re-read of DG's story on the future of the catcher position. Knizner is mentioned plenty, and mentioned as the catcher first in line to replace Molina at the moment. Even says he's expected to make the team as a back-up and pinch-hit option if the shortened 2020 season starts with a 30-man roster, which it most likely will. We know about Knizner. We know less about Herrera, so he was mentioned more in the piece. And sure, there is a chance he becomes the future behind Molina, not Knizner. Some got bent out of shape when Knizner started getting more attention than Carson Kelly. Now we see why. Kelly's breakthrough did not line up with Molina's exit, so he was shipped out as a key piece in a good deal for Paul Goldschmidt. A similar thing could happen with Knizner, especially if Herrera continues to move up quickly. Time will tell. No one thinks Knizner is "chopped liver". At all. It's a question of timing, more than anything. And the commitment the Cardinals are willing to give Molina. I like watching Knizner play. Especially hit. He's hit two of the longest home runs I've witnessed in West Palm Beach. He would start for some MLB teams. No doubt about that.
    After Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Tom Brady, and Peyton Manning faced off in "The Match", what are some other sports figures you'd like to see face off? For me it's Roger Goodell and Adam Silver. For a St. Louis only event, how about Jayson Tatum vs Bradley Beal.
    Just in golf, right? How about a Cardinals Classic? Ozzie Smith. Mike Shannon. Albert Pujols. Each get to pick a teammate, but that teammate has to have played or coached or managed for the Cardinals. Put Danny Mac on the call. (The smart captain would pick Cardinals pitching coach and three-time hole-in-one man Mike Maddux.)
    Don Garber got some kind of spat going with the media? What's up there?
  • There's a leak in the commissioner's office, it seems.
    Garber has been getting frustrated by the stories that are appearing in The Athletic.
    He sent out a memo warning people to stop leaking info, and someone leaked that memo.
    Bad look for The Soccer Don.
    There's a reason the MLS4TheLou group has kept its team name and color scheme under a tight lid. Garber knows, but few others.
  • BenFred,

    Its nice to see the cartel known as the NFL can just change what is "fundamentally inconsistent" with their G4 funding at whim. You would have to think as they were voting for that there was some discussion on how it will affect their upcoming lawsuit with STL? Also, how will that change how NFL owners ask for that money going forward, and how cities will look at publicly financing stadiums, knowing the NFL can give that money. Sets a dangerous precedent for them no?
  • I don't think the NFL thinks much about how its actions are going to conflict with previous or future actions.
    That's part of the reason there's so much rich fodder for this relocation lawsuit in the first place.
    The league is used to doing what it wants, when it wants, rules or regulations be damned.
    And it will continue to operate in that manner unless someone does something to force a change.
    Any region that finds itself caught in an NFL threat to leave should refer to what happened here in St. Louis, but that's easier said than done.
    Cities want to keep their teams, usually.
    The NFL profits off that desire.
    What league(s) plays this summer: MLB, NHL NBA? Or are you in my camp that the obstacles/logistics are too big, time constraints worsening by the week, health risks too great, and greed that has long permeated all facets of professional sports, all issues that can’t be easily resolved, leading to statements from each of the commissioners later the summer - see you next season.
    I think they are all going to try to make a comeback this season.
    Too much money on the line not to try.
    Now, what happens after that, I don't know.
    If multiple players get the virus, it's probably going to be hard to power through.
    Important to remember the NHL and NBA only need to figure out ways to hold their postseasons, not the entire (shortened) season and the postseason, like baseball.
    Sorry, with all respect, I have to disagree with you on the Hernandez issue. A player should be honored based on his on and off the field behavior, or at least Cardinal fans should be allowed to use that as one criteria. And I disagree that this is a “wrong,” as if we somehow owe it to Hernandez for some reason. It is not about being morally superior, either, it’s about honoring those who we respect and who represented the Cardinals with integrity and who we would want our kids to emulate. There are many Cardinals, past and present, who meet that standard.
    You're free to vote however you want. It's a fan vote for that reason. But the platform you just presented does not put Mark McGwire in the Cardinals Hall of Fame. It would have kept him out. If David Freese gets a shot to go in, I bet he goes in. And good for him if he does. But he was not exactly a choirboy during his time with the Cardinals, as he has discussed often since his departure. To me, the Keith Hernandez angst has a lot more to do with him being good for the Mets than it did with his drug use with the Cardinals. It's revisionist history, built upon a base of morality that suddenly disappears when its time to consider other candidates.
    Ben -- First, I totally agree with you on Keith Hernandez. It's embarrassing and this life-long Cardinals fan doesn't want to hear anymore of the "Best Fans in Baseball" baloney. Now, on an unrelated subject: I have not lived in the St. Louis area for many years so please clarify: Is work continuing on the MLS stadium during the pandemic? And, have you heard any rumblings if the massive losses going on in the car rental industry are having an impact on the project or the Taylor family's involvement? Enterprise is privately owned and doesn't appear to rely on airport rentals as much as some competitors but seeing Hertz file for bankruptcy got my attention. I'm sure Enterprise holdings is taking a beating right now. Update please.
    I hear from a lot of people who want Keith Hernandez in, so I'm confused as to why he isn't in. The people who get fired up about it should be sure to vote.
    Yes, site prep and construction continues at the stadium site downtown. We had that news a while back. Precautions are in place to help decrease the chances of problems related to coronavirus. I'll post a link to that story after this answer. The stage of the site development and construction does not require a ton of workers on the site at once, so there have not been any problems that I've heard about, and I've asked.
    The business of Enterprise rentals has taken a hit, like most companies in that field. You've read about the recent furloughs there, I'm sure. But I would not rush to connect the dots between the business of Enterprise rentals and the business of MLS4TheLou. There has been no sign to suggest the hardship of the car rental industry at the moment is going to affect anything on the soccer side.
    I believe the entire discussion about Hernandez and the Cardinal HOF would be moot if more STL fans read his book “I’m Keith Hernandez: A Memoir”. I was struck by, even though he grew up in California that he was raised on the belief that being a Cardinal was the ultimate achievement one could make in baseball as his dad raised him as a Cardinal and Stan Musial fan. He really, really valued being a Cardinal. The title makes one think of the Seinfeld episode which obviously played to him being a Met but the man was a Cardinal through and through (and warts and all).
    Few former Cardinals have been as outspoken about his love for the Cardinals as Hernandez.
    He raves about them on broadcasts. You mentioned the book. At a writers' dinner a couple years ago, he sent in a video to congratulate a winner. He would have attended, but recently had a surgery.
    I'm not sure what else he could do at this point. Certain people won't be swayed. They're going to have to be outnumbered for him to get in.
  • McGwire reportedly wanted to come clean, but couldn't get immunity from prosecution so he went with the weak line "I'm not here to speak about the past". It's a shame that's the way it unfolded but don't think that's a moral issue, more of a self-defensive move...
  • Few things amaze me more in St. Louis sports fandom than the lengths to which Cardinals fans go to defend Big Mac while remaining oblivious to moments of obvious hypocrisy. Nothing like booing Ryan Braun from Big Mac Land.
  • How do you see the Cardinals approach to the draft this year.. ie. it's supposedly loaded with colleage pitchers, but with limited # of rounds, should they load up pitching or take a few gambles on young position players?
  • This shortened draft could play to the Cardinals strengths. They've done well with college pitchers. I would not expect them to pass up desirable ones if given the opportunity.
    Well, I disagree with McGwire being in as well, no matter how many HRs he hit. It is an insult to all those players who played by the rules. Again, it is not like I am saying don’t pay them or we should have fired them (as would happen with regular folks), I am just saying don’t reward them.
    I'm good with this stance. If you have a hard line and hold it, good for you. If you draw the line so it makes exceptions when you want it to, well, that becomes pretty obvious. I think Cardinals fans, collectively, have done that in their voting for the Cardinals Hall of Fame.
    Any idea of when MLS4TheLou will announce team name and colors?
    Not a specific date, but here's something to watch.
    It's hard to imagine St. Louis announcing its team name and colors before Charlotte announces team name and colors, because Charlotte is going to start play in 2021, a year ahead of STL's start in 2022.
    The league will space out the announcements a bit, so after Charlotte goes, STL will be on the clock.
    The name and colors have been decided. I don't know them. There has also been traction made on a key hire on the soccer operations side. Expect more on that soon as well.
    Regarding your reference to Ryan Braun in the Hernandez/Big Mac discussion, the difference is Braun trashed the reputation of an innocent guy...... I believe that fact makes Braun a very poor comparison.
    Yes, THAT'S the reason he's getting booed. (It's not the reason.)
    The ESPN interview with Yadi was revealing, as he stated he wanted to remain a Cardinal and thought something could be worked out, yet acknowledged the physical challenge of catching at this point in his career. 2 year deal at $8 mil per with incentives.
    That would be a $12 million pay cut that would require Molina to -- at least for the theatrics of it -- go through free agency. Would another team be willing to give him more to shape a young staff? Hard to say, considering his age and the financial landscape of front offices after the pandemic. Ideally it would be a year with a vesting option for a second, but he might want more than that. Incentives that took him to $10 million would certainly be more appealing than a $10 million guarantee. But we are ignoring the unknown, and it's a big one. How much does coronavirus tighten the spending on teams. It's safe to assume the Cardinals will be on the conservative side of the new normal.
  • We've been through all of the non-troll questions.
    If you have any more, let me know.
    We'll give it a bit before shutting this thing down for the week.
    Late arrivals, here's your chance.
    Sophomore slump ahead for Tommy Edman? Or do you think he's good for the long haul?
    I think it's a tall order to ask him to average. 300 and slug. 500 over the course of an entire season, but I'm all for letting him prove me wrong. Especially because we aren't talking about an entire season anymore. We're talking about 82-ish games. He played in 92 last season, and 101 counting the postseason. If the DH arrives for 2020, and there seems to be a consensus that it will, it should be easier for the Cadinals to get Edman plenty of at-bats. If he hits a skid, we should not be surprised. But let him hit it. 
    Will this be a throwaway season for Carlos Martinez? Wonder how his workouts are going ...
    I'll give Carlos Martinez some credit. There was A LOT of discussion this offseason about how he handled the offseason impact his chances of being where he wanted to be -- in the rotation -- during the season. And he answered the challenge. He was in good shape when he got to camp. Focused. It showed. He was looking like the All-Star starter he have seen before, the guy he says he still can be. Then the bottom dropped out through no fault of Martinez's. How all players, not just Martinez, handle this unprecedented curveball is going to be a huge factor if and when games resume. We are going to find out about the guys who did not take care of business. They will be exposed. And, unfortunately, some guys who did the right things are probably going to be shut down to injuries that are beyond their control. Pitchers, especially, are routine-oriented athletes. Their routines are going to altered big-time. How Martinez prepared for this spring should give us some confidence in how he will prepare for this shortened 2020, but he's still in prove-it mode.
    Has this been asked yet: Got any fresh takes on the Petro sweepstakes? Wouldn't it be cool if they announced his signing before the playoffs start?
    by Late to the Chat edited by Mike Smith 5/26/2020 6:06:37 PM
    That would be sweet, but I don't have any reason to believe that's the case.
    I think Petro's future will probably be decided after the season ends, officially.
    It's interesting that he's probably going to have his contract extended just so he can finish the season.
    He's one of the expiring contracts the league and players will have to agree on rolling through the end of the adjusted season, because they would technically expire before that altered end if not adjusted.
    I know that's not the extension Blues fans have in mind, but I'll echo what I've said in previous chats. I think Pietrangelo will wind up being in St. Louis for the long haul.
    I know Charlotte starts before we do but we were also selected as team #28 over them as team #29. Do you think the announcement doesn't come till the end of the year or will it be later this summer for team name and colors?
    Correct, but Charlotte will go first, because Charlotte will play first.
    That's the way it's going to work, I'm told.
    And it won't be a back-to-back kind of thing.
    A week or two after Charlotte announces, I would start counting down.
    Journalism 101: What's your strategy when interviewing a player or coach, and you've absolutely got to nail the interview, but it's obvious the subject is either note interested in talking to you or is just plain bored? Any examples?
    Those are two pretty different scenarios. If someone doesn't want to talk, you can't force them to talk. What you can try to do is explain why you want to talk, and -- sometimes -- what you want to talk about. Often, I've found people tend to assume what you are going to ask, or assume what your angle will be. Sometimes just saying, hey, here's what I want to ask you about, and why, takes some of the assuming away. That's not the same as handing over your questions. I don't do that. If you get the interview, and you are good at your job, the person you are interviewing should not be bored  -- unless they are just being rude, which sometimes happens. Asking questions that have not been asked, directing the interviewee to something he/she has not said a million times, that's the challenge for the interviewer. Getting someone off their talking points, or to explain something with energy, that's the goal. To have a conversation, not simply swap quotes. But a lot of interviews ask for that -- quotes, soundbites, etc. -- so it's good to establish a conversation that goes in the opposite way. Prep for the interview with research. Don't ask questions you already know the answers to. Don't ask something you can look up yourself. Respect their time, and they will  be more likely to respect yours. Sometimes you just get an unwilling participant, and then it's usually best to write about that -- because it tells you something. If it's a standoffish, bad interview, there's no rule against explaining it as such.
    That's all for today, everybody.
    Thanks for jumping in.
    See you all in a couple of weeks.
    Stay safe.
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