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 1 p.m. Tuesday.

    Ben, would you agree that if this team acquired one more Goldschmidt-sized bat that it would lengthen the leash for all the young players and even some of the older vets? If you have two good bats, you can be patient with a Bader or a Carpenter.
    Who disagrees with that? Not me. The more accomplished hitters you have, the less stress on the less accomplished hitters who hit after them.
    What are your thoughts on the #FreePlowsy situation?
    With Washington’s pending name change, do you think this will lead to other teams/colleges changing their mascots?
    I do, yes. My dear pal Vahe Gregorian of the Kansas City Star, and formerly of the P-D, wrote a really thoughtful and responsible column examining the roots of the Chiefs name and imagery. You can read that column on our site right now; many are based on the metrics. My P-D colleague Aisha Sultan explored the history of Savannah High School's mascot, the savages. I can link that below. These conversations are happening across the country. We should have them. We should be sure to include those who are offended by the names in the conversation. And we should be sure we are doing things that help create meaningful change, not just doing things that help relieve guilt for wrongs of the pas, right?  I don't know that simply removing the names is always the right answer, and I think everything must be done on a case-by-case basis. Maybe there's a way to keep a name and change the imagery. Maybe there's some other answer. But to answer your question, yes, I think we are going to see more of these conversations. They're overdue.
    Geez! I guess if people have issues with the 'Indians" then I guess the 'Cowboys' need to go too?!
    Do you know many cowboys that have campaigned for a football team to not be named the cowboys?
    Ben-good day sir. you are a DH kinda guy, more so than me, so i ask you this: it seems the Cards are taking the approach of the DH as a position for a day of rest from the field for their guys. At least initially. My question is-is there any other team in MLB that uses this approach, as opposed to having a singular big bopper there to generate offense? The concept seems to have merit, but our offense could really use a boost from that position. The Cubs have finally found...or the pandemic found, a daily position for Kyle Schwarber. Good for them, bad for us. Stay safe, stay healthy :)
    If the Cardinals had a bona fide big bopper who did not have a great defensive fit, then they probably would not be taking the approach they're mentioning now.
    And the approach they are describing now could certainly change.
    Shildt himself said he would not mind someone seizing the DH role and locking it down.
    But they don't have someone, right now, that presents a better option than moving it around.
    And yes, that is a read on the state of their offense.
    Jose Martinez would have been good, but he's gone. He was the perfect DH in the NL guy, but when there's no DH, that's not a good thing. No one expected the pandemic to expedite the clearly approaching rule change; most thought it would happen when the next CBA arrives, hopefully, after the 2021 season.
    Ben: Do you think that athletes are fully informed about the lates research in terms of the effects Covid can have on the body? I have read and had confirmed by my father (an ER doctor) that this virus can do damage to heart, lungs, organs, and brain. None of that has really been widely reported, and not much of that was really out there when plans to return to play were being negotiated. I'm not accusing the athletes of being ignorant. I just do not think this is something that is well-known, and much of it is very new. I think it's a question you might ask of players/management.
    What I've been reminded of often since COVID became a story that clashed with spring training is, athletes are people. No duh, right. But what I mean is there is no common description that fits an athlete. Some are diligently following the latest news about the virus. Some could care less. Most are in between. Some think it's a hoax; it's not, of course, a hoax.
    Pretty much everything we know about the virus can be described as pretty new. That's because the virus is pretty new. Long-term effects are hard to gauge when the virus is not long-term yet. One example I've read about includes potential heart damage. Cardiologists are concerned about how the virus puts a heavier strain on hearts than most viruses. There is data from hospitalized patients that supports that. But there is a lack of data about non-hospitalized patients.
    One thing that also seems to be misrepresented is the assumption that professional athletes are going to immediately bounce back after recovering from the virus. That might be the case if that athlete is totally asymptomatic. But if symptoms are experienced, doctors seem to be advising a slow and cautious return to action for athletes. I would not expect a player who tests positives and has symptoms to play this year, for example.
    In short, yes, it's hard for players to stay on top of it all, even the ones who want to be on top of it all. It's hard for anyone. I'm not sure what the answer is. If the decision is to not move forward until there are complete, full answers to all questions, no one would be doing anything at all.
    Senor Ben, any word on Gallegos, is he stuck in Mexico with the virus, seems like the bullpen is leaking oil before they start the season, is CMart going to be forced back in the pen, or will Helsley get his shot.
    The team said Sunday that he is still in Mexico.
    That's the only info we are getting at the moment.
    Attempts have been made to get more.
    Cardinals and Gallegos camp not saying anything else at this time.
    Are they still planning on handing out the Commissioner's Trophy at the end of this shortened "season"? Should any pennants won come with an asterisk?
    You mean that "piece of metal" as Manfred called it?
    Yes, they're handing it out.
    I'm anti-asterisk.
    A shortened season is still a season, and it's not like one team is getting an unfair advantage.
    In some way, how well a team stays healthy, is an awkward form of competitive advantage.
    I really wish Waino had walked away after his stellar playoff performance. I am not bullish on him in ‘20 nor am I confident he has it in him to admit when it is over. This FO has proven that they aren’t going to stop signing him, and once they do he is basically guaranteed a spot in the rotation by Shildt. Do we really have to watch him flame out in order for this team to move on?
    There's another alternative, you know.
    He could have a good season and then walk away on his own terms.
    Letting a 38-year-old future Cardinals Hall of Famer stick in the rotation as long as he competes there makes enough sense to me.
    It seems at times like he's at this point where he gets punished for not being the pitcher he once was more than anything. The Cardinals are no longer paying him for that kind of performance. He had 14 quality starts last season, three fewer than Dakota Hudson and Miles Mikolas. Pretty good for the role he holds now, no?
    Assuming a 38-year-old starter who is entering season No. 15 is going to flame out is not a bad prediction. Father Time is undefeated. Wainwright's proving to be a pretty tough out though, more than some gave him a chance to be entering last season.
    Do you see many MLB trades happening this short season?
    Some, sure.
    Many, no?
    There's been a pretty public discussion about the human side of this topic.
    Is it right to trade a player, move his family, during this time?
    You can make a case the answer is now.
    But business is business, and baseball is open for business, so there will be some moves.
    I think teams that are quickly out of the 60-game race, and maybe some who don't care how they fare in it, will look to offload money.
    But I'm not sure many teams will be interested in taking on much money right now.
    I like Flaherty and all, but I find his kneeling a bit contrived. I respect the players who do it because of real grievances, but what grievances does he have, other than he is not paid enough? I know he wants to show solidarity, but not everyone has to kneel before the flag to show solidarity. IMO
  • He has not kneeled.
    He hasn't even said he will.
    He has said he would not be surprised if some baseball players do, and that he's in the process of thinking about what, if anything, he wants to do or not do, and that he feels bad that baseball in general didn't do much to support the player who kneeled during the anthem, Bruce Maxwell, who was not very surprisingly phased out of the game.
    You're certainly right that not everyone has to kneel.
    Every person is free to do whatever they like during the national anthem, just like every person is free to listen to or ignore the facts that most if not all athletes who have taken a knee during the national anthem have stressed that their intent is not to dishonor the flag or the military, but to promote a conversation about systemic racism in American and some of the ways it presents itself.
    Every person is free to determine their feelings about the flag and what it represents. Some, for example, feel that the flag code says pretty specifically that the flag should not be used as a prop on shirts and hats and other clothing items. Some think wearing those shirts and hats are patriotic.
    To each their own, but the great thing about America is that we get to decide.
    As for Flaherty's so-called grievances, he's a black man in America.
    Being a professional baseball player doesn't mean he's not immune from the experiences that are unique to black men in America.
    What do you need to see from Wong this season to want to make a long-term commitment to him financially this winter?
  • More of the same on defense, and an ability to keep that same offensive approach that worked for him last season now that he's in the leadoff spot. I wouldn't want Wong to change anything other than his spot in the lineup. Avoiding injury would be nice too. His hamstrings have been problematic.
    I almost choked when I read closer and Cecil a few answers back, you feeling alright, Ben, or was that just being nice on your part, he is not breaking 82mph on the gun for goodness sakes
    The question was who I would want to close that is available right now if not Martinez.
    I said Helsley or Fernandez, because I like those ideas better than Miller, Cecil or whoever else it could be.
    I was saying I didn't want Cecil to get a shot at it.
    I've said a bunch I think Martinez should be the guy
    What did I miss?
    Cecil is present and pitching. The chance that he is going to be used in some way becomes more realistic every time someone exits the scene.
    Is Fowler still being slowed by injury? If so, there's not much time to get right before the season starts
    Cards have made it sound like this back tightness thing is minor, but let's see if Fowler is a go today. It becomes a bigger story if not.
    Correct.
    Hicks hasn't talked about his decision with the media, but I imagine he wanted to find a few things out.
    How he felt. When he might be able to help the team. And during this, of course, factoring in information he was getting about the virus as it related to his diabetes.
    There had been an ongoing conversation between him, his agent and the team. 
    Why Monday, specifically, was decision day, I don't know.
    If they aren’t going to bring Carlson up until he plays every day, who would he replace, ONeill or Fowler?
    Impossible to answer at this moment.
    Depends on who's healthy, who's performing, how team is playing, etc.
    Cards right now are saying they want to see Thomas and O'Neill in left, because that's the open spot. 
    But center field and right could be in play depending on how the returners there perform.
    Injuries can change situations.
    Lots of fluidity in this outfield, whether the team is admitting it at the moment.
    Gotta run. Folks. We'll go long next week. Thanks, and talk then.
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