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.

    I don't! 
    I do try to be realistic.
    I'll also point out, respectfully, that your chat name is the one that suggests America was no longer great.
    But hey, I'll stick to sports :) 
    Ben, did you get your Dr Anthoney Fauci Topps baseball card? I missed out. I can’t think of a better momento to sum up the 2020 season.
    Did they have to print it horizontally to get the pitch in the frame?
    If the season is cancelled, would a rookie on the 40 man for the first time (lets say Carlson) still accrue MLB service time or would that be nullified?
    It's a good question that does not seem to have a clear, concrete answer from what I've been able to read.
    The March 26 agreement says, specifically, that " ... In the event there is no 2020 championship season, each Eligible Player shall be credited with the exact number of days of Major League service for the 2020 championship season that he accrued during the 2019 championship season."
    It goes on from there to explain some specifics about players who are in contract seasons and arbitration years, but there's nothing specific about rookies in their first season, and if that clock would spin back to zero.
    I imagine players and their agents would not like that plan.
    I imagine we will hear a lot more about how this will work if baseball has to sort through it.
    I also like the base running aggressiveness over the WE but was most disappointed in Thomas oversliding 2b. I watch base running closely and have my list of the players best at it of the starting nine. 1st group - Wong, Edman, Bader 2nd group Fowler, Oneill, Goldy, 3rd group - Molina, Dejong Carpenter. I have never seen Dejong take a base that wasn't a given. Carpenter completely befuddles me for a person whose father is a professional coach.
    I would move Fowler and Goldschmidt up in your ranking, personally. If you are considering each player's individual speed, I think Molina is actually a pretty smart baserunner -- if you look past the much-discussed topic of how he does or does not run out every ground ball in order to help save his legs. He can't rely on his speed. He can rely on his smarts, and he uses them to steal a bag here and there. There's not a lot of good things to say about Carpenter's baserunning these days. It can be hard to watch. Better if he hits home runs.
    The narrative is that we have 3 pitchers who can come in and be starters (Ponce, Gomber & KK) because they are stretched out. Why then only use Ponce and Gomber for 1 inning or less. Seemed like he was trying to keep the rust off the rest of the BP rather than keep these guys capable of running multiple innings.
    Three games is a bit early to decide we know how the bullpen will be used.
    I would not expect to see Kim as a long-reliever type. He's been named the closer. He will be used in that role unless he loses the gig.
    My lineup for tonight: Wong 2b...Edman 3b...Goldy 1B...Paulie SS...Wieters DH...Yadi C...Fowler RF...O'Neill LF...Bader CF...and Carlos. Will Carlos be on and almost unhittable or will he be all over the place? It is usually one of the two. What is your predicted lineup (not the one you would throw out there).
    I would get Matt Carpenter in the lineup if his knee is good to go.
    Here's why.
    Over his career he's averaged .457 with a .490 on-base percentage and a .674 slugging percentage against tonight's starter, Homer Bailey, in 46 career ABs.
    I'd DH him.
    Ok, another Arenado question, but bear with me. So, with the Covid situation, would it seem more likely that Arenado would not opt out, if traded? And wouldn’t the Rockies be more desperate to get something for him if he still wants out of Colorado to play for a contender, and reduce their price? The only wild card would be if the Cards want to pay his salary, which they could still afford, especially with Carp and Fowler coming off the books. Hudson, Bader (great def in CF there) Gorman and a pitching prospect? It could mean a World Series, so would be worth it.
  • The Cardinals being able to afford his salary and wanting to pay it are pretty different things, and I can see there being a pretty significant cap between those two places because of the COVID-19 complications and their impact on plans for the budget. The same urge the Rockies could develop to free themselves of the contract could be felt, in reverse, by the teams that were once considering if they should take it on. Carpenter and Fowler are not off the books until after the 2021 season, too. In short, you can argue the pandemic influence one way or the other, but here's what we know. The Cardinals were reluctant to take on that kind of contract before the bleep hit the fan, and I imagine they will operate with more restraint, not less, after it has. I'm know this is not the answer people want, and I think Arenado is a great player who would help the Cardinals, but I'm not going to pump sunshine when I don't see it happening.
    Low and inside to LH batters. Low and away to RH batters. Breaking in the dirt to both. The Pirates did it with complete success - and very few were strikes. Expect more of it from the Twins.
    Not all that much success, really. The Cardinals averaged five runs per game in the series and won two of three. The Cards currently have the fifth-fewest strikeouts in the National League. The last game of the series looked like last season. Not the first two.
    Ben, it’s early, but the Cubs again look like the class of the division. Do you see it the same way?
    No. 
    I picked the Reds to win the division and am not going to bail on that this soon.
    The Cubs' bullpen is problematic, as evidenced by last night's near disaster with Kimbrel.
    Ha! Your response to my comment about the Marlins made me realize that people who have not lived in Florida for any extended period of time (as I did for six years) do not get Florida jokes. I wasn't referring to the fact that Florida has been the hottest spot in America (which is completely unshocking), but the fact that it's, well, Florida, where the bizarre is commonplace. You know, the state the supplies the news with the regular headline "A Florida Man . . ." Thus, if baseball were to be doomed by one team for any reason, it would just make sense that it would be Florida, specifically south Florida, where a man was once caught trying to smuggle pythons in his pants as he went through airport security.
    Oh, shoot. I'm sorry. I missed the joke. I'm all for Florida Man fun. I spend enough time at spring training there every year to see some examples myself. Bizarre is routine, like the annual falling of the frozen iguanas.
    Molina is one of the smartest baserunners on the team. He’s just slow. He definitely shouldn’t be in anyone’s 3rd group of baserunners.
    I tend to agree. His instincts on the basepaths are pretty good. A lot of people groan about his lack of interest in running out grounders that are obvious outs, but I don't lump that into baserunning. He's explained his thinking there, and it makes enough sense to me.
    Have you noticed any of Albert's hitting approach showing itself in ABs (whether working or not working) in the first 3 games?
    There are examples, yes.
    Paul DeJong has complimented hitting coach Jeff Albert for his help on defusing the stress that used to come when he went to the plate with runners on base.
    Tyler O'Neill has talked about the work he put in with Albert on plate discipline.
    The notion that Albert has a cookie-cutter approach to hitting that he gives each player is not the case.
    He works with hitters individually to try to build their strengths and decrease their weaknesses.
    Collectively, the Cardinals want to stack competitive at-bats that force pitchers to throw strikes and capitalize on them. They want to tap into their speed by taking what the defense gives, and keeping that pressure on once they are on the bases. I think they could do more of that if they all buy in on attacking shifts. We saw multiple times in this first series where a hitter, Dexter Fowler and Harrison Bader included, decided against laying down a bunt that if well placed would have been a single due to the defensive alignment they were facing at the time.
    Hi Ben, have the Blues announced how they are going to treat the exhibition game against the Hawks tomorrow? Will both goalies see action and will any of the regulars pass on playing to avoid getting hurt in a meaningless game (looking at 91 here)? Thanks for the chat.
    To be determined, but if the Blues approach it like they did their practices before departing for the bubble, the intensity will not be lacking.
    In hockey, you are probably more likely to be hurt going half-throttle.
    Tarasenko needs game reps before they count.
    I'd play him.
    Getting both goalies some live action would be a smart move, I think.
    Why do so many in the sports media skew left politically? I would expect a more balanced group relative to the mainstream media.
    I'm not sure I agree with that assumption. If by sports media you are referring to prominent sports writers who speak out about their politics on social media, perhaps. But just like in all forms of media, you can find viewpoints that align with yours -- and even ones that try to boost their standing by claiming they are the only voices who offer that perspective. Clay Travis, for example, has enhanced his brand by telling his fans that all of the sports media thinks one way, and he's the only one who thinks another way, so he should be listened to. That's good marketing -- if you can convince people it's true.
    Some of the assumption also comes down to what is classified as political.
    I got a lot of emails telling me I was putting politics into the sports page by writing about the Cardinals' plan to embrace Black Lives Matter.
    I suggested those who like the Cardinals but didn't like the movement should listen to the Cardinals' explanation of their actions.
    I don't think that's political. Some do.
    I get tweets telling me wearing masks are political. I don't think that's true. Some do.
    Some sports writers are eager to tell you about their politics. I can see how that's off-putting to those who don't agree. I try to avoid that.
    But when sports and politics collide, as they often do especially now, sports writers should not be expected to not write about the overlap.
    When it comes to addressing systemic racism in our country, I won't shy away from that topic when it collides with sports. Ever. If that makes me political, OK. I can show you plenty of emails that will make make my point for me, if you can stomach reading them.
    I laugh every time I hear the announcer say the use of computer technology to call B/S is not perfected (100%) so it can't be used. Well the chance of an umpire getting the call right near the edge of the plate is probably less than 70% based on observation of the rectangle the TV shows. Who is kidding whom.
    I'm pro human umpires. The strike-zone technology is not perfect, and if adopted it will change how the strike zone is called. Unless we are going to have automatic strike zones from Little League on up, I think it's a bit odd to ask players to spend their baseball careers adjusting to how humans call the zone, to all of a sudden learning how a computer's zone differs. Most umpires do a good job, and there is an element to the game -- like pitch framing, for example -- that will be taken away if that human element is removed. Bad umpires should be culled from the group. I'd like to see more movement to do that than a rush to robot umpires -- in part because of the can of worms that could open when we dig into how the zone could differ in each stadium, etc.
    Do the opening weekend TV ratings figure in the lost DISH viewers since last opening day? I feel the lack of a Sinclair/Dish contract is being forgotten, especially as to how it relates to older, rural viewers. I don't fall into the older, but definitely the rural, category, and even I waited until the last minute to finally commit to a streaming service to get the games. I'm not sure my parents will do so though, as it's hard enough as senior citizens to keep up with the changes in their Dish remote, let alone a different provider.
  • Another great point to consider when viewing the ratings.
    Is Joe West one of the umpires working this season?
    Yes. He made some inflammatory comments about his views on the virus, but the intent of that story was about him opting in and continuing to umpire this season.
    Disclaimer: I do not think Hudson pitched himself out of being a starter after one game in which he was decent
    With that being said, does Hudson have better stuff for bullpen and KK have better stuff for the rotation?
    I suppose that could be argued, but only one is 20-9 with a 3.36 ERA in the majors as a 25-year-old.
    At what point does Carp ride the pine and Ravelo or Dean get a shot at DH? Or does it require a LH starter for that to happen?
    Some of it could depend on how his knee is after that foul ball, but I'd start him tonight if he's ready to go, considering his career track record of dominating poor Homer Bailey. If Carpenter can't get a hit against that friendly face, it might be time to give someone else a test run there.
    Here's some good news: MLB says in more than 6,400 tests of on-field personnel since Friday, there have been no new positive tests from any club other than the Marlins.
    Oh, and the other news: The Marlins season is paused until Monday. Postponed games will have to be made up at some point, I guess.
    What is the point of having Fredbird in the stands when there are no fans? The poor man or woman inside the suit must be dying with the heat. Teams should stop pretending with mascots, crowd noise, and cut outs. Fans watching on TV don’t need any of that and I know the players don’t need it.
  • They're trying to have some fun. It's supposed to be fun. Remember?
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