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.

    Thanks for your time and insight, Ben. I was just wondering if the St Louis USL team is planning on continuing to play in St. Louis once the MLS teams begins playing.
    It's a great question. Maybe we will find out more about this Thursday during the name reveal and interviews that follow. I'm not sure what the relationship will look like, or how closely the two teams will be aligned moving forward. I've heard differing thoughts on that at different time , none that are final.
    MLS2STL seems to be hinting at STL United with the recent ad campaign featuring different parts of the STL region. Have youheard anything on the name and thoughts on STL United?

    Seems a bit bland to me
    MLS2STL was the previous ownership group.
    Current one is called MLS4TheLou.
    (That can be confusing, I know, and I've messed it up before myself. More than once.)
    United was the second name on my list last year, but the league already has three teams with that name, so I don't see it happening. 
    That's one option.
    College football tends to play the anthem while players are off the field, and has long before players started kneeling in other sports.
    Another option would be for people to not get worked up about what other people do during the anthem, or listen and attempt to understand their reasons for doing something different, but that suggestion seems to be quite polarizing.
    The team website says the presentation will be streamed live on the team's Facebook page.
    do you think berube has found the on switch?
    Hope so. He should put on a real suit for Wednesday's game. Just in case that's the switch. I'm kidding. (Not really though; why not?) I do take some comfort in the fact the Bruins also pressed snooze through the round-robin games. The truth is, seeding means squat considering the format of this thing, and everybody knew it. The Blues always tend to hit another gear when their safety net is gone, so we will know soon enough. The Canucks are not the kind of team you want to let the confidence build in during a series. Their talented young core is playing with house money. That's a dangerous thing.
    You need to ignore any comments from “Mark” about the NFL. He beats the same friggin’ drum in all the chats that St. Louis sucks because it does not have a football team. Internationally, no one gives a **** about the NFL and CTE WILL take the NFL down. PLEASE stop addressing these repetitive, inane comments.
    We accept all here.
    Well, most of the time.
    Do you believe that if the Blues weren't in St. Louis, this market would be more attractive to the NBA?
    No. Plenty of cities have both. St. Louis would be more attractive to the NBA if there was a rich, influential person determined to spend a lot of money to make the NBA interested in coming to St. Louis. That's the first part of any NBA-to-STL thing that has to happen, and more things would have to go right after that. Like, the NBA being interested in expanding to STL.
  • Ben, I am probably giving the leaders of other leagues way too much credit because they have a touch of arrogance, but do you think they are watching what the NHL, NBA, and MLB and are drawing any reasonable conclusions? IMO we are all waiting on drugs before any "normal" happens
    Any sports leader that is not adjusting a to-be-launched plan without considering and evaluating what has worked and not worked in other sports is doing it wrong. I keep hearing, for example, that there's no way the NFL will work. I'm not buying that. Not with the head start it has to learn from other leagues, and not with the amount of money it can and will spend to have a season -- to make even bigger money. Don't underestimate the drive of the dollar, and the players' desire for it, too. I'm less optimistic about it in college football, because this entire situation has forced the amateurism model into a corner with no good options. Either you make the necessary changes to give yourself the best chance of having a season not derailed by the virus, and acknowledge that the changes are proving that these "student athletes" are certainly not average students, opening yourself up to the ramifications that come with that acknowledgement, or you punt to protect the amateurism model and try again when the virus is not as big of a threat as it is now. The best and only maybe way for colleges to avoid the COVID-related lawsuits they fear is to give players a voice in the process that determines their return, and that's not something the current college system is keen on allowing. College football is between a rock and a hard place, and it's not specifically related to the virus.
    I'm seeing teams celebrating walk off wins,and high fives and all that,isn't that against the rules? And,what about the fighting? And the Astros coach who provoked that incident has to be suspended,right?
    An Astro? Suspended? I'll believe it when I see it.
    Yes, it's against the rules. No, baseball doesn't seem all that interested in enforcing on-field violations to the protocol that don't involve fighting.
    Thoughts on college football? Can you see a scenario where the SEC plays? Actually I do, Unfortuantely the outbreak and response is so political and 9 of 11 sec state governors are Republican
    I don't have the energy to talk politics, so I'll just add this.
    The Big Ten screwed up if it thought a Greg Sankey led SEC was going to fall in line with the Big Ten on cancelling the season.
    Sankey doesn't work like that.
    His predecessor Mike Slive didn't either.
    The SEC sees itself as a leader, not a follower, and it's more determined to play football than the others.
    Sankey has never said there will be a season no matter what, but he has preached the importance of not making the call too early, and not simply playing follow-the-leader.
    So, how many "I'm going to fight for my players" quotes from Big 10 coaches did you have to ready yesterday before you finally hurled? I mean, those coaches are just so in their players' corners, ready to fight for each and every player . . . unless better player (or job offer) comes along, or they need the scholarship spot, or the player has a worldview that goes beyond football. I just wonder if they believe that anyone buys their self-serving BS.
    I have a sense the coaches jumping on the #WeWantToPlay bandwagon are conveniently ignoring that part of the players' request is a players' coalition that gives players a bigger say in the matters of college football, a decision that would inevitably lead to players getting a bigger piece of the college football pie. That support for the movement will disappear when that bullet point gets more attention, I'm afraid.
    The very first person who came out and said that he had it was Molina,is he on his way back sooner than the others,when and if we start playing?
    There has been some reporting that seems to suggest Molina could be close to a return, yes.
    His brother, Angels coach Jose Molina, told ESPN that Molina had mild symptoms and has been feeling better, and that Molina was supposed to be tested two days ago. Players need two negative tests in consecutive days to be cleared to return, and then there are a series of exams that come after that hurdle is cleared.
    I asked this question of Goold, but wanted your take. How much of a hit has the Cards organization’s reputation taken with this virus fiasco? Or other organizations snickering at them? Blaming them for mismanagement of it?
    If teams are ripping on the Cardinals, they're doing it off the record and under the breath, because they are smart enough to know their team could be next. Cleveland had two pitchers break quarantine to go out on the town. Maybe they dodged the virus, but you get my point. There is no perfect team in this, and everybody knows that. It's what you get when you have a non-bubble attempt to have a season that travels all over the country, and guys living at home with their families when they're not at the ballpark. Lots of entry points for the virus. No one is shocked this has happened, but there has been surprise it happened to the Cardinals, a team that is usually on top of stuff. (Insert hacking joke here.)
    Hope everybody with the Cardinals affected by COVID gets well. That being said, I don’t think it’s effective leadership to say “Woe is us”, I’ve heard a lot of that from Mo, the Marlins responded well when they came back to play (they had to call up dudes off the street), the organization as a whole needs to man up and carry on the best they can, you field the best team you can and just play
  • I don't think you'll be hearing a lot of "woe is us" when the games start again. The Cardinals are just being honest that this is no longer a normal season, because it's not. An attempt to pretend it is would not fool anyone.
    A playoff question. If I understand correctly the top two finishers in each of the six decisions qualify. If true, that = 12. Choosing the other 4 is what I don't understand. Do they take the top 4 remaining finishers with the highest pct no matter the league or division they are in... Or choose the top two from each league to make 8 in a league? Please clear that up for me.
    Here's a helpful breakdown from Anthony Castrovince of
    I'll include the link below.
    In it he expands on more frequently asked questions about the format.
    The top three seeds (Nos. 1-3) in each league will go to the three division winners (East, Central, West) in order of record.
    The next three seeds (Nos. 4-6) will go to the three teams that finish in second place in their division, in order of record.
    The final two seeds (Nos. 7-8) will go to the two teams with the next best records, regardless of division and division standing. Because the first- and second-place teams in each division automatically advance to October, the 7 and 8 seeds are the actual “Wild Card teams.”

    Everything to know about expanded playoffs

    MLB.comThe regular season has fewer games, and the postseason has more games. That’s the formula by which Major League Baseball will operate this year after an agreement, just before the first pitch of the 2020 season, between the owners and the MLB Players Association for a 16-team postseason structure. The
    Did you agree with the Joe Kelly penalty? How can the Astros players cheat and not get punished and Kelly get 8 games for seeking some justice. He didn’t hit anyone
    I've got no problem with the Joe Kelly penalty. Every player in baseball knew going after the Astros was gonna get a significant swipe from the league. He did what he did knowing he was going to get punished. I would have preferred to see him park the ball in a rib cage instead of fire off a (missed or intentionally missed) headshot, but that's beside the point. 
    What blows my mind is that the Astros skated on that punishment from the jawing match that broke the social distancing protocols as it happened ON THE DODGERS SIDE OF THE FIELD. Kelly was walking off the field after the K of Correa. Correa went to him. The league ignored it. That's pathetic.
    I think Mike Clevenger deserves a lengthy suspension for his actions, lieing to team, and putting whole team at risk by flying back from them, that is an egregious act, I hope MLB hammers him
    I'd rather see his teammates ask the team to punish him, not wait for some punishment from above. MLB is not going to be able to care more than the players care about protecting one another. When a player does something like that on a team that includes a manager with health issues that make him more vulnerable to the virus than most, it makes you fear it's just a matter of time until there are multiple teams sidelined.
    I asked last week about making players accountable for not following protocols and potentially infecting half the team and you basically said the lost games and quarantine was punishment enough. But your talking about penalties against a team and I was saying penalties against irresponsible players—fines, suspensions. Spreading a deadly virus through irresponsible behavior is much more serious than missing the team bus.
    We've talked about punishments for the Dodgers and Astros, two teams that got in an on-field altercation during a live game.
    We've talked about punishments for Cleveland pitchers who broke protocol on the road and one who lied about it.
    When you ask for punishments for Cardinals players, what do you want them punished for? They have not been in an on-field fight with another team. Their mistakes during the on-field portions of the game regarding the protocol are the same every other single team has made. Whatever mistakes they made away from the field were not traced back to one smoking gun of a terrible decision, at least not one that has been reported by a reputable reporter with facts to back it up. Specifically, claims about a casino trip were shot down by both the casinos that would have been in play on the road, and by the team. The Cardinals think the outbreak might trace back to someone close with the team, but not on the team, and that interaction was not outlawed by the league protocol. When players are not at the ballpark, they are going home their families and whoever else is in their home. This is the risk you take when you are not in the bubble. I know you desperately want someone to be punished for the Cardinals' situation, and you made that clear last week, but unless you can point to what specifically must be punished, I'm not sure what to tell you.
    What is your opinion on the Denver Nuggets? You are a Mizzou diehard so I imagine you want Michael Porter Jr to succeed, but the team is owned by Josh Kroenke. Do you root for the team, root against them, or just ignore them and not watch them?
    It's been a long time since I watched the NBA regularly.
    I would describe my stance toward MPJ as indifferent.
    He is an interesting young man. Incredibly talented. Wish things would have gone better for him at Mizzou, but I never quite understood him, and still don't.
    Ben, the 60 man squad, the 40 man roster and the 28 man playing roster has been poorly explained to fans, an outbreak within a team was not going to be assuaged by calling up guys from the 60 man especially when 40 man roster rules weren’t changed, shouldn’t MLB have allowed for some 40 man roster rules changes in this one-off season.
    If we are playing the hindsight game, the season should have been played in a few hubs, like hockey and basketball. The goal of the alternate site was not to create another team that played in place of an infected one. It was to send up players once certain player were injured or infected -- and yes, it clearly did not work out as hoped for teams like the Marlins and Cardinals, who got such an outbreak of infection on the major league team that it raised questions of if there should have been some sort of alternate team playing in its place. As you mentioned, that would have required some pretty significant changes regarding service-time, 40-man roster, etc., and those changes would have been both hard to iron our and likely contentious between the players' union and the owners.
    Here's some good news. News out now that Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron has been suspended 20 games for inciting the brawl with A's outfielder Ramon Laureano. As it should be. What an embarrassing look for a coach.
    Are there any reports about the fate of the St. Louis USL team on stltoday? I have read in the Athletic that before the season started it was likely this was the last season for the USL team here. Has that changed? Are any of your colleagues actively tracking the story?
    The future of STL FC and its relationship moving forward with the MLS expansion team is certainly a topic of interest. There are no hard answers available right now. The next chance to ask will be Thursday, the day of the name reveal for the MLS team. Considering some of the news that is going on at the moment, it has not been on top of the to-do list, to be quite candid.
    Ben, The MLB trade deadline coming. How will it work with the covid situation. Contract situations?
    I think it will be a relatively quiet trade deadline. Expanded playoffs might encourage more teams to hold on to what they have. Shaky situation of season will decrease teams from looking to take on a big contract to add on for a push. There will be some movement, but I think it will be more roster maintenance type stuff, with the long-term in mind. That's how the Cardinals have treated recent trade deadlines anyway, so it would not be surprising to see them act in that fashion, though I doubt their trade scenarios have been front of mind much lately. They're too busy trying to hold a team together and not lose a season.
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