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.

    In general, baseball's unwritten rules are dumb. But Padres manager Jayce Tingler made a mistake, I think, by not defending his star player. If Tatis Jr. wanted to apologize for hammering a 3-0 pitch for a grand slam in a lopsided win, let him. But the rookie manager made a rookie mistake by not defending his guy. If I'm Tingler, I say this: "I will always green-light a grand slam." Nothing less. Nothing more.
    Some news: Jim Thomas reports Vladimir Tarasenko has been sent back to St. Louis to meet with doctors regarding his left shoulder, the one he has surgery on in October
    I imagine that's it for Vlad in the bubble.
    Derrick Goold makes the argument a seven inning win should count less than a nine inning win (using a points system), seems to me, that's penalizing teams who have to play so many double headers, seems like both teams play by same rules 7 or 9 innings, so they all count the same
    DG's my guy, but I'm with you. Do teams then get an extra point for forcing extra innings, like hockey? No thanks. A game is a game.
    “You act as if I've been driving the Carpenter hype machine.”

    That’s silly. You’ve been too busy driving the MLS hype machine.
    Not into soccer, Jon? It could be a nice distraction from your internet tough guy act.
    Has the league figured Edman out?
  • Expecting him to match last year's line (.304/.350/.500) over 92 rookie games was a bit optimistic, and I don't think he will have those numbers this season, but it's too early to assume he won't adapt and evolve. He's still one of just seven guys on the team to hit a home run this season. Tommy will be just fine.
    With all of these DH stacked up, I understand Shildt sticking to a long game and not pushing Gallegos or Gant in game 2 last night. That being said, 60 games is a short season and every win is precious, so I was somewhat surpirsed one of those guys didn't try to finish off that inning last night. Those losses sting!
    I thought Gallegos could have gone a bit deeper myself.
    And if this was a normal setting, maybe he would have.
    But the Cardinals are not just managing with the gauntlet of games ahead in mind, they're trying to account for the stoppage that affected some of these arms during the shutdown, and trying to keep from overextending them in the first couple trips back to the mound.
    A game against the Cubs at Wrigley screams win-at-all-costs while the restrictions feel more like spring training.
    It's just odd, and it's going to be that way.
    Ben, I'm curious your current take on shifts in MLB? I am very conflicted, I've always been on the side of putting this on the hitters to make the adjustment. They are professional hitters and should be able to take the ball the other way and I think over time there will be some sort of correction. Plus forcing rules on teams never felt like a good solution. However, it is so so frustrating watching hard hit balls up the middle and in the hole that should be hits but are now outs. Baseball needs more action and line drives up the middle are good action except now they are outs. That leads to the dreaded strikeout, walk, home run results time after time.
    Don't give up. You are on the right side. Hitters need to adapt. Hit it out. Hit it where they aren't. Drop a bunt. We should stop thinking of those hard-hit balls up the middle, when the defender is standing right there, as robbed hits. They're hits that went right to the defender, who was positioned there when the pitch was delivered.
    So, why is Lutz a good name? Good hire? What is his story?
  • I wrote about his background today, and will put the link below. Since his switch from player to coach to scout to sporting director, he's gained a reputation of being able to find and sign under-the-radar talent from a wide variety of places. Some of that can be attributed to his playing career, which spanned six continents and lasted until he was 38. He's a fascinating figure. 

    BenFred: St. Louis City SC might have just hired the most interesting man in soccer

    STLtoday.comLutz Pfannenstiel's lifelong soccer journey produced some truly jaw-dropping chapters.
    Any indication why the St. Louis City SC's stance on Saint Louis Football Club has appeared to change? The SC's owners and initial materials praised the FC's model and fan support. Both of which seem to have vanished. The FC's presence seems to re-affirm everything the new Sporting Director wants to implement - just last December the second overall pick in the MLS Superdraft was a product of the Saint Louis Football Club.
  • It seems to be as much of an MLS decision as it is anything. I think MLS wants to have all of its tiers under the MLS umbrella.
    As for students coming back to campus, those universities desperately needed those tuition and room and board dollars to keep their doors open, and I dont see anybody squabbling about those kids potentiially getting seriously ill, whats the difference Ben?
  • Well, UNC just shut down in-person classes and switched to remote only because it had a hard time containing the virus on campus.
    I doubt that will be an outlier.
    I think we are going to see more of these conversations.
    College students are probably not going to do a very good job of doing what they need to do to mitigate the spread of the virus.
    Shocking, I know.
    I'm getting old fast but I know how I would have shrugged off guidelines at that age.
    Just as I did not understand how the Big Ten and Pac 12 decided no football games was the right call while still keeping in-person classes and campus activities open, I don't really understand how schools that aren't allowing kids to gather for classes are then saying it's fine if the teams get together for practices or games.
    Either it's safe to have students gathering on campus, or it's not.
    The middle ground is a strange and hypocritical place, and it's changing fast.
    I find 7 inning games kind of interesting, just think its 0-0 in the top of third and all is good, they go by fast around 2:15, stategy is intriguing too, it gets early late as Yogi says, I think younger fans would find these attractive if more balls were put in play.
    More than player health was on the mind of the league decision-makers when the seven-inning doubleheader was welcomed in. There was hope this exact reaction would occur, for players, managers, coaches, fans. "Hey, these aren't so bad." I don't mind them as much as I thought I would, though I'm cautious I'm just so glad to be watching some baseball again that I'll take it any form. I've observed a similar softening in some toward the extra-innings rule that puts a runner on second base. People seem to be warming up to it.
    What's the over/under on STL City ever taking the pitch for the first time? Do have have any concern about the leagues viability/stability? Expanding too fast?
    I have no doubts that the team will launch, and I think it will be successful in St. Louis. As for the long-term success of MLS in America, the league is banking on becoming increasingly popular as its target market, current millenials, age and have kid who are lifelong followers of the sport. Soccer is playing catch-up to the rest of the world in America, and the league is riding that wave. I don't know how that plan works out long-term. If I did I would be into sports betting or something. I think the plan makes sense, and I can see why a city with as much enthusiasm for soccer as St. Louis wanted a foothold in the league's big plan.
    BenFred, always enjoy your takes, I believe Berube saved the Vancouver series by benching Bennington and replacing Tarasenko (he was just a wooden indian in those games), This coach has the gonads to make these moves, more power to Berube, and Vancouver can exit stage left on Friday..
    He's got the pucks to make the moves, and while the players might not always love the moves he makes, they have to respect the fact that the moves often work. That's the sign of a good coach. A healthy respect for his decisions, even ones that sting.
    Seems to me that Flaherty waiting to be last starter to toe the rubber is definitely kind of odd, is he being penalized for off field behavior (rumor has it he flew in a girl during the STL lockdown last week). He's your best and needs to pitch often
  • It's not rumor-based, but schedule-based. 
    He's their top young arm.
    They're going to make sure he's good to go after the long layoff before they send him out there.
    Flaherty not hurting himself in this wonky season is far more important than what could happen if they rushed him back from the shutdown.
    I saw the rumor you mentioned, via a website that attempted to claim Flaherty flew in a visitor. The evidence was that Flaherty and the woman followed one another on Instagram, and the woman posted about being in St. Louis. That was it.
    That's a big stretch to assume what was assumed, and a lot of evidence is missing.
    I said early on, way back before the shutdown, that I'm not going to be the hall monitor hiding in front of players' bushes seeing wha they do or don't do.
    Not going to start now, but that "story" had more holes than Swiss cheese.
    Hey Ben, thanks for the chat. A lot of rumors 4-star recruit Jordan Nesbitt may be close to committing to SLU. While that is good to keep him local, I can't help but wonder why he never even got a Mizzou offer? I guess I wouldn't be as concerned if I felt Martin was on a roll identifying recruits for his system but he has not kept around a lot of his recent recruits. Plus, I worry about how that looks in St. Louis recruiting. If a kid puts in the work and time to become that talented, should he have earned the right to say he got an offer from his states flagship school? Even if he goes somewhere else because the fit isn't the best, there is always something to know that the state's school is looking at and giving kids that earn the offer an offer. It is just hard for me to see the downside of offering when Martin could offer and be honest that his system may not suit him best but he earned the offer through his work.
    A scholarship offer should not be viewed as anything other than a coach wanting a player to come play for him and thinking he has a decent chance of getting said player. Offers that mean anything but that turn into trouble, like when a kid tries to commit and realizes the offer he got wasn't a real one. Specific to Nesbitt, there just never seemed to be real traction between him and Mizzou. Now that he's blown up a bit in terms of interest and offers, that could make Mizzou look bad depending on how things turn out. If he becomes another St. Louis name that got away, then yes, those are the kinds of players Cuonzo Martin wanted to do a better job of keeping in-state. If there's more to the story here, or some reason Mizzou stayed away or there was not a fit between the two, I don't know what it is. I can try to find out.
    Any decision from Mizzou on possible fan attendance? Maybe after the first home game? Welcome to the SEC Drink, hope you enjoy the schedule, jeez!
    The SEC is starting to roll out some conference-wide guidelines about attendance for 2020.
    None are surprising.
    Schools are advised to work with state and local officials to establish a number of fans that can be permitted using social distancing guidelines.
    Masks required and cleaning standards set.
    Sounds like tailgating will be determined by school.
    I would expect small numbers and shortened tailgating hours, if any.
    Why does MLS here think it will 'catch on'? Apparently there is a St. Louis Football club and I know nothing about it and I am an avid sports fan here. I don't know where it is, who the coach is, who the players are, what the league is called, never seen them on TV or in person, don't know where they even play. And again I am a sports fan. I do remember the sold out crowds at the Arena for the Steamers but that was long ago and the dozens of various soccer teams here have never caught on really. Seems like the MLS is really banking on something changing this time.
    It's not doubting your status as a sports fan to suggest there are sports fans who will be interested in the team, and sports fans who are more interested in soccer than you are. An example would be St. Louis FC, which has proven with the crowd it draws to USL games far from the city that there's an appetite. I don't think MLS is banking on changing your mind, though it would love to. There are soccer fans in America, and certainly in St. Louis, that are pumped about the team.
    They way I look at it, a fielding team should be able to put 7 guys on the field to stop a guy from letting a ball get past them. It's up to the batter to do that. It's simple. If a team puts 4 guys on the right side to prevent a player, lets randomly say Carpenter, from hitting the ball through the right side, then it's on the major league baseball player to push a ball through the tumbleweeds on the left side any way he can. See the ball and hit it where they aint!
    Not sure I buy the crapshoot season theory, they will get Molina, DeJong and others back soon, they aren't 0-10, they are 5-5, and they seem rather comfortable playing 7 inning games too (3-1 so far), I think it's reasonable to expect a 30-30, 8 seed type of season still. You only have to beat out 7 teams to make the playoffs Ben, heck second place in NL Central seem reasonable to me.
  • That's assuming those guys are back soon, and assuming there isn't more virus trouble up ahead, and assuming there won't be some injuries that pop up because of the long layoff and now-slammed schedule. That's a lot of assuming. Could it happen? Of course. My point was, the idea that the Cardinals are playing this virus-altered season under the same intense pressure of a normal Cardinals season is one that I have a hard time buying. It requires ignoring a lot of circumstances that are going to continue to make themselves obvious as games continue.
  • If Vladi's shoulder is as bad as rumored, his career as an efficient goal scorer for the Blues could be greatly jeopordized.
  • Any time a player has to have a surgically repaired anything revisited, it's trouble. Especially when there was no clear and obvious injury event that occurred since his return, a return that was supposed to be smoothed by the long break between the end of the regular season and this bubble tournament. Yes, this is bad news. Best-case scenario, Tarasenko is done for the rest of the Canucks series, but I would be surprised to see him back this postseason, and there are even bigger questions now. The shoulder has become a troubling theme.
  • Seems like the Reds dodged a bullet with their one positive case by only missing 3 games and returning within 5 days to resume play (DH tomorrow in KC, then on to STL), I think the fact, it happened at home helped, the Marlins and Cards outbreak happened on road, so I hope MLB passes on the lessons to teams on the road (BE CAREFUL)
  • They're hammering the drum of caution. How much each player across the league listens is hard to say. For all of the talk the Cardinals have had about buttoning up on the protocols, I couldn't help but notice John Gant dropping a long line of spit, mask around his chin, a few feet within Kolten Wong the other day, right on the TV broadcast. It's as something as innocent as that that can cause problems if someone is infected. I think baseball has to be encouraged it has managed to keep the postponements to one or two teams at once, and not something bigger than that, like five teams at once, where the schedule is truly torn apart.
  • Crapshoot example: Reds get more positive tests, get shut down for a few days and the Cards can't play this weekend.

    Crapshoot example: one of these guys we've never heard of who but for covid would never have done more than sniff some MLB coffee instead goes off like Stubby Clapp and carries the team for what's now *half a season*.
    For sure. The unknown can produce positives for the Cardinals. Absolutely. It's just so many independent variables in play that make applying the traditional pressure, postseason-or-failure thinking feel a a bit phony. It's barely organized chaos.
    Does it strike you as odd that Tukka Rask waited as long as he did to opt out? Would seem poor timing in the middle of a playoff run.
    Yes. Something seems off there. I wonder what is not being said.
    Count me in with those who are surprised to be really enjoying the seven inning games.

    All the pace of play stuff over the years has been annoying and generally pointless, but the problem that's being attacked is real. The joy of baseball is its almost every single day for months nature. But 3 hours a day, more if you want some pre or post game stuff, is just a huge grind.
  • I can get on board with the seven-inning doubleheaders.
    I don't think I'm ready for single seven-inning games in a day thought.
    I realize we are on a slippery slope here.
    Sure wish the MLS team name could have been something a bit more original. Why do American soccer teams choose to take the sterile European approach to team names?
    Some of its MLS influence.
    The league has a say in the names.
    But here locally, City was a more provocative choice than it would seem, for reasons that don't always make a lot of sense.
    The ownership group wants that word "city" to become a more inclusive term, and that led to the decision, within the MLS framework.
    That last part, the MLS framework, probably made the Lazer Snake's not an option.
    I'm guessing you were a fan from your name.
    There's always a chance that could be the mascot! 
    Gotta go folks. Thanks, and have a great week.
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