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.

  • Looks like B. Miller is having fun with some nicknames. I have one for him and Carp. The Barehand Bash Brothers. Thoughts?
    The other brother needs to bash more before that name fits,
    How about The Calluses? 
    I just moved to Jupiter, FL and I live quite close to Roger Dean stadium. I've been a cards fan since early 80's. I would like to volunteer for the birds in my free time. Is that realistic? I have no skills, but I'm passionate about the team. How would you recommend I go about it?
  • I'd contact Roger Dean Stadium to inquire about being a spring-training or minor league usher.
    Any chance Yadi might stop his Instagram account? He seems to create controversy with it.
    I imagine the Cardinals would cheer that decision, but social media is a tool for players to promote their brands, their products, etc.
    Molina uses his to draw attention to his gear, his music business, etc.
    It's increasingly becoming one of the few ways fans hear from him directly.
    He hasn't appeared in one of the team's Zoom sessions with media members since the season started.
    So, I think it's valuable to him for those reasons, and the team is not really in a position to take it away. It's not the team's account to shut down.
    Certain players have more wiggle room than others with the front office.
    It's safe to say Molina has more wiggle room than any other player.
    The cheap label doesn't fit, not for those who examine the payroll, and where it ranks.
    A cheap team doesn't give the biggest contract in club history to Paul Goldschmidt shortly after trading for him.
    There are better, fairer criticisms of the spending.
    One is that the Cardinals seem to have hurt themselves by spending significantly on non-top-tier free agents and premature extensions. That checks out. That's not being cheap. That's actually more of an overspend.
    Where a lack of spending can be pointed to is the way in which the Cardinals have stopped short on the kind of contracts and commitments that are now necessary to secure elite free agents and in some cases prospects who are demanding the biggest, longest commitments. Harper is an example. Luis Robert is an example. Max Scherzer is an example. Some would have said Albert Pujols was an example, but look how that turned out, and don't underestimate the way that turned out as a factor in how the Cardinals view 10-year-plus contracts now.
  • Welcome to the dark side :)
    What about this compromise?
    At the All-Star game, there is a pitcher home run derby. Every year.
    It would be great fun until someone gets hurt and the idea never happens again.
  • I would value a 2020 championship as much if not more as any other, because I would know all of the hurdles that my team had to overcome to get to it.
    But would I make win-now moves that mortgaged future seasons to help get me there?
    Nope.
    Not when I don't know if that postseason is going to happen. Not when I don't know where it will be played. Not when there is still so much unknown.
    I hope that doesn't come across like a cop-out answer.
    The only moves I would make at the trade deadline would be depth ones that helped me keep from having to thrust prospects into playing earlier than necessary, and ones that helped me down the road. When it comes to trying to win this championship, I would be dancing with the date that brought me.
  • Do the cardinals have a GM or Assistant GM? Seems like the only person we ever see or here from is John Mozeliak. Concerning any and everything related to the team. Signing players, COVID, schedule anything. One never hears from the GM. What's the GM's role If Mozeliak is always front and center?
  • They do, yes.
    Pre pandemic, it was clear that general manager Michael Girsch was handling more and more media obligations.
    Post pandemic, it's been clear that Mozeliak wants to be the voice of the front office during this time.
    Some of this is by design.
    Some of this is just the byproduct of the setup.
    Last season it wasn't unusual to have an impromptu chat with Girsch in the dugout before a game.
    Now, the access has changed, and the Zooms are only scheduled for Mozeliak.
    Wandering the ballpark is not allowed.
    A plus of more access is hearing from more voices.
  • Remind me again how long you have been in town at the P-D. Whatever it is, people should be impressed that in that time period you have become THE expert on the Cardinals fan base.
  • I can take a little snark. Now, please go on and tell me what I was wrong about.
  • As a soccer novice, i am looking forward to learning the game through STLC SC. But i read that they would have only like a 34 game schedule in that league. Is that right? 17 homes games doesn't seem like much of an impact on the local sports scene. I was expecting something more like the NHLs 82 games, and Hockey is a much more physical game.
    Traditionally it's a 34-game season followed by a 14-team postseason, yes.
    I suppose it's all relative.
    NFL teams have a fraction of games compared to that.
    One of the big factors in the design of the in-progress downtown soccer stadium, for reasons you mentioned, was to make it accessible and available for events other than soccer games. It didn't want to just be alive for those home games, so it planned elements that can make it a versatile venue for all kinds of events other than games.
    Do you know if the Cardinals have plans to make another statement (BLM) such as they did on opening day, only about something else such as support for law enforcement, or abused children, or any other worth while movement besides BLM?? I can not support a team that does not support equal expression of movements.
    The Cardinals are involved with a TON of other causes. They recently announced plans to help Harris-Stowe renovate its baseball field through Cardinals Care. They are helping promote the Negro Leagues 100th year anniversary with a special uniform coming up for a game against the Royals. Homers for Health. Team Up To Fight Hunger. The list goes on, and on, and on, and on. If you choose not to support the Cardinals because they added BLM to the long list of things they have recognized in various ways, that's your call. But the assumption that BLM is the only movement or cause the Cardinals have recognized is factually incorrect.
    I am waiting until Carlson settles in more and more and is doing more damage with his bat which I am almost certain he will do. Then, I am curious where the Skipper will put him in the lineup. Once he gets comfortable I don't see him hitting 7-8-9. I agree we have to find someone to make Goldy's job easier. I think DeJong will be there soom. That was the plan at the beginning. So where does Carlson slot into the batting order (hmmmm...4th?). He sure looks like a #4 hole hitter to me though he isn't ready for that yet.
    Four seems hefty to me, at least this early. I like DeJong's power there more for now, and perhaps the long-term. When he hits his stride, the switch-hitting Carlson would make sense before Goldschmidt, or right after him and DeJong. Two or five.
    Bottom line...I am already moving Carlson into the bust category. Based on the how the local media has preened and fawned over him, he will go down as the biggest bust the franchise has produced since I have been alive.
    Noted. Your take has been logged.
    As of today and after all we have gone through to get this far, to be 2 games over .500 is better than I would have hoped. Now with regulars coming back it should be all about fattening up the record. The Royals and the Pirates series' are big? We can win this thing. It is going to be a classic Cards-Cubs battle although Milwaukee's manager will bring them back into it as well. I really didn't see anything out of the Reds to make me think they can contend. Along these lines what are your thoughts as of the state of the team at this moment.
    Hey, you're talking to the guy who picked the Reds to win the division.
    Whoops.
    I knew their bullpen was problematic, but man.
    The Cardinals HAVE to be happy with how they have been able to hang tough during this whirlwind return after a two-week shutdown.
    They're 8-5 in 10 days, with eight of those games coming against winning teams, and now they've got some of their most important guys (DeJong, Molina) back.
    With the expanded postseason, the top-two teams from each division get in.
    The Cardinals can and should be a top-two team in this division.
    I'd rather see a bat of some kind, if you're gonna make that kind of push.
    Go get someone who can make Goldschmidt harder to pitch around.
    The Cardinals have no shortage of arms.
  • I'm getting some feedback about there being some issues with the chat here. Only my answers are popping up. Let me see what I can figure out.
    I'm going to start copy and pasting the questions and answers as one to avoid confusion. For the previous answers that did not include the question, I'll fix them in the chat recap that runs tomorrow. I'm sorry for the issues here today. Something about my WiFi and how it's not getting along with the chat website.
    Q: In the early 2000’s the Cardinals were one of the best teams. The Cardinals ownership realized their model wouldn’t keep working though. The influx of money meant that small market teams could keep their stars, and players were getting more expensive in general. The early 2010’s were a repeat or the early 2000’s, but the game has changed again. We found out that tank and rebuild can work, and the Dodgers started spending like the super power they are. The Cardinals model is great for making the playoffs, because you can get by on the bad teams, but it’s terrible for winning the World Series. There is a key difference now and when the team replaced Jocketty. Changing the model won’t make Dewitt any more money. In fact it would cost him. Just spending doesn’t guarantee success. The Cardinals could spend on a true in their prime star, and teams like the Dodgers can still beat them because they have multiple players like that themselves. Spending would only give the Cardinals a real fighting chance instead of hoping for a miracle. I sincerely understand/appreciate why Dewitt doesn’t want to change the model, but do you think there is ever a point where a large portion of the fan base isn’t content with just getting in?
    A: I think the difference comes down to how success is defined, and the Cardinals have made their definition pretty clear. It's being annually competitive, fielding yearly a team that they feel can win the division, because a team that can win the division can make a run. Last season's outcome shows the difference of opinion. DeWitt can say, hey, we reached the NLCs and lost to the team that won the World Series. Proof. And his critics can say, well, your team did not have much of a chance against that Nationals team, and it showed. Proof. There's the difference. The column I wrote about Cardinals fans not stomaching a rebuild didn't say the team should not or cannot change its thinking on the kind of big-splash additions they have found reasons to shy away from in the past. It was about them knowing what is being proven true once again this season -- that any hint of a Cardinals season that does not field a team aimed at competing this season is not going to please a fanbase that is hungry for a relevant season, year in and year out. I don't think St. Louis would handle a wipe-the-slate-clean rehab, period. I think a decision like that would be looked back on as a mistake, by all. 
    Q: Do you have any sense of what conditions need to be met before MLB would start allowing fans back into the stadium? - Andrew
    A: I don't think we will see it this season. The season is already halfway over for most teams, and there is conversation about MLB going to a bubble system for postseason play. I think it's next year, at the earliest, with a lot of it depending on where we are with a vaccine. College football seems content to leave it up to each team's city and state governments, but baseball changing its stance on the fly at this point seems unlikely to me.
    Q: Its definitely time to ship Cmart. Cards have plenty of pitching. I believe he'd fetch something fairly nice. Like a top 100 prospect for sure plus.... Do it.
    A: If that's the return, sign me up. But I think you might be overvaluing Martinez at this moment. Everyone knows what he did in the past, but trades that part with top-100 prospect(s) need to be made for players who are a known quantity right now. A team that trades for Martinez as a starter today doesn't know if he can be that guy anymore, and his first outing against the Twins was not very convincing. A team trading for him as a closer knows he doesn't want to be in the bullpen. Maybe he opts out if he's added for that role? The Cardinals could be willing to trade Martinez but without a deal they feel is worth the trade. Or, they could feel that even if they are going to trade him, it's better to let him show what he can do the rest of this season before a deal like that is made. The Cardinals don't know what they have in Martinez at this point. How is another team supposed to know to the point of parting with a top-100 pick? 
    Q: Time to surrender and move past your Reds pick? I realize that just about every team except the horrible KC and Pitt will make the playoffs under the new format, so maybe they can catch fire late?
    A: Thanks for reminding me! Yeah, that looks like a bad pick. I slept on the Cubs, which was foolish. Same team they have been in recent years, and now they're playing like they like one another again -- well enough to dodge a disastrous bullpen, at least for now. The Brewers are lurking as usual. I fell in love with the fancy Reds sports car, and overlooked the fact there was no tread on the bullpen tires. Lesson learned. But hey, at least I said KK should be in the rotation? 
    Q: Goldy with a .507(!) OBP. Do you see him getting serious MVP consideration or does falling behind in the schedule and the Tatis hype hurt his chances? Would love to see him finally win one.
    A: Goldschmidt is firmly in the conversation right now. He has to be. Tatis would be the winner if decided today, and that's fair considering he's played more games, but the Cardinals should wind up playing something like 58 and there are going to be other teams that don't reach 60, so Goldschmidt should not be dinged for that as long as the Cardinals don't have another setback. Don't sleep on Bryce Harper, either. He's playing like a man on fire. Wouldn't it be nice if he and Goldschmidt were in the same lineup? 
    Q: Most figured the blues would look to trade Jake Allen due to Jordan Binnington's emergence and squeeze cap space for Alex Pietrangelo. Do you think there's enough confidence in Binnington to make that move, or do you expect both goalies back next season?
    A: If I'm Doug Armstrong, I'm not letting Jordan Binnington's bubble performance change my opinion on him as my goalie. And if I can get Pietrangelo back on a reasonable deal, then I do what is necessary to make that fit. If that means shipping out Allen, so be it. That's how I would make my decision. Binnington's my guy. Does Pietrangelo want in on a deal I view as palatable. If so, make it work from there. If a desire to keep the two goalies is enough to make the Blues not give a real chase for their captain, then they should be prioritizing goalies this offseason.
    Q: Very sad to hear the news that Saint Louis Football Club is indeed sun-setting. What's your favorite memory of the club's run? - Codasco
    A: The diehard FC supporters will be the first to mention I didn't cover their team as much as they would have liked, so I won't be phony and try to name something here. I'll say this, though. To me one of the coolest things that came out of FC was the support system that hopefully will be rolled over to the MLS team. I know the USL team is not being promoted up as the MLS team as many hoped, but the goal of many who supported FC -- to convince the world STL was an MLS city -- worked. That could be challenging, but I would think the cross-over of Jim Kavanaugh's role in both ownership groups could help ease the transition. 
  • I think you might be trying to define Paul DeJong's ceiling a bit too soon. He ranks fourth among shortstops in home runs (75) since his 2017 debut, and he was just easing into his first decent shot at cleanup when the virus stalled what had been a really smooth spring training and summer camp. DeJong's career at-bats per home run (19.47) is better than Corey Seager (24.46) and nearly identical to Carlos Correa (19.19). DeJong just turned 27. I'm not ready to say he can't be a thumping cleanup hitter just yet. But yes, he is being asked to grow into the job on the fly in a lineup that was the only lineup in baseball to start its season with three outfielders batting seventh, eighth and ninth. I don't disagree at all that this lineup is not built to maximize Goldschmidt's best years. Just like it's not built to maximize Wainwright and Molina's final year, or years. It's heavy on hope, as I've said for a while now. This season has not given hard proof that the hope is paying off. 
    Ben, I am a PDJ fan and I have nothing against him as a player. I do not however see him as a 3 or 4 hitter on a team with WS hopes. Putting a very young player there is also with it's inherent risks. which puts the Cards in a difficult position IF they want to take advantage of having Goldy during his peak years. Now you may disagree, but, at what point, do the Cards have to turn toward outside help when no current roster player seems to be emerging?

    -renostl
    The DH wasn't added for fan interest. Heck, if it was up to the fan vote, it would not have been added at all. It was added because team owners and players agreed they thought it would be "safer" for pitchers to not have to hit during this strange season -- and because both sides are increasingly OK with this being introduced as a full-time rule moving forward, so here's an audition of it. It could be a chip in the CBA negotiations to come. For every pitcher that likes to hit, there is one that does not. And players, in general, like that the role creates jobs for aging hitters who have become less effective in the field. Personally, I like the DH, but I understand why some don't, but let's not pretend it was about outside opinions.
    How again is the universal DH supposed to increase fan interest? Strikeouts and walks are at an all time high, while hit and runs, sacrifices , and steals are at an all time low. Another hitter does not help bring excitement or increase runs. Whitey was right.

    -Len
    That'd be a splash, certainly.
    He's only owed a prorated fraction of the remainder of his nearly $24 million this season, thanks to the prorated salary structure.
    But he's not only signed through 2021.
    He's on the hook through 2022, with a full $19.3 million owed in 2021 and 2022.
    He can opt-out after the 2021 season if he likes, but why would he.
    He's been a below-average hitter this season, too, per his adjusted OPS.
    He's 33 now.
    The Cardinals need fewer age 30-plus players with cumbersome contracts, not more, in my opinion.
    Someone who can make Goldschmidt harder to pitch around. I hear that J.D. Martinez guy is available and only signed through 2021.

    -Dave in Wilmington, NC
    One of the first questions Armstrong will face Wednesday is what his gut feel is on Tarasenko's situation. It wouldn't make sense to move on from now, not when his value is at potentially its lowest point. But counting on him to be a 30-plus goal scorer moving forward seems to be unrealistic. His outlook and adjusted expectations for him have to be considered in this offseason's planning, for sure. If Pietrangelo is gone, it will be interesting to see which direction Armstrong goes. I won't pretend to know. He's unpredictable at times, and he's able to completely remove emotion from the equation, unlike some. I don't think Army will show the slow response time the Blues had in the bubble, is what I'm saying.
    Hey Ben! Tell me what you see as the Blues roster next year? With, without Tarasenko. 3rd shoulder injury. .Let's be real here.. He may not come back, or may not be the player he was. I think if he is out don't be surprised Army makes a big move for an impact scorer.. thougths!!!

    -pugger
    City's decision to go a different way from simply promoting FC as its MLS expansion team wasn't the sole reason FC is shuttering. That point should be made clear. There was at one point talk of FC being a block in City's pyramid of soccer, but instead the decision was made to start a new academy system that feeds upward. That said, FC could have carried on if felt it had the ability and financing to do so. It decided it did not. So, today's news occurred. I think it would have been hard to draw in the future for USL games when there was an MLS option in downtown STL. Throw in the pandemic's pinch, and the decision gets expedited. Another thing to keep in mind is the relationship between USL and MLS. There seems to be more intent from MLS to chill that relationship, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out long-term. I don't want to diminish the fun anyone had enjoying FC, at all. I do struggle to see how upgrading to an MLS team is not a win, even with the delay until 2023. Just my two cents.
    I think most people understood promotion wasn't feasible and accepted it. I think most Saint Louis Football Club supporters already have and will embrace Saint Louis City Soccer Club. The pain for me, at least, is the remaining top tier soccer amount to the Ambush, Fire & Ice, and Bluebirds - all great organizations, but not the same level as USL (which is closer to MLS than people think). Additionally, Saint Louis Football Club offered an affordable, family friendly atmosphere that certainly will be pricier and probably less of a community come MLS in 2023. It's sad the local ownership group could not find a solution acceptable with the MLS powers to be.

    -Codasco
    Yes, I think journalists are more than entertainers. Even lowly sports journalists. Same for players. I think they're people. I think they are free to have opinions on all kinds of topics, and express those opinions as they choose, knowing they are welcoming the positives and negatives that come as a result. You don't agree with that, and that's OK. I won't try to change your mind. I'm just saying that if I am not entertained by my entertainment options, I find new ones. That seems to be the healthiest choice.
    My previous comment had nothing to do with a comment by you regarding Jack Flaherty's post game comments. I have not seen one. My comment dealt only with my dislike of entertainers divulging their personal political or social beliefs. I am not referencing any particular past or present comment from you. I view you as an entertainer and apparently, you think of yourself as something more. So, we disagree on that point. Do you consider Jack Flaherty as more than an entertainer? You say that if I am not entertained by you and the topics you cover, I should find other journalists I find more entertaining. "Simple as that." I said in my comment that I follow both you and Mr. Flaherty because you are both entertaining. You, now maybe not as much as before. I find your comment insulting. It's as if you said, "If you don't like it, go somewhere else." Still, you didn't answer my question. What do you think of entertainers professing personal beliefs in a story about a baseball game, the Oscars, or any other venue designed as entertainment?

    -Jim Lang
    The most telling actions begin now.
    Let's not pretend Alex Pietrangelo was at the table ready to accept an extension this whole time.
    His agents are notorious for playing the Scott Boras style of delay, delay, delay and maximize the pay day.
    Few contracts in hockey are unable to be moved; don't let the no-trade clauses fool you.
    I think Armstrong's moves were about making the Pietrangelo discussion the center of the offseason,
    Now we find out how serious he is about considering the Blues' offer, how competitive the Blues are willing to get, and if there's some middle ground to be found.
    Again, I think there can be.
    Ben, I'm surprised you believe the Blues even have a shot at re-signing Pietrangelo. As far as I can tell, they don't really want to despite their public comments. If they had really wanted to re-sign him, that could have been done after the playoffs last year. It's hard to imagine a situation where the front office would have had better cover if the fans soured on the deal down the road because of declining performance. Instead of signing Pietrangelo, Armstrong has signed two defensemen (Faulk and Scandella) to long-term deals. That money would have been enough to resign Pietrangelo; no buyouts or other trades necessary. I know Armstrong has said signing Pietrangelo is the #1 priority, but actions speak louder than words. The Blues actions indicate they have decided they do not want to give him a long-term extension at premium dollars.

    -Matt L.
    Gotta run, folks. I'm sorry once again for the technical difficulties today that made the chat questions disappear. I will get that figured out for the chat recap that will be posted online tomorrow, and inquire about how we can fix this problem moving forward. Have a good week.
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