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 from MLB's winter meetings starting at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

    Just read a Football Scoop report that said defensive line coach Brick Haley, safeties coach Ryan Walters and defensive backs coach David Gibbs are all expected to remain on Drinkwitz' staff at this time.
    Hey ben. Thanks for the chat. Are you as fed up with everyone as I am? I've been a cardinal fan since 96 and they have been one of the most successful franchises in that time. Yet still, it's only doom and gloom it seems. Carpenter, despite mvp votes in 18, has apparently always sucked and the cardinals should have dumped him years ago. The front office, despite a successful model of sustained success, apparently has always been horrible and cheap. I dont understand it, why cant fans just appreciate what we have and the teams success. Maybe some fans should talk to twins fans, or Padres fans, or miami.
    Sorry ben, it just gets old listening to everyone.
    The chat bends toward the negative.
    I know not everyone out there feels this way.
    But I do sense the frustration, and understand it, about one thing: the offense.
    The Cardinals were a bad offensive team last season. That bad offensive team seems poised to lose its cleanup hitter. And the answer for how things are supposed to improve seems to be . . . guys who were bad or below their usual norms last season being better, and young players who were not a big part of last season making an impact.
    That's a tough sell. 
     
    Would there not be a moment of critical mass for the Cardinals front office? They want to be competitive all the time, but surely they would have to see a widow that would be worth bolstering? I mean, look at the Blues. They have a window, they are taking steps to keep said window open. The Cardinals say they always want to be competitive, to win the division, but surely the goal should be, year in, year out, the World Series? I know they say once you get in, anything can happen, but come on.
    I have no reasons to expect the model to change. The Cardinals reclaimed the division and went to the NLCS last season. Their key front office folks got extensions. Their manager won manager of the year. These things don't scream for changes as much as they support the model. I get it. That's not what people want to hear. But it's how the Cardinals view it. They viewed 2019 as a very good year.
    I understand why you would not go so far as to call Drinkwitz a "great hire." I used that phrase because I think he checks the most boxes that any coach that Mizzou could have realistically gotten: worked in Power 5 conferences, served as both coordinator and HC (albeit on year, but that's still a valuable year), highly successful, offensively innovative (a huge deal), energetic (another big deal), and young (I think this matters). There was no sure thing out there for Mizzou, so I'm very glad they went with high ceiling and someone who might fail but might bring greatness to the program rather than someone seemingly destined for a lot of 7-5 seasons. Time will tell, but I love the hire.
  • Two boxes we can't be so sure about? Recruiting. Player development. One season at App State doesn't offer a good read for how that works in his program. Not a criticism. Just admitting what we can't know yet. I liked Healy for many of the same reasons you mentioned, but he had more head coaching experience. Healy was involved in the search, and my understanding was that he interviewed, but it never seemed to go anywhere for reasons I'm not sure. I don't mind the Drinkwitz hire, and it's good they got him considering the tension between Sterk and the curators after the initial list was shot down. I'm just gonna take a wait-and-see before I go all in on the Drink.
    In response to Jason, fans have every right to hold the club accountable. Fans should not have to pay for past performance like the FO does. The goal is a championship and should not be less. Cards fans have supported this team for decades and deserve nothing less. The end of season presser was offensive because it was a collective pat on the back for not reaching that goal. It should have been about how they could improve the club to reach the pinnacle of the sport. I remember 2006 and 2011, the years they did that. The message should have been, “We saw the summit and will work to reach it in 2020,” not “boy aren’t we great for being embarrassed in the NLCS.”
    Or, fans should be allowed to set their own expectations -- and realize that those expectations do not always match the team's :)
    If the Astros are punished for any of the cheating allegations, would the players individually be subject to any punishments or would it simply be the organization that suffers?
    There has been no talk I've heard of players being punished.
    Just the organization and perhaps its officials, with a lack of clarity on how high up that could reach.
    Why would Mo rule out a platoon? Jose Martinez crushes LHP...and Joc Pederson crushes RHP...they'd be a pretty ideal OF as a platoon, b/c Joc would be in the field the majority of the time, and creates a really clear role for JMart as well. You'd likely also make sure to play Bader with Martinez, he'd cover him defensively and also does well against LHP. I don't see why this wouldn't be attractive to the Cardinals.
    He didn't rule it out -- he rarely rules anything out.
    He did say he's not as interested in platoon options as every-day answers.
    He did not elaborate on why, and was not speaking specifically about Pederson.
    You say "they viewed 2019 as a very good year" like it was a bad thing. They won the division over 2 more favored team. Not to mention sweeping the Cubs out of the play offs with a 4 game sweep at Wrigley. they beat a better Braves team in the NLDS. Yes they got cooled off by Washington....who won it all...So yes it was a good year. Yes it wasn't done with a good offense, but doesn't that speak to how good the year was, they did this with a sub-par offense?
    I can't win when it comes to how to view the season.
    When I point out all the things that were good around the bad offense, I'm a homer.
    When I point out the shortcomings, I'm Mr. Negative.
    My answer: It was as good of a season as a team with a subpar offense can have, and that was because the Cardinals did everything else really well.
     
    Derrick's gestured to the Rockies as a team that should be interested in Harrison Bader...I'm wondering if you think Jonathan Grey makes sense for the Cardinals? (obviously Bader alone wouldn't net him, but I'm asking about fit).
    Sense yesterday was the searching for offense and pitching was toward the left-handed hitting and throwing side.
    I completely understand that we as Cardinals fans have had it incredibly well the last 20 years, and really for most of the team's history. But it is also frustrating to watch a team with such potential scrape their way into the finals. If my parents knew I was capable of getting straight A's but instead went out and put just enough effort to get C's and move on there would be disappointment. Especially if they had spent money year after year to hire tutors and give me every chance to excel.
    The offense did not have all that much potential. It was what it was all year. Sometimes good and usually underwhelming. That's why folks are frustrated by the idea of bringing (for the most part) the band back  together, without Ozuna. It could get better I guess, but it could also get worse. Losing the cleanup hitter makes you take a step toward the latter.
    Who deserves the most credit for the Blues continuing to win despite the long list of injuries? Doug Armstrong? Berube's system? Talented young players stepping up?
    I'll say Berube's system.
    Guys have a role and know what they need to do. Their effort is rewarded. They get realistic ways to contribute. The culture welcomes the newcomers in and values them. That's all on the coach.
    Army's done a great job by acquiring players who can show up and help at a moment's notice.
    The guys buy in.
    It's shared, but I think it starts with Chief.
    In response to kevin. I 100% agree the team should be held accountable and look to improve every year. All I am saying is with some fans, a portion of the fan base, it's like they dont see the success. I understand we are spoiled, but several team fan bases would kill to have the cardinals success.
    I used to only see it on the internet, but the last couple years I've seen it alot in person. It just becomes frustrating is as all. The team needs to improve to get back into postseason and advance, but the team does alot well. They do alot of things well. That's all I'm trying to say. I guess the grass is always greener
    You're describing the same thing that his hanging over John Mozeliak's legacy at the moment. He's done a lot of good things. A lot. Check the winning percentage, postseason games played, postseason success since he got the GM job. Compare it to his contemporaries, knowing the Cardinals value sustained success. Pretty dang impressive. But lately his front office has missed on some free agents and given one regrettable extension. He got an extension, and many fans were frustrated. That's a strange place to be. What happened most recently is almost always at the top of mind, but not always in this case. The Cardinals, I'm sure, hoped there NLCS appearance would cool things off a bit, but it didn't really seem to, in part because of the depressing nature of the NLCS ejection. The Nationals did go on to win it all. I'm not sure some noticed.You, like me, are existing in the middle. It's a thankless place these days, in a lot of ways.
    I used this in the chat after the season just to remind the "fans" for the last decade--
    Cardinals 10 winning season rest of the division-18 total
    Cards 4 division titles rest of division--6
    Cards won 4 NLDS series rest of division--4 total
    Cards 2 NL pennants rest of division 1
    Cards 1 World Series title rest of division 1
    Cards average season 89-73 (cubs and Brewers 82-80)
    So all the fans crying about how bad the Cards are, I wouldn't trade places with any other team in the division over the last decade
  • This is an interesting development. The chat, usually dominated by doom, is experiencing some pushback from the optimists today. Hello, optimists. I know you are out there. You are safe here. I will protect you. Well, sometimes. Other times I'll scoff. But regardless, hello out there!
    I am wondering if the Cards let sentimentality or marketing creep into their baseball decisions, even just a bit. The whole idea that the Cards want certain players to retire as Cardinals can lead to bad baseball decisions, which might have been in play w Carp and could happen w Yadi. I respect these players as great Cardinals, but not such that they block improvement of the club. I guess I am from the Bill Belicheck school of personnel management, next man up, but he has six Super Bowls.
    They do.
    Carpenter extension and bounce-back treatment for 2020 is an example.
    The next example will be Molina getting an extension this spring.
    The Cardinals should probably go year-to-year and ask Molina  to switch to the Wainwright model, but does anyone really expect them to? I don't.
    Most teams do these kind of things, to some degree. The organization sees value in certain players' longevity, though it is becoming more rare across the sport -- the Cardinals have Paul Goldschmidt because the Diamondbacks took a different approach
    Eli Drinkwitz is that the best Mizzou could do?

    Ole Miss gets Lane Kiffin and Mizzou inks 4 million dollars to Eli Freaking Drinkwitz
    To get Kiffin, if he would have come, the Tigers would have had to show interest.
    My understanding is Sterk wanted nothing to do with red-flag options like Kiffin.
    I found it interesting that a guy who just called the NCAA broken seemed to steer so widely around any candidates with some NCAA scuffs on their record.
    Joey Gallo rumors are flowing. You seeing or hearing anything that lends that credence?
    The Rangers want to decrease their pool of LH-hitting outfielders, so you're going to hear those names. The Cardinals have RH-hitting outfielders to swap, so these two are going to be connected. They match up.
    I agree, I saw a report that it would take $5million/year to get Bryan Harsin from Boise. Why didn't Sterk spend that when we are paying an unproven coach $4mil/year?
    Quick correction. The feeling among ADs was that Harsin would not talk to a school that was not offering $5 million or more per season. That doesn't mean he would have accepted $5 million per season at Mizzou.
  • Ken Rosenthal reported earlier that MLB will remove marijuana from the list of banned substances for minor leaguers. What is your opinion on marijuana's tricky relationship with not only the MLB but other leagues as well (NFL, NHL, etc)?
    My personal take is baseball -- and all sports -- should care more about the abuse of opioids and painkillers than marijuana. It never made a lot of sense that a guy could get slapped for weed in the minors but not in the majors.
    Does the amount of fake news and misinformation being spread around online hurt established journalism institutions like the Post Dispatch or does it make your company even more relied upon as people don't know what they can trust?
    You tell me.
    It makes it that much more important to be first and right, not just first.
    Ben, if you were a GM looking for a power hitter, wouldn't you like to know how the baseball will play in 2020? Regular season juiced or post season dejuiced.
    Any headlines from Boras event?
    Boras says some owners are sparrows, while others are owls and hawks. You don't want to be an ostrich, he said, and lay the biggest egg. He did not mention where the Cardinals fit into that equation, though by betting on a resurgent offense that features few to no new faces and loses Marcell Ozuna, I do think they could be accused, at least for now, of betting on eggs before they hatch.
     
    Gotta run. Shildt comes up soon. Need to see what he says when asked if he has to name a lineup today, because I don't know what it would look like.
     
    Have a good week, everybody.
     
    -BF
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