STL sports chat with Jeff Gordon

STL sports chat with Jeff Gordon

Bring your Blues, Cardinals and STL sports questions, and talk to columnist Jeff Gordon in a live chat beginning at 1 p.m. Friday.

    Bobo's here and we have some ballplayers. So let's go.
    Jeff,

    Serious question regarding SE Kroenke. Let's put side the ill-feelings for a moment and think about something:
    Stanley puts $2B into a new stadium on or close to where the Dome sits now. This stadium might not be the place he's building in L.A. but it would be the nicest stadium in the midwest (my opinion). I'm of the feeling that type of money spent here would have done so much to revitalize the near north of downtown.
    My feeling is that he would've been seen and remembered as one of the best business owners for the general good of StL. What do you HONESTLY feel he would have accomplished in the eye of the public had he spent that here in the 314?
    Stan played a big role in bringing the Rams here in the first place. That made him a popular figure right away. Had he committed to the STL by actually building his own stadium he would be hailed as a civic hero in the community. But that is not what makes him tick, obviously.
    Fowler hits .097, Bader strikes out in half his at-bats, as does O'Neill. But Carlson, who rakes, will go to the minors. Whaddayathink about all that Gordo?
    by Shirley in Fenton edited by Mike Smith 3/13/2020 5:45:18 PM
    Here is a huge issue with baseball's shutdown: Guys like Carlson, with zero big league experience, did not get tested by real big league pitching this spring. That comes toward the end of the exhibition slate, when real big leaguers are pitching most of the innings and veterans are done tinkering with their mechanics and such. Carlson did well in the early spring, hitting .313, but he lost his chance to prove himself against better pitching. Once baseball resumes, I  imagine there will be very few exhibition games before the real ones starts. So personnel decisions will rely more on past performance. And, yes, that makes it more likely that a guy like Carlson might start in the minors.
    With the sport on hold indefinitely, wouldn't this be a good time to put the meat on the burner and get a deal done with Petro?
    His agency seems determined to play this out so he can test the market. And here is a big complication: How will the shutdown impact revenues and the salary cap for next season? The early read had the cap going up significantly for next season. If that changes, it could really make things tight for the Blues. For now I stick with my argument that eight years, $70 million is a fair offer from the Blues. If Alex wants to chase the last dollars and another franchise wants to pay him deep into his 30s, so be it.
    With full scale testing not even started here in the U.S., we're still weeks away from understanding the full scope of how many people are infected, making it likely that we're months away from things returning anywhere near normal. Considering the close contact nature of the NBA and NHL, it seems impossible that these sports could safely resume until new cases of the virus started to at least flatline in North America. Starting these league back up, even for games without fans, only to have a trainer or player test positive a week or two later would be disastrous. Considering these and other issues, isn't it likely that both the NHL and NBA seasons get canceled, rather than postponed to a later date? Doesn't it seem like the best case scenario for even baseball would be a shorten 100 -120 game season that starts in late June or early July? There's still much we don't know, but rather than keep fans hoping for a return to action, wouldn't it be better for the major sports leagues to just admit that canceling is the best option so fans can start the process of moving on?
    There is always a chance that by the time we get to full testing  and the weather warms up -- potentially slowing the charge of this virus -- that the picture could look a lot better here than it looks today in Italy. That is the hope. I believe MLB going two weeks at a time is unrealistic, but there's a chance we could be sitting here a month from now believing we have dodged the worst of this. I don't know what those odds are, but there is enough uncertainty to validate a wait-and-see approach. The NBA and NHL really, really want to have some form of postseason play to keep their industries humming. That could lead to a shorter 2020-21 season, due to the spillover of this season into the summer, but that would be worth it. As for MLB, yes, it might be early June since teams will need some time to make sure their pitchers are ready to go.
    Headlines on the internets say that a Canadian research team has isolated the COVID-19 virus. Guess that's all it took to finally get some action -- half a day without hockey in Canada!
    Hopefully the Canucks speed the process of getting a vaccine. Apparently depriving them of the Tkachuk brothers in action was the needed spark.
    Jeff, with the NHL suspending the remainder of the season temporarily will it at all affect the playoffs? In other words would the rounds be shortened to best of five instead of best of seven? Otherwise for every week that the NHL doesn’t play that will back the playoffs further into June, maybe July. They could end of having the Stanley Cup Finals July 4th weekend. If you were the NHL commissioner, what would your plan be?
    I would expand the playoffs with best-of-three play-in series, all hosted by the higher seed in a four-day span, to resolve the No. 7 and No. 8 seeds on each side of the league. We would need that to be fair to the teams on the bubble when the shutdown hit. Then I would go best-of-five in the next two rounds, then best-of-seven for the last two. Then I would clip 10 games off the next regular season and start it later.
    Jeff, I think I’m getting CMart fatigue. I know baseball is a hard game but if you have known deficiencies you should be able to address and correct those. Martinez has electric stuff when he’s right. When he’s not he’s a batting practice pitcher. Maybe this guy just doesn’t have the mental tenacity to be a major league pitcher? Maybe a change of scenery would do him good? I’m not for giving up on him at this moment but to me this is a make or break year for him. You can keep fishing with him but if he continues to be mentally erratic then I gotta believe you cut bait. Your thoughts?
    He did not end his spring on a good note. On the other hand, he did show up in much better shape and he did look sharp in his earlier performances. And even an unfocused Martinez is good enough to help this rotation. We're talking about a guy with a career ERA of 3.36. Pitchers like that are hard to find. Can you trade him and get a better pitcher back? That is unlikely. And this team does not have so much pitching that it can afford to trade Carlos for, say, an outfielder -- since those guys are readily available through other means.
    I appreciate the expressions of concern for the public health, but, let’s be honest, this is really about legal liability, is it not? Teams do not want to invite lawsuits by continuing games and being sued for spreading the virus. Just sayin
    The first triggering point was city and state governments in impacted areas shutting down large-crowd events. That forced the pro leagues and NCAA to float the empty-venue concept for continuing on. Then we had NBA players infected. That raised liability issues and player association concerns. Businesses (including media operations) can tell workers to work from home as much as possible. Sports teams have no such luxury.
    Jeff, once the corona virus scare is in the rear view mirror do you think the Astros scandal talk will come up again or did the Astros catch a break here?
    For the moment the Astros are a back-burner topic. But they will be back on the front lines of conflict once the games resume. That issue is not going away quickly. There will be lots of talk about all the anti-espionage measures MLB took in the wake of that scandal and that will keep the Astros in the discussion.
    Mr. Gordon, at what point do we cut ties with Brett Cecil? I just don’t think the good Lord wants him to pitch in a Cardinals uniform. I know the guy is still owed money for this year but he has been totally unproductive as a Cardinal. I think at some point you just have to say “best of luck to you Brett”. This has to go down as the all-time worst free agent signing. $30.5 million dollars for nothing.
    I expect him to have a tough time sticking around. Unless his velocity magically comes all the way back -- or a bunch of guys get hurt before baseball relaunches -- he will have a tough time beating out all the competition. I believe Cardinals management came into the spring fully expecting to eat his remaining contract.
    If you and your colleagues need something to cover, my 5 yr. old grandson and I will be playing checkers after school. We play by his rules. He gets two moves for every one of yours, and he gets to make your move for you. He is undefeated. He and his dad and I may have a hot Jenga game going tomorrow, if you are interested.
    Full-contact Jenga or regular Jenga?
    This will go to show how much the US is addicted to sports, both economically and psychologically. People will learn that there is more to life than following sports teams, which in the end are just a diversion from other more important things in life. Read a book or two ! Spend more time w the family ! Over and out.
    I've actually got a lot of books. And I've got like 4,000 cable channels, including Sundance. But all I do is watch sports on multiple devices and track fantasy teams. Starting tonight I enter a brave new world. Forty-plus years ago I was in college taking humanities classes, listening to chamber music and trying to appreciate art. Can I reclaim any of that or have years of clicking nervously from sporting event to event to event killed that part of my brain? We shall see.
    The delay will give Mikolas, Cecil, Goldy, and the Millers a chance to get healthy, at least.
    There's that. The same goes for Vladimir Tarasenko, whose surgically repaired shoulder gets extra time. He was just about to return and there was a lot of reasonable concern in this chat about how ready he really was to take that step. But the team that could benefit most from this is the New York Yankees. Those guys have lots of spring injuries.
    the lady tigers had an awful season without finding a new leader. The development of two freshmen players was the highlight of the year; Blackwell and Frank. Both will be back next year with two new freshmen and three other transfers. The Lady tigers will have a big forward line and experience from the three transfers... I think next season with the returning players who will be part of the guard depth, the tigers with their new found size and potential leadership and scoring will be a force to be reckoned with in the SEC. But then they will lose alot again with I believe six at least graduating seniors. Recruit coach P recruit!!!
    They paid a price for leaning so hard on youth, but a bounce-back does seem likely. One aspect of the sports shutdown is that all college basketball coaches are putting their entire focus on player retention (or rejection) and recruiting. Also, staff changes will occur in a condensed time frame. Teams that were supposed to be in postseason play will be doing the same work as schools that missed.
    During the temporary suspension of the NHL, MLB and NBA seasons, will minor leaguers continue to be paid? I would think and sincerely hope so, but their contracts may not have negotiated guarantees.
    Certainly the major sports leagues have collective bargaining agreements with guaranteed safeguards. So the owners and players association will have to work together on what all of this means.
    I know Fowler has a high cost associated with him, so he is safe for the moment. But Baden seems to be sliding back into 2019, and that isn't with the pitchers and system ready to exploit hitters weaknesses. Is Bader safe to be a regular Center Fielder? Shouldn't the best be playing, except Fowler?
    Bader was never safe as the regular center fielder. He was in and out of the lineup and up and down from the minors last season, so that uncertainty carried over to this year. This team has a lot of guys who play out there, so as much as it would love to have his glove and arm in the everyday lineup, his bat will have to improve to make that happen.
    If there is one silver lining in the NHL season being put on the back burner, it will allow Tank a few more weeks to heal and come back with 10+ games in the regular season to get his legs under him.
    Indeed. As noted earlier, that will ease a lot of concerns expressed by others in this chat.
    Any idea how the pay system works during spring training. I can see this delay being a real hardship on the minor league guys.
  • The minor league guys get expense money for spring training, like the big leaguers. So trying to run a regular spring training into, say, June would be problematic. A lot of minor leagues have to take winter jobs to pay the rent. So the industry is going to have to work out this issue.
    Internally, you've probably had some conversations with your editors, but out of curiosity, what do sports writers do when there are no sports? For the next couple of weeks, the PD sports section will feature many articles about what players are doing to deal with downtime, how the stoppage is effecting fans, etc. But if no games take place for a a few months, what then? How do sports radio figures like your old colleague Bernie Miklasz fill 3 to 4 hours of talk radio when there's nothing to talk about (though some critics of sports talk may say that's always been the case)?
    We were here before, back in 1994-95 when baseball and hockey were shut down simultaneously and there was no NFL team. But at least we had college sports to cover. We haven't confronted anything like this. You are correct, we do face a challenge this spring. But I promise we are not all going out on vacation at once.
    Did anyone claim Troy Brower? I think the Blues need to get him back for the playoffs badly. Just by watching the last previous games they are being pushed around way to much including games they won. I feel with no Maroon or Brower or Reeves they are going to be a quick out because they have no one to back them up. I think Dunn is probably the toughest player on the team but he’s far from the enforcer they need. Ps for people that feel Dunn isn’t tuff have them go on you tube and watch his minor league fights he is one tuff sob! Lol
    Enforcers have no value in the NHL today. If a team is running around, you run around at them in response. Maroon was a handy guy last season, but it was the team-wide heavy hitting that won the Blues a Cup not an occasional scuffle.
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