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, where's all the ballplayers?
    Mr. Gordon, do you think with baseball and hockey making a comeback here in a few weeks that it will do anything to help the unrest in this country? In all my years I've never lived through a time like this. Maybe bringing sports back will take a more prominent roll in their lives and return a feeling of normality?
    Getting sports back will be a nice diversion, but let's be real here. We are in a pandemic that will rage on until have a vaccine that is effecrtive and widely available. And the social unrest we are experiencing now isn't as bad as what we saw in the 1960s, but it's close. Having sports on TV again won't make these issues go away.
    I'm all for the return of the game but I haven't figured out how the DH or runners on base to start extra innings help prevent the players from the virus. Can you explain?
    For this year, the designated hitter rule for the National League will be the same as it has been for the American League. The DH will hit in place of the pitcher. Should the player in the DH slot move into the field to replace a position player, then the pitcher could have to hit.
    As for the tiebreaker rule, starting in extra innings each half-inning begins with a runner on the second base. That runner will be the player listed above the inning's leadoff hitter in the batting order -- usualy the player who made the last out the previous inning. If that runner score, it does not count as an earned run against the pitcher.
    Hey, Gordo:
    What's the best path forward for Faulk? Was he misutilized or designated in a role that was only available at that time? He recently admitted he didn't play very well. Tha ks!
    Justin Faulk will continue to play Top 4 minutes for the Blues. What remains unclear is how much power-play time he will get --  and playing the point with the man advantage has been his career strength. This season Alex Pietrangelo has been the only D-man to see heavy power-play minutes, The Blues deployed four forwards and Petro on the top unit and played the heck out of that top group. Vince Dunn was the maintstay on the second unit, with Faulk and Colton Parayko moving in and out. If Pietrangelo moves on as a free agent, then Faulk, Dunn and Parayko would all see more power-play time.
    Happy Friday Commissioner Gordon.

    Have you heard if the NHL will allow families to join their husbands at the resumption of the NHL season? Petro raised the issue earlier this week and I agree with him, these guys aren't going to war, they are playing a game. I could see this causing a bigger problem with the players than the recent increase in Covid-19 cases. What say you?
    Given the fact that the NHL is playing elimination games and some teams could be gone from the bubble in two weeks, it would make sense to keep families out of the bubble at the start.  A team that goes all the way could spend a few months away from family, but that would be just two of the 24 teams. Perhaps the league will play it halfway and allow families after the postseason reaches the Final Four.
    I'm sure circumstances at the time will dictate the NHL's course.
    Hi Mr. Gordon, thank you for livening up my Friday afternoon once again.

    How in the world is Marian Hossa a first ballot HOF, and Pierre Turgeon is not in at all? Hossa- 1,309 games, 525 goals, 609 assists, and 1,134 points. Turgeon- 1,294 games, 515 goals, 812 assists, and 1,327 points. I know Hossa has Stanley Cups, and Pierre does not, but Hossa played for better teams. It’s not like he put the Blackhawks on his back and carried them through the playoffs. I’m not saying Hossa is not HOF material, I’m just saying if he is, then Pierre should be as well.
    There are a lot of great forward candidates with big career numbers. Jeremy Roenick is another. So is Rod Brind'Amour. Alexander Mogilny didn't play as long, but he had a dominant stretch. Keith Tkachuk's combination of skill and toughness makes a case too. Kevin Lowe's selection was a bit of a head scratcher -- he was an excellent defensive defenseman on a great team. If he played for, say, the Maple Leafs during their decades of futility maybe he doesn't get a whiff. Lowe played in a bunch of All-Star Games when the league was smaller, but his highest Norris Trophy vote was fifth. So when you look at Jay Bouwmeester's credentials, including international play and his Cup victory, he has to be a candidate for the Hall at some point, right?
    I feel like baseball has higher chance of shutting down and not finishing the season because they players will be traveling from city to city. i know the league hasn't come out and said what it would take to shut down, but what do you feel would force a shut down? how many players or teams would have to have positive tests before mlb decides enough is enough?
  • MLB is prepared for a lot of players to test positive. That's why teams willl keep 60 players ready and MLB will set up a separate camp for unsigned free agents to stay ready in case they are needed. I can't predict what the magic number is.
    There is a difference between testing postitive and getting sick -- and a difference between sick and really sick. The severity of the illness may matter more than the volume. 
    If the players start bailing em masse, that could shut it down. And given the fact that many players stand to make very little for playing, it's not hard to imagine this thing unraveling quickly.
  • To be more specific with my question about runners on base to start an extra inning: The purpose of the rule is to shorten games and therefore limit illness exposure, in theory. I don't know the stats but I'm sure a majority of time when the leadoff batter hits a double he ends up scoring. Therefore, most of the time we would expect both teams to score the runner placed on second. The real result would seem to be a gimmick that does little to shorten the game but inflates final scores that go multiple extra innings. Am I missing something here?
    In practice in the minor leagues, games using the "international tiebreaker" usually ended within a few extra innings. Sure, each team could make the other's result inning after inning after inning and play for a long time. That happened to may daughter's softball team in a tournament on a very, very hot day. Finally her side ran out of healthy players. But in practice the tiebreaker has proven effective in producing a result.
    Mr. Gordon,

    Artemi Panarin’s comments on the NHL escrow sure sound like thunder on the horizon for the next CBA negotiation. After learning about how the escrow system works, I can certainly see why the players aren’t thrilled with it. Surely both the league and the players have to see that a voluntary, labor-related stoppage right on the heels of the pandemic related stoppage would be catastrophic for the game. Do you think they will get an agreement worked out, or should fans prepare themselves for more life without hockey in the near future?
    Both sides understand there will be a challenge with salary escrow. NHL revenues were heading up, up and up -- and then the pandemic hit. Under the rules of the CBA, the players have to share that pain with the owners. I would be surprised if this escrow challenge led to a stoppage, given the fact the owners and players have worked together quite well in recent years. This relationship has been very good for both sides. The stars get paid, the mid-level veterans get paid and young players are treated much better than MLB youngsters. On the owner side, team revenues are up and franchise valuations are way up.
    Gordo, show me the lineup Shildt is likely to favor each day, please. Then show me what lineup Manager Gordo would prefer. THanks.
  • When last we saw the Cardinals -- in the NLCS against Washington -- Shildt used this batting order for the top eight spots against left-handed starter Patrick Corbin:
    Edman, 3B
    J. Martinez, RF
    Goldschmidt, 1B
    Ozuna, LF.
    Molina, C
    DeJong, SS
    Bader, CF
    Wong, 2B
    Both Matt Carpenter and Dexter Fowler came off the bench in that season finale. Against a right-handd starter, here was his last lineup:
    Fowler, CF
    Wong, 2B
    Goldschmidt, 1B
    Ozuna, LF
    J. Martinez, RF
    Molina, C
    Edman, 3B
    DeJong, SS
    So that was pretty extreme stuff, sliding Paul DeJong alll the way to eighth against Stephen Strasburg.
    With Marcell Ozuna and Jose Martinez gone, DeJong will have to slide up in the order. I would expect both Fowler and Carpenter to get their shot early.
    If everybody is healthy and looking good in camp, then this is what I would do -- and I bet Mike does something similar:
    Fowler, RF
    Edman, 3B
    Goldschmidt, 1B
    DeJong SS
    Carpenter, DH
    Molina, C
    O'Neill, LF
    Wong, 2B
    Bader, CF
    Lane Thomas will push O'Neill for left field, Edman could move out there and Brad Miller could play third. I expect Dylan Carlson to wait in the wings while the Cardinals give all the incumbents a look. Since this is a 60-game mini-season, holding him back makes sense.
  • Rumor has it the NHL cap will remain stagnant for 3 years. This seems like a bit of a blessing and a curse as far as resigning Pietrangelo goes. Obviously the Blues will have less money to spend, but it should also cut down the list of potential suitors. His hometown Maple Leafs are in a cap quagmire, and would have to move heaven and earth to make that money work.
  • Yes, the Leafs would have a lot of work to do to find the money The cost of living is much higher in Toronto than St. Louis, so that would have to factor into any offer to Alex. And does Pietrangelo want to deal with the intense Toronto media market and the insane pressure facing the Leafs to win a Cup? Alex is pretty comfortable here.
  • I think the Cardinals should be in good shape in regard to COVID-19 since apparently running around with a red hat on reduces the risk of contraction to that of the seasonal flu
  • I see what you did there.
  • With the DH here for 2020 in the NL, does trading Jose Martinez something the Cardinals probably regret they did this past off season?
  • The Cardnals added Brad Miller, who is a similar offensive threat -- but from the left side -- and his more versatile in the field as well. I'dthrow Matt Carpenter into the DH slot most games (as long as he hits), play Tommy Edman most games at third base and move on.
  • Goold's story this morning said Carlos Martinez has been spending his shutdown time in the Dominican. Should we expect the worst?
  • That struck me as well. We're all interested to see which Carlos Martinez shows up to start the "summer training" at Busch. Back in the spring he seemed to be in a good place. And now ?????
  • Have you heard anything about how Jordan Hick is tracking health wise?
  • He was trending well, to the point where the Cardinals expected to have him this summer. With John Brebbia eradicated, this team will need to get some mileage out of Hicks. That bullpen looked iffy BEFORE Brebbia needed elbow surgery. If Hicks suffers a Trevor Rosenthal post-surgical struggle, the Cards may need to go shopping for help.
  • Thomas on Tarsenko's line ... thumbs up or down?
  • There's no greater Robert Thomas fan than I. He is a fabulous playmaker, as his primary assist rate underscores. As always Craig Berube will shuffle his lines and the circumstances of this postseason could make the lines even more fluid than usual. But, yes, it would be fun to see if Thomas could develop chemistry with No. 91. That could give the Chief three strong scoring lines and create a matchup nightmare for opponents.
  • Blues repeat as Cup champs, or do you see them getting knocked off this time? If so, by whom?
    The odds are against the Blues winning another Cup. They are fully capable of doing it, of course, but as we saw last year a lot would have to fall their way. Colorado is the most obvious threat, since the 'Lanche kept winning this season despite suffering myriad injuries. They should hit the postseason at full strength. It could take teams a while to get their defensive game together and the 'Lanche attacks with an explosive offense. This format sets up well for Stan K's Icemen.
    How does compensation work for players recently drafted, but shut down for the virus, specifically as it relates to their respective signing bonuses? And what about those who were drafted last year or in 2018, I believe they are still each due 1/3 annual bonus installments in 2020 too?
    That is a better question for Derrick, but I am not aware of previously drafted players having their bonus payments altered.
    If Carpenter and Fowler don’t do much and look over the hill will the Cardinals finally admit their mistake or continue to trot them out there next year?. I think I know the answer already
    Shildt benched both players at times last season, as I noted earlier with the look at his last two playoff batting orders last fall. And I imagine Mike would do it again this season if he had better matchup options. Both Carpenter and Fowler are under contract for big dollars in 2021, so I imagine both guys will get another shot. But as Jhonny Peralta can tell you, if you falter during the last year of your contract you might end up collecting that money while sitting at home.
    Jeff -- Let me play Devil's Advocate on Petro. I get the pressure is nuts in Toronto but can you imagine how a guy from that area would be treated if he returned home and led the Leafs to the Cup? He would have god-like status. I can see for someone as competitive as these guys are, that would be enticing. I don't think he's going there because of the money factor, however. I think he could be headed for Colorado or Las Vegas. Thoughts?
    Colorado is loaded with talented young D-men and both Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon will get gigantic raises in 2021-22 and 2023-24 respectively. Mikko Rantanen is already making big coin and defenseman Cale Makar will join him in that club in 2021-22. So while the 'Lanche is in great cap shape for 2020-21, you can see where investing, say. $72 million over seven years for Pietrangelo might not fit.
    The Golden Knights would see like a better long-term fit for that sort of money. 
  • I heard a quote from Berube saying Thomas needs to be more of a shooting threat because teams know he's a pass first guy. I know he's young, but he is of the adam oates, ron francis mold. How long do you think it takes for him to mature as a shooter to open up his passing and when that happens we're looking at 60-70 assist seasons from RT.
    Robert is well aware of his need to shoot more. He needs defer less often. And that will come. He is right on schedule to become a Ron Francis-type player. That might seem like an unrealistic comparison, but Thomas is driven to succeed and he has some great veterans to learn from here.
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