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? (Besides those holed up in their Milwaukee hotel rooms, that is.)
    “He didn’t get away with some mistakes, and they made him pay … you can’t overlook it, but outside of that, he was pretty darn effective. Wiggled out of some damage in the first. Made pitches.” When I read these comments from Shildt I just feel like he is insulting our intelligence. I guess Shildt’s idea of “pretty darn effective” and mine are quite different. I understand you don’t want to rip your pitcher in the media, I do think sometimes these players read this stuff and actually believe what their manager is telling the public. If Martinez isn’t “pretty darn effective” against the Tigers then he should be relegated to the pen. Also, when I was reading Mr. Goold’s article Thursday morning after the two-game sweep in Minnesota Shildt made the comment that this team “was touted as being a really explosive, dynamic offense”. Huh? How can he even say this with a straight face? I don’t remember reading anything from you, Derrick, The Commish or BenFred about this team being touted as such. Where does he get this from? Hey Mike, keep doing what your doing and you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
    Yeah, I kind of winced at Shildt's remark about the dynamic offense. Nobody was touting that offense but him. The Cardinals beat up on some bad Pirates pitching for two games, but that tiny sample size meant little -- as we saw for the next four games.
    That said, Shildt is going to defend his players as much as possible, just as Mike Matheny and Tony La Russa did. This is especially true to early in the season. But Shildt does manage with urgency and he has proven time and again that he is willing to mmove an ineffective veteran into a lesser role. In the case of Martinez, there certainly aren't better internal options. Expect him to have a very long leash this season.
    Jeff, in your opinion how many games into the season do you take a snapshot of this team and say “this is who we are”? 10 games, 20 games? Because it is not your standard season do you just let things play out and hope to get a playoff spot and just roll the dice of do you look to make significant deals to improve the team. There is not much difference between watching paint dry and the Cards offense. Personally, at this point I doubt the season will last another month before they pull the plug. The more games that get cancelled, and more will for sure, viewership will take a big dip. Apathy is already setting in for some fans.
    I believe by the 20-game mark we should have a better idea of this team's chances, but the roster will remain fluid all season due to injuries and positive COVID-19 tests. Look at how much upheaval we've seen to this point and we're just five games in. Given all that is happening in the sport and in the country, I would not expect the Cardinals to trade any long-term assets for short-term help. That would make no sense. Use this season to test out a lot of young players and then reassess over the winter.
    Every Friday I write in and pan MoeS work. Are you starting to see the results?. Contracts to over the hill players, contracts players are not living up to and lots of dead Contract money results in boring baseball, not enough offense and lots of strikeouts. It also results in playing the contract not the best player. If the season continues they’ll challenge the pirates and Brewers for the bottom of the division.
    As Mike Shildt proved last year, he will sit a veteran player and play a younger player instead. And he will continue doing that. I expect to see a lot of Dylan Carlson this season, assuming we have a season, and will be interesting to see if Brad Miller can make an impact. His absence due to the heel injury limited Shildt's choices.
    Happy Friday Gordo.

    Blues looked well, um, a tad rusty. Luckily their stellar regular season set them up to have a couple games to knock off the cobwebs, especially since "home" ice isn't much of a factor. Do you think we see all the depth guys (the DeLaRose's and Kostin's of the world) get at least a game in the next 3?
    I'm guessing some of those guys will play, but perhaps not all. De la Rose played a fair bit this season and he is a plug-and-play depth guy. Giving him a game would make sense. Kyrou needs to play, obviously, because his skill could be in demand if injuries hit. And Jake Allen needs some reps. Not sure about Kostin, since he is a bit of a last-resort guy for Berube at this point.
    Yeah, he is getting antsy. Never will a simple walk outside feel so good to him. He swears he has been a good boy, sticking to his quarantine.
  • Jeff, would you please call Rob Manfred and have him cancel the 2020 baseball season? Not even a week in and we have already had several virus related postponements. Spring Training is only about 6 months away and we will in all likelihood have a vaccine by then …enough already.
    Now a question about the game. It seems to me that starting extra innings with a runner on 2nd would give the home team a competitive advantage due to their knowledge of whether that runner represents the tying run, winning run, or something else. Has there been a study if this resulted in more wins by the home team in leagues where it has been tried? What are your thoughts.
  • I'm sure there are lots of studies on what teams did with the international tiebreaker, including home vs. road team advantage. Like you say, the home team always has an edge in extra innings. The manager knows what he needs and that dictates strategy, especially with this tiebreaker rule.
    So far MLB managers have been all over the map with their tiebreaker strategy. There are so many factors, such as the speed of the runner at second, the quality of the hitters due up, the pitching matchup . . . so there is not going to be cookie-cutter managing with this. I saw a lot of this rule in fast-pitch softball, which is a small-ball game on a smaller diamond. In that sport, bunting the runner over was the usual call at the top of an inning or when the home team needed one to win.
  • Contract extensions to carpenter and Mikolas looking really good right now. Moe unfortunately has the curse of bad player evaluator and Unlucky
    The Carpenter extension was needless since he wasn't going anywhere. That was totally an unforced error and it made budgeting for this season and next very difficult. The Mikolas extension was premature, based on one exceptional season. The Cardinals figured they could save some money by locking him in early, presuming that he would remain a high-end starter. That was the bet. And while Miles certainly has developed a great approach to pitching, he has never been overpowering. Had he stayed healthy, he may have settled into a Jeff Suppan-level starter. Not bad, but not worth that large of a commitment. The good news for the Cardinals this abbreviated season is the team will only pay part of his salary while he rehabs his injury.
    Jeff, MLB is a badly run sports league, surpassed in incompetency by only the morons that run the NFL. That said, if baseball didn’t want to structure a bubble format and play all their games say in Fargo and Bismarck, why not schedule 6 or 7 game series which would have cut the travel in half? As it currently stands, MLB is just a Derek Jeter thumbs down from sending the Marlins and everyone else home. Comments?
    Those are fair points. Limiting teams to regional travel only reduced the risk of illness by a small amount. Teams are still going from city to city, in and out of hotels, dealing some public exposure. Aloing these lines, I am guessing that college football with conference-only games won't much safer than the regular schedule.
    So far the bubble model seems to be working well. Upon further review, baseball should have tried to construct something like the NHL did with multiple hubs.
    Happy Friday Commissioner Gordon.

    I am beginning to believe, particularly with Wednesday's scrimmage, teams like the Blues who play a heavy game will have an advantage in the playoffs. What with the ice being bad and their timing off banging bodies to get the puck isn't something requiring good ice and timing. Please opine.

    MLB question: Given the tight 60 game schedule when teams have to quarantine like the Marlins and now Cardinals will the teams simply forfeit the games missed? I don't see how the MLB can make a week of missed games up. If the "positive" teams forfeit their opponents win the games?
    I believe we will end up with teams with uneven game totals. And I believe that won-loss percentage will prevail, with no forfeits. Of course, MLB will have to decide the minimum number of games a team can play and still be eligible for the playoffs. And if a couple of teams drop out, will the rest of the teams play on with adjusted schedules?
    We're seeing decisions made on the fly, like the call to go to seven-inning games in a doubleheader.
    I can understand why a lot of players think that wearing a mask is like carrying around a sign that says ‘I love Hillary Clinton’.

    But do those players understand about molecules, microbes, and contagion?
    Unfortunately, a fair number of athletes, as with the general populace, refuses to believe this virus is a serious thing. Every league is dealing with that issue.
    Can we all agree that this horrendous offense will not improve until the organization finds adequate replacements for Carpenter, Fowler, and Bader?
    The Cardinals need more production from those three spots, whether from the incumbents playing better or from replacements. Put left field in that category as well. So let's see what happens with Dylan Carlson, Brad Miller and Lane Thomas in addition to the guys you mentioned.
    Most NHL teams are heavily reliant on selling tickets to make payroll and profit. With this season and probably the next being shortened (if not cancelled) can you see teams going out of business? Arizona and the Panthers come to mind but small market teams like the Blues could have trouble as well. I don't think I am being paranoid.
  • There will be challenging times ahead. Owners with deep pockets will have to dig into those pockets. These days, most NHL owners have that sort of money. But it will be interesting to see what happens in Buffalo, where the Pegulas have signaled they want to operate on the cheap, and in Ottawa, where the owner is barely hanging on. While some fans will be leery of jamming into arenas again, even after the vaccine comes, the bigger issue will be the long-term economic downturn. Corporate support is a big deal for the NHL and a lot of that could dry up, in addition to the ticket sales.
    How many major unforced errors does one mozo get?. I know he did make the NL CS but no championships under his watch and steady decline except for the freak last year.I appreciate your frank response. Other moderators would’ve danced around the subject about how it’s not been proven out yet.
    The Cardinals won a World Championship on his watch, along with two NL pennants. They made four trips to the NLCS and won five division titles. So he will be on the job for a long while longer unless he decides he wants to do something new. The team is set up with a nice supply of pitching talent. If one or two of the high-ceiling hitting prospects pans out, the Cardinals will be a great shape for 2022 and beyond after cycling out a few more of these contracts.
    Jeff, I would like your opinion on my first question. Will heavy teams like the Blues have an advantage over skill teams? Skill tams like the Jets for one won't have a long runway to get their timing down and also compensate for the horrendous ice conditions. Chief, tell the boys to start banging!
  • This will be the debate. Is it easier to get to a physical game than it is to get to a skilled game? These playoffs with a short run-up will answer that question for us. To play physical, a team must play fast enough to line up checks and remain committed to finishing those checks, even as those hits take a toll. If the ice is as choppy as it was Wednesday, then that could favor the Blues and Dallas Stars and work against the more skilled teams like Winnipeg and Colorado.
  • Jim Thomas may have a lucrative career waiting for him.....training NBA, MLB and NFL players and staff how to stay in their hotel rooms in between games and practices.

    Based on my calculations Jim has 33 hours until he can safely walk out of his hotel room and into the hall. Hang in there Jim!
  • We did our video on Zoom yesterday and he didn't seem too frazzled. He was used to working long hours in his Rams Park media room bunker, but that was a holiday compared to this assignment.
  • Any positives from the Blues exhibition game Wednesday night? Getting the rust off a little? Doesn't seem like there were too many others. Just one game, though.
  • I liked Tarasenko. He seemed focused on getting pucks toward the net. Zach Sanford flashed his potential early on. God bless Sammy Blais, he was running around trying to hit people.
  • Jeff, the Mikolas setback was as predictable as the rain this morning. When was the last time you can recall the Cards medical staff prescribing an extended period of rest for a sore arm pitcher that turned out successfully? More often than not, the rest cures the inflammation but not the underlying cause.
    Players want to avoid surgery at all cost and understandably so. But every time I read the phrase "platlet-rich plama injection" I figure the surgeons are sharpening their saws.
    I am anxious to see Carlson up here for sure. Just remember MLB is not Memphis. When Taveras was up, it was immediately identified that he had a hole in his swing and the opponents took advantage of it. Hope we don't have to say the same for Dylan.
    Carlson is a well-rounded hitter who can do damage from both sides. I believe he is more sound than Oscar, but I don't know if he has that same sort of upside. Had Oscar realized his full potential, he would have been special. Carlson's high end might be "very good." And right now "very good" sounds good to the Cardinals.
    Would you agree that DeWitt doesn't have any interest in chasing another ring unless it is within his financial parameters? Meaning his days of spending to win are over.
    His approach has remained steady throughout. His plan has never changed. His objective has always been to build from within as much as possible, then augment the roster with trades and sign the occasional mid-leve free agent. But fewer teams are trading away top players they can't afford to keep (Mark McGwire, Matt Holliday) because there is so much shared revenue in the industry today. The Marlins held a fire sale despite that and the Cardinals got Marcell Ozuna instead of Christian Yelich. DeWitt has made competitive bid to keep players from free agency (Albert Pujols, Jason Heyward) and he underwrote a big pitch for free-agent David Price -- who went to the Red Sox when Dave Dombrowski was in full overspend mode. Otherwise he has avoided the high end of the marketplace.
    Sometimes the same approach year after year yields different results, based on circumstances outside of management's control. But DeWitt is all about consistency in approach.
    When do you think carlson will be called up and will he replace bader?
    Before the virus whacked the Cardinals, here was my pitch: Start Lane Thomas three games over the weekend and give Harrison Bader, Tyler O'Neill and Dexter Fowler two starts each. Then assess the production Sunday night and decide whether to bring up Carlson and plug him somewhere in the everyday lineup.
    As Ron Caron would always say, "It's early, but it's late."
    The postponement Friday (and perhaps more games after that) ruined my pitch. But I'll say this: With the virus threatening to shrink the 60-game season even more, the Cardinals need to get Carlson some big-league looks sooner than later.
    Since your the only PD writer that doesn't protect the Cards players like their little brother I want to know if Wong has average career stats at the plate this season and the Cards opt to let him walk do you think he gets anywhere close to the 12 million dollar option the Cards have considering the current financial climate?
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