Good afternoon. I hope you're all having a blessed day. Let's get ready to roll. Let's try to see how long we can carry this live chat. Fire away.
That is a very good question. I bet you most American soccer fans are asking this question. If I were Sunil Gulati, the U.S. Soccer Federation president, I would have already fired him. Jurgen Klinsmann has been on the job five and a half years. The men's program has actually regressed tremendously. It's not a shame to lose to Mexico at home or to lose to Costa Rica on the road, but the way they lost is embarrassing. Also, you have to consider that the men's team has failed to reach the Olympics twice under coaches that he has picked. Gulati turned over a lot of control for the entire men's program to Klinsmann, and now it's time to hold him accountable.
The Cardinals realize they must improve the center field position. As I have said since consistently on here since September, the Cardinals must try to sign Dexter Fowler. I know Dexter well. I covered him in Houston. He's a savvy veteran who can play very good defense in center field and lead off. And last time I checked, the Cardinals also needed a true leadoff hitter.
Trust me, the Cardinals know they must spend a little money this offseason to get better. Nobody is going to catch the Cubs in the regular season in the near future, but there's no reason the Cardinals cannot be strong enough to make consistent wild-card playoff appearances and then make some noise in the playoffs.
I just checked with a man who would know. He's a scout who knows, and he tells me it would take an "overpay" to get Inciarte from the Braves. In other words, the Cardinals would likely have to overpay the Braves to get him in a trade. Your instincts are absolutely correct to want Inciarte with the Cardinals, but you wouldn't want to give up what it would take to get him. Might want to cross him off your wish list.
Mike Yeo is very active in practice. He is definitely coaching, and the players are buying in. But at this point, he and the organization benefit as he learns from Hitchcock as an associate coach this year. I actually wrote two versions of last night's column. One was the first version and the other was the second edition version. I addressed Yeo in the first edition, but I had to cut out 400 years from the second version. Here's what I wrote about Yeo: The backup quarterback is usually the one most NFL fans long to see play. Now that St. Louisans can only watch from afar as Jeff Fisher turns to Jared Goff it’s not surprising that some Blues fans might pine for associate head coach Mike Yeo.
Yeo will get his turn next year as head coach. Meanwhile, the Blues owe it to Yeo and the organization to give him a year to learn under Hitchcock.
Yeo could have chased another head coaching job elsewhere, but he chose to become an associate coach with the Blues so he could learn from Hitchcock.
This is already a season with lots of transition for the Blues. There’s no need to add even more change with the coaching staff.
Last year's team was built to slug it out. They didn't have the batters to create runs. Let's see what the roster looks like next spring before we can determine if they can create runs. Also, keep in mind that some folks in baseball really think that it's counter-productive to give away outs via sacrifice bunts.
Honestly, I don't know why St. Louis fans don't put more pressure on Bill DeWitt Jr. and John Mozeliak to have a $180 million payroll every year. The Cardinals practically print money with the second largest attendance in baseball and a community where they are kings. You shouldn't just spend money to spend it, and the free agent market isn't very strong this year. But there's no reason why the Cardinals shouldn't be among the top 6 payrolls in baseball. Remember, the Rams are gone. The Cardinals own the market and have a very healthy fan base that pays a very steep price for tickets. I need to see how the Cardinals' ticket price compares with the rest of baseball.
Recent play was definitely concerning, and I can see why folks are hesitant to put too much stock in the 4-1 victory over the lowly Sabres on Tuesday night. Nonetheless this rough patch isn't surprising. You have to expect growing pains with a team going through such a big transition.
The only center fielder I would chase via trade if Mike Trout, and he's not coming to St. Louis.
I didn't know that fact. I will say that Fisher will definitely lose four more games this year. I don't see the Rams firing him. I wonder if he'll get a ring for that record.
The Blues are in the playoff hunt. Remember, they're barely one-fifth of the way through the season. There's a lot of hockey left to be played. As I've noted often, this is a year of transition. There will be more struggles along the way, but I would bet you my Jeff Bagwell bobblehead doll that the Blues will get into the playoffs this year.
One can argue anything. That's what baseball's hot stove league is all about. I'm trying to understand this question, though. If you sign Fowler to play left field, who will you get to play CF? I'd rather have Fowler in CF over Randal Grichuk, if that's what you're asking.
You are absolutely right. Don't know if you follow me on twitter at @Ortizkicks, but I pointed out that Fabbri showed some huevos rancheros on that play. That's a Spanish euphemism for some intestinal fortitude, which is a euphemism for .... You get my point. I bet you that Fabbri's fight is already one of the top five moments of the season so far. It showed his willingness to step up for his teammates. It showed that he cared. It wasn't the brightest ideas, but it made sense in the way that it matters most in locker rooms, dressing rooms and clubhouses. You want to know that your teammates care about you and have your back, whether you play for the Blues, Cardinals or work for the Post-Dispatch. Sometimes you just have to drop the gloves and get your butt kicked to make a point that you're not going to let folks take cheap shots at your teammates. Granted, it's easy for me to say that from the safety of my pressbox seat next to Jeremy Rutherford and Tom Timmermann.
Here are my thoughts on the shortstop position. You are only as good as the middle of the diamond - pitcher, catcher, shortstop, second base and center field. Last year, the defense betrayed the pitching more often than not. If the Cardinals can find a good shortstop, they should acquire him. I really think the world of Aledmys Diaz. He's my favorite Cardinals story of the year. I like him. But if you can move him to second and upgrade shortstop position, I bet you every Cardinals pitcher would nod approvingly. To pretend that Diaz is a good shortstop defensively is just playing ridiculous. Addison Russell, Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor are great shortstops. Carlos Correa is a good shortstop. Javier Baez, who plays second because Russell is set at short for the Cubs, is even a good shortstop compared to Diaz. Diaz is an average shortstop, but he might be a good second baseman.
I would assume that Mozeliak wouldn't hesitate to upgrade the team if he had a chance to get better options than Gyorko and Peralta. Gyorko has some nice moments, but he's a backup on a really good team. Remember, the Cardinals are competing against the Cubs. To beat the Cubs, you need to compare yourself to them. Where would Gyorko or Peralta fit on the Cubs? I'll tell you where, DFA, as in designated for assignment.
I honestly would be surprised if Sunil Gulati would have the guts to fire Klinsmann right now. That's not his style. With that said, he should fire Klinsmann today. I bet you 75 percent of the best federations in the world would have already fired Klinsmann, and that number might be closer to 95 percent.
The Braves have already signed two veteran pitchers in Colon and Dickey. I cannot imagine they would want to take another pitcher considered an injury risk. With that said, Jaime Garcia has decent value on the trade market. I bet you the Cardinals will get a good return for him as long as he isn't injured this spring. Heck, they might be able to flip him before or during the winter meetings. That's why I kept saying for months that it would make great sense to pick up his relatively cheap option.
If you're going to give up draft compensation for a center fielder, you'd rather do it for Fowler than Desmond. Although Desmond was an All-Star this year with the Rangers, I would take Dexter Fowler over him. Fowler is a true center fielder.
I've been all in on Dexter Fowler for three months, and that hasn't changed. If the Cardinals can acquire Chris Sale, they should do it, but they'll have steep competition for Sale.
John Mozeliak is one of the best general managers in baseball. I would assume he's made calls to every general manager. It would be malpractice if he hasn't at least called to ask about Sale.
I honestly haven't thought about that.