STL sports chat with Jose de Jesus Ortiz

Bring your Cardinals, Blues and St. Louis sports questions and comments to a live chat with Post-Dispatch columnist Jose de Jesus Ortiz at 1 p.m.

  • Good afternoon. I hope you're all doing well. Thank you for joining our weekly live chat. What's good word in St. Louis? Fire away.
  • Jose: Would you be in favor of the Cardinals simply selling for cash some of their outfield or pitching prospects—even some of the better ones if they would bring more money--in order to offset the huge cost of taking on Stanton and his huge salary? Most people, when I pose this question, say, “No.” But isn’t that exactly what they would be doing if they were to ask the Marlins to prepay part of that salary and to offer more or better prospects the more the Marlins would be willing to give? It sounds like just selling your prospects to me.
  • Actually, it doesn't work that way. You can't just sell a guy. You can trade some international bonus pool and you can have teams agree to pay remaining portions of contracts you acquire, but you don't just sell the players.
  • Mr Hummel said something interesting in his chat the other day. Someone asked about dejong and some prospects for andrelton Simmons and Hummel replied that he wouldn’t trade dejong for Simmons straight up. I wanted to get your take on this because I found that a little crazy considering that Simmons had a 7.1 war and led all major league shortstops in that category. Is dejong THAT valued in cardinals circles?
  • I wouldn't trade DeJong for Simmons straight up for multiple reasons. DeJong is a tremendous value, considering he's under the team's control at a relative cheap price for five more years. Simmons will earn $11 million next year, $13 million in 2019 and $15 million in 2020 and then become a free agent. By comparison, DeJong wouldn't even be eligible for arbitration until 2020. Don't get me wrong, Simmons is a brilliant defensive shortstop, but the Cardinals have bigger needs to address with their payroll this offseason.
  • Here's my Tuesday column that I notice some of you want to discuss.

    Ortiz: NFL moving to quash anthem protests

    stltoday.comLet’s talk about social injustice. No, let’s discuss the need to respect the flag. Well, how about shining a light on police brutality? Nah, let’s focus on the national anthem.
  • Why is it that Farrell and girardi make the playoffs and their jobs are on the line (obviously Farrell lost his) and yet matheny misses the playoffs two years in a row and he’s constantly supported by Dewitt? Is it that our expectations aren’t as high as the al east dynamos or does the front office truly believe matheny deserves none of the blame?
  • This is a very good question. It's important to realize that the Midwest fan bases and media quite simply don't put pressure on management to win quite like the media and fans do in Boston and New York. There are higher standards and expectations to win in New York, Boston and Los Angeles. When you work in New York, it's tremendously competitive. You're always competing against the best and hungriest beat writers on a daily basis. You have multiple newspapers sending beat writers and columnists into the clubhouse to dig daily. The players, managers and owners know they must perform because if they screw up, the New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, Newsday, Newark Star-Ledger, Bergen Record and the Gannett paper in Westchester County and several national outlets will expose them. That's what makes it difficult to compete in that market. But I've always noted that cities like Houston and St. Louis are also quite difficult in a different way because when there is only one major paper the players and ownership tend to get away with certain things that wouldn't be acceptable in other markets. Here's an example. In 2000, former Astros ace Mike Hampton had a horrible start in San Francisco for the Mets. He was struggling and decided to just bail on the media after he was rocked in San Francisco. Well, the next day he picked up the clips and realized that he had been crushed in every New York paper. He apologized and never tried that again. He had gotten away with that in Houston, but we crushed him in New York. Long story short, if there were six newspapers holding the Cardinals accountable instead of one, I bet you the pressure would be higher for Bill DeWitt Jr. to make a managerial move. With all that said, keep in mind that a famous football coach or GM once said that if you listen to the fans and media too much you'll eventually join them.
  • Thank you for your thoughtful column today regarding the NFL protests.
  • Thank you for reading that column. I tried to provide a balanced picture here without getting on a soap box too much.

    Ortiz: NFL moving to quash anthem protests

    stltoday.comLet’s talk about social injustice. No, let’s discuss the need to respect the flag. Well, how about shining a light on police brutality? Nah, let’s focus on the national anthem.
  • Time for a prediction: Do you think any NBA players will kneel or gesture during the National Anthem ... and will that league then face a power struggle between players and commissioner?
  • The NBA actually has been more proactive about discussing this issue. Remember that many of the NBA's biggest stars and coaches have spoken out about social injustices and even about their thoughts on President Trump. It's not just Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Gregg Popovich.
  • Who do you see being cut from 40 man roster
  • If this question includes players who will become free agents, let's start with Lance Lynn, Seung-Hwan Oh, Zach Duke, Alberto Rosario, Alex Mejia, Trevor Rosenthal. I wouldn't be surprised if Mike Mayers is taken off the roster to make room for players the club wants to protect from the Rule 5 draft. I would assume Ryan Sherriff is safe, but it wouldn't surprise me if they opt to take him off the roster. Breyvic Jose Valera is another one who might be taken off the roster.
  • in light of the usa loss last night to trinidad, what changes do you see that need to be made to advance scoccer in the usa?
  • U.S. Soccer must take an important inventory. I would hope that U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati would tender his resignation. If he doesn't resign, he should be fired. True soccer countries would have already fired him. If you consider the fact that the U.S. has missed two consecutive Olympics in men's soccer and also had an embarrassing showing in women's soccer at the last Olympics, you have to appreciate that the men's and women's teams are at their lowest points in two decades. Moreover, the U.S. men's team had an embarrassing showing throughout the entire Hexagonal qualifying round. Although the Trinidad and Tobago was the ultimate embarrassing final blow, the U.S. struggled throughout the entire round. Looking a bit deeper into the U.S. soccer culture, we must figure out a way to address what Jurgen Klinsmann once described as the inverted U.S. soccer pyramid. In all other soccer players, teams and soccer associations pay to develop the top talent. In America, we have a pay to play system that ignores and misses many of the best athletic and soccer talent in America. A poor family cannot afford to pay the expensive $5,000 a year it takes to play for the alleged "top" clubs in America. You have to pay to be discovered in America. That's the case for boys and girls. If you're a stud athlete in a rural town, the Mizzou football team will find you if you're one of the truly best athletes. If you're a stud soccer player in a poor community or a rural area and cannot afford to play club soccer, it's almost impossible to be discovered by U.S. Soccer. An 11-year-old kid from a poor family is essentially locked out of the top clubs in America. That same kid in Mexico is playing on the streets daily with his friends and then eventually discovered and paid to develop by a Mexican club. That's why Mexico has won multiple U-17 men's World Cups and an Olympic gold medal since 2005. The U.S., however, cannot even make it to the Olympics or the World Cup.
  • During the season, did you ever ask Dexter Fowler why he seemed to be the last one into the clubhouse every day, and the first to leave? Or did you wait until he left St. Louis for the off-season before leveling this charge?
  • I didn't level a charge. Dexter wasn't exactly hiding his late arrivals, by the way.
  • Jose: No question here, just wanted to say that you absolutely crushed it with your piece about the anthem. Crushed it. Reasoned, nuanced (given your own beliefs about standing), and compelling. Well done!
  • What do you think of Boston firing Farrell who's team beat Matheny and the Cardinals in the 2013 WS? Boston has had back to back 93 win seasons and the cardinals have missed the playoffs in back to back seasons. With all the talk about how St. Louis fields a contending team year after year Boston is stepping up and saying merely contending isn't good enough. Losing in the first round of the playoffs isn't good enough, and St. Louis is saying Matheny is the man to lead the Cardinals into the future. Actions speak louder then words
  • The Red Sox were built to win this year. The Cardinals were not. That's one important distinction. Farrell managed a team that finished with the third highest payroll in baseball at $222,552,008, according to His payroll was essentially $73 million higher than the Cardinals', so he was obviously held to a higher standards. Also, the expectations are higher in Boston than in St. Louis, and it's not even close.
  • What happened to the USMNT and where do they go from here?
  • First of all, the U.S. men's national team had one of the biggest choke jobs in U.S. sports history last night at Trinidad and Tobago. Facing the smallest of minnows in international soccer, not to mention the last-place team in the CONCACAF Hexagonal round, the U.S. men urinated all over themselves last night. Bruce Arena and his players will wear that shame for the rest of their lives. They should be embarrassed. The whole soccer system in America is backward. The pay to play system that hurts diversity in baseball also hurts soccer. The best athletes in America don't play soccer. The best athletes in most soccer countries play soccer. Major League Soccer offers a watered down product. There are too many teams for such a small talent pool. Even worse, some of the biggest stars in U.S. Soccer run back to MLS. You want your best soccer stars playing regularly in the best leagues in Europe. Heck, if Mexico doesn't watch out they'll also be hurt a bit because the Dos Santos brothers and even Carlos Vela are rushing back for money grabs in MLS. As Jurgen Klinsmann noted a few times, the U.S. talent pool is hurt because it doesn't have enough players playing in Europe.
  • Jesus, thanks for your thoughtful column this morning. You are a columnist, not a beat writer, and I for one appreciate you giving your perspective on these types of matters. I know some will say that you should stick to sports, I wholeheartedly disagree with that sentiment. As you said in the column, "Sports often mirror society."
  • Thank you very much. The NFL is part of the sports picture, and it's clear the anthem issue is a major topic among sports fans. Thanks for reading the column.

    Ortiz: NFL moving to quash anthem protests

    stltoday.comLet’s talk about social injustice. No, let’s discuss the need to respect the flag. Well, how about shining a light on police brutality? Nah, let’s focus on the national anthem.
  • Part way through the season the Cards released several coaches and replaced them while leaving MM in place, yet the team failed to make the playoffs. It seemed to me and other that MM is still the common factor with the team coming up short of the playoffs. Is the saving grace that they finished above .500
  • Mike Matheny takes his fair share of criticism, and he's definitely not perfect. But the thing to remember here is that the Cardinals' talent was quite lacking this year. This was not a playoff team if you consider how badly some of the most important relievers at the start of the year underachieved. If Trevor Rosenthal, Brett Cecil, Seung-Hwan Oh and Kevin Siegrist had performed up to expectations the Cardinals would have made the playoffs and perhaps even won the NL Central. I genuinely believe that. Some folks gave Rosenthal a pass, but he was no better than average if you consider his entire body of work. He had a couple of great months, but a top setup man and closer must give you a full strong year to be considered a success.
  • The Stanton trade shouldn't scare the Cardinals as much as others say. In 2020 or 2021 he has an opt out and will be coming off huge years during his prime and will opt out. That is a win win for the Cards. They get their MOTO superstar bat for 3 or 4 years and someone else pays for his down years when he opts out.
  • Wow, USA blew it last night against Trinidad & Tobago. How much of the blame do you believe falls on Arena? I think it's difficult to come in during the middle of qualifying and get the team to perform to your liking, especially after all the dysfunction of the Klinsmann era. But blowing that game last night was awful.
  • Bruce Arena definitely deserves some blame, but this one is on the players. I'd like to believe that soccer in America has grown enough that we should be able to get a result at Trinidad and Tobago with even the worse MLS coach on the sidelines.
  • Are management ever going to admit their mistake hiring MM? The team has only gotten worse every year since TLR left and throwing the bullpen coach under the bus seems ham fisted unless he was the one leaving starters in to long and bringing relievers in when every number said that was the guy to bring in. the Red Sox firing Farrell makes me wonder how long any other competent organization, but in a bigger media market, would let this last.
  • Compare the talent Tony La Russa had at his disposal to the talent Mike Matheny had the last two years. The fact is that the Cardinals need better players more than they need a new manager. I'm not saying Matheny is perfect, but I don't think many managers would have driven this roster to the playoffs in a year key bullpen pieces imploded, several stars got off to slow starts and the top young arm in baseball had to undergo Tommy John surgery. Whine all you want about Matheny, but tell me how even a Hall of Fame manager such as La Russa would have won with Brett Cecil, Kevin Siegrist, Seung-Hwan Oh and Trevor Rosenthal underachieving as bad as they did? Granted, I bet a veteran manager like La Russa might have had the clout to alter his outfield defense to move Dexter Fowler out of center. But Fowler didn't cost the Cardinals any games in center.
  • For the past several seasons, it has seemed the FO has kicked the can down the road on acquiring that impact player. The reasoning I recall seeing frequently goes along the lines of "the options for that deal will be better in the offseason/spring training/trading deadline." Whether its better leverage or better value or more options, it seems this dialogue is frequently given to explain why X player or need wasn't signed. Unfortunately, I have a feeling we'll be handed the same excuse this offseason. Too much cost. Player wasn't available. Want to see how we look and what's available once ST starts. Yada yada yada. How much more pressure is on Mo/Girsch to exceed the puke point this offseason?
  • They all feel pressure at this point. They are hungry to get back in the playoffs. I must caution fans, however, that the Cardinals aren't just going to throw money at this roster. They have a budget and commitment to have a payroll just in the top third of baseball. They have not taken shortcuts in terms of tanking or rebuilding. They have tried to remain competitive while not taking a step back. It's not easy to win every year in markets that don't have $200 million payrolls.
  • Jose, I find it interesting that all the P-D scribes are now pushing for a middle of the order slugger. Where were your comrades last spring when you were the only wolf howling in the wind for one?
  • All I'll say is that last winter was a lonely place when I banged and banged and banged the drums for another bat. In some circles around this town I was ridiculed as an outsider who just didn't understand that Bill DeWitt Jr. and the Cardinals had a tried and true system that works. I don't think folks realize that I had actually covered some baseball. Just remember next offseason that this October I've already stated that it's foolish for the Cardinals to think that they only need a middle-of-the-order bat and a closer. They also need starting pitcher.
  • I was a little confused regarding your column on the Cardinal way - were you saying that more players need to come from within the system, fewer do, or that the players from outside the system are the problem? Is Jedd Gyorko really a problem on this team? Is Dexter Fowler not shagging fly balls really an issue, considering he battled leg issues all year? Considering that 2/3 of the team's core during their run of consecutive NLCS' (Waino, Holliday) were not drafted by the Cardinals, I'm not sure where your argument was trying to head.
  • First, please let me say that I didn't write the headline. I had a line in the column about some concerns about the Cardinal Way, but the column was about the Cardinals' need to fix the culture in the clubhouse. There were serious concerns in the organization about the culture in the Cardinals' clubhouse, as John Mozeliak noted quite publicly in July a day after I wrote my scathing column ripping Matheny and the team for failing to live up to the franchise's high standards. As I noted in the column, nobody complains about the little issues when teams are winning. When teams lose, you hear folks grumble. If you ignore the Cardinal Way headline, which I didn't write, you'd realize the column was about the need to fix the team's culture. Winning, though, cures all.

    Ortiz: Mozeliak must find players who embrace the Cardinal Way

    stltoday.comPresident of baseball operations owes it to his manager and Cardinals fans to find players who understand and embrace the philosophy and its standards — or at least bring in
  • There’s been talk of the cardinals getting a veteran pitcher in the offseason to help with the rotation but I haven’t seen any names being floated around. Who do you think are realistic pickups for us to add?
  • It's too early to tell. The Cardinals need to address their most pressing needs - middle of the order bat and closer - before seeing what's available. If they fix those issues, I don't think they need to go out and get a No. 2 starter. They just need a solid No. 3 or 4 who can steady the rotation until Alex Reyes or Jack Flaherty or Dakota Hudson or Sandy Alcantara are ready to step right in. If healthy, Reyes will be a front-line starter. The Cardinals just need a quality veteran who can buy them time until they can have a rotation led by Martinez and Reyes with Wacha and Weaver and Wainwright. They need a veteran who can provide insurance in case Wainwright cannot last the entire season.
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