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. Wednesday.




  • This will be a very quiet week, according to the people I trust who know. Barring some drastic unforeseen move, the Cardinals aren't going to make any noise this week.
  • If the Cardinals go after Donaldson and Machado next year would the idea be that DeJongandtheRestless could play either SS or 3B depending on who they get?
  • If the Cardinals go after Donaldson or Machado, it will be more because they think those two stars can help the team take another step toward a title. They already know that DeJong can play third or short, by the way.
  • Jose, I have to disagree with your article. Tanking isn't unfair to fans because fans understand why it's happening. Look at the Philadelphia 76ers. "Trust the Process" has been a motto for them. Their tanking has allowed them to get Ben Simmons and Dario Saric, too great pieces. Do you think tanking is more effective in basketball than baseball?
  • It's difficult to compare basketball and baseball. In basketball you draft a player in the first who can usually contribute right away. In baseball, you have to wait a few years to see if your first round draft picks even pan out. For instance, Carlos Correa was the first overall pick in 2012. Lance McCullers was picked in the supplemental round of that draft as well. They didn't debut until 2015, when Correa was the AL Rookie of the Year. The next year, the Astros picked Mark Appel first overall and let Kris Bryant fall to the Cubs with the second pick. Appel has yet to reach the majors. Bryant has already been the NL Rookie of the Year and NL MVP. Even those who pan out such as Bryant and Correa and McCullers still depend on 25-man rosters to win. In basketball, you need only five starters and can usually get away with a rotation of nine players.
  • Jose - The NFL had more concussions this season than in any other year and a second consecutive season of declining TV ratings. Do you see this as part of a historic cycle or reason for genuine concern for the NFL?
  • That's a pretty deep question. As long as there is gambling, the NFL will be fine. Regardless of what folks say, they don't care about NFL concussions. It's the same as watching a boxing match. You expect guys to get hit. People still celebrate thunderous tackles. The NFL will be fine. Trust me.
  • Bader or O'Neill - Who do you expect to start on the big league club this year?
  • I assume that Harrison Bader has the inside track, but Tyler O'Neill definitely has a chance to hit his way to the Opening Day roster if he absolutely crushes Grapefruit League pitching. For instance, if O'Neill blasts 10 home runs in spring training with a .340 average and Bader struggles, you can bet your Bob Gibson bobblehead that O'Neill will break camp with the Cardinals.
  • Hi, Jose. Thanks again for your time and insight!! I'll switch things up a bit because I'm sure you'll be inundated with Cardinal questions. I tortured myself Sunday night and watched the USA men's national team's game against Bosnia Herzegovina and...yeesh. The US team looked like my grandon's team. I know they were trying out newer/yonger players - but still. Is the 4 year future of this team as bad as it looked Sunday? And who would be your choice to win the vote to lead US Soccer? Thanks!
  • Wow. Bless you for wasting your time watching that mess. I have no idea why U.S. Soccer would call up some of those guys. Even by January camp standards, some of those call-ups made no sense for a national team that should be building toward the next World Cup cycle. There's no need in taking looks at guys who will be 30-plus in 2022.
  • Have you heard anything regarding STL being a candidate for an XFL team?
  • I have yet to hear anything about the XFL coming to St. Louis.
  • Any word if the cardinals will be adding the protective netting this year?
  • I haven't heard anything regarding the netting. I promise I will ask about in spring training for you, though.
  • The players and Boras are crying foul with the free agent market. Just a few words to remind them about. Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Puhols, Josh Hamilton, Jason Heyward, David Price, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sanduvol, Barry Zito, Mat Cain, Zach Greinke. All 100 million plus contracts, and ALL disasters for the teams. How about laying some blame on them for not giving max effort after getting these big deals? Paying players huge dollars to play out their careers for 7-10 years is a terrible business model to follow, based on the facts. No incentive whatsoever to play hard for the next contract! I argue that massive guaranteed financial security is the main culprit for declining play. The aging factor is just a part of it. Look at players from the 50's and 60's that played for a contract each year. They played at a high level for over 20 years in many cases. Do you think this is a legitimate assessment of the situation?
  • Preach, my brother! I would take what agents say with a critical eye. An agent's job is to get his client the best deal possible. A front office's job is to keep one eye on the immediate future and another the franchise's long-term health. History is full of examples why it makes no sense to jump into this very weak free agent market.
  • Thanks for the format. The Cards in recent years seemingly have overvalued their young talent. Grichuk, Adams, Piscotty, maybe Wong,etc. have not become established major league stars. Good to Ok players maybe, but not top level guys. Projecting a persons' development, physically and maturity-wise , IS hard. My question is what steps are they taking to improve in this area? Moe's step up to VP was to eliminate the day-to-day stuff and free him to develop new strategies to keep the club competitive. He still seems to be the day to day guy. I see the coaching changes but this seems to me to reflect a feeling that Matheny cannot handle these things. Not a MM hater, but to give this Ferrari of a club ( in 2012 )to a totally inexperienced mngr. was a mistake IMO. What can we expect different for MO?
  • You are absolutely right about Piscotty, who may actually bounce back well now that he's closer to home. They never committed too much money on Grichuk and Adams. Wong, on the other hand, proved to be a good starting second baseman last year. Teams attempt to lock up young guys to long-term contracts. Sometimes it works (Carlos Martinez), sometimes it looks bad (Piscotty). Many agents thought that Martinez sold himself short with his long-term deal last February. The Cardinals will continue to make these types of gambles knowing some pay off and some don't. I covered the Astros when they gave Jose Altuve a long-term contract that proved to be tremendously in the team's favor. A few years later, I was also covering the Astros when they gave Jon Singleton a five-year, $10 million contract before he even played in the majors. Guess what? Singleton was ridiculed throughout the baseball industry for accepting such a deal. The Astros were believed to have gotten the best out of that deal. Well, Singleton was a monumental bust. He has a career .171 average with a -0.1 WAR over parts of the 2014 and 2015 season and never reached the majors in 2016 and 2017. Now in the final year of his five-year contract he has been suspended 100 games for testing positive for drugs of abuse. The Astros gave him this $10 million deal after he had already been suspended once. Long story short, all teams make these gambles. Some work, some fail miserably. At least be glad the Cardinals never gave Grichuk and Adams long-term deals.
  • Guys like Mickey Mantle, Willie Stargell, and Mike Schmidt were all linked to amphetamine usage during their playing careers, yet they sailed into the HOF on their first ballot. When did the voters become so opposed to chemical enhancement? It seems to me that players have always used the best substances that science made available to them in order to improve their play. How do the voters make a distinction between the PEDs of the 90s and 00s, and the rampant amphetamines of the 50s, 60s, and 70s?
  • Steroids are performance-enhancement drugs. Greenies aren't. That's all I can tell you on that front.
  • Just out of curiousity, why does the PD have a designated Mizzou beat writer, but gets the U of I stories from a guy that writes in the Decatur Herald & Review? Nothing against Mark Tupper, I enjoy his columns, I was just curious how this setup works for those involved.
  • You would have to ask sports editor Roger Hensley this question. It's above my pay grade and was decided long before I moved to St. Louis.
  • With the Canadien's GM being at two of Robert Thomas's AHL games and by coincidence one of Jordan Kyrou's games b/c his team was playing Thomas'. It doesn't seem like this trade talk between the Blues and Habs is going away. How much would give you give up to land Paxcioretty? Since the Blues don't have a 1st rounder in the next draft I'm hearing the asking price is two top tier prospects plus a pick. I know Paxcioretty has a year left after this on cap friendly contract but still seems like alot to give up. Thoughts?
  • I will defer to the talented Jeff Gordon on this question. He'll do his chat on Friday, and he is more knowledgeable about the inner workings of the NHL. My expertise is baseball, which is why I'm more willing to speak authoritatively on deals because of my contacts throughout baseball.
  • Cards farm system remains the same, which I give the FO full credit for considering the moves they have made this off-season so far. That being said, they're probably the 3rd best team in the division still (can see second as well if Brewers don't add anyone else and under perform slightly), and essentially competing for second wild card. There is still room for improvement on this team and places where there are ALOT of question marks (cough, pitching, cough, cough). While I understand they have the depth from the minors to fill the gap/void if pitching falters is that really a game they want to play in a top heavy division and trying to grab second wild card?
  • It's a tremendous testament to the Cardinals' farm system that they were ranked 13th by Baseball America after unloading two top prospects in the four-player package for Marcell Ozuna. They were ranked 12th last year. They unloaded Sandy Alcantara, who was on Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list. There is always room for improvement unless you win the World Series. The Cubs aren't as good as they were in 2016. The Cardinals are likely going to be better than they were last year. If I were to predict the order of the NL Central finish this season, I'd say Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Pirates, Reds. I fully expect Alex Reyes to push the Cardinals to the wild-card this year.
  • Cards going to sign any of the remaining FA's in your opinion? Prices have to be dropping right now right?
  • At this point, nothing is imminent with any of the remaining free agents. Things can change, but people I trust tell me the Cardinals aren't involved in the Hosmer and Moustakas markets. Take that for what it's worth.
  • Thank you for the chat! I think Lance Lynn will sign with the Nationals. To be brutally honest, they choke in the playoffs, so in addition to being.a good pitcher and an innings eater, he would bring that team some grit and mental toughness come Octobet.
  • Interesting theory. As of now, though, there is nothing close with Lynn, according to a person who would know.
  • So are you for tanking or against it in baseball
  • I hate having to answer this question because I will come off as a bit of a hypocrite. If I were an owner, I would definitely employ a full tanking similar to what the Astros underwent. You're either in it to win it or you're not. There's no need to have an above average or high payroll to be mediocre. I'd be honest with the fans, cut beer prices, sell the atmosphere and stock the farm system and then attack when your window to compete was open. You could get away with that process in certain cities, but I don't think you can get away with it in Boston, New York or Los Angeles.
  • If you could add one still available FA to the Cards who would it be? Is 2/$30M for Greg Holland an overpay, manageable?
  • If I could add one free agent, I would add Lance Lynn on a one-year deal to provide cover for Adam Wainwright and buy the Cardinals more development time for Jack Flaherty. That deal would have to be a one-year, team friendly deal to help Lance improve his market value heading into next season.
  • Mr. Ortiz, all indications were that this offseason was to be transformative for the Cards. One could argue they did more in 2015 acquiring Heyward. Do they even want to contend, because Cubs are clearly much better. Ozuna doesn’t put them over the top.
  • I would disagree with your claim that the Cubs are clearly much better. I don't think anybody said this was going to be a trans-formative offseason. They added a two-time All-Star who immediately anchors the middle of the batting order.
  • Fans are bitter because the team is quite frankly boring and only one position player changed. Starting lineup that is.
  • Cardinals fans have been spoiled during Bill DeWitt Jr.'s chairmanship. They are lucky to not go through what is happening at other cities where fans truly have reasons to be bitter. If you're a bitter Cardinals fan it's only because the DeWitt front office has created such high expectations.
  • I think the Cardinals' two biggest needs are a proven closer, and a reliable, veteran innings-eater for the rotation. That closer doesn't seem to be available on the FA market, but Lance Lynn would be exactly what the rotation needs. However, every time someone in these chats asks about Lynn, every PD writer comes back with some variation of "No chance. They've moved on". Why is that? Was there a specific incident that has gotten Lynn banned from Busch Stadium? There seems to be a missing chapter to this story.
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