I'm taking a shot at Cardinals Nation, and I don't really care. We are not the Best Fans In Baseball. Why? The Jack Flaherty bashing needs to stop. It's one thing to be hard on a player for poor performance, but It seems more and more frequent that I scroll through social media, and I see something along the lines of, "Can't wait for Jack to leave," or something along those lines. Many have cited how Flaherty says wants to test free agency. While this is accurate, he has not once said it's because he wants to leave St. Louis. Many have assumed because he's from California and his (assumed) political stances clash with many fans, this is why he wants out. Flaherty has been quoted to say that he isn't a fan of the system (referring to the CBA). This was after the Cardinals renewed his contract.
What's wrong with a player being vocal about things he's passionate about? "Just worry about pitching," I've seen some people say. So just because Flaherty is a baseball player means he shouldn't have an opinion on what's going on around the world? No one is going to agree with what everyone thinks. That's what makes America so amazing. What doesn't make America amazing is that many of us fail to be remotely open to any other opinions.
Today was the first day the Cardinals were required to report to camp. Let's take a look at Flaherty's attire. Today, he showed up to camp wearing a Russell Westbrook Lakers jersey. Many people weren't all that suprised. This led to many of those "Jack's going to LA soon, might as well trade him." I even saw one comment saying, "I'm surprised he's not wearing a Dodgers jersey." Ever think that since he is from California that he just might actually be a Lakers fan? Hard to fathom, I know.
Let's compare what Adam Wainwright was wearing. Wholehartedly agree with his shirt, but I can't help to think that if Flaherty wore this, social media would have tore him a new one. That's sad to think. Why should I have to wonder why Wainwright should get a pass?
Our fans could very well drive one of our best pitchers right out of St. Louis. Many wouldn't even care. I care. He's proven he can be our best pitcher. Sure, he hasn't repeated his historic second half of 2019, but he was putting up solid numbers prior to going on the injured list for the first time of his career in 2021. I think because he put up that sub-1 ERA, everyone is expecting him to do that year in and year out. News flash! Even our greatest pitcher, Bob Gibson couldn't repeat his 1968 season.
Flaherty is under team control for 2 more seasons. I sure hope we are able to sign him to an extension. Would I be surprised that he doesn't and wants to test free agency? Not at all. Like I said, he has said he wants to test free agency. I sure hope he doesn't leave, I want him to stay. Us fans need to stop forcing him out. Be happy we have an extremely talented pitcher wearing the Birds on the Bat. So please, give it a rest would ya?