The St. Louis Cardinals’ rising star, Jack Flaherty, is taking a vocal role in social media advocating for his teammates and the league. Could Flaherty move into a different kind of leadership role for the team?
The St. Louis Cardinals are a team with many leaders, with Adam Wainwright, Yadier Molina and Matt Carpenter being some of the players assuming the biggest roles over the last few years. That being said, there is reason to believe that the Cardinals young pitcher, Jack Flaherty, could take on a leadership role that is a little different than the others as he matures in the league.
Flaherty has his first true season in the Majors under his belt after making 28 starts in 2018 and finishing with a 3.34 ERA and 116 ERA+. More than a stellar year on the field, fans of the Cardinals got to see a little bit more of Flaherty’s personality off the field.
Never straying from the limelight, Flaherty always provided a great sound clip after games and proved not only his knowledge of the game, but his humility. The good encouraging thing about Flaherty’s public speaking abilities is it has never came off as rash or inflammatory as former-Cardinal Tommy Pham‘s comments occasionally appear. I am a Tommy Pham fan, but his comments no doubt cause controversy.
I am a firm believer that every person on a team or any group situation can and should act as a leader. I’m not saying that a leader has to be a good player, but Flaherty pitching very well certainly helps give him more notoriety and a national following. The biggest way that Flaherty is vocal is through his twitter account.
Flaherty is not the first Cardinal to get involved on twitter, as many of the players on the team are involved with fans on Twitter, but recently Flaherty has jumped in on an issue that is an uncharted spot for players on the Cardinals.
As part of an issue that Ben Frederickson wrote about for the St. Louis Post Dispatch here, there seems to be building momentum towards a clash between the players and the owners when the current CBA ends in 2021. Flaherty commented on a post by Jake Arrieta voicing some concern.
What Arrieta is saying here is just to be wary. Players are not being compensated fairly, and the players need to notice.
One of the issues the players have has been a trend in this offseason and last, where players are simply not being offered longer deals. Some will say that there are deals being offered that players are just denying, but just like in a relationship with a significant other, you don’t get to decide what bothers the other side. It is an agreement that both sides have to negotiate and be comfortable with.
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Along with the length of contract issue, the MLB’s continued disrespect of minor leaguers who make next to nothing is one of the issues that will be discussed. As this tension grows, Flaherty has now, at least in part, thrown his name into the hat of players that aren’t happy and are willing to stand up and let people know.
Could we see Flaherty be one of the voices of leadership in the new CBA agreement? I am sure that Flaherty is not the only player on the Cardinals who is upset with how the last two offseasons have gone, but as a rising star, Flaherty could leverage his platform to raise awareness among fans.
A lot of fans may be saying that these players make more money than any layman outside of professional sports could dream of, and that this is not worthy of all the noise and bellyaching that players are bringing up. Regardless of how your initial reaction is, any fan needs to educate themselves on this issue because the bottom line is, the players are unhappy and a work stoppage could be coming.
The lay of the land seems to be changing when it comes to the players vs. the owners in the MLB. In the current climate, it’s a very real possibility that players will not want to become free agents which is bad for the health of the sport. December of 2021 could be a very tumultuous time for the MLB.