Jack Flaherty believes he was at fault for Cardinals benching Willson Contreras

Jack Flaherty was on the Foul Territory Podcast and stated that some of his comments were taken the wrong way and contributed to Willson Contreras' benching.
Los Angeles Angels v St. Louis Cardinals
Los Angeles Angels v St. Louis Cardinals / Dilip Vishwanat/GettyImages

Just when you thought the Willson Contreras being benched by the St. Louis Cardinals fiasco from last season was over, Jack Flaherty has decided to add more context to the crazy situation and appears to believe some of his own comments led to the benching of Contreras during the 2023 season.

According to Flaherty on the Foul Territory Podcast (the full interview with Flaherty can be found in the video below), his comments after giving up 10 runs in 2.1 innings on May 4th may have directly contributed to the benching of Contreras just a few days later.

"He took a lot of the blame and it really wasn't him. I'm at fault for that because of things that I said. I was not talking about him, and you know, it was after the start against the Angels and I'm talking about how we're throwing pitches that don't make sense, and what I really meant to say is that I'm not executing. Like I'm throwing two-strike sliders that are being called and are the right pitch and I'm throwing them right down the middle. That was just something that was going on. That has nothing to do with your catcher at all...It just comes down to execution. "

Honestly, I'm pretty confused by these comments. If that's not what Flaherty meant, why would the team take his comments that way? And why wouldn't he step in and let them know he was in support of Contreras?

The Cardinals' pitching staff reportedly asked for Contreras to be benched, so I think it went a lot deeper than some "comments taken the wrong way" by the Cardinals' coaching staff and management. If Flaherty truly did not mean what his quotes were interpreted as, I'm not sure how that wasn't communicated to the Cardinals organization as those decisions were going down...or why pitchers asked for Contreras to be benched at all.

Fans have grown frustrated over the last calendar year regarding the Cardinals' inconsistent public communication, and the Contreras situation has to be the prime example of how that went poorly in 2023. It sounds like there should be no issues with Contreras as the primary catcher going into next season, but only time will tell if that posture remains.