Flaherty

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty beat his team in arbitration but took the debate on his value “personally.”

The St. Louis Cardinals had not lost a contract arbitration case in decades. Then came Jack Flaherty.

The team’s 25-year-old ace sought $3.9 million for a one-year deal and the Cardinals offered $3 million. Why the Cardinals could not comply with Flaherty’s request is beyond me. I think it shows some disrespect. So does Flaherty.

A three-member panel awarded the $3.9 million to Flaherty. He immediately let Cardinal Nation know his feelings after the triumph.

He posted a meme of Michael Jordan speaking in the mini-series “The Last Dance” with the words “and I took that personally.”

Flaherty, who is at the top of any list of top, young Major League pitchers, was forced to quibble over $900,000. He did not appreciate it, that is for sure.

He finished fourth in Cy Young voting after the 2019 season and recorded historic statistics. During the COVID-shortened season of 2020, Flaherty was 4-3 with a 4.91 ERA in nine starts. He recorded 49 strikeouts while walking just 16 batters 40 1/3 innings. His team certainly threw this in his face during the arbitration hearing.

Flaherty’s arbitration win will only fuel the haters that blame his support of Black Lives Matter and social justice reform for very hit, walk and home run surrenders.

As written here before, Flaherty should be praised and not scorned. Too many Cardinals fans see it differently. I am sure he takes that personally. And it could lead to him taking himself elsewhere in free agency after the 2022 season.

Urban blight

Where was Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan when first-year head coach Urban Meyer hired disgraced former Iowa strength coach Chris Doyle for a similar position with Khan’s Jaguars?

Doyle and the Hawkeyes reached a $1.1 million settlement after allegations that he racially insulted Black players with tidbits including “I’m going to send you back to the ghetto,” and racial taunts.

Thirteen Black former Iowa football players are jointly suing Iowa, alleging they suffered racial discrimination under coach Kirk Ferentz. Doyle is one of several defendants.

Rod Graves, executive director of the Fritz Pollard Association, a watchdog organization that monitors Black coaching hires, said Doyle’s conduct “should be as disqualifying for the NFL as it was for University of Iowa.”

“At a time when the NFL has failed to solve its problem with racial hiring practices, it is simply unacceptable to welcome Chris Doyle into the ranks of NFL coaches,” Graves said in a statement. “Doyle’s departure from the University of Iowa reflected a tenure riddled with poor judgment and mistreatment of Black players.”

After a day passed, Doyle resigned.

Upon the hiring, Meyer deflected criticism saying he “vetted” Doyle thoroughly and, “I’ve known Chris for close to 20 years.”

Graves said that statement, “reflects the good ol’ boy network that is precisely the reason there is such a disparity in employment opportunities for Black coaches.”

Meyer stated originally that Khan and GM Trent Baalke had approved of Doyle’s hiring. The first press release announcing that Doyle had resigned because “he did not want to be a distraction,” carried only Meyer’s name. Hours later, Baalke’s name was added. Khan’s name was not mentioned.

The Reid Roundup

Attorneys for the St. Louis plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the NFL are seeking “billions” of dollars in the case. The trial is slated to begin in the fall – and I still think it will never reach a courtroom…After reaching No. 10 in the nation, Missouri got clobbered on the road at Mississippi and dropped an overtime game at home to Arkansas. The Tigers fell to No. 20…East St. Louis native Jeremiah Tilmon, who is having a breakout season with Cuonzo Martin’s Tigers, missed the Arkansas game and was on indefinite bereavement leave following a death in his family. Mizzou has released no further details.

Alvin A. Reid was honored as the 2017 “Best Sports Columnist – Weeklies” in the Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest and is a New York Times contributor. He is a panelist on the Nine Network program, Donnybrook, a weekly contributor to “The Charlie Tuna Show” on KFNS and appears monthly on “The Dave Glover Show” on 97.1 Talk.”

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