Sunday, October 25, 2009

John Flaherty not afraid to say no on YES

In baseball, there is a lot of talk about how former catchers make great managers. But former Yankee catcher and current YES Network broadcaster John Flaherty is showing why they also make great broadcasters too, both during his pre and post-game appearances as well as his in-game calling during the regular season.

I love listening to Flaherty, namely because he is not afraid to call out underperforming Yankees. On tonight's pre-game show, he talked about Joba Chamberlain's bad body language and sagging confidence. While he said Joe Girardi would still be quick to call on Phil Hughes in a tight spot, he said the Yankees manager wouldn't be as eager to call on Joba.

"If you're Joe Girardi, it's hard to have confidence in this guy right now," he said.

A lot of former players, especially ones who have retired relatively recently, are unwilling to criticize current players because they have played with many of them. But Flaherty is not one of those guys. Last week, he was asked about Girardi's decision to pull Damaso Marte in favor of Phil Coke, which seemed strange because it replaced one lefthander with another. But Flaherty quickly called out Marte, saying he has had no confidence in Marte since last year's trade that brought him to the Yanks from the Pirates.

Speaking of Hughes, MLB Network tried to make a big deal about the fact that he didn't show up for Friday's optional workout, noting that Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher all showed up, among others. They even quoted Posada as saying, "Optional is not a word you use in the playoffs." But Hughes is a young kid and maybe he just needed a day to clear his head after his troubles in Anaheim. I have absolutely no problem with that.

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