May 2, 2013; Toronto, ON, Canada; Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia (9) throws out the baserunner in the eighth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. The Red Sox beat the Blue Jays 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Shots Fired! J.P. Arencibia Goes After Gregg Zaun & Dirk Hayhurst

The starting catcher for your Toronto Blue Jays does not appreciate the message that fellow Rogers employees Gregg Zaun & Dirk Hayhurst have been spreading about his play.

J.P.  went off of Blue Jays on the two former players turned analysts on the Brady & Lang show on the Fan590. If you haven’t already had a listen you can check it out here.

Arencibia clearly agitated with the negative light that his play has been cast under went on the defensive. After some small talk about a charity event he was attending today Arencibia went at Zaun and Hayhurst, quite bluntly stating that it is unfortunate that fans have to listen to the duo who are “informing fans the wrong way” and claiming that “there’s not one person in our clubhouse that respect those guys.”

Arencibia didn’t stop there, despite the fact that Zaun had a quite successful Major League Career (5 seasons above 1.2 fWAR which is J.P.’s career high), J.P  doesn’t respect him due to his career as a “below average player who used PED’s to stay in game”  (a reference to Zaun’s name being brought up in the infamour Mitchell Report).

J.P. then went on to take credit for Hayhurst making it up to the Blue Jays Major League roster when he was catching in Triple-A due to his encouraging Hayhurst to throw his change-up on the inside (Side note: haha).

It’s clear the Arencibia is frustrated with the negativity that has been associated with his season, taking to the radio to rip on analysts is probably not the best way to handle it. It may temporarily deflect attention from his atrocious season, but come next week, he’s still going to be gettin on base around 24% of the time, he’s still going to be a very below average catcher, and there will still be analysts who don’t feel the need to turn a blind eye to his subpar play due to his affable personality.

While I don’t agree with everything Hayhurst or Zaun says, they are in the right on this issue. J.P. has been bad this season, they’ve done their job as analysts in pointing this out. He needs to suck it up, and play a little better, if not? Well he can go and join a TV studio himself and he’ll be that below average player criticizing those actually playing the game.

If nothing else, this should make for an interesting pre-game show, knowing what Zaun is like, his response to J.P. should be entertaining to say the least.

Were J.P.'s comments out of line?

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Tags: J.P. Arencibia Toronto Blue Jays

  • JoseB

    Jays deserve to be criticized for the way they are playing but not by an ex player who denied his PED use and had a pretty lame one for it (when shown the receipt for his steroid purchase)

    • Travis Bateman

      Don’t see how alleged PED use has anything to do with Zaun’s (valid) criticism of Arencibia’s awful season.

  • mike in boston

    JPA: there’s not one person in our clubhouse that respect those guys.

    i can believe that. Listening to Zaun and Dirk speak about the game is often pretty hysterical … both guys take themselves to be authorities on the game. I can’t imagine any active player caring what Zaun or Dirk thinks. For myself, i tune out anything Zaun says about catching. He’s clearly bitter that he was a part-time player for so much of his career.

    That said, both guys have remade themselves as media members and both believe it is their job to create headlines. Zaun is firmly in the awful Cherry/Bayless camp of media members who should be shot into outer space , but i still have hope that Dirk can turn it around and be relevant for saying interesting things rather than being controversial.

    • Travis Bateman

      J.P. Arencibia obviously cares, or he couldn’t have acted like a little kid reacting like this.
      I don’t agree with everything they say (or most of what Zaun says) but their criticisms of Arencibia have been valid. The proper response would have been to say “I haven’t played as well as I know I can and I will be better”.
      To make it worse, the odds of J.P. having even half the career that Zaun had are pretty much 0.

    • Eric Reining

      He’s clearly bitter that he was a part-time player for so much of his career.

      In a 15-year Major League career, Greg Zaun made slightly less than $18 million. Bitter? Hardly.

      • Justin Jay

        Zaun also popped up on the list of PED users back in 2004. Coincidentally, Zaun’s best years as a player came between 2004-2007 from age 34-37? With the exception of the ’97 Marlins, he played on some bad teams which enabled him to continue to be a major league player.

        • Eric Reining

          What does his PED usage, or the fact that he played on bad baseball teams, have anything to do with his (fair) analysis of J.P. Arencibia?

          • Justin Jay

            You don’t feel it diminishes some of his cred? I’m not saying he’s entirely wrong, but how can you criticize somebody’s play when you cheated to try and improve yours?

  • Eric Reining

    I’m the editor at the Rangers’ FS site, and I just wanted to say, this was a really, really well-written article.

    Generally I side with the players on most issues, but that’s saying less about them and more about how dumb most mainstream media members are. However, in this case, J.P. Arencibia comes off as immature, and he’s just flat out wrong. (a) He’s having a pretty shitty year [essentially replacement-level], & (b) the team has, despite a solid stretch recently, underachieved so far in 2013.

    Regardless, J.P. didn’t have to come at Greg Zaun so harshly, because even though he wasn’t very good, he was good enough to stick in the Major Leagues for a quite awhile. Arencibia might hit the long ball on occasion, and chicks might dig that, but the fact is his .244 OBP is unacceptable, and these two guys have every right to criticize that.

    Again, excellent article.

    • Travis Bateman


      Major pet peeve of mine is analysts being targeted based on their playing careers (or lack thereof).

      Does it really take a Hall of Famer to point out that a .244 OBP isn’t good? Or that 31.2% strikeout rate isn’t desireable?

  • RyanMueller

    Good for JPA. If Zaun and Hayhurst is willing to throw stones than JPA should be able to throw some pebbles back.

    • Michael Wray

      I have to agree… JPA went a bit too far with some of what he said but I don’t really have a problem with him speaking up… just has to be a bit smarter about it

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