Blue Jays' Arencibia Doesn't Back Down From Criticism Of Team Broadcasters Zaun, Hayhurst
Blue Jays C J.P Arencibia on Thursday afternoon "stuck to his guns ... saying he doesn’t regret comments he made" while appearing on CJCL-AM "about former Blue Jays and current team broadcasters Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst," according to Gregory Strong of the CP. Arencibia went on the air to "respond to criticism from the two analysts, saying he and his teammates don’t respect the pair because they are 'informing fans the wrong way.'” Arencibia said that Hayhurst and Zaun were “'below-average' players who make the game sound easy." He added prior to Thursday night's game against the Tigers, "I said what I felt. I said what I said this morning and I don’t regret anything. I feel like myself and my teammates feel the same way.” Hayhurst said, "I think he has every right to feel the way that he does and he has every right to voice his opinion on critics. He’s had a really rough year." Strong noted Hayhurst "shook hands with Arencibia in the clubhouse before batting practice and they chatted for about 10 minutes." Arencibia added that things "might be different if he saw Hayhurst and Zaun more often." Arencibia: “They’re never around in the clubhouse. I was able to talk to Dirk today and I told him, ‘You know, hey, you can say what you want to say, just be around the guys more. Come in.' Why was it the first time that you’ve shown face today, when something was said. That’s my point.” Hayhurst: "Our job as analysts is to look at some of the negative stuff and you look at the play that J.P. Arencibia has had this year and there’s been a lot of negative things to discuss. I think he’s struggling right now. I think that’s a warranted comment and I think it reflects in his stats" (CP, 7/4).
TARGET PRACTICE: The NATIONAL POST's John Lott noted Arencibia's "main complaints" are that Zaun and Hayhurst have "made him a constant target this season, and they do not inform their commentary by showing up to talk to him or his teammates before home games." But when Hayhurst "approached Arencibia in the clubhouse Thursday afternoon," the two "conferred quietly." Arencibia "did most of the talking" (NATIONAL POST, 7/75). The TORONTO SUN wrote it was a "dopey move by Arencibia who doesn’t understand that he will never win a pissing match with the media." Hayhurst and Zaun have been "big critics of Arencibia -- they think he’s a lousy catcher." It is "up to Arencibia to prove them wrong, on the field not on the air" (TORONTOSUN.com, 7/4). The GLOBE & MAIL's Jeff Blair wrote Arencibia's "presence on social media makes it easy for the cynical to see him as some kind of publicity whore, but the fact is it’s just the way he’s wired." Arencibia: “Doing things I do -- being in social media and putting my face out there at charity events -- exposing myself as one of faces … I understand I open myself up." The "flip side, is Arencibia is overly sensitive to criticism" (GLOBE & MAIL, 7/5). In Toronto, Richard Griffin wrote the "unfortunate part for the Jays is that Arencibia pays too much attention to social media, to the fans to the critics that react instantly." He "needs to shut his critics up with his play" (THESTAR.com, 7/4).
GOING TOO FAR: SPORTSNET’s Michael Grange wrote Arencibia has "jumped the shark by calling out" Zaun and Hayhurst. The "problem Arencibia faces is that his critics are treading on solid ground." So "play good and everyone shuts up" (SPORTSNET.ca, 7/4). The NATIONAL POST provided a full transcript of Arencibia's criticism of Zaun and Hayhurst (NATIONAL POST, 7/5).