Hilariously awesome and deliciously unnecessary stuff went sailing out of the mouth of J.P. Arencibia this morning, and through the speakers of sports talk radio listeners throughout the GTA, as he appeared on the Fan 590 (audio here) and, as promised, fired blasts at players-turned-broadcasters Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst.
Maybe it’s all a WWF-like* put-on or something. That, frankly, would be about the only reasonable explanation for a struggling ballplayer to even fucking bother– and to drag teammate Melky Cabrera under the bus in the process– but I somehow don’t think that’s the case.
Being given the chance to deliver on his promise of shit-talk on this morning’s Brady and Lang, here’s where Arencibia somewhat stunningly went:
I think it’s very unfortunate that the fans have to hear those guys talk as much as they do, because, I know, speaking for myself and for the team, that there’s not one person in our clubhouse that respects those guys. Because they’re informing the fans the wrong way, and it’s not right. And I think, one) not a lot of us, including myself, respect a person that used performance enhancing drugs and, you know, was able to stick around as a below average player in the Major Leagues. And those who do it without that– I know I’ve worked my entire career. I’ve worked hard. I’ve never done anything, I’ve never put anything in my body, and I go out there and bust my butt every day. It’s not an easy game. And I think sometimes people forget that.
And with Dirk Hayhurst, there’s a guy who– you know, he was another guy who had below average baseball tools. And I was actually the catcher in Triple-A who was busting my butt every single day to try to get the best out of him, and he had an opportunity to go up to the Major Leagues that year, and I take a lot of pride in helping, and feeling like I’m a part of what gave the guy the opportunity. I even remember having conversations with him about how to throw the changeup inside– I thought it was better to throw the changeup in than throw him the changeup away, and he had great results with it.
And it’s tough to hear people like that criticize– I know it’s part of their job, but to sit there and inform the fans that this is wrong and this is not the way, because they quickly forget how hard this game is. Because every one of us wants to make adjustments, and no one on this earth cares more about what goes on than the players do. It’s our careers. It’s our well-being. This is what I’ve done since I was four years old. But it’s very unfortunate that those people are the ones that they have to get their information from, because they make the game sound like it’s easy, and it’s tough, because those guys are not letting the fans know what it takes and how hard it is on a day-in day-out basis, from dealing from injuries and dealing from different things to go out there and succeed in this game on a consistent level. That’s why the guys who hit .300 and the guys who pitch win 20 games are 1%, 2% of baseball. So, it’s tough, and I feel bad for fans that they have to listen to that stuff.
I think he actually makes an excellent point about it not being conveyed to fans just how hard the game is– there are far too many fans out there who are absolutely aghast when guys swing at brutally deceptive pitches or can’t make plays that are happening at a game speed that is beyond their imagination– but… this is still completely fucking insane.
Deliberately going on the radio and saying all this? Fuck, it makes my job about a billion times easier, buy why???
Especially after on Monday having been quoted in a piece from Mike Cormack at Sportsnet, responding to media criticism thusly:
There’s no hard feelings. You’re not going to call me when my career is over, because I’m not going to call you. So I just go out there and do what I’m put on this Earth to do.
. . .
I pay zero attention because I’ve learned more and more how — no offence — how much you guys don’t know.
. . .
So good or bad, (what people say) is out of my control. I can work hard, I can do all the things to prepare and that’s all you can do.
. . .
Results will come. I’m confident enough in my abilities, but again, guys need something to talk about and obviously I’m the one that they talk about. Do I care? Not really.
DID HE FUCKING FORGET???
So, he doesn’t care what the media says, or listen to them, but would like to tell you all about how he doesn’t like what he hears them say????
Also: Dirk Hayhurst was barely a big leaguer and should shut up, but JP would like to take his fair share of credit for his career anyway, just because… y’know… GAH!!!!!
Oh, and he shit-talks the career of Gregg Zaun, whose .344 career on-base and .325 wOBA slaughter his own marks of .267 and .300. Not to mention that Zaun was, for whatever defensive stats for catchers are worth, +23 runs by DRS in his five years with the Jays, compared to JPA’s -4. (To be fair, the defensive numbers FanGraphs uses to calculate WAR [rSB and RPP] are less kind to Zaun– though still considerably better than what they say about Arencibia.)
Now, I can’t defend some of the nonsense that’s come out of Zaun’s mouth this season, and I can wholly understand why Jays players aren’t happy with him or other members of the media, but… seriously, what the hell? Those guys get paid to talk, and Arencibia gets paid to play baseball, so why he’d bother walking– very deliberately– into a shitstorm is beyond me. It must be cathartic, sure, but how does it possibly help anything? And where was anyone from the team, after last night’s tweet promoting the appearance, going, “Uh… hey JP, you’re not going to just make all this a fuck-tonne worse here, are you?”
I don’t know. Like I say, it sure is fun to have the shit talk, but if I’m the guy who doesn’t make his living running his mouth, whether I’m armed with a solid point or two or not, I probably continue my stand from three days ago and keep on pretending I couldn’t give a fuck. Was that really so hard?
* No, not wrestling. I mean those scam artists at the World Wildlife Fund!**
** It’s a joke, son.