Today J.P. Arencibia deigned to speak to an actual print reporter from Toronto — something he wasn’t willing to do yesterday — and it led to a marvelously clueless performance from him, not terribly unlike his performances on the field, in a piece reflecting on his tumultuous final season in Toronto from Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star.
There’s more gold than just this — go read it — including the amazing implication that media coverage he received was part of the reason he wasn’t retained by the Jays, but this was by far the most hilarious part:
“I think the media made me out to be a monster — I wasn’t. They changed a lot of things that I said or made up stories. So I thought that that was a big thing that went down. I learned how much media does control things.”
Arencibia did not specify to which reporters or media outlets he was referring. Of the allegations he said were falsely reported, he mentioned only one: that he had complained to team president Paul Beeston about Hayhurst and Zaun, which he said “wasn’t even close to what happened.”
Arencibia himself was actually the source of that report, when he said in an MLB Network radio interview that he spoke to the “team president” about broadcasters “that we employ” and asked, “How do you build a fan base when everything that fans are hearing is negative?”
Though he once again declined to specify about whom or what he was speaking, Arencibia also said he considered taking legal action against some members of the media, whom he vaguely accused of defaming him.
That stuff itself is worthy of a post, but as you can see from the above image, it doesn’t quite end there. After spotting a post about the piece on theScore’s Facebook page, Gregg Zaun — and yes, that’s really him (not some lame unfunny parody account): Sportsnet Zaun is the Facebook profile that fans are directed to from Zaun’s official website — provided a fantastic response to Arencibia’s continued delusions [everything sic'd]:
It was my fault I kept the media off his back during his first 2 years of ineptness behind the plate. I guess that gave him a false sense of security about his performance behind the dish. I’ll still be here for him when the Rangers release him. All I want is an apology for his well rehearsed assault on Hayhurst and me. Then we can go forward like MEN. He could always call me or email me. He has both. Oh wait, he’s had both for years. Maybe he should have called me if he was upset with the way I was doing my job and then we could have discussed it like MEN
Well-rehearsed is right, and that was what I thought was so especially bizarre about it when first writing on the incident. But, of course, it was all pretty bizarre, and Zaun is certainly bang on here — and in his further comments. Oh yes, there’s more…
Sorry gang it was all my fault. I was always 20 feet from him before games and available for advice, which he never asked for. I guess he had it all figured out. Things were different when I was the starting catcher and he was in AA. Followed me around asking for instruction.
I wouldn’t comment on or criticize him during his first 2 years because I know how hard it is to be a young catcher in the show. NO ONE WAS ROOTING HARDER FOR JP THAN I WAS. WAS
And one more:
In the end it was our (Dirk Hayhurst and Me) unwillingness to spin the fact that he was in the top 10 in Rbi for a catcher in the league in late May into something positive. 15 teams in the league BTW.
I’d suspect Gregg has said such things before and elsewhere — why wouldn’t he when he’s so entirely right? — but for obvious reasons I thought it was pretty cool that it was via theScore that he did it. Also: this little soap opera isn’t close yet to being not funny, so I’m all for more back and forth.
Oh, and as if this night wasn’t good enough already, the GIF of grown men fighting over Edwin Encarnacion’s bat is pretty fantastic too.
Crotch grab in the direction of the Zubes for alerting me to this deliciousness.