Today Curtis Rush of the Toronto Star posted an excellent email exchange he had with Gregg Zaun, who was in the news this week for his bang-on excoriation of J.P. Arencibia.
In the piece Zaun is asked if there has “ever been a comment [he] regretted making,” which he affirms, explaining that he was disciplined internally for a comment made last year about Alex Anthopoulos, in which on Prime Time Sports he said that the GM was a “bean counting sabermatrician.” Despite multiple email apologies, and admitting to Rush that he was wrong and that the “extremely amateurish” comment was a too glib attempt to get his point across in the closing ten seconds of the program, he hasn’t spoken to AA since.
Sure, that’s a regrettable professional moment, especially given how Anthopoulos has supposedly reacted.
Unfortunately, Gregg might have new champion of regrettable comments on his hands, as the interview in the Star also included this nugget:
Have you been instructed to lay off on your criticism?
They (Rogers) told me when I came on full-time to be honest, be opinionated, as I tend to be, and to be fair. They have never asked me to censor myself or be a homer. They only asked that I not attack “The Man.” I was told I was free to criticize and praise performances all I wanted.
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Gregg Zaun joined Bob McCown and Michael Grange last night on the Fan 590′s Prime Time Sports, responding to the recent comments about him from J.P. Arencibia (audio here - starts around the 16 minute mark). I called it “the great put-on” when we podcasted about it last week, and suggested as much in the post that included the transcript of the comments as well. But now? Yeah… not that I was ever really serious… but, uh… I don’t really think that it was.
More to the point, though, Zaun actually kind of nailed it, displaying a little of the occasionally Saber-esque common sense stuff that first made him endearing as an analyst in the process. At least, by my reckoning he did. And his criticism of Arencibia’s “warped sense of reality” when it comes to his I’m a “run producer” nonsense, and the way that the Jays’ catcher went about broaching the subject in public, was actually rather elegant. Y’know, for Zaun.
Here’s the transcript:
ZAUN: I think his perception of my analysis is that I’ve somehow forgotten how hard it was to play the game in the three years since I retired. Unfortunately for him, I remember how easy it was for me to do certain things– catch the baseball, block it, make it stay right in front of me. I had my ups and downs with throwing the baseball based on surgeries, but he doesn’t really have that excuse just yet. You know, I’ve been a proponent of his in a lot of ways.
McCOWN: You were a defender of his when I was critical of him at the beginning.
ZAUN: No doubt. I always take an honest look at the catchers. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m hard on guys. I mean, I expect a lot out of a guy– and the first thing I expect him to be able to do is catch the baseball. So, when a guy leads the league in passed balls year after year, it’s embarrassing, and it’s not right. And I know this guy has so much more in him than we’ve seen.
McCOWN: Analytically, why is this guy not getting it? Do you think his work ethic is weak?
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