Jays’ JP Arencibia should lay off Sportsnet TV commentators

Frank Doyle | Updated Jul 04, 2013


Catcher JP Arencibia says there is major tension between the Toronto Blue Jays’ locker room and the team’s Sportsnet commentators Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst. He wasn’t shy about getting into the details of the rift in an interview with Toronto radio station The Fan 590 on Thursday either.

“It’s tough to hear people like that criticize,” Arencibia said. “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. They quickly forget how hard this game is.”

Toronto’s catcher also referred to Zaun and Hayhurst as “below-average” MLB players and said that the two Sportsnet TV commentators that he isn’t the only Toronto player upset about the criticism Zaun and Hayhurst dish out.

The two commentators took the high road later on Thursday, saying Arencibia is entitled to his opinions and refusing to add any fuel to this fire. That’s a lesson Arencibia should take note of. To begin with, the Blue Jays have opened themselves up to this criticism thanks to a lousy start.

At the beginning of the year, the Jays opened as the World Series favourite, so a sub-.500 record heading into the All Star break is going to draw some attention. The Jays have been better over the past couple of months, which likely spurred Arencibia to lash out, but they’re still 10 games back in the AL East ahead of tonight’s home game against the Detroit Tigers.

And it’s not like Arencibia is having a world-class season, either. His 15 home runs look nice, but a .215 batting average leaves a lot to be desired – as do the 10 passed balls and 33 stolen bases he’s allowed from behind the plate.

“I don’t think it’s completely fair some of the things he said, but I can take it and I’m fine with it,” said Hayhurst. “I hope that he feels better about it now and I hope that he goes on and has a more productive season.”

Toronto is just 3-7 in its last 10 games and now sends Esmil Rogers to the hill against Jason Verlander Thursday night. The Tigers, who have won seven of their last night against Toronto, are pegged as -125 favourites with the total at 8.5.