I’m not upset the Blue Jays decided to part ways with J.P. Arencibia.
At the end of the season, it was abundantly clear there needed to be an upgrade behind the plate. JPA’s performance in 2013 was awful. In sports, there comes a point where a player has to be removed for the sake of the team. It’s like that famous quote from Star Trek: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.” That’s the best way to explain JPA’s departure.
What does upset me was how some people vilified JPA this past summer.
I saw many harsh and unnessesary comments about him throughout the season. Since the home opener when he allowed several passed balls, it felt like some fans were hoping to see him fail. They loved seeing him struggle and since Brett Lawrie and Jose Bautista quieted the haters down with their play, it was open season on JPA. With every strikeout, the haters salivated.
People talked about him like he was a criminal. They made it seem like he was the scum of the Earth. They treated him like he ran over the family pet and didn’t care. All this hate because he played poorly.
Was he atrocious on the field? Yes. Was it foolish to go after Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst? Absolutely! Does that mean we should say awful things about him? No.
If a player deserves to be criticized for his play, then we should criticize him; and we should be upset and angry within reason. However, criticism should be done constructively and respectfully. I realize this opinion falls into the category of “butterflies, unicorns, rainbows and lollipops,” but it would be nice if we remembered that beneath the big league celebrity and million-dollar salary is a human being.
J.P. Arencibia is not a bad person. He just wasn’t a good big league catcher.
As for Dioner Navarro…
Concern #1: He hasn’t played 100+games since 2009. He appeared in 89 games in 2013. Unless the Jays plan on platooning him with Thole, I find his amount of playing time worrisome.
Concern #2: His 2013 CS% wasn’t that much better than JPA’s; just one percentage point better.
Overall, I’m lukewarm about this move. Navarro’s 2013 stats were better than JPA’s, but that’s not saying much. The amount of games played is a problem, especially since JPA appeared in 138 games this year.