Thursday, November 14, 2013

More or Less Scary than J.P. Arencibia, Starting Catcher

So, yesterday I had a small exchange with Dan Szymborski on Twitter. He had done an article for ESPN listing free agents who scare him, then tweeted:
For reference, J.P. Arencibia spent 2013 as the starting catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays. He was, to be kind, abysmal. He hit--and I use that term loosely--.194/.227/.365  with a wRC+ of 57. Look at that OBP! It is not a typo. It's .227. Yet he got into 134 games and had almost 500 PAs. The only thing that kept him from being the worst player in the game was being a catcher and hitting with some power (21 HRs). I asked a pertinent question:

Now, I am not above going for cheap laughs here at Baseball Arcade and this exchange gave me an idea. So, now I will take a look at a number of famous horror creatures and determine which is scarier: J.P. Arencibia or the monster (look at me, resisting the obvious "Monster or Fictional Creature from Horror Franchise" joke... oops).

Samara (The Ring)

Well, Dan already covered this on in his tweet. I'll just let that stand.

Scarier: Arencibia

Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th series)

Well, both of these guys wear a mask. They both possess great physical power. Odds are they are both terrible at baseball despite their raw strength.  While Arencibia is human and may get hurt and thus miss some games on the Disabled List, Jason's invulnerability means that he'd be guaranteed to start every game. What manager would bench Jason Voorhees? Do you want to tell him he can't play? To make matters worse, Jason wears a hockey mask. If Darin Erstad has taught us anything, it's that the media loves to insufferably wax poetic about the "grit" and "toughness" of players who have backgrounds in other sports like football or hockey.

Scarier: Jason Voorhees

Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street series)

Freddy, for all his powers, is only able to get at you in your dreams. Arencibia haunts your waking hours. Human beings spend a far greater portion of the day awake than they do asleep. Thus, this is a no-brainer. I will say that living on Elm Street and being a fan of a team with Arencibia as its starting catcher is probably the worst thing. There'd be no escape.

Scarier: Arencibia

Pinhead (Hellraiser series)

Arencibia only tortures you during the course of the baseball season. Once the offseason begins, he's out of your mind. Pinhead tortures you for eternity. Although which form of torture is more severe is certainly open to debate, the sheer duration of Pinhead's torture will overcome any difference in the intensity of the actual anguish.

Scarier: Pinhead

The Mummy (really?)

Both are slow, lumbering creatures and could be outrun by just about anyone. Even a blogger. The Mummy has the tendency to strangle the life out of you. Having Arencibia on your team makes you want to strangle yourself.  The Mummy brings Biblical plagues along with him. Arencibia, however, is a plague in and of himself.

Scarier: Tie

Zombies (Various)

Zombie movies, the good ones, are often more about social commentary than they are about the flesh-eating undead. The zombies are merely engines that drive societal collapse and allow us to examine that society by seeing humans without it. In these films, it is always Man who is the real monster. J.P. Arencibia is a Man.

Scarier: Arencibia

Cthulhu (H. P. Lovecraft's stories)

Cthulhu is an ancient, unknowable, and unearthly horror. The very sight of Him (It?) can drive a man insane. However, the very sight of Arencibia's stat line can also drive a man insane. Cthulhu can only be awoken under rare and specific conditions, while Arencibia is guaranteed to start nearly every day. It's also worth noting that this strange message was found scrawled on a fan's scorecard in Rogers Centre: That is not dead which can eternal lie / And with strange catchers even rallies may die. Not sure what's up with that. However, Cthulhu has the trump card with the whole "Dooming the Entire World" thing. Arencibia only dooms the hopes of Blue Jays fans.

Scarier: Cthulhu

There you have it. J.P. Arencibia holds up well against even some of the horror greats. Have a favorite monster? Tell me in the comments and I'll compare them.

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