(above : former catcher Gregg Zaun.  Not shown, Jermaine Clement, Bret McKenzie)

Following Toronto’s less than impressive press conference to announce Yunel Escobar’s apology for brandishing a homophobic slur on his eye-black stickers, The Fan 590’s Gregg Zaun eviscerated the organization for everything from their failure to monitor Escobar, Moises Sierra’s inability to wear the right flip sunglasses to Brett Lawrie’s baserunning gaffes. “I’ve been watching  guys making idiot mistakes trying to run to third base on a ball hit in front of them, trying to do things they can’t do… then using the excuse of a consequence-free environment,” raged Zaun, an opinion seemingly not shared by the Blue Jays faithful, or at least those who chime in on the Globe & Mail‘s website, as Bruce Dowbiggin explains.

There was plenty of approval for Zaun but also much criticism. Most of it was that old: Where does a journeyman player such as Zaun get off ripping anyone? “Zaun was the worst position player in the history of the Blue Jays and now we have to listen to him spout his total crap on TV,” commented Amac, summing up the who-does-he-think-he-is meme. Regster wrote, “As a baseball player [Zaun] could barely hit for average or play tremendous defence … For you to bash these young bluejays saying there making to much idiot mistake is foul.”

Spelling and grammar aside, why can’t a journeyman player criticize? We don’t insist that music critics be virtuosi or that political commentators run an election campaign. Yet the sports world is slavish in its deference to the opinions of the chiefs. The status quo needs challenging, and Zaun’s credentials were more than enough for that job.