Joba says it again: Start me up

starter.jpgIn the argument that never dies, Joba Chamberlain once drew his line in the sand down in Tampa, telling the New York Daily News that he wants to start and not be in the bullpen. That pretty much goes along with everything he’s said all along, though he’d agreed to relieve because it was best for the team.

Just by chance (and maybe because I’ve been listening to a little too much sports talk radio lately), I made a similar point in a Yankees Inbox column today, answering a question about why Phil Hughes isn’t being considered for relief work. It’s unorthodox, but I’ll quote myself, I guess:

“Really, [the Yankees are] trying to wean everyone off the idea of Chamberlain
as a reliever as well. That was a move made because New York
desperately needed some bullpen help during the 2007 playoff push.

Chamberlain just happened to be available for a conversion, but
even then, the Yankees said they envisioned Chamberlain as a starter
going forward. It just so happens that we’ve seen more of Chamberlain
as a reliever — and he’s pretty good at it — but it makes sense that
you’d want your best pitchers throwing more innings.”

Other points in that article — the Yankees are in trouble if Jorge Posada can’t catch, the Xavier Nady-Nick Swisher situation, the Yankees’ 2008 Draft and Bernie Williams.

Fire your thoughts back at me if you’d like. is allowing us to do fan mail articles more than once a week now – you’ll remember Mailbag used to run on Mondays only – so I’m going to try to get two or three up a week, depending on how busy the Yankees are. Just in the first week of this alone, I have more than 500 e-mails to sort through.


I have no issue with Job pitching as a starter or a reliever. If he pitching in the rotation, he will throw more innings, if he pitches as a reliever, he will pitch more quality innings.

Bob Ruffolo


Joba is on Steroids.


Joba will start. No doubt about it! Wasn’t our bullpen a strength last year? Wasn’t it the exact opposite for our rotation last year? All signs point to him being a starter, where we need him. A guy that can dominate Beckett in our 5 hole is incredible… I wonder if he’ll overtake the number one spot some day. Let’s see how he does next season first…


I live in Prince Edward Island, Canada… I finally found a copy of “The Yankee Years” in an Indigo, one of two copies that they had ordered in… for the entire island– thought, the population is roughly 100,000 for the entire province and PEI is a “hockey” place, rather than a baseball place. I’m probably going to place my term paper on the back-burner for the next few days and actually get to read the book, quite excited.


Do you think the Yanks will trade Nady or Swisher before spring training ends?

~King of Cali


To me, this is Brian Bruney’s big chance to shine — he’s reporting in shape and motivated, and if you look at Bruney’s stats in ’08, they’re comparable to what Chamberlain did after being called up in ’07. Chamberlain was more dominant, sure, but the Yankees didn’t lose games because of Bruney.

David Cone made a wonderful point about this on the YES Network Hot Stove last week. The best closer on the market this winter was Francisco Rodriguez, who got three years and $37 million from the Mets. The best starter on the market was CC Sabathia and he got seven years and $161 million from the Yankees.

So which do teams consider more valuable, a starter or a reliever?


But if Joba is good at relieving – and there is a need for it – isn’t it better for him to play that role? If he’s a starter, who will take his place in the pen?



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