Results tagged ‘ Joba Chamberlain ’
Came across this in the Yankees notes:
For the second straight year, Joba Chamberlain has selected a hard-working student from a family of modest means in Lincoln, Neb. to be his guest at Disney World for ESPN The Weekend. Jazmine Meyer King, 11, of Clinton Elementary School in Lincoln, along with her parents and brother, will fly from Nebraska to Florida, receive hotel accommodations, Disney theme park passes, a Disney VIP tour and meals, all arranged by Joba. He will join Jazmine on Sunday at Disney. Jazmine was selected by Joba with help from Jerome Ulrich, his former little league coach, and Matt Altman, a teacher at Clinton Elementary.
In 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. MLB.com 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.
Brian Cashman’s charity discussion out in Pleasantville, N.Y. for Ed Randall’s ‘Bat for the Cure‘ ran long tonight, but if you were as passionate about the Yankees as most of the audience seemed to be, it probably wasn’t a big deal. Just about the only topic Cash wouldn’t discuss was Joe Torre’s book, but there was plenty to go around. Some of the highlights to chew on:
Manny to the Yankees — officially dead: The Yankees are done with their big spending and have no room left to pursue Manny Ramirez. Sorry, folks, but right now the Yankees are trying to sign more guys like Angel Berroa. The Yankees payroll will be reduced in ’09 and Manny’s bat isn’t going to change that.
“Ultimately, we’ve made our decision,” Cashman said. “We chose to put that money into Mark Teixeira to play first base. I do hear rumblings about people actually expect us to get in on Manny. That’s not going to happen. We respect his abilities, there’s no doubt about it, but we’re now in the non-roster invite mode.”
Cashman knows the Yankees have been anointed the Hot Stove champs. It doesn’t mean anything: “I don’t care about headlines in December or January. What ultimately translates is getting enough W’s to be the last team standing.”
Career paths: Cashman wasn’t one of those kids who lies awake at night dreaming of being the Yankees GM. Actually, out in Kentucky, young Cash grew up a Dodgers fan and a Yankee hater. In fact, when Bob Watson gave up the GM post in ’98, Cashman first begged him to stay. Then he asked George Steinbrenner not to give him a contract, instead operating on a handshake agreement so Cashman could be easily dismissed if it didn’t work out.
Tough crowd: Cashman is very wary of the Rays, of whom he said has seen the talent coming for years. On the traditional 20 to 80 scouting scale (50 being an average big leaguer), Cashman said too many of Tampa Bay’s young prospects are coming in around 80. Such is the advantage of smart drafting and terrible in-season results.
But the Yankees have some names Cashman is excited about — he thinks the ’06 crop of Ian Kennedy, Joba Chamberlain, Zach McAllister, Dellin Betances and Dave Robertson could go down as an all-time great one. The Yankees are still top-heavy in pitching prospects and would love to develop more big bats, but most of the really promising position players are at the A-ball level and below.
What if: Yes, the four-year, $40 million deal to Carl Pavano was a bust. But Cashman said Pavano turned down even more money from the Tigers, Mariners and Orioles. The Red Sox were also hot on Pavano.
Flight cancelled: Cashman almost flew to Baltimore from Houston to meet with A.J. Burnett after his meeting with Andy Pettitte in December. It turned out not to be necessary – things had progressed far enough with Burnett that the Yankees were confident it’d get done.
Will the Melk-man deliver?: As of right now, it’s Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner for center field. Cashman believes Melky is a better player than he showed in ’08 and will be out to prove that. But here’s an ominous warning: “The ones that are good enough will find a way. The ones that aren’t good enough will find excuses.” Cash compared Gardner to “Juan Pierre, who takes a walk.”
Better days?: Cashman said he’s not a big souvenir guy, but one of the things he’s kept was the lineup card from his first win as Yankees GM – April 5, 1998 at Oakland. Cash was actually in Oakland the day earlier, but Steinbrenner had called him back to New York in a fit after the Yankees started the year 0-3. They won 125 games.
The inscription on the lineup card from Joe Torre reads: “Crash – the first of many.” That’s not a typo. The nickname ‘Crash’ stuck to Cashman in his younger, wilder days.
Driving Mr. Steinbrenner: Cash told a great story about his early days back in the Yankees organization, when George Steinbrenner’s personal drivers were all out shuttling around dignitaries or guests. Cashman got stuck with the assignment and found himself on the FDR Drive with the Boss, who wanted to get a quick haircut before flying to Tampa out of Teterboro.
Long story short, Cash tried to get cute with a shortcut and wound up hearing a full-on assault of the 1980s Steinbrenner in his right ear for the whole rest of the trip. Steinbrenner actually threatened at one point to “just take the subway.” He got the haircut with Cashman but found a different driver to take him across to New Jersey.
This popped up on the news feed today: some interesting answers from out in the heartland, where Joba Chamberlain conducted a Q&A in advance of a charity bachelor-bachelorette auction.
Thankfully, the starter-reliever question is not asked, and the article notes that Joba would not discuss his DUI issue. But we do learn that Joba has performed in ‘Footloose’ and ‘West Side Story,’ gets facials and manicures, and runs his credit card for Japanese mandarin at ‘Bath and Body Works.’
I would have to imagine that these new revelations could provide some valuable ammunition for road crowds this year.
See Alex run, see Alex throw, see Alex catch and … most important of all … see Alex hit.
The Yankees had plenty to keep an eye on before Wednesday’s game, watching Alex Rodriguez take his first steps back on the field since hitting the DL on April 30. By all accounts, it went quite well. A-Rod ran at about 75 percent, he estimated, and said he can’t wait to start his rehab assignment in Tampa on Monday.
That lines A-Rod up to rejoin the Yankees on Wednesday against Tampa Bay, one week from today, the earliest he could possibly be activated. They’ll take it. No, he didn’t faint.
A few assorted notes…
Joe Girardi said he spoke to Joba Chamberlain briefly after last night’s game and has no concerns that the free-spirited reliever will be able to bounce back — “Joba’s been through some tough times in his life, and he’s had to get back up, and not always on the baseball field,” Girardi said.
Judging by the pretty solid slap Joba threw at my left shoulder an hour before game time, he’s in a much better mood this evening.
Wondering about Jorge Posada? He’ll be cleared to take batting practice on Friday. Phil Hughes will tag along to Tampa while the Yankees go to Detroit, though he can’t do a whole lot physically right now.
The Yankees have an interactive feature up until 5:30 p.m. during batting practice where you can send a text message to the video screens down the left and right field lines. Most are simple like “Hi Jenny” or “Go Yankees,” but in the past, I’ve seen some pretty good ones up there — most revolve around Carl Pavano.
Anyway, I finally cranked one up there this afternoon to salute Morgan Ensberg’s devoted fandom of the Will Ferrell movie ‘Anchorman,’ posting “Morgan Ensberg is kind of a big deal.” Actually, I just wanted to see if it would work. If you can think of anything funnier for the next few home games, fire away.
We saw something that hadn’t been seen before last night — Joba Chamberlain, giving up regular season runs at Yankee Stadium. It turns out he’s not invincible after all, and this hurt the Yankees in a big way, with David Dellucci’s three-run homer sailing a few rows into the right-field seats to crush New York in a 5-3, come-from-behind, Indians win.
After the game, “bounce back” seemed to be the big buzz words. Joe Girardi said it. So did Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. The Yankees like a lot about Chamberlain’s maturity level and it spoke volumes that he made a bee-line right to his locker to answer every question, prepared to accept the bad day along with all of the good ones that he’s had.
His demeanor was much the same as it was after he took his first big league loss last month in Chicago, and approximately how he reacted after the “midge” game last October in Cleveland. It’s remarkable that those are the only other two comparisons you can make of Chamberlain handling the media after a tough loss.
Chamberlain said that there’s no pitcher who ever goes through life unscathed, and that he’ll be ready and waiting to take the ball if Girardi gives it to him again on Wednesday. Girardi mentioned that you can learn a lot about a club’s character by the way it comes back after a tough loss. With Cliff Lee and Chien-Ming Wang — a combined 11-0 this year — on the mound, this one should be worth tuning in to watch.
Something’s up with Jorge Posada, but the Yankees haven’t let us know what it is just yet. All I can tell you is that the Indians announced the lineup change about five minutes before first pitch, with no reason given. Jose Molina is behind the plate instead and Posada was yanked out of the five hole. Yankees PR director Jason Zillo said that they’ll have more information after the game.
It’s a new era here with the Yankees. I think you’ve already seen that Joe Girardi doesn’t like to give out any information that might somehow affect the opposition’s in-game decisions — Girardi has said numerous times that he won’t speak about relievers’ availability, believing that could be an advantage for the other side. The one exception was Brian Bruney, who was in a walking boot and obviously was not going to pitch on Thursday in Chicago.
That brings us to Joba Chamberlain, who sat for two consecutive games after throwing 33 pitches in that Chicago loss. Chamberlain hit a soft spot on the mound and felt a tweak in the back of his left hamstring, but the Yankees don’t seem to believe it’s anything all that serious. You can understand the cautiousness, though, when you realize that Chamberlain didn’t pitch until May last year with a strained hamstring.
Those hamstrings are tricky things – once you feel them start to tighten up on you, you’d better back off a little before blowing it out. I should know – it happened yesterday in the gym (yes, we writers do get to go to the gym once in a while). My left hamstring will be ready to go tomorrow and the Yankees expect Joba’s to be ready for today.
When’s the last time you heard the name Roger Clemens and didn’t want to cringe? Well, we’ve all had our fill of the steroids stories, but there’s a new book out that looks at the Rocket in a little different light. Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has talked to the guys who actually dug in (not that deep, we presume) against Clemens in his new book, Facing Clemens. Check it out. One of my favorite events to cover was Clemens’ 300th win; I truly felt lucky to be there for that game and it’s a shame that Clemens’ legacy will be (forever?) tainted by the PED situation.
My colleague Scott Merkin, the White Sox correspondent for MLB.com, passed along a few amusing quotes from this afternoon’s session with manager Ozzie Guillen. Apparently the Yankees were a prime topic of discussion. Most prominently, Ozzie weighed in on the Joba Chamberlain — starter or reliever? — controversy.
“I’ve never seen him as a starter, and I don’t have any opinion about him starting,” Guillen said. “But what I see from him out of the bullpen, that was pretty special. Real special. That guy has an arm and is going to make a lot of money. And he plays for the right team. He’ll make a lot of money.
“But that’s the first time I’ve seen him, too. I never [saw] him last year. But what I [saw] last night, that’s electric stuff. They have a manager and GM to make those decisions, and they will make the best decision for the ballclub and the kid. And I think Joe Girardi will handle that situation well because Joe Girardi is a baseball man and knows what he’s doing.
“Just make him a starter. We can see him once a week and not every day. I’m telling you, you see this kid coming out of the ‘pen every day, and it’s pretty interesting. You see him and Mo back-to-back, that’s something special. Where they find that kid?”
There was a funny moment last night in the Yankees clubhouse, when Chien-Ming Wang was conducting his postgame interview session with reporters. Wang is lockering next to Joba Chamberlain here in Chicago, and Chamberlain literally climbed inside his locker while Wang spoke, staring over Wang’s shoulder, making faces and doing almost anything he could to try and distract Wang. It didn’t work and Wang got through his interview fine.
Later, the conversation turned to how Wang is now the quickest pitcher to reach 50 career wins since Dwight Gooden did it with the Mets. Wang said he didn’t know who Gooden was, listening attentively as someone recounted Gooden’s early days with the Mets and later his no-hitter for the Yankees.
Then, someone dropped the name ‘Doc Gooden.’ Now, that guy, Wang knew.
“He does know!” Chamberlain yelled, calling back all of the reporters who had left the conversation.
The Yankees were pretty giddy all around last night. Jason Giambi was asked something about seeing his batting average on the scoreboard and Derek Jeter started hollering, “Don’t do it, Jason, don’t look at it! Just don’t look!”
“Mussina has generated swinging strikes 11 times this year on 319 pitches. That’s five percent of strikes. At his peak, his rate was over three times that and it was 13 percent as recently as 2006. Last year, it was nine percent.”
Hello everyone, from the South Side of Chicago. Joe Girardi was just down in the batting cage showing Jorge Posada and Chad Moeller a thing or two about footwork, jumping out and getting better release times on throws to second base. Posada was zipping throws down to second base pretty decently, so maybe he’s not too far off. We’ll definitely find out.
This is a great city and it’s pretty baseball crazy right now with the Yankees in town to play the White Sox and the Mets playing the Cubs over at Wrigley. Walking the Magnificent Mile this morning, you could see caps of all four teams wandering the streets. Most important for Chicago commerce, all the fans appeared to be spending money. Anthony DiComo is in town and will be blogging about going to both games today at dicomo.mlblogs.com.
Here’s something I don’t need to tell you about Hank Steinbrenner – everyone has an opinion. When Steinbrenner said Sunday that he wants Joba Chamberlain in the rotation as soon as possible, it generated the most e-mails I’ve received about any single story in the two years I’ve been covering the Yankees for MLB.com. Love him or hate him, agree or disagree, Hank gets a reaction. I would share some of them but they’re not all G-rated.
He’s got to know that, and you know what? It’s not only good for the news media, but it’s actually good for baseball. It makes it interesting. The Yankees since 1973 have been marked by a loud voice coming from the owner’s suite and letting the fans know what’s going on. Hank is filling the void left when George began to lean on type-written missives and statements, and he’s doing it quite well.
Here’s what we’re looking at:
Tuesday: RHP Chien-Ming Wang (3-0, 3.81) vs. RHP Jose Contreras (1-1, 4.34), 8:11 ET, YES
Wednesday: RHP Mike Mussina (1-3, 5.75) vs. RHP Javier Vazquez (3-1, 3.20), 8:11 ET, YES
Thursday: RHP Phil Hughes (0-3, 8.82) vs. RHP Gavin Floyd (2-0, 1.40), 8:11 ET, YES