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Thursday, February 17, 2011

So What to Do About Joba Chamberlain?

There's been a whole to-do this week about the Yankees and weight. First, CC Sabathia said he lost 25 pounds after he dropped his habit of devouring full boxes of Cap'n Crunch cereal (hey, maybe that's what the CC stands for in his name!) Now Joba Chamberlain admits to packing on a few pounds, but claims it's all muscle. Right.

I'm of two minds about Joba. On the one hand, I think the Yankees did him a tremendous disservice with moving him from the bullpen to the starting rotation and back. And I think it was ridiculous for Brian Cashman to characterize anybody who disagreed with the Yankees' strategy as "stupid."

However, there's also some real questions, I think, about Chamberlain's work ethic. And showing up to spring training packing on a few extra pounds doesn't help. If you're working in a cubicle farm, it doesn't matter how much you weigh. But if you're a professional athlete struggling to keep his job, you might want to take a cue from your veteran teammates and show up in shape. Or at least pitch well enough so that your weight isn't an issue.

When I slammed the Yankees last month for the way they handled Joba, I got a lot of responses from Yankee fans who were angry at Chamberlain for his work ethic, for him not being in shape, etc. and who felt that he was the only one to blame for his predicament.

On the other hand, it seems like the Yanks have let him get away with that for a long time; it's interesting that only now Cashman mentions using the minor league options with Joba when he flat-out last year said they wouldn't do it.

Wally Matthews made a point I have wondered about myself when he wrote:
Fans ask me all the time if the Yankees know something about Joba Chamberlain that the rest of us don't, some unflattering bit of information that makes them continue to treat him as if he is fragile, or unstable, or in some way unreliable.

Clearly, they know the Joba Chamberlain who chose to reveal himself on Wednesday: the 25-year-old who already knows so much about pitching he no longer needs to bother with the little things anymore.

Like getting in shape.

I don't expect to hear the inside story, if there is one, anytime soon, though. Heck, I'm still waiting to hear how A.J. Burnett got that black eye!

What do you think? Tell us about it!

1 comment:

stevesharp said...

"I feel great, I’m stronger physically," said Chamberlain, who also declined to offer specifics. "I’m better in my bullpens."

Nuff said for me. Joba will be fine.

As for A.J. I can only imagine the amount of Yankee fans that want a piece of that clown. One more busted year and he will have to enter the Ed Whitson witness protection program AKA San Diego, as far away as possible.