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About Face

I’ve spent much of the past couple of seasons actively disliking Joba Chamberlain. Not personally, just his game. But just when I thought all was lost, he reported to camp heavy this spring, and now, he’s sporting longer hair, and you know what? I think I’m lovin’ me some Joba. Call me a contrarian–guilty–but hey, I’m the guy who loved Hurricane Hideki Irabu.

So, yo: Let’s Go Chubb Chubb!

[Photo Credit: AP Photo/Frank Franklin II]

Categories:  Baseball Musings  Bronx Banter  Yankees

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1 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 1, 2011 10:06 am

I'd still trade him for a starting pitcher without batting an eye. I'm not all that interested in clinging on to a middle reliever.

2 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 1, 2011 10:08 am

Hmmm .... longest-haired reliever in Yankee history?


3 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 1, 2011 10:23 am

2) Good one. I wonder...

4 monkeypants   ~  Apr 1, 2011 10:28 am

Watching Joba simply irritates me...not him personally or his game, but as a reminder of the Yankees' unique ability to "develop" their minor leaguers.

5 The Hawk   ~  Apr 1, 2011 10:46 am

He doesn't look much fatter to me. But I do agree with monkeypants, regardless of Joba's weight. On the other hand it seems like his injury capped his potential more than anything else.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 1, 2011 10:55 am

0) nice to see a kind word about Joba. I've never given up on him, or stopped rooting for him. I admit his inconsistency has been frustrating, and perplexing at times, but I've always believed in his talent, and desire.

I also admit my fondness for Joba is partly due to the brief moment in which I met his dad at the old Stadium. I shook his hand and said, "We're proud of your son." He smiled back and said "Me too!"
You can see in his eyes that he hasn't had an easy life. Physically he isn't well. He was short of breath.
He's had more than his fair share of burdens.

I thought about the story that was told early on about Joba, how he and his dad shared a bed in their small home, after his mom had left. I thought about how far they had come together to be at Yankee Stadium. I was touched by my brief eye to eye, hand to hand encounter with Mr.Chamberlain, and have been loyally rooting for his son ever since.

7 Dimelo   ~  Apr 1, 2011 11:15 am

Hate Joba.
Love me some Grandy-Man!!!

8 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 1, 2011 11:26 am

5) I don't think the injury capped his potential. His velocity is still high. He hit 100mph last year.
His velocity is not as consistently high as it was when he exploded onto the scene, but he can still get it up there.
Joba's problem is that he hasn't figured out the difference between pitching and throwing. Typical problem for unrefined young guns. But he's coming along, and I think it would be very foolish to give up on him. I commend the Yankees for not trading him, and I commend Girardi for making him the first reliever he went to in the season opener. Great to see Joba rewarding that vote of confidence.

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 1, 2011 11:29 am

7) you'll hate him all the way to your next championship, bro, mark my words.

10 Capital Yank   ~  Apr 1, 2011 12:24 pm

Whatever frustrations Joba has doled out to us thus far, I'll gladly forgive the grief he's caused if the bullpen can make yesterday's performance the norm this season. Grab a lead, hand it to Chubbs, then Rafael MFIKY Soriano, and praise be to Mo? Yes please. I'll take that six times a week and twice on the days Mo rests.

11 Chyll Will   ~  Apr 1, 2011 1:25 pm

I'm with you, Sliced. I think Joba's gotten a bad rap and he's taken it harder than most. I'm looking to see what kind of effect Larry Lar can have on him long term.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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