Yankees notes: So long for now, sweet Joba

Take it in, because you're not going to see this man around the Yankees for a long time.

I know I was in the minority on this one, but I was holding out hope for good news on Joba Chamberlain.

Granted, this was mostly denial at play here. The initial diagnosis had been a torn ligament, but Joe Girardi also said the right-hander was completely asymptomatic. Could it be possible that Chamberlain would visit with Dr. James Andrews and get a different prognosis?

Um, no.

Andrews backed up the initial findings, and Chamberlain is officially set to undergo Tommy John surgery on his damaged right elbow next Thursday This is typically a year injury, which means we probably won't see Hoss on the mound again until next summer. There's a chance he's not back until 2013.

It's a crappy end to what had looked like a bounce-back year for Joba, who finishes the season with a 2.83 ERA in 28 2/3 innings. I, like a lot of Yankees fans, have a soft spot for the big galoot and hopefully this is just a bump in the road in a long career.

Chamberlain might have cried when he learned about the injury, but he's been quite upbeat in his interactions with the press.

"It’s easy to deal with," Chamberlain told The New York Times. "I know I’m going to get better. It’s not life and death. I’m just happy that I can fix it and come back and be stronger for it and hopefully have a long career."

Chamberlain knows he's in good hands with Andrews, probably the most renowned sports surgeon in the business.

"Obviously the guy doing it has done it a few times," he told LoHud. "I’m pretty confident that he’ll do a good job, and the rest relies on me and making sure I get back to where I can be and even stronger."

It's still extremely early in the season, but Friday's win was still important for a Yankees team that had its guts spilled by its biggest rival all week. Of course, the series-opening win over the Indians will best be remembered for the fastball Mark Teixeira got drilled with and the heat that followed.

It sounds like the Yankees, and especially manager Joe Girardi, are pretty sick of all this HBP business. He made it clear after the game that Fausto Carmona's intentions seemed rather clear according to LoHud.

"We’ve had (seven) guys hit in the past four days. I can’t tell you 100 percent, but if I was to say one was intentional, that was tonight."

Teixeira agreed that it wasn't hard to figure out what was going on in the head of Carmona, a once promising pitcher who seems to have lost his way in Cleveland.

"I was just telling him that it’s a coincidence that he throws every pitch to me in the last five years down and away. Changeups down and away. He must have really missed his spot on that one."

As for that juicy toe-to-toe showdown with Indians manager Manny Acta, both managers wrote off as heat-of-the-moment baseball stuff. This is kind of a bummer since a fight to the death between the two would probably be more entertaining than UFC 383.

"Manny told my guy to stop," Girardi said. "Take care of your own guy. I’ll take care of my guy, you take care of your own guy. I have respect for Manny. I actually had a nice exchange with Manny at 3 o’clock today, but that doesn’t mean there’s not some feistiness in me, and when my guys are getting plunked, I’m going to protect them."

  • In case you missed it, and really, I don't think that's possible, but in case you did, Derek Jeter doubled in the seventh inning on Friday. It was his only hit of the night, leaving him nine hits shy of 3,000.
  • Tony Gwynn wants Jeter to know that the last 10 hits are the toughest. Thanks, Tone.
  • Darren Rovell reports the Yankees could actually lose money on DJ3K.
  • Jorge Posada is on a roll. The designated hitter — and not the catcher, you hear me? — singled in his first three trips to the plate Friday, making it four straight starts with multiple hits. He's bumped his average up 49 points in six games and leads the Yankees in hits this month.
  • The Yankees' current starting catcher, Russell Martin, has been slow in his return from a back problem. He's missed the last three games, and he'll probably make it four on Saturday. After that, look for a possible return.

"There’s a good chance I’ll be ready to play on Sunday," he said. "That’s what I’m hoping for."

  • Were you one of the brave souls who stuck it out through Thursday's interminable rain delay? Well, even if you were there and left early (like a quitter), you get free tickets to an upcoming game.
  • Until next time, hang onto the roof ...

    Dan Hanzus is a regular contributor to Pinstripe Alley. He can be reached at dhanzus@gmail or on Twitter @danhanzus.

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