So I happened to catch about 15 minutes of Mike and the Mad Dog this afternoon following the Yanks' game and quickly realized exactly why I can't stand listening to them.
For whatever reason, Mike Francesa and Chris Russo have destroyed millions of their listeners' brain cells by spending extensive time on the topic of Joba Chamberlain's "immaturity" because of his emotions on the mound as well as in the dugout after a rough outing.
Pete Abe provides a brief but accurate synopsis of their argument from Thursday afternoon:
- Joba should never pump his fist when he pitches well. That shows the opposition up.
- Joba should sit in the dugout and "stare out on the field" after he gives it up and not cover his head with a towel. That shows too much emotion, too.
- Joba didn’t say he got even with David Dellucci today. But that’s what he meant.
Now I understand the need to fill five hours of [dead] air-time on a daily basis, but I'll never understand why this is such a big issue for these guys and why it somehow reflects on Joba's lack of maturity.
Perhaps you'll recall Harlan Chamberlain last season in Kansas City when he watched his son (with tears streaming down his face) take a big league mound for the first time and had a fist pump of his own after a long fly ball descended into the glove of Johnny Damon at a critical part of the game.
Joba's emotion is a trait he got directly from his own father and I don't see how it reflects negatively on his character. A much better way to measure Joba's level of maturity is the way he handles himself with the media, his relationship with his teammates and coaches, and, of course, his actions off the field and in his private life. Until I see evidence that proves otherwise, every indication shows that Joba is a good kid who handles himself extremely well in all aspects of life.
Players cannot always change who they are emotionally and mimic Mariano Rivera or Derek Jeter in order to simply cater to a couple of sports radio hosts who have nothing else worthwhile to talk about after a Yankees win.
For the record, I don't care if players like Carlos Zambrano, Francisco Rodriguez, C.C. Sabathia, or [gasp] Jon Papelbon show displays of emotion on the mound after a strikeout because it really isn't a big deal. As Pete Abe later pointed out, why is a display of emotion not only acceptable but encouraged in other major sports like football, hockey, golf and basketball but generally viewed as taboo in baseball?
I don't get it and probably never will. I'd be happy to read anyone's explanation telling me why I'm wrong.