MAY JOBA WAVE FOREVER AS LONG AS WE STOP TALKING ABOUT HIM
It has been fascinating watching the different opinions on Joba Chamberlain’s future come out of Fortress Yankee. As The New York Times correctly observed this morning, this never would have happened in George’s day. Dave Eiland has an opinion. Pro scouting director Billy Eppler has an opinion. Brian Cashman has an open mind on Joba, but is of the opinion that his subordinates don’t have to hew to the company line. It’s a bright new day in Yankeeland. What it all accomplishes, beyond shifting the air around, is a different matter. The fact is, until Chamberlain shows consistent stuff and results, you can project any future for him, and by "you" I mean Cashman, Eiland, the sanctified ghost of Joe DiMaggio, and drunken Uncle Charlie, who is always killing flies with his bad breath at the family Labor Day barbeque and frankly amatzes you with his nigh-encyclopedic lack of knowledge. They all have the same weight as far as Chamberlain’s destiny. Last July was a long time ago. Now it’s time to stop talking and see what he can do.
CHAD GAUDIN HAS SIGNED WITH THE A’S
On a major-league deal, too. The competition between Gaudin and Sergio Mitre is on! We’ll see if the Yankees made the correct choice or not. I’m not going to dwell on this too much, because the Yankees had five candidates for the fifth starter’s spot and Gaudin and Mitre are the fringiest of the bunch. The choice is, to some degree, a matter of instinct and projection, and there is room for gentlemen to disagree. It is also true that pitchers are a mercurial lot and yesterday’s villain may be tomorrow’s hero, all based on a slight alteration of mechanics or the addition of a new pitch.
Whatever the outcome, I’m ready for the season to start. These are minor matters and I draw little excitement from the "competition" between Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson in center field. Joe Girardi could flip a coin before every game and figure out which he likes better in July for all the impact the decision will have. When we’re left with nothing to do but hype a phony position battle, it’s time to get on with things.
THINGS I WILL BE HEARD SAYING AT TONIGHT’S PASSOVER FESTIVITIES
"Good evening, Mr. Smith. I see you have cleaned your thumbnails. Congratulations on taking that first important step into the world of modern human hygiene. Have you run into any stupid people lately? I presume you will be telling us about them at great length. Swell. Pardon me while I demonstrate the awesome power of my noise-canceling earbuds."
Regardless of my pain, a good holiday to all of you celebrating.
MORE OF ME AND OTHER PEOPLE I LIKE
• I have a new daily feature up at BP (no subscription required), Dead Player of the Day, which is more or less what it sounds like. On a related note, this Friday’s 1 PM EST chat will now take place on Thursday.
• Also over at Baseball Prospectus, Kevin Goldstein has an interview with Yanks’ senior VP of baseball ops Mark Newman on the team’s prospects, drafting philosophy, and approach to international scouting (subscription required).
• Wholesome Reading has been and continues to be updated with new stuff. I appreciate all the comments -- keep ‘em coming! (Warning: politics, herring.)
• On Friday at 11:30 AM EST, Jay Jaffe and I will be on "The Brian Lehrer Show" on WNYC in New York, talking about the new baseball season.