Our man 'kuri' is absolutely right that our obsession as New York Yankees with Joba Chamberlain is clearly over the top -- way, way over the top.
So, I cringe and duck for cover as I publish today's notebook. Because the bulk of it will deal with the young Mr. Chamberlain.
Joba was excellent Wednesday, showing the stuff and the demeanor the Yankees have long wanted to see each and every time he pitches.
Outstanding," Joe Girardi said. "Worked quickly and attacked the zone. That’s what you want to see — quality."
No matter what happens with the fifth starter role I think we should all take to heart some advice offered by Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post.
Maybe it's simply best that everyone pack those old images of Chamberlain from the summer and autumn of 2007 -- right up until the midges got him in Cleveland -- and simply store them in a file cabinet somewhere, pulled every once in a while for fond recollection.
Maybe it's best for everyone to do what the Yankees have clearly done: turned the page on Joba the Rock Star, Joba the Human Standing O, and focus instead on Joba the Kid Pitcher. The pitcher who still is just 24 years old, the one who should still have a long and successful career ahead of him. If that means he won't be Sandy Koufax, should that be held against him?
"Sometimes, I just have to remember to be myself," Chamberlain said yesterday afternoon, inside the visitor's clubhouse at Bright House Field, after the Phillies beat the Yankees 6-2. "I have to attack the zone. Be aggressive. And let it fly."
Vaccaro is right on target. Joba the Rock Star is gone. He is a talented young pitcher still perfecting his craft. Let's just see where the ride goes.
- ESPN's Buster Olney says the Yankees need to stop trying to force A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada on each other.
The reality that they don't work well together was eventually on display again Tuesday in the Yankees' exhibition. Burnett and Posada appeared to disagree frequently on pitch selection, and Burnett would step off the rubber frequently, and the game moved along with all the pace of a curling match. Posada was short in throwing the ball back to the mound a couple of times; he'd drop the ball. It all just looked really sloppy and slow, and in the end Burnett lasted 2 1/3 innings and walked four and allowed two hits and a run.
Rival evaluators believe Posada's catching skills -- his ability to glove pitches cleanly and frame the ball -- have regressed. And some of the same evaluators think Burnett is not the best at putting on mental blinders to distractions, such as a catcher who is dropping pitches. But properly placing blame for this situation at the feet of Burnett or Posada, or both, is really irrelevant at this point. What matters is that it just doesn't seem to work.
Girardi is right in teaming Posada and Burnett in exhibition games, in having these two old pros try to get as comfortable as they can be with each other. But once the games start, Girardi should feel comfortable assigning Burnett's starts to Francisco Cervelli, in the same way he uses Derek Jeter in the No. 1 spot in the lineup and Mark Teixeira in the No. 3 spot, in the way he aligns his outfield. He should do what gives his team the best chance of winning.CC Sabathia and Posada are functional together, and so are Andy Pettitte and Posada; in fact, Posada and Pettitte have worked together for about a decade's worth of games. But the Burnett-Posada tandem just doesn't fit.
River Avenue Blues makes a strong case against signing Joe Mauer if he is a free agent next off season.