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Joba: All Star in Talk But Replacement Level in Action

By Mike Silva ~ March 11th, 2010. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Yankees.

Kudos to Kevin Kernan of the NY Post for calling out “Nook Laloosh” Chamberlain for his usual clichéd analysis of his pitching. Part of me feels bad for Chamberlain. Yes, I think he still should lose some more weight and doesn’t repeat his mechanics, but the Yankees have created an environment of excuses for the kid. In September, when they should have demanded he step up and improve they regulated him to little league starts. Every performance is met with the same empty quotes. Joba is an All Star when talking about how to pitch but, right now, not even replacement level when it comes to actually pitching.

Yes, spring training results don’t matter. As you can see, no one is lighting up the airwaves about CC Sabathia’s putrid performance. Joba Chamberlain is different as the results and process appear to never change. We are still talking about the flu this week as the reason for failure. Does the flu bug take away your ability to challenge hitters?

I realize Joe Girardi doesn’t want to lose his young star. Admonishing Chamberlain this early could have a detrimental effect. Personally, this is a kid that might need that from time to time. Remember last September 9th when Derek Jeter made a first inning visit to the mound? Seemed like Joba took his words to heart and pitched decently for the final two innings of that ballgame. He still doesn’t seem to realize his career is heading towards an early crossroads. One that could have a long lasting effect.

Not all of this is Chamberlain’s fault. He has been given too much too soon. The Yankees have helped the excuses along by creating an odd process in handling the innings limitations. Now they claim the “training wheels are off” and Joba has no limitations. If he is expected to just work on stuff than name him the fifth starter and don’t have a competition. The problem with that is you would be handing 1/5th of your rotation to a guy that has yet to prove he can put up a solid half, much less, a full season of quality starts.

Joba has learned something through all this. He talks a great game, as a matter of fact he would get my vote for the All Star team in that category. When it comes to performance the word “replacement level” comes into play. This is a tired act we have seen and I think everyone, including Joba, wants to move on. Then read Kevin Kernan’s piece and pitch like your competing for a job and stop the excuses.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to Joba: All Star in Talk But Replacement Level in Action

  1. Stu Baron

    While reading Kernan’s piece, it’s also a good idea to read the comments below, esp. those of cbonet and gofigure…Kernan may be partly correct, but there’s more than one perspective…

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