Joba Chamberlain's rookie debut in pinstripes was as exciting as any we've seen in recent years. Last week, Pete Abraham said Chamberlain came into camp looking, if not exactly svelte, then certainly fit. Joe Lapointe has a piece on Joba today in the Times, with this nice lede:
Joba Chamberlain recently tried to involve his fellow pitcher Mike Mussina in some postpractice recreation in the Yankees' clubhouse.
Addressing Mussina by his nickname, Moose, Chamberlain asked if he wanted to join in playing video games. No, the 39-year-old Mussina told the 22-year-old Chamberlain; he does not play video games.
Want to watch me play video games? Chamberlain asked. No thanks, Mussina said. Well, Chamberlain continued, would Mussina like to play Ping-Pong? Without answering, Mussina kept walking out the door and turned left down the corridor.
So Chamberlain added in a loud voice, "Hey, is the hearing the first thing to go when you get old?"
Suddenly, Mussina reappeared in the doorway and replied, "I hear everything!" in a way that made Chamberlain smile and onlookers chuckle. It was one of those Joba moments that have helped to enliven what for years had been one of baseball's most dour clubhouses, where young players always knew their place.