Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
A Rule Meant to be Broken
2007-09-23 15:50
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Yankees won another close one against the Jays on Sunday afternoon, 7-5. Mike Mussina was impressive again, Jose Molina had three RBI, and Joe Torre broke the so-called "Joba Rules," as Chamberlain earned his first big league save.

It was a beautific afternoon at Yankee Stadiuma and the late afternoon shadows swept across home plate at a quarter to four. I love the way the light in September is different, deeper more mellowed, than the bright harsh light of March and April. Long, elegant shadows trailed the pitchers early in the game and it all looked great on the HDTV. (I tell you sports on HDTV is absolutely the greatest thing since sliced bread.)

In a playoff preview, Torre went to Chamberlain with two men on and two out in the eighth inning. You got to love Torre picking this spot to try the kid out because, rules be damned, you know that Joba is going to get the call in a couple of weeks. Torre isn't the kind of guy who is going to pass on a sure-thing like Chamberlain in the playoffs. After all, Joba is the best young pitcher the Yankees have had since Mariano Rivera.

This is the first time Chamberlain has entered a game with runners on base and he struck Adam Lind out on five straight sliders. He got ahead 0-2 and then threw two more, both low and inside. I couldn't believe he wasn't throwing the fastball. Where's the cheese, tough guy? So he throws him another slider, low in the dirt again, but Lind swings through this one to end the inning. How cocky can you get? 5 straight sliders. Onions.

With one out in the ninth, Chamberlain missed with a curve ball to pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay. He hasn't thrown many curveballs--but it's hard to forget the unfair one he dropped on Dustin Pedroia isn't it? When Joba throws a curve it just feels like he's toying with the hitters. Oh, the arrogance. It's not fair for that guy to have a good curve.

Overbay whiffs and then Chamberlain K's Reed Johnson on three consecutive fastballs to end the game. The YES cameras caught a great shot of Harlan Chamberlain, who actually does bear a liking to Jabba the Hut. A more affable Jabba. After the last out, he screamed and pumped his fist, a toothpick somehow not falling out of his large mouth in the process.

Mike Mussina gave up three runs in the second inning and worked out of trouble in the fourth, helped out by a favorable call at the plate to end the inning. Moose retired the last ten batters he faced and was as good as could have been expected. Good for career win #250. Something tells me Mussina will remember this one in years to come.

Molina, who helped get the favorable call in the fourth with a smooth bit of acting, had three hits, as did Robbie Cano. Bobby Abreu and Derek Jeter had two each and Alex Rodriguez walked three times. Dustin McGowan showed his good stuff but the Yankees made him work, and he labored, throwing 112 pitches through five.

Big win for the Yanks who move to a game-and-a-half behind the Red Sox, who lost in Tampa. The Tigers won, so New York's magic number is, a beautiful thing.

Comments (51)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-23 16:43:10
1.   yankz
Here's Joe:

Does some fine dancing around that last question.

2007-09-23 16:45:42
2.   RIYank
So, now we know the kid can handle the situation. Good.

Like there was any doubt.

2007-09-23 16:52:22
3.   Bob Timmermann
Help, we're italicized!
2007-09-23 16:52:25
4.   RIYank
1 There was one very scary part of that spiel, though. You know what I mean.
2007-09-23 16:53:05
5.   RIYank
[/i] I feel all slanty!
2007-09-23 16:54:36
6.   Alex Belth
My bad. We're
2007-09-23 17:03:11
7.   RIYank

(Not that there's anything wrong with being italic. Not at all. In fact I hardly noticed.)

2007-09-23 17:10:54
8.   yankz
4 I do. I'm sure he's just saying that to be nice.
2007-09-23 17:19:27
9.   RIYank
Let's hope so.

Hey, appropros of nothing, has anyone else noticed the very steep rise in the use of the expression, "going forward"? I swear I almost never heard it before last year. Now I hear it or read it every day.
I'm sure it's from sports talk. It's still much heavier in sports talk than elsewhere. Professionals, talking heads, coaches.

2007-09-23 17:54:39
10.   Linkmeister
Add "Gone Missing" to that. It's a very British locution which has migrated. Blasted undocumented alien.
2007-09-23 18:12:35
11.   cult of basebaal
9 well, those people who weren't layed off at my company are known as the "go forward" team ...

also, the a-rod ownership story is being debunked as bull ...

2007-09-23 18:18:27
12.   RichB
9 11 Yeah, "going forward" is really a business term, e.g. "our company had some unusual write downs this quarter, but going forward we expect profitability to be very high."
2007-09-23 18:25:22
13.   RIYank
Huh. Okay. I heard it first in sports talk, but I don't listen to a lot of business talk.

11 You'd expect Boras to say that. But, yeah, it never seemed very believable.

2007-09-23 18:47:11
14.   yankz
From that New Yorker article: "As the blog Bronx Banter pointed out, an MVP, carrying his team to the playoffs, facing impending free agency, was being mocked for his idiosyncrasies the second he was cementing himself as the team's best slugger of the past 50 years. However good-natured it was, it's the kind of thing that does not speak to an undying attachment between player and team."

I think he missed the point of it all.

2007-09-23 18:51:40
15.   RIYank
14 The New Yorker, or New York magazine?
2007-09-23 18:53:25
16.   yankz
Anyone else get the feeling Leitch didn't do his research, or was heavily edited by the people upstairs?

"He has not, however, gotten off the hook with the New York media."
Somewhat true, but just look at the RLYW cover-counter. It's a different story, for the most part, this year.

"When Rodriguez and Boras sit down this off-season and make their pros-and-cons chart, you'd have to imagine "Chicago Tribune Won't Run Photo of My Night Out With a Buxom Blonde and Write That I'm Into the 'She-Male, Muscular Type'" would be rather high up the list." When A-Rod was in Seattle and Texas, this was something he never had to worry about; if he actually did cheat on his wife on the road, this would make him like nearly every other athlete in sports and would not be reported upon."

How does he know it wouldn't? I get the feeling it would still sell. And you can't compare Chicago to Seattle/Texas. Totally different towns.

"He has a history of being sensitive when he's felt unwanted—and he certainly hasn't been hanging around NYU making conversation with undergraduates lately."

Probably since he's been too busy hitting a bajillion home runs per AB.

"So take heed, Yankees fan. The future is in your hands."

This is probably true. How are we doing on that NYT ad?

2007-09-23 18:53:45
17.   yankz
15 Oh yeah, my bad. Thanks.
2007-09-23 18:58:11
18.   cult of basebaal
13 but that's not really it, though ... i don't think boras is dissembling at all ... he's an agent, he knows what tampering is and he knows enough to know that any actual evidence of tampering by a prospective ownership group is enough to kill their chances to actually acquire the franchise in question ...

in addition, all signs point to the actual transfer of ownership of the cubs taking most of the rest of the year, at which point the question could very well be irrelevant

and MLB states that player ownership of a team is not allowed, whether it is given up front or promised for the future ...

boras is smart enough to realize all of these things, there's just no justifiable reason for him to have actually engaged in any of these rumored discussions, risking considerable sanctions on himself and possible disqualification on the ownership group

2007-09-23 18:59:28
19.   thelarmis
14 i'm just psyched that Bronx Banter got mentioned! i'm still amazed that (most likely) an intern at espn was following our game thread recedntly and a comment here got mentioned on air. BB is definitely the BEST yankee site on the web!
2007-09-23 19:00:17
20.   thelarmis
oh, and Happy Birthday to Joba and congrats to Mikey Moose on 250! : )
2007-09-23 19:07:54
21.   cult of basebaal
in other news ... milton bradley boarded the crazy train again today ... i'll step up and say that joe was right to veto that acquisition, though i thought it would have been a good move at the time ... the more incidents that occur, the more it seems like there is an actual disorder at work here, the slightest provocations can send him into paroxsysms of rage, far beyond the reach of reason and rationality ... sad
2007-09-23 19:08:18
22.   cult of basebaal
hey eric!
2007-09-23 19:10:32
23.   cult of basebaal
also ... anyone going to try for playoff tickets (yes, i know it's not official) ... i've decided if the yanks end up against the angels, i'll try to go to as many games as i can out here in LaLa-Land

we need to have some BB live-bloggers at the games!

2007-09-23 19:10:53
24.   SF Yanks
19 You know Torre thought of the Joba midnight rule thing too right? Unless Torre's lying, a few people thought of that "joke" at the same time. Unless I'm missing on some serious sarcasm, I don't think an intern was responsible for that 'on air' bit.
2007-09-23 19:12:53
25.   cult of basebaal
19 damn straight ... every once in a while i get tired of certain things around here ... and i wander off to other sites to see how things are ... they all have their charm, but none of them can touch the experience here at BB
2007-09-23 19:14:41
26.   cult of basebaal
where are you at in the bay area, SF Yanks? and what do you do?
2007-09-23 19:15:27
27.   OldYanksFan
11 I told Slided that lunch with Boras was a bad idea!
2007-09-23 19:16:07
28.   yankz
24 Minutes after it was posted online, Sut said, "Someone on a message board* asked if Joba's available yada yada."

*or was it "blog" or "website"?

2007-09-23 19:22:56
29.   OldYanksFan
27 that's 'sliced'... fucked up my own joke.
2007-09-23 19:30:22
30.   3rd gen yankee fan
23 Playoff ticket info has been posted over at Pete Abe's...
2007-09-23 19:42:14
31.   thelarmis
hey cult, how's the hangover?! i'm just now getting over mine and it's almost 11pm : ~

yeah, that was indeed crazy about milton bradley. plus, he injured mike cameron. i like cammy and i'm hoping he reaches 20-20 this season.

28 yeah, Sut said something like a yankees site - maybe he said 'blog', i can't remember. it was either william or mattpat who had the great comment: now that it's after midnight, is joba available?! good stuff.

2007-09-23 20:36:15
32.   yankz
Cool name for a blog:

She has a sad tale about Igawa up. Apparently he had no friends until very recently. He sucks and all, but that might have something to do with it. Even Farnsworth deserves friends (I think).

2007-09-23 20:41:05
33.   Cliff Corcoran
Harlan looks a whole lot like Joba as well.
2007-09-23 21:24:08
34.   SF Yanks
26 In San Francisco, actually a little town with beautiful ocean scenery about 10 min South of San Fran, called Pacifica. But SF to most people who aren't familiar with the area.

I am currently finishing my degree in Kinesiology at SFSU. Hopefully when I'm finished I can replace the head trainer for the Yanks, after all, my uncle is going to be in the Olympics this year for body building. I can get a good dose of knowledge from him and have already. Alright, just kidding about the Yanks part, but that would be nice, although is nowhere near my goal.

28 31 Wow, I did not know that was actually said on air. Very interesting. I believe it was William that said it.

2007-09-23 21:36:37
35.   SF Yanks
Speaking of Harlan, I love his fist pump he gives when his son finishes out an inning. I could watch that forever.
2007-09-23 22:35:37
36.   Ken Arneson
34 Pacifica is nice to visit (I have some in-laws who live there), but I couldn't live there myself. I need to see the sun every once in a while.
2007-09-24 00:48:05
37.   weeping for brunnhilde
What word is there for how ridiculous Joba is?

Five straight sliders, the last one Lind missed by two feet.

I mean Good God.

2007-09-24 06:09:07
38.   williamnyy23
37 It's not a word, but an ERA+ of 1,043 does it nicely.
2007-09-24 06:31:48
39.   RIYank
38 Oh, come on.

(Goes to check BR page...)


2007-09-24 06:59:13
40.   Rob Middletown CT
Good win, though I'm concerned about Vizcaino.

Nice to see Molina doing so well. Great pickup, Cashman.

2007-09-24 07:18:26
41.   C2Coke
40 He's definitely the best the Yankees' had in the past two years or so.

Good to see that Joba Rule becomes history.

2007-09-24 07:56:21
42.   Alex Belth
I'm certain Will's New York magazine piece was heavily edited. I gave him a bunch of my thoughts via e-mail. I'm glad BB got a mention but it didn't say much...

"As the blog Bronx Banter pointed out, an MVP, carrying his team to the playoffs, facing impending free agency, was being mocked for his idiosyncrasies the second he was cementing himself as the team's best slugger of the past 50 years. However good-natured it was, it's the kind of thing that does not speak to an undying attachment between player and team."

Yes, I didn't mention the teasing but I thought it was a funny thing. The last comment here is stictly Will's observation and nothing I told him.

2007-09-24 07:57:17
43.   pistolpete
Nice to see Harlan finally enjoying some part of his rough life, but I'm not sure I get the autograph thing. We're treading on dangerous ground as it relates to overexposure, methinks.

Have they had him up in the booth yet? I'm waiting for that next.

Anyway, Alex - did I miss a post where you got an HDTV? Pretty sweet, isn't it? We're pretty spoiled here in NY as EVERY Yankees game is in HD, home or on the road. Not even the Mets can claim that.

When I first got my own set, I was watching anything & everything in HD. I now know more about beetles in the Amazon jungle than I ever cared to in my life.

2007-09-24 08:12:03
44.   Chyll Will
Doggone it, does this mean we have to act like we're wearing a tie and tails now that we've been attracting attention from big media folk? >:'
2007-09-24 08:13:22
45.   Shaun P
37 My first thought on reading that is unprintable here. My second was, Man, I hope he keeps it up.

I still can't believe the Yanks didn't win Friday night, but c'est la vie.

2007-09-24 08:17:39
46.   Raf
21 Not only did he board the crazy train, he busted his knee in the process. He was having a pretty decent year for the Padres.

43 I thought so too, but I understand he makes for a good human interest story, if you will. It's only going to last for so long. I'm happy that he's enjoying his time now, and hope that he rides the wave for as long as he can.

2007-09-24 08:29:45
47.   pistolpete
46 Don't get me wrong, I also think it's a great story - but as with everything and everyone else, the media has to jam it down our throats until resentment settles in.

I just didn't want to see the guy become a target of any backlash is all. I've already seen some of it coming out of RSN, and it ain't pretty.

2007-09-24 08:47:40
48.   Rob Middletown CT
The next time Joba comes in and dominates, a possible headline:

You Joba No Botha. (rough quote from memory - RotJ).

2007-09-24 09:04:12
49.   Rob Middletown CT
Woah, huge break for the Yanks. LoHud is reporting Burnett is a scratch, and Litsch is starting in his place.
2007-09-24 09:15:46
50.   Chyll Will
43 Remember I called it back in KC; he'd be a rock star when he comes to New York. I like it myself, but you can't help the media running it into the ground for a story's sake. He'll probably get tired of it himself, seeing how grounded he seems to be (no pun intended in fact, sorry...)
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-24 11:19:42
51.   Raf
47 Resentment will happen only if you allow it to. Baseball, more than any other sport, has always played up the link between father and son. I don't see this as any different. He's getting his day now, and it'll last until the next story comes along. That's just the way things are.

As for RSN, f- 'em...

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