Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Yankee Panky #45: Doing Their Joba
2008-03-20 06:38
by Will Weiss
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

"It's a combination of innings, success and where we feel he fits best now. It's just something we decided as an organization, that this is the best place to start him this year." — Joe Girardi

Pearls of wisdom from the new Joe that set the local press aflame yesterday afternoon and into this morning. I've said in this space for months that Joba should be the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera. Whether that happens is something we'll see a couple of years down the line, obviously, but the speculation will continue as long as he maintains anything close to the success level he demonstrated in his lightning-in-a-bottle debut from August through October.

In general, the reviews were mixed, as noted below:

Newsday's backpage: BREAK THE RULES

Breaking the rules, at least, in Ken Davidoff's opinion, means moving him to the starting rotation at some point, perhaps even going to a six-man rotation at the end of the season.

The Post's George King (who this year has decided to use the pseudonym George A. King III), summed it up thusly:

"The Yankees look at Chamberlain's four-pitch arsenal and believe he could be their ace for a long time. Nevertheless, they made the right move yesterday in leaving Chamberlain where he was last year, because until Chamberlain surfaced, the bridge between starter and Mariano Rivera had too many rotten boards."

Interestingly, no Joba-centric stories appeared in the Times, who instead focused on The Virginia Tech exhibition, C.C. Sabathia's rejection of the Indians' offer and speculation of his interest in the Yankees, and a meaninglessly hyped spring training game with the Red Sox (Confession: I hated having to hype these in my previous gig).

Today's spate of Joba columns and articles — which you know will be picked up over the weekend when the Lupicas of the world return to Baseball from their vacation in Bracketville — on top of the numerous features written about him during the offseason, have made it clear to me that the media has anointed him the face of the New Yankees. Going back to the various dynastic years, you can look at Ruth and Gehrig, DiMaggio in 1936, then Mantle, Ford, Munson, Mattingly and most recently, Jeter as the names most closely identified with the team.

It's happened quickly, and it can be dangerous. From the looks of things, Chamberlain has the perfect temperament to withstand the scrutiny.

And judging from the coverage, Joba Rules.


From GAKIII, referencing the Joba Rules: "This year, they aren't in affect."

Folks, this is why spellcheck is a waste of time, and why we need to be teaching grammar and usage all the way through high school. I don't blame George for the usage error noted above, because I know the perils of writing on deadline, and when you're bleary-eyed, you miss things. I blame the copy editor. That's a basic one that should have been corrected.

T-minus 11 days until Opening Day. Next week, a review of the Previews and Pullout Sections.

Enjoy the egg hunt ...

2008-03-20 10:42:39
1.   Andre
Nice recap Will, although I disagree about Joba being heir apparent to Mo. I think that difference of opinions re: Joba will be one of the main things keeping this season interesting.
2008-03-20 10:50:17
2.   Will Weiss
1 Thanks for the compliment. I agree with you about the difference of opinions on Joba. His preferred and most useful place on the pitching staff is one of the few components that's not clear-cut.
2008-03-20 10:55:32
3.   rbj
effect/affect doesn't bother me as much as the misplaced apostrophe in its/it's. For some reason that really irks me.

Will, so do editors sort of lean on writers to hype certain stories?

Gotta agree with 1 about making Joba a starter. Not this year, I'd rather build up his innings this year in the pen, and move him into the rotation next year.

2009 rotation

Pettitte ????

and best of all? No freaking Pavano!

2008-03-20 11:01:20
4.   JL25and3
3 I think if he spends the year setting up for Mariano, he'll stay in the pen. In fact, that's my fear anyway - if it's July and the Yankees are doing well, the pressure's going to be to keep Joba there.
2008-03-20 11:06:47
5.   monkeypants
4 That's my fear as well...I guess we'll see...
2008-03-20 11:14:42
6.   Will Weiss
3 Don't get me started on its/it's or any other random apostrophe stuff. ... In a newspaper setting, it's the Editor's job to hype the story and set the layout agenda. Each editor knows his or her paper's audience and may or may not want to feed the monster accordingly. Much of it has to do with space. I'm still surprised the Times had barely more than a reference and not an entire story devoted to it.
2008-03-20 11:24:58
7.   rilkefan
It's so bad the Germans have picked up the "'s" plural solecism from us...
2008-03-20 11:36:49
8.   ChrisS
4 Agreed. Or if Mo pulls something and has to sit on the DL for a couple of weeks.

4+ pitches and potentially a sinker, too. That arsenal just screams closer.

2008-03-20 11:43:45
9.   pistolpete
4 If the team is doing well enough without Joba in the rotation, it might be a good idea to continue along the intended path anyway.

Maybe by August or September, Joba could make a few spot starts here & there in preparation for any potential playoff games. A fresh Joba in October? There's nothing sweeter, IMO.

2008-03-20 12:33:45
10.   JL25and3
6 I have a certain fondness for the error of using an apostrophe in a simple plural, but that's only because there's a great name for it. It's called the greengrocer's apostrophe, because of the tendency of said vendors to have hand-written signs saying things like "APPLE'S $1.49/LB."
2008-03-20 12:59:51
11.   Chyll Will
Slightly OT, but perhaps of interest to people who dig frustration (you know who you are...) The Daily Rues reports that the the costs of replacing the parkland that was taken to build the new stadium has risen approx. 48% to $190 million, due to "unexpected environmental concerns"...

2008-03-20 13:02:22
12.   Andre
The ones that irk me most are:

they're, their, there
two, to, too

2008-03-20 13:11:18
13.   Yankee Fan In Boston
12 etc.

i recommend:

these people have rounded up some real "gem's".

2008-03-20 13:12:29
14.   rbj
6 Thanks. After the Times under Howell quashed a couple of pro "let Augusta stay the way it is" columns by ____? I've wondered just how much pressure comes down from top on, if not slanting a story a certain way, at least looking at it from a certain angle.

10 I really hate that one. Then again, I will go back and redo sentences here if I notice a grammar error.

2008-03-20 16:46:24
15.   RIYank
OT, check this out:

Baseball Crank is predicting the records (here of the AL East) by centering on Established Win Share Levels and making adjustments (PECOTA age adjustment, for instance). He's got the "Hated Yankees" at 101 wins, and the "World Champion Boston Red Sox" with 88. The Yankee strengths are what you'd expect. It's a little unclear why the Sox fare so badly. Part of it is that they suffer similar weaknesses to the Yankees (bullpen depth, aging hitting stars, unproven arms) but lack the likes of Posada, Jeter, and even Molina (Cash has never accounted for even a single win share!).


2008-03-21 11:54:31
16.   Jeterismyhomeboy
15 From their keyboards to the Baseball Gods' ears.

If a taste of the 'pen means that Joba can't adapt back to being a starter, we may find that we have no choice but to accept him as a reliever. I hope Joba understands the kind of value he'll give the team (not to mention his own personal value on the market), if he becomes the kind of starting pitcher he could be.

I hope that circumstances line up in a way that allows for Joba to begin starting without leaving the 'pen as weak as a newborn kitten.

2008-03-21 22:31:55
17.   Cleveland Steamer

Baseball Gods: JIMHB, why did the Baseball Gods smite us with locus in Cleveland ??

Why us?

Why us?

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