Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Or Theatrics Is More Like My Tactics
2008-05-12 09:42
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

I wasn't impressed with Joba Chamberlain's emotional outburst after striking out Dave Dellucci last week.  I realize that being demonstrative is just the way it is today, whether it is Chamberlain celebrating after a strike out or Manny Ramirez admiring a home run for fifteen minutes at the plate.   My problem with Chamerlain letting loose after he retired Dellucci was that it seemed to be all about Joba getting revenge for the home run Dellucci hit off him a few nights earlier.  In other words, it was selfish, and had nothing to do with the game situation.  To me, Chamberlain would have been more of a bad ass if he had just stalked off the mound after making Dellucci look helpless.  I think his antics undermined a beautiful sequence of pitches.  It isn't a that big a deal, certainly not worth all the attention it has gotten on WFAN, but that is my take. 

According to Bob Klapisch, former Yankees Goose Gossage and Roy White weren't impressed either:

Goose always has hated showboaters, past and especially present day, so when Dellucci told reporters he thought Chamberlain's response was immature and "bush," Gossage didn't hesitate to say, "I'm on Dellucci's side.

"That's just not the Yankee way, what Joba did. Let everyone else do that stuff, but not a Yankee," Gossage said by telephone on Saturday. "What I don't understand is, the kid's got the greatest mentor in the world in Mariano [Rivera]. He's one of the leaders of the team, so you'd think it wouldn't happen on that team.

"But there's no one to pass the torch anymore, no one to teach the young kids how to act. The Mets did a lot of that [celebrating] last year, and look how it came back to haunt them."

...White, in particular, took issue with Melky Cabrera, who often does a full-spin, twirl high-five after a home run or Yankee victory. "I saw that 360-thing he did with [Robinson] Cano at the end of one of the games and I was shocked. I was like, 'Are you kidding me?' " White said by telephone. "I'm sorry, that's just too much. I'm guess I'm old school, but there's a professional way to play baseball, there's a Yankee tradition, back to [Joe] DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle. "You hit a home run, act like you've hit one before, not like it's the first time in your life."

On the other hand, Ed Valentine thinks all the talk about Yankee class is nonsense. 

2008-05-12 10:05:11
1.   pistolpete
MATMD have taken this silly debate to ridiculous heights, and it seems to have spilled over onto all the other shows.

Granted it's probably mostly the fault of the endless amounts of listeners who seemingly ALL have to chime in.

Let it die, people!!!

2008-05-12 10:08:47
2.   Schteeve
If I were a hitter I'd have a big problem with it, because when hitters "show up" pitchers, they often take a fastball in the ribs. But then again, as The Big Hurt said, "If you strike me out at 96 you can do whatever you want."

If I were Joba, I would have felt a little dopey celebrating after the guy took me deep a few nights before. Maybe after I had struck him out a few more times in a row. But the two guys were essentially even after the K.

Finally, when you look at the headbutting, and grabassing in the NFL after someone breaks up a pass, even if their team is down 10 in the 4th quarter, MLB is totally tame.

2008-05-12 10:17:43
3.   horace-clarke-era
A good topic, Alex, if we try to use the Joba thing as just an example, not a single, significant moment.

Everyone will have their own continuum here. I disliked Joba's gesture for exactly the reason you suggested: it was too personal, not team situation. It was Joba and Dastardly Dellucci. BUT, I'd cut the kid a ton of slack for a one-timer after his first major system shock, blowing it that badly (I don't count the midges, myself, and it just occurred to me, this may also be a Joba/Cleveland thing, not just Dastardly David!)

But I happen to like the end-of-game twirl the kidlets bring. Is it so differently than the Stargell Pirates doing their elaborate salutes? Yeah, Melky gets higher. But this is an in-team schtick after the game, not an in-the-other-team's-face gesture (like a mound fist-pump is, or a preening home run trot, or languishing delay to enjoy every millisecond of a hr flight).

I actually found it USEFUL to watch Melky and Robbie jump-sandwiching Alex Rodriguez in the dugout after a bomb (in the dugout, note) ... I think it loosened A Rod, gave him an elder statesman feeling with acolytes, and it also loosened an entire team that had begun to suffer from pinstripe-itis, routinely checking into the office, old pros, not enough zest and laughter.

So I'd personally put the one-time (I hope) Joba thing on one side and Melky's twirls on the other while obviously aware that others might scale these differently.

I think Ed Valentine is right and wrong (sort of like william tends to be! :) ) Yes, it is a different culture, no it is not about 'having fun' in the game for the first time ... it is more about trash talk culture and gestures spilling from basketball and football towards baseball. These kids are part of that culture, see the in-your-face, can't-stop-me stuff and want to get in that game, too. You can call it 'fun' but that means you didn't think Ernie Banks ("Let's play two!") was having fun, and I think that's just dumb.

Manny is NOT having more 'fun' homering than Hank Aaron was, I daresay. Though I am aware it is reckless action to even TRY to offer a thought about what Manny thinks, if Manny indeed thinks thoughts.

2008-05-12 10:36:51
4.   ms october
3 good point about basketball hce - since i am a basketball person and am used to this sort of mano-y-mano type attitute in basketball i think my sensitivites toward it are lowered - that is most of it doesn't bother me - not even when manny watches his hrs in the time it takes to boil an egg - obviously i hate all the hrs he has hit against the yanks but that is another story.

but since this is specifically about joba - there are two points in particular i would like to comment on:
1. "My problem with Chamerlain letting loose after he retired Dellucci was that it seemed to be all about Joba getting revenge for the home run Dellucci hit off him a few nights earlier. In other words, it was selfish, and had nothing to do with the game situation."

to me, although baseball is a "team game" it really isn't. when Joba gave up the hr to Delluci - that was also about him. He blew it - he messed that up - by and large that was on him. the next night (or the following night) when he came in and got Delluci - it was about him - he got the guy out on a K - so again it was pretty much on him. yes, he probably made a bigger deal of it than it warranted, but again to me, I think it is good to see him in man up or take the challenge in these situations - he knows when he f'd up and he accepts that and he knows when he did his job and he is happy that he did so.

2. "That's just not the Yankee way, what Joba did. Let everyone else do that stuff, but not a Yankee,"

obviously with all of us being yankee fans there is a part of the tradition, mystique, etc that we all appreciate. i am not sure this sentiment is something i fully believe in to the extent that goose is taking it too. what exactly is the yankee way - who is the arbiter - and so on?

2008-05-12 11:29:47
5.   Schteeve
The Yankee Way stuff is an illusion created during the Joe Torre era, and helped out in large part I think by Derek Jeter's quiet, aloof manner. I think Jeter buys into the DiMaggio school of public persona, and that makes it look like he is carrying forward this long classy bloodline. But please, Prior to T, were the Yankees really perceived as bastions of class and decorum? I think not.
2008-05-12 11:42:08
6.   horace-clarke-era
I think the Yankee Way does go back further than Torre by a lot, though it was certainly a pose, an image. They were, I suppose, for want of a better phrase, 'men among boys' even when the men were carousers after hours like the Babe or Mickey. I remember reading about Ruth and Gehrig 'winning' a World Series in batting practice beforehand, launching monster shots into the stands, unruffled, matter-of-fact, while the other team watched. This is all mythmaking, but that's what we're talking about, right?

I think Jeter follows in an image way upon people like Dimaggio (and that was ALL about image, too!) and I agree that Torre played a big role for the current generation ... Billy Martin's Yankee Zoo was a very different thing.

Anyone know about the hotel lobby dress code, the hair length, beard stuff ... was it Steinbrenner who (re)instated it - shaping a difference between Yankees and 'the other bums'?

2008-05-12 11:49:05
7.   pistolpete
BTW, someone ask Goose if fist fighting in the shower is part of the 'Yankee way"...
2008-05-12 11:54:13
8.   williamnyy23
3 I think I am developing cult status here! Thanks for the reference, although I like to think I am just right ;)

The problem that I have with people citing the Yankee way is that it is very selective. Was Babe Ruth's antics the Yankee way? Or is Lou Gehrig the Yankee way? How about Joe. D? Then again, maybe it was Mantle? Is if Jeter and Mo? Maybe, but what about O'Neill or Joba and Melky?

In other words, there is no one Yankee way. Aside from consistently having a good team, there hasn't been a hallmark behavior. Claiming that Melky's glee after a HR and Joba's occassional fist pump are un-Yankee like is absurd. It's especially odd to have Goose and White come out and say it when their 1970s teams didn't exactly win medals for good behavior.

2008-05-12 12:11:08
9.   Raf
2 That may be true, but after a hitter takes one in the ribs, he still has the bat.

2008-05-12 13:21:35
10.   horace-clarke-era
9 No, no, THIS is the batter-charge link for the ages (apologies if someone posted it long ago):

2008-05-12 14:21:21
11.   weeping for brunnhilde
The Joba thing bothers me but he's a kid so he gets a lot of slack from me.

But Melky?

How in the hell can Melky bother anyone is beyond me.

He's so bubbly, so good natured that the worst one could say about him is that he's kind of doofy. It's endearing. How he, of all people in baseball, could engender resentment or disapproval really just baffles me.

2008-05-13 08:20:12
12.   Raf
10 Good find!

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