It appears that fans are taking the news of Joba being a sent to the bullpen much harder than he is himself. Check out some of these quotes:
“Right now, I have to embrace the role that I’m in,” Chamberlain said. “I can’t think about being a starter at this point. For me to help this team now, it’s being in the bullpen and trying to figure out a way to get guys out there. It’s unfair to my team to think about something else when this is my job right now.”
While admitting that there was some disappointment in the decision, Chamberlain said that he is “excited” about the assignment, and the Yankees plan to have him pitch a relief inning on Saturday against the Tigers in Lakeland, Fla., to begin his adjustment process.
“I can’t think about being a starter at this point. It’s unfair to my team to think about something else when this is my job now,” Chamberlain said. As to the constant debate, “I don’t know if it’s ever going to end.”
Chamberlain is expected to step back into the primary setup role, and he’s scheduled to begin that transition today, with an inning of relief against the Tigers at Lakeland.
On Friday, a day after manager Joe Girardi chose Hughes as his No. 5 starter, Chamberlain took the news in stride. “It’s really nothing new for me,” he said. “Just click back in that other mode and go from there.
“It could be worse. They could talk about sending me down.”
I think it’s safe to say we can call off the suicide watch. I posted on March 21st an exchange between Mo and Joba that seemed to indicate that Joba wants to be in the bullpen, but brushed it off at the time as two guys who were just kidding around. Now I’m not so sure.
Mark Feinsand also reports that he’s anxious to get his fastball back to where it was back in 07/08. There have always been whispers about Joba’s conditioning and needing the occasional kick in the butt to do what it takes to be a successful starter on this team. Is it crazy to think that Joba really likes being a reliever? The swashbuckler who comes out of the pen, throwing gas, blowing away hitters and saving the day for his team and 50,000 fans? It’s where he found the most success, he took the town by storm back in 07 and he clearly gets amped up in a way that he doesn’t as a starter. We all saw that in the playoffs last year. He wouldn’t be the first, the Red Sox wanted Jonathan Papelbon to be a starter, and went into Spring Training of 08 with him preparing to be in the rotation. But midway through camp Paps told them his heart was really in the bullpen, and that was the end of it. As fans, we can all discuss his value in various roles based on statistical measures, but at the end of the day the game is played by human beings. Maybe this one just likes being the hero who saves the day. One thing is for sure though, he got over his ‘disappointment’ really quick.
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