I like listening to Mike and the Mad Dog on WFAN. They’re funny and they’re smart. Compared to the sports talk radio in other cities, especially Boston and Philadelphia, they’re Einstein and Michelangelo.
But they’re hammering this non-existent Joba Chamberlain controversy again today and it’s getting silly.
Yes, the kid pumps his fist when he strikes somebody out. So does Jonathan Pabelbon and a dozen other pitchers. So did Dennis Eckersley. Pete Rose pumped his fist every time he got a single. Some guys are like that. Some guys like Mariano Rivera are not.
Who cares? I was one of the writers in the Toronto clubhouse the other day. Vernon Wells and Frank Thomas said they didn’t care and that’s good enough for me. You won’t find two classier players in baseball.
Manny Ramirez disrespects the game and his opponents when he poses at the plate after hitting the ball. But spinning around and pumping your fist when you strike somebody out is emotion. Frankly, the Yankees could use a little of that. They look like accountants and lawyers out there sometimes.
Chris Russo is talking about Chamberlain like he’s some kind of thug. Try coming into the clubhouse and meeting him sometime before you say that. Joba could stand a little dose of humility and he’ll get it eventually. The game will take care of that, not the media. But I hope he bounces back and pumps his fist again.
In every other sport, even golf, it’s OK to celebrate. But for whatever reason, baseball players are supposed to act like funeral directors.
It’s 2008, let the kids play ball. Tear up the unwritten rules and have some fun. The old guys can watch ESPN Classic if they don’t like it.