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Joba Chamberlain answers your questions

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Podcast on Mar 21, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Like Derek Jeter, Brian Cashman, Mariano Rivera, Jason Giambi and Phil Hughes in previous years, Joba Chamberlain was gracious enough to answer questions submitted by readers of this blog.

There were nearly 500 questions e-mailed in. I told Joba I would narrow it down to 10, but I managed to squeeze in 15 questions. If your question was not selected, please do not be offended. It was hard picking out the best ones. I tried to do a mix of baseball and off-field topics.

I avoided questions about his role on the pitching staff, midges, A-Rod’s use of steroids and Joe Torre’s book. Those topics have been beaten into the ground, right?

There was one question I forgot to ask. That was “Who would win a cage match between you, CC Sabathia and a bear?” I will try and ask him that today and get back to you on that.

We recorded the interview in the hallway outside the clubhouse on Thursday afternoon. It was pretty quiet until — of course — Nick Swisher walked by yelling about something.

Here’s the audio of the interview:

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The transcript follows:

John asks: I was wondering if you had any special superstitions or specific things you do before a game or before coming into a game?

Joba Chamberlain: “I try and do the same thing over and over. Like try and eat the same thing before and get dressed the same way.”

Follow-up question: Is there something you specifically eat?

Joba: “I usually have a steak and potato before the game. And for a night game I’ll usually have a big bowl of pasta like about 1 o’clock before I get going or maybe eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before I start. But usually I don’t eat anything before a night game.”


Ken asks: Any advice for a nervous seventh grader getting ready for tryouts?

Joba: “Just to have fun. Everybody puts so much pressure on trying out because you want to be on the team. But as long as you have fun and understand that it’s a game and you can have fun, that’s the biggest thing.”


Many people asked: Now that you’ll be a starter full-time, are you going to try to throw your change-up more than you did when you were a reliever?

Joba: “If the situation calls for it. It’s probably my fourth-best pitch. I’m still continuing to get better with it. But I think if it’s not called for, then there is no need to. Just look at A.J., he only throws two pitches and he doesn’t necessarily need to throw his change-up.”


Adam asks: Why do you wear the brim of your Yankees cap flat?

Joba: “I always have. I always have. I don’t know, it’s just one of those things where I get it out of the box and put it on.”


Patrick asks: There must be days when you’re warming up in the bullpen that you find a certain pitch just isn’t working. Do you toy with that pitch anyway during the game until it comes back or do you shelve it for the rest of the day?

Joba: “You try to go to what’s working. In the bullpen you usually have a feel for what’s working and what’s not. Sometimes you do have to put it in the shelf because you don’t feel right with it or you try and throw it once in a game and then you know you’re definitely going to scratch it.”


Tom writes: Who is your best friend on the team?

Joba: “Ooh … I don’t know. I mean they’re all kind of. CC probably, I mean he’s my locker partner and A.J. I think just because he and CC are kind of the same individual. And A.J. and me were the same pitcher growing up. I think it’s probably surprisingly those two guys. Just because with the older guys you have that relationship. You ask me in the middle of the season and it’s probably going to be different. Those guys are coming in and you try to make them feel comfortable.”


Kirsten writes:: Your career has moved at a much faster pace, more so than that of most younger players. If you could go back and give advice to your 2007 self, what would you say?

Joba: “Slow things down. They’re so … especially in New York, things are going so fast. I did a terrible job my first year of slowing things down. Not so much on the field but probably off the field. You’ve just got to be happy for the situation but slow a lot of things down.”


Mike writes: You’re from the Cornhusker state, the home to some of the most rabid and knowlegable college football fans in America. Can you compare Yankee fans to Nebraska football fans?

Joba: “Wow. They’re probably exactly the same. I mean, it’s funny. The Bronx area kind of shuts down on game day and the state of Nebraska shuts down on a football Saturday. It becomes the third-largest city in Nebraska on a football Saturday. So the passion for football is very, very similar.”


Marc writes: If you were starting a band on Rock Band or Guitar Hero World Tour what teammates would you choose, who would play what instruments and who would sing?

Joba: “Who would sing? I would probably go with Nick Swisher singing. Probably me on the bass. Hughes on the guitar and on the drums … it would probably be Johnny Damon. That would be awesome to see.”


Jill writes: Who is your favorite musician?

Joba: “Favorite musician? Group or singer? Oh, man. Shoot. Group would have to be Rascal Flatts and singer would have to be Jay-Z.”


John writes: What’s the best piece of advice your dad ever gave you?

Joba: “Have fun. His motto always is you don’t have to be the best, you have to try your best. There are always going to be people who are more naturally gifted. But if you give everything you’ve got, that’s all you can ask for.”


A lot of people asked: What is the most important thing you’ve learned from CC and A.J. this spring?

Joba: “Wow. Just try to relax. Those guys come in with a lot of pressure Just try to relax and have fun and just go about your business in a daily fashion.”


Lance: Who do consider to be the toughest out in the league?

Joba: “Toughest out in the league? Probably Manny or Pujols. I’ve never faced Pujols; I’ve never faced Manny. But I’ve seen Manny a lot more than I’ve seen Pujols. Right now I’d have to say those two.”

Follow-up question: Right now they’re not in the league any more.

Joba: “Yeah, they’re not in my league. In my league? Wow. I always have trouble with Mike Lowell.”

(He was right on the mark, by the way. Lowell is 3 for 7 against Joba with a homer and only one strike out.)


Erik writes: As a young guy in New York, do you worry about the media spotlight? Does it keep you from having any fun?

Joba: “No. You definitely have to pick your spots, obviously. There’s a time to go have fun and a time to shut it down. That’s part of the thing about growing up in New York. Literally, I’m growing up. I was 20, 21 coming up here. You’ve just got to pick your times to have fun. You have to enjoy yourself, you have to. But there’s certain times when you don’t and you’ve got to be careful.”


Ruthie writes: Are there any TV shows you watch religiously?

Joba: “TV shows I watch religiously? Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

Me: “That’s not on any more.”

Joba: “Yes it is. Its re-runs. But I don’t care, I’ve seen them all. And Man V. Food on the Travel Channel. That’s dude’s from New York. All the time. I love it.”


Thanks again to everybody who sent in questions. It was a lot of fun doing the interview. After I recorded the interview, Joba told me he appreciated people having so much interest and he thanked everybody for their good wishes.

Thanks also to Joba for taking the time to help out the blog.

The plan is to conduct several more of these reader Q&As over the course of the season. Keep an eye out for the next call for questions.





35 Responses to “Joba Chamberlain answers your questions”

  1. 24 Score March 21st, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Wow! Best Q&A yet. thanks Pete

  2. ansky March 21st, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Pete, thanks as usual for doing this, its always a great read.

    And thanks to the people who submitted all the quality questions.

  3. RB March 21st, 2009 at 12:17 am

    Joba sounds like a good guy.

  4. Bronx Jeers March 21st, 2009 at 12:51 am

    My Youkilis question didn’t make the cut.

    I also got my ticket lottery rejection e-mail earlier today.

    I’m a two time loser!

    the horror…the horror…

  5. Nettles Punched Bill Lee March 21st, 2009 at 12:54 am

    Thanks Pete and all the readers who submitted questions.

    Good job.

  6. RalphieD (free sports betting >>> March 21st, 2009 at 12:58 am

    i love Man V Food..that show is awesome

  7. Manimal March 21st, 2009 at 1:10 am

    aw man, I had a good question too

  8. CaptainsCorner March 21st, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Good job Pete. It would be great to get a Q&A with Swisher next. I would imagine his answers would be very interesting.

  9. espresso March 21st, 2009 at 1:30 am

    That’s a great read. I can’t wait to watch him in real games.

  10. Pel (Derek Jeter: Pasta Diving Champion) March 21st, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Thanks, Pete. That was cool.

  11. YankeesLuv March 21st, 2009 at 1:45 am

    What is up with everyone loving the fresh prince of bel air, that’s Arod’s favorite too. It was a cute show but favorite? lol Nice interview Pete. :)

  12. Aaron March 21st, 2009 at 1:45 am

    My advice to the 7th grader is that i hope you have the right last name.

  13. Aaron March 21st, 2009 at 1:48 am

    By the way Fresh prince is on at 1 on nick at night on weeknights. maybe 2 i dont remember.

  14. Al from BK March 21st, 2009 at 2:00 am

    Joba has a good head on his shoulders I can’t wait to see this guy pitching for real.

  15. E-gawa March 21st, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Fresh prince is looped on one channel all night.. not sure the channel but I’ve watched that when theres nothing else left to watch.

  16. Nick in SF March 21st, 2009 at 2:36 am

    Um, no offense, Joba, but right now my question is what the frakkin’ deal was with Starbuck, and you didn’t answer it.

  17. just sayin March 21st, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Why didn’t anyone ask him what his favorite drink was?Long Island Iced tea or Hoegarden?(Pronounced who-garden)

  18. just sayin March 21st, 2009 at 2:45 am

    BTW Hoegarden is great for any beer drinkers out there. Most Belgian beers are.

  19. E-gawa March 21st, 2009 at 2:47 am


    Why do you want to know if he drinks water or not?

  20. carl March 21st, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Nick at night = Fresh Prince.

  21. NYYanksFan March 21st, 2009 at 3:44 am

    “A rare play occurred in the fifth inning when the Yankees’ Eduardo Nunez hit a grounder to Joe Crede at third. Nunez took two steps, tripped and did a face-plant 3 feet down the first-base line. Instead of throwing to first, Crede threw to catcher Mike Redmond, who tagged Nunez out. Score that 5-2.”

  22. sierchio March 21st, 2009 at 4:08 am

    Thanks for the interview Pete. You should do this weekly with the players, although I realize that it’s not logical, it would be cool.

  23. Matt (In Toronto) March 21st, 2009 at 6:14 am

    LOL at “shoot”. ;)

  24. Paco Dooley March 21st, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Joba’s gotta lay off on the ‘wow’s – but I have to say, I like his taste in TV…

  25. wood is good March 21st, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Thanks, Pete! Joba is one of my faves because he seems so down to earth. (Not to mention he also has the potential to be a GREAT Yankee.) I pray he continues down a positive path. And from everything I’ve read about his dad, I see a lot of my dad in him and that makes me happy for both of us. Great men.

  26. Jeff NJ March 21st, 2009 at 9:09 am

    I’m surprised no one asked what he believes his long term future holds on the team. I know it’s been asked before and it would be difficult to get him to admit that he could want to be a closer and open up the controversy, but I would have thought that a creatively asked question could have gotten him to bite.

  27. trisha - As long as you're in pinstripes, Kei, I've got your back. March 21st, 2009 at 9:57 am

    “There was one question I forgot to ask. That was “Who would win a cage match between you, CC Sabathia and a bear?” I will try and ask him that today and get back to you on that.”

    Pete, that whole thing was magical. My take on Joba has always been that he would be the kind of person you’d want as your best friend. This interview hasn’t changed my opinion. I think he’s the whole enchilada, not to mention the fact that he can pitch like Zeus…

    What made it magical for me was hearing Joba in the foreground and a panoply of sound in the bhackground known as the New York Yankees.


    By the way –

    “There was one question I forgot to ask. That was “Who would win a cage match between you, CC Sabathia and a bear?” I will try and ask him that today and get back to you on that.”

    Laughed til I cried. Literally!

  28. lowshun March 21st, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    That was quite an entertaining read. Joba is such an easy guy to like. Thanks Pete!

  29. Ruthie March 21st, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    wow! great Q&A!!you can imagine my face, as i am going through the questions, one by one, looking for my question, getting discouraged around #11.. then I get to the LAST question and see my name. i flipped my lid! it was a trivial question, but non the less nice to see it made the cut. i’ll def be on the look out for the next Q&A and try to go 2 for 2

    once again, great blog pete,
    check in on it later

  30. Rich March 21st, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Pete – Great interview!!! Keep ‘em coming.

  31. 'The' Steve March 22nd, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Man vs Food!!


  32. winfield killed my seagull March 23rd, 2009 at 9:33 am

    man vs. food is an awesome show. if you haven’t seen it, check it out. 10pm wednesdays on travel channel

  33. Simon July 9th, 2009 at 10:56 am

    Do you feel nervous before you play a game?

  34. Bradford Olgin March 18th, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Fifa world cup is around the corner and I will highly appreciate everybody on this blog if they can tell me where to buy world cup tickets.

  35. Kenneth Toporek March 25th, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    Arthritis in canines can be a major problem that many people never even think of in senior dogs.

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