The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Chamberlain frustrated and embarrassed

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Podcast on Jul 11, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Joba Chamberlain’s 10 decisions (7-3) through his first 29 career starts are the fewest in Major League history. I’m not sure how to interpret that. But there you go.

As to what counts, Joba has one victory since June 1 and a 5.05 ERA. “It’s frustrating. I’m letting my teammates down. It’s kind of embarrassing, too,” he said. “At the end of the day, we have the second half (of the season) to get better. You can’t change the past.”

But there is also some denial. If you listen to his postgame interview session:

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Joba says three times that his stuff and mechanics in the last two starts were the best he has had this season. Here is his line in those two starts:

8 innings, 18 hits, 13 runs, 7 earned runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 3 home runs. Those unearned runs are a bad sign. Fielders get bored and lazy working behind an inefficient pitcher. When the starter is nibbling and shaking off pitches and getting knocked around, it infects everybody else.

If that’s his best stuff, that is a problem. I asked Joba what the issue was if in fact he was throwing his best stuff.

“If I had an answer for you, it would probably be a lot easier,” he said. “I felt I’ve been better in the last two but we came up against some good ball clubs. They hit mistakes and that is what they’re supposed to do.”

I’m also getting a sense that his teammates are tired of the “well, I threw the ball pretty well” stuff and the flood of Nuke LaLoosh cliches. The Yankees are about accountability and results, not trying hard. Anybody can try hard.

“You have to work your tail off,” Chamberlain said. “But the sun will come out tomorrow. I’ll be the same person I was before.”

Well, the sun will come out in Scranton, too. At some point the Yankees can’t let a starter go five innings every time.

WFAN’s Sweeny Murti asked Girardi whether Joba should be working out his issues in the majors. “I think so,” he said.

That Girardi didn’t dismiss the notion out of hand should tell you something. Joba is scheduled to pitch the third game after the break against Detroit, a team he pitched very well against in April. That start could determine how long the Yankees are going to leave him in the rotation.


Derek Jeter didn’t offer an excuse for dropping that pop-up in the seventh inning. He could not remember ever having done that before. “I just dropped it,” he said “I used two hands, too.”

Meanwhile, Jorge Posada caught a foul pop bare-handed when in the same inning when Chone Figgins accidentally knocked the glove off his hand.

“I wasn’t trying to show (Jeter) up,” Posada said with a little smile.





93 Responses to “Chamberlain frustrated and embarrassed”

  1. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Montero Fanaticus Primus July 11th, 2009 at 2:34 am

    It’d be that much more refreshing and inspiring if Joba just said “hey, I stunk up the joint”.

  2. SJ44 July 11th, 2009 at 2:40 am

    He will be in Scranton or Toronto by the end of the month.

    Completely agree and that’s a problem.

    The kid just doesn’t get it.

    The Yankees get rid of people who don’t get it.

    Dad needs to set his kid straight at the ASB or his time in NY is coming to a close.

    Denial ain’t a river in Africa.

    It’s Joba discussing his pitching performances.

  3. CaptainsCorner July 11th, 2009 at 2:42 am

    Saying you are frustrated and embarrassed is one thing, but hearing him talk he didn’t sound upset. When CC and Pettitte don’t pitch good you can see it on their faces how unhappy they are. You don’t get any of that from Joba. Maybe it is because he really is lost and doesn’t know how to act or he is just very immature and really doesn’t care as much as he should. No matter what it is he really needs to learn how to calm down his emotions during an inning and continue or in his case start to attack the batter. You can’t just give up and throw it down the middle like what he did to Morales and the next batter.

  4. Uncle Ellsworth July 11th, 2009 at 2:45 am

    I’m as frustrated by Justin’s pitching as anyone but to put the onus on his post game comments?
    AND some people recklesslessly misquoting him – just not fair. beside Rebcca’s suggestions what is he supposed to say? really? He said he’s letting his team down.

  5. Orlando Chris July 11th, 2009 at 2:45 am

    This “gotta tip your cap” stuff is played out. Unfortunately, the Yankees don’t seem to have many options to replace him, nor the inclination yet to do so, so we’ll continue to see him struggle every fifth day, until the end of the regular season.

  6. SJ44 July 11th, 2009 at 2:46 am

    Joba has a severe case of “too much hype, too soon”.

    The remedy? Humility. Either learn it or back to riding the buses again and have forced on you.

  7. stuart July 11th, 2009 at 2:48 am

    kennedy got crucified for his comments he made once.

    joba says one stupid thing after another and pays no dam price.

    he needs to be confronted in private by some vets and girarid and cashman and this cannot go on…

    he thought the pitch to morales was OK… a 83 MPH cuve belt high over the middle of the plate is not a good pitch.

    Melancon looked good, I care less what his line is, he saved Joba in the 5th, threw one bad pitch the FIggins triple….

    JOba is a huge problem and for the fans who have no clue, they do not have many legit pitching options…Mitre and igawa are not options they are prayers, which are never answered….

    arod’s error hurt aboslutely but Joba’s pitching still stinks…Bruney needs to find his slider and get some location on his pitches.. the aybar HR was a meatball right down broadway…

    cano in the 9th showed all you need to see from him, trying to drive a ball at his ankles out of the ballpark instead of taking it, he is basically helpless. he is as dumb as Joba is….

  8. Tarheelyank July 11th, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Let’s see
    Posada sucks he cant work with pitchers.
    Molina sucks because we like Cervelli
    Cano sucks. risp, enough said.
    Jeter doesn’t suck, but his defense hmm…
    Arod sucks, and is a cheat. ALways will be, or at least until he hits a walk-off grand slam in the 9th of the 7th game, in a world series
    Damon sucks he cant play defense, and that arm.
    Melkner,they doubly suck. but wait,they are clutch and gritty.
    Swish sucks he takes too many pitchers,and he’s not selective enough
    Tex wow his defense,but he pulls the ball too much.
    Joba sucks he’s a washed up, nibbler, ADMIT IT you suck
    Hughes used to suck, now he’s worth Doc straight up.
    DRob, Melacon, Albie, suck, suck, and suckiest
    AJ he will suck when he gets hurt I just know it
    CC he will suck when he opts out.
    Andy sucks I dont care how many games he’s won. It must be luck. didnt he take peds too.
    Giradi sucks because of his pen management. But at least he’s better then Torre, because of his pen management
    MO everybody loves MO
    If I left anybody out I am sure you suck too.

    If I wasn’t a fan of 45years I would laugh, instead I wonder why some of you even root for this team.

  9. Michele July 11th, 2009 at 2:49 am

    I agree with a lot of the comments already said, & I have to add that I feel his early success as our superstar 8th inning bridge to Mo in the past really has affected him. I feel it has gotten to his head & he is totally out of touch with reality now.

  10. Bronx Jeers July 11th, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Well, it’s a good thing the Yanks have some $$$ and prospects because unfortunately it looks like they’re going to have to cash some in and get a starter.

    Wang is unknown.

    Pettitte can’t really pitch well at home.

    Joba can’t pitch anywhere.

    Phil’s in the pen and it would be lunacy at this point to try and do anything else with him.

    Halladay is a long-shot at best and one would think it would now take a Hughes led package to get him.

    Washburn or Bedard ?

    Probably both available. I’ll take Washburn but there’s going to be some competition. Also not too crazy about giving something of value to Seattle for a 2 month rental.

  11. Uncle Ellsworth July 11th, 2009 at 2:50 am

    Tip your cap IS played but really
    what SHOULD he say? serious Q

  12. haiku-man July 11th, 2009 at 2:50 am

    Maybe he was rushed though the minors too fast.

  13. Michele July 11th, 2009 at 2:50 am

    Ah, SJ just noted the same…

  14. Maria July 11th, 2009 at 2:51 am

    He said he was embarrassed and wasn’t meeting his expectations. It is not worth it to put that much weight on postgame interviews I feel like they aren’t going to tell you what you want to hear because regardless they will be crucified for it. That said, he needs to do better after the all star break. He is young and needs time to develop but he is due for at least a 6-7 inning quality start.

  15. Ralph July 11th, 2009 at 2:52 am

    Joba is the most annoying postgame interview in Yankee history. The Yankees are all about accountability, and if he thinks he’s thrown well this year, he won’t be here long. I have a feeling that he’ll either be in Scanton, or be involved in a blockbuster deal at the deadline.Girardi’s comment shows his frustration, and I think he and the team have just about had enough. His DWI and comments about not liking NY show his immaturity and true feelings.

  16. stuart July 11th, 2009 at 2:52 am

    joba should say I am not getting it done presently.

    I need to attack the zone, trust my catchers and not overthink but focus on every pitch..

    that is what Joba needs to do.. Stop shaking off catchers, stop tipping cap to the opponents, throw mid to upper 90′s fastball, stop falling in love with his slider, and attack the damn strike zone….

    when you screw up admit it.. not real complicated….

  17. BJK July 11th, 2009 at 2:56 am

    Jeter didn’t sound too worked up about Joba in his interview.

    As diplomatic as Jeter is, you can tell when he’s ticked off and frustrated by the tone of his voice.

    He acknowledged Joba is struggling and not pitching up to expectations. He also said he believes he will improve. Or am I missing something here?

  18. KyleLitke July 11th, 2009 at 2:56 am

    I also don’t get why the Yankees are pretending like he hasn’t taken a big velocity hit.

    And nobody say bullpen. It’s not the bullpen. In 2007 and to start the seson in 2008, he was throwing 99 out of the bullpen. As a starter in 08, he was sitting at 97 and hitting 99 when he needed to (in that Boston start where he went 7 IP and gave up 3 hits, he hit 99mph on his 99th pitch of the night). Then he hurt his shoulder, and he came back throwing 94 out of the bullpen. And everyone let it go as him building up arm strength from his injury, but he never got his velocity back. He’s sitting 92-94 now and very occasionally hitting 96ish, although he seems to lose the increasingly less control he has when he gets that high.

    Something happened to him. And the only time I’ve seen the team address it at all was when Michael Kay asked Girardi about it, and Girardi claimed Joba was throwing 2 seamers. No, he isn’t, and I’m not sure what’s scarier…that Girardi felt it necessary to lie about it instead of fixing the problem, or that Girardi might actually think his velocity is just fine.

    He’s got other issues, I think the maturity thing is a problem, and his control is too, because even if his velocity is shot, he should be an effective starter sitting 93. Not as good as he should be but effective. But the velocity is a serious thing and it’s beyond me why that isn’t being talked about.

  19. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Montero Fanaticus Primus July 11th, 2009 at 2:56 am

    You guys still realize we’re a game out of first and have the 2nd best record in the entire AL, right?

    The worst thing the Yankees could do right now is make a panic move.

  20. haiku-man July 11th, 2009 at 2:57 am

    I was on a board/blog and they mentioned Garland of the Diamond backs.Has anyone heard of this ?

  21. SJ44 July 11th, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Bingo Stuart.

    It’s not hard….except apparently for him.

    Let’s see if the ASB break changes him.

    If not, he will be giving post game quotes somewhere else.

    Everybody screws up in this game.

    When you are unaccountable and uncoachable, which he is, you make it real hard on yourself.

  22. KyleLitke July 11th, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Rebecca, I agree and don’t want to see a panic move, but the fact is, the Yankees are a game out of first and they only have two starters that can be trusted right now, with Wang’s injury, Joba’s ineffectiveness, and Pettitte’s Jekyll and Hyde routine. And that includes Burnett who we all know can be incredibly dominant or very shaky depending on the day. I’m far from panic because I think the Yankees have a very good all around team, but realistically, they might need either another starter or a replacement for Hughes in the bullpen. Panic move, no, but they need to at least look into the available arms and consider a move.

  23. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Montero Fanaticus Primus July 11th, 2009 at 3:01 am

    Between Washburn, Bedard and Garland the only one I might even consider for a moment is Washburn.

    If the Yankees are going to look at anyone, I’d go with Brian Bannister, who was excellent today at Fenway. Given what the Royals gave up to get Yuniesky Betancourt, I wouldn’t be entirely shocked if Bannister came fairly cheap.

  24. KyleLitke July 11th, 2009 at 3:02 am

    By the way, just to clarify, that wasn’t me saying “We’re a game out, we need to make moves to save the team!”. Just saying that once July disappears, the Yankees can’t then say “Uh oh, we’re starting to struggle again, better make a move”. They need to consider a move now, and I’d like to see that move made (again, if they find a reasonable deal that doesn’t cost a lot) instead of waiting til it’s too late.

  25. Richie July 11th, 2009 at 3:03 am

    Joba’s velo and command aren’t the same since he walked off the mound in Texas last August with a shoulder injury. There is no point overanalyzing something when an obvious explanation makes the most sense. I’m not saying he is injured, but there are at least arm strength issues which have probably affected his mechanics, and in turn, his command.

    At the very least, get another pitching coach to assess him, because Eiland isn’t getting it done, which may or may not be his fault.

  26. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Montero Fanaticus Primus July 11th, 2009 at 3:03 am

    “July 11th, 2009 at 2:59 am

    Rebecca, I agree and don’t want to see a panic move, but the fact is, the Yankees are a game out of first and they only have two starters that can be trusted right now, with Wang’s injury, Joba’s ineffectiveness, and Pettitte’s Jekyll and Hyde routine”

    You said it.

    They are A GAME out of first.

    Not three. Not five. Not ten.


    One game.

    A win the same day Boston loses puts them in first. One game takes you to the very last day of the season.

    It’s amazing, the way some people talk, you would think the Yankees are in fourth place and five games under .500.

    We have the second best record in the AL and 3rd best in all of the MLB.

    The Yankees are 13-3 in their last 16 games and 6-2 in their last eight.

    There are issues that the team should address. But there is utterly no reason to panic.

  27. KO July 11th, 2009 at 3:03 am

    One more start like tonight’s and unquestionably Joba should be either sent to AAA or the bullpen…. He is constantly making the same mistakes every start… He has no clue how to establish his fastball and work off that and get ahead of hitters… I mean he watches these other starters go out there and do the job you think he would get the picture… And he is so damn nonchalent about what is going on and that is only making it worse… I mean this guy was freakin’ coddled since he came up and it’s catching up with him… He needs to get focused, attack hitters, and stop losing focus and serving up easy pitches over the plate I mean these are major league hitters… And to top it all off he works way too slow and cannot overcome a single error. Bottom line, he’s got tons of talent but the mental part isn’t there right now. He needs a wakeup call if he has another terrible start next time out.

  28. Uncle Ellsworth July 11th, 2009 at 3:04 am

    what happened to “don;t give the press anything to run with”?
    again I’m really off Joba now but what he says in interviews? How many guys don’t go to the cliches? few.
    if his tmates are frustrated with performance – good.
    would a Post headline “Joba: “I stink” really help?

  29. m July 11th, 2009 at 3:06 am

    Something is not right with Joba. That much is obvious.

    It’s not that he’s stubborn, it’s not that he’s in denial, he simply doesn’t have it.

    He’s getting knocked around, his WHIP is up there. His walks as someone pointed out are up over last season.

    The proper thing to do would be to send him down to AAA to iron out the kinks.

    Of course, we’re short-handed so we’re going to have to grin and bear it.

    Hughes got called out, and turned it around very quickly.

    I’m sure that the Yankees, and the vets have been on top of Joba the whole season. Things may be coming to a head soon because there seems to be regression, at a time when starters are hitting their stride.

  30. stuart July 11th, 2009 at 3:06 am

    bannister stinks.. washburn is a legit tough pitcher. he is not scared. garland stinks also….

    I have 3 kids my oldest is a 16 yr old girl, athlete, she is more in touch with reality then Joba.

    I do not expect him to commit suicide over his recent performance but he needs to be honest with us and himself… The morales pitch had to be hit out, it was a mege meatball…

  31. stuart July 11th, 2009 at 3:08 am

    JOba’s postgame are not just cliche filled, so what Jeter has done tha tfor 13 years but the yare not accurate and honest..

    he is not being honest with himself, let alone the fans…

    they need an intervention, now…

  32. Uncle Ellsworth July 11th, 2009 at 3:09 am

    OK SJ
    I’m really interested in what his post game comments should be from you. Be accountable Joba.
    uncoachable is a different discussion.

  33. CaptainsCorner July 11th, 2009 at 3:10 am

    The funny thing is when people mention Joba’s velocity drop to Girardi or Cash they pretend like it didn’t happen and there isn’t a problem. But during Wang’s last start and his last pitch Girardi said it was 86 mph and that he noticed and thought that was weird right away. But Joba losing 5 mph off the fastball isn’t? I don’t get it…I wonder if they put him back in the bullpen if he would be able to get his velocity back up since he would only be throwing 20 pitches and not 100..Like Hughes has been able to do in the bullpen.

  34. Richie July 11th, 2009 at 3:10 am

    Few people have been brought up as well as Jeter, stuart. Joba didn’t have the luxury of Jeter’s parents. That’s not an excuse, because there are no excuses in life, but there is a reason that each act the way they do.

  35. KyleLitke July 11th, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Richie: I agree, that’s exactly the problem. But the thing is, there is a reason to analyze it, because we’re now ten and a half months removed from him returning and as far as anyone can tell, nothing is being done. I’m not saying they’re not working with him, but does it seem odd to anyone that anytime Wang or anyone else has struggled with mechanics, the Yankees have made it a point to say “We’re working with him on his mechanics”, or “We’re making sure he’s healthy”, but after 3 months of this with Joba, all we get is a lie about 2 seam fastballs? I think you’re right that the problem came from the shoulder, but why the heck have we now gone 3 and a half months without them doing anything?

    Rebecca: Like I said, I agree, and if it was May or June and we were one game out, I wouldn’t bother looking for a starter or anything. It’s not a panic thing. It’s a “The trade deadline is the end of this month”. If August rolls around and the pitchers continue as they are right now, and to be honest there’s not a big reason to think otherwise, the Yankees COULD find themself out 5-6 games with no way to make a trade and correct the problem. Does that mean I want to see a panic move where they trade a big prospect for a pitcher they don’t need, absolutely not. All I’m saying is I don’t want to see the Yankees deny a trade for a cheap pitcher that won’t really cost them anything just because “Eh Wang will probably be better and Joba will probably be better and hopefully Pettitte will be better”.

    And I agree 100% that it’s silly to panic because of this start. The team is mostly fine. I just don’t want to see them with an ineffective starting pitching staff in a month with no way to fix it because they wouldn’t even look into a move now.

  36. Uncle Ellsworth July 11th, 2009 at 3:12 am

    not honest with himself Ok. denile ok. But what is the 23 year old supposed to say?

  37. m July 11th, 2009 at 3:13 am

    I’m not going to get on Joba’s postgame comments.

    But things would be much better for him all-around if he simply said that he didn’t get the job done.

    They players take notice when you’re accountable, even if some things were beyond his control. They take notice when you take the hit, even though they made the errors that led to extra outs.

  38. malael July 11th, 2009 at 3:15 am

    i love how one loss causes a huge uproar. yes joba pitched (another) bad game but this isnt a time to start talking about how sucky the team is. if the team sucks so bad why are they one game out of 1st? give me a break and calm down people.

  39. Bronx Jeers July 11th, 2009 at 3:16 am

    I don’t see it as panicking. It’s needed.

    They have 3 guys who have actually started games in the majors during the month of august.

    Wang has been a question mark all year and I think it would be a mistake to count on him.

    Aceves has 5 ML starts. I like him but is a pennant race ideal for him?

    Joba looks lost and we can count his career “quality ” starts on 2 hands. For great starts you’d only need one.

    The organization has a lot riding on this season. It’s not just pride and keeping the Lohud population happy.

  40. m July 11th, 2009 at 3:16 am

    One game shouldn’t lead to panic, but they need to stabilize the 4th & 5th slots.

  41. Pel July 11th, 2009 at 3:16 am

    >But what is the 23 year old supposed to say?

    We could do without the reciting of lyrics from “Annie”.

  42. KyleLitke July 11th, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Malael: I agree, it’s still a good team. The offense is very strong and the bullpen has been much better since April. Sabathia and Burnett have been great as well. They do have holes though and with Boston and the Rays being so good, I think it’s important not to just cross your fingers, close your eyes, and hope everything will be okay, you know? If a cheap deal can be made, make it because it might be necessary. If it can’t, then don’t and go with what you have. That’s all.

  43. Rebecca--Optimist Prime--Montero Fanaticus Primus July 11th, 2009 at 3:19 am

    Should the Yankees do something?


    But what I’m saying is that the team is in such a position that they can afford to take the time that is needed to come to a well-thought-out decision.

    I don’t think Joba’s struggles are new to them and I don’t think they expect Chien Ming Wang to be much help.

    I don’t know what they plan to do, but my guess is that no one plans to make a move for sure until after the All Star Break, when they’ve all had time to think about it.

  44. KyleLitke July 11th, 2009 at 3:21 am

    Then I think we’re both completely in agreement, Rebecca.

  45. igotid88 July 11th, 2009 at 3:22 am

    Stop giving up Hughes for Doc.

  46. m July 11th, 2009 at 3:23 am

    A 23-yr. old should say I’m not getting it done. The coaches are telling me that I need to be aggressive and attack the hitters. The transition from reliever to starter is harder than I thought it would be (this would be the truth) and I need to stop putting guys on base.

    And the homerun? He should say that was a mistake, I just put it on a tee for morales.

    There’s actually a lot of things he could say. He could watch Andy, CC, and AJ’s postgames after their clunkers (they’ve all had them) and see how they handle it.

    I know I sound like SJ, but he’s going to lose the clubhouse soon. j/k

  47. igotid88 July 11th, 2009 at 3:25 am

    People were calling me crazy when I suggested keeping Hughes in the rotation. And place Joba at AAA or the bullpen. I obviously want Joba as a starter also. But he needed

  48. BJK July 11th, 2009 at 3:26 am

    Just read Pete’s Q&A with Joba from back in March. You know, when the kid still had a future and the fans liked him and stuff.

    Those were the good ol’ days.

  49. igotid88 July 11th, 2009 at 3:26 am

    but he needed to get scared straight in a sense.

  50. Uncle Ellsworth July 11th, 2009 at 3:27 am

    But what is the 23 year old supposed to say?

    We could do without the reciting of lyrics from “Annie”.

    GOOD point

    I guess my point is we don’t know how accountable he is behinnd the scenes. And I DO think he may be a little too cool for school but it is hard to talk to the press when things are bad especially a “kid”.

    ANd why is Andy such a hotbutton now – he’ll be fine

  51. Uncle Ellsworth July 11th, 2009 at 3:38 am

    A 23-yr. old should say I’m not getting it done. GOOD The coaches are telling me that I need to be aggressive and attack the hitters. AND I HAVN’T DONE THAT – GOOD

    The transition from reliever to starter is harder than I thought it would be (this would be the truth) How do you know and we have been told 1,000 times that Joba has always been a starter. And saying this throws his mgmt under the bus for switching him – fodder for headlines.
    and I need to stop putting guys on base. GOOD

    And the homerun? He should say that was a mistake, I just put it on a tee for morales. I YHINK he said “i left it high”

  52. Bronx Jeers July 11th, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Of course nothing’s happening immediately. They have till the end of the month.

    They’re in great position now but unfortunately the season isn’t ending on Sunday and they still need to win about 45+ games. CC, AJ and Andy aren’t going to win 15 a piece.

    If they could count on Wang or Joba to produce a bunch of victories in the 2nd half they could probably survive without making a semi-big move for a starter.

    I just don’t see how they can believe that those guys are going to be there for them when needed.

    Joba’s given them about 2 really good starts this season.

    Wang’s given them 0.

    Aceves has 1 ML win as a starter. I love the guy but they need to be realistic.

  53. Giuseppe Franco July 11th, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Those who are jumping off the bandwagon in droves are going to be clawing and scratching to get back on.

    I respect SJ’s opinion and all but he goes way way way overboard on Joba.

    That’s not to suggest Joba doesn’t need a kick in the ass but there isn’t a chance in hell the Yanks are getting rid of this guy.

    SJ often gets worked up about a particular player not performing well (Cano, Melky, etc, etc) and just goes haywire.

    Joba is not going to be pitching in Scranton if they are already three starting pitchers short (Wang, Hughes, and Kennedy).

  54. Nick in SF July 11th, 2009 at 3:40 am

    Joba will figure it out ‘cos… it’s a hard knock life, for him?

  55. Donnie - Will Meet Chone Figgins Under the O'Neill Banner July 11th, 2009 at 3:41 am

    This blog makes me sad sometimes.

    After tonight’s game, what the coaching staff needs to do is sit down with Joba, and make him watch the fifth inning. Point out how, after losing the stolen base, and A-Rod’s error, he started leaving his pitches up because he was frustrated.

    His stuff tonight WAS much better than it had been. Unfortunately, it was only better for 4 innings, and then he got emotional and imploded. The issues tonight were not him not having his best stuff. It was him giving up on the game when things weren’t going his way.

    I’m not defending him. I’m not saying he should be given a free pass, or that he shouldn’t take accountability for giving up on the game, because you DO NOT EVER DO THAT. But what I am saying is that tossing him to the pen, or sending him somewhere else, isn’t the answer. The answer is to point out to him what he did wrong, and toughen him up mentally.

    What we are seeing out of Joba is EXACTLY what we saw out of Hughes last season, and several starts this season as well. Get behind, or make a mistake, and then get upset and stop focusing, which just makes the hole you’ve dug even deeper.

    This is NOT an unfixable problem. Not by a long shot. But it’s one that they DO need to address. I just wish that everyone would stop acting like the kid is washed up and has no talent. Mental toughness doesn’t come over night. You get beat up a few times, and you learn to be tough, because you figure out that you aren’t going to be coddled, and you won’t make it if you aren’t.

    On a similar subject, look at the life Joba has lead, and the scrutiny he’s under on a daily basis. If I were to bet money on it, I’d say that Joba is taking what he learned in life, and applying it to his reaction to bad games: “Sometimes, bad things happen, and when they do, you have to look on the bright side, or risk being dragged down in to a funk that could possible consume you”. The things he says REEK of that. Let the guy have whatever keeps him going, because frankly, he’s of more use to us if his head is above water than he is if he allows himself to sink in to a depression because he pitched poorly. With some people, there is no middle ground. You’re either up, or you’re down. I’d be willing to bet Joba is one of those people, and THIS is how he copes. Stop scrutinizing his reaction, and start worrying about the work he does on the field. He had good stuff tonight. He just has to learn to keep using it, no matter what happens, and that “temper tantrums” are not acceptable. Yes, it’d be nice if he knew it by now. But he’s 23 not 32. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and he WILL get better.

    It sort of makes me sad that Pete seems to be losing faith in him, because he was one of his biggest supporters.

  56. Uncle Ellsworth July 11th, 2009 at 3:42 am

    I still think we win the division.
    has anyone suggested Joba needs a little rest to go along with his kick in the keester and his media relations class?

  57. The Curious Case of Joba Chamberlain (The sun will come up tomorrow) July 11th, 2009 at 3:48 am

    I don’t get all this “relax its just one game” stuff. This lose has nothing to do with the Yanks. They are playing great ball 6 runs is more than enough vs a line up missing its 4 and 5 hitters. The reason I am so upset with this L is because Joba blew another game and only went 3 innings. At some point guys like Joba and Bruney have to work out their problems at another level.

  58. Pel July 11th, 2009 at 3:51 am

    07.11.2009 A disturbing trend?

    Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and Ian Kennedy: The Holy Trinity of Yankee pitching prospects, all who have failed to cut the mustard as starters so far in the bigs. Is it a systemic problem or is it a case of young guys just learning the ropes? We believe it’s the latter, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating when you see the same mistakes over and over. In Joba’s case for example, he continues to be extremely inefficient and work at a snail’s pace on the mound. We would like to highlight the following stats for Dave Eiland.

    Numbers do not include his terrible start versus LAA on Friday night

    Pitches thrown in the strike zone: 44.2% (50.5% – 2008)
    First pitch strikes: 56.1% (60.2% – 2008)
    Hitters’ contact %: 80.1% (73.5% – 2008)
    Hitters swing %: 38.6% (43.6% – 2008)
    Hitters’ contact % when swinging outside strike zone: 60% (46.8% – 2008)
    Hitters’ contact % when swinging inside strike zone: 91.4% (84.9% – 2008)
    Line drive %: 20.5% (14.2% – 2008)

    All lousy trends.

    And when looking at the numbers, it all seems like it comes down to his fastball. According to Fangraphs Pitch Type Values, Joba’s fastball has been over 10 runs below average. And while his slider has produced above-average results, it’s still not as effective as last season. Per 100 sliders in 2008, he was 2.22 runs above average, versus this season at 1.09.

  59. Nick in SF July 11th, 2009 at 3:52 am

    Sheesh, can everyone just clear away the cobwebs and the sorrow??

  60. Giuseppe Franco July 11th, 2009 at 3:53 am

    I’ll say this much….

    Putting Joba in the pen in 2007 was the worst thing for his development.

    He was too good too fast and that went to his head a little bit and simultaneously set the bar so high that he can’t possibly duplicate that again.

    And this is a rough town for that kind of humility because a very large percentage of Yankee fans can’t wait to kick these guys when they’re down.

    Joba in the long run will be fine. His struggles now are actually going to help him a lot more than hurt him.

    Some humility worked for Hughes when a lot of people were calling him a bust. The same thing can happen with Joba.

  61. Uncle Ellsworth July 11th, 2009 at 3:53 am

    Nick in SF
    July 11th, 2009 at 3:40 am
    Joba will figure it out ‘cos… it’s a hard knock life, for him?

    good one.
    that ubringing stuff has been forgotten though, right? or no?

  62. Maria July 11th, 2009 at 3:59 am

    Agreed Donnie.

  63. Nick in SF July 11th, 2009 at 4:01 am

    Uncle Ellsworth, I think the actual upbringing point was forgotten/misunderstood right from the start, but it really doesn’t matter. The baseball doesn’t care who’s throwing it or where they came from.

  64. Uncle Ellsworth July 11th, 2009 at 4:02 am

    sage words Nick

  65. Nick in SF July 11th, 2009 at 4:04 am

    And well said, Donnie.

    Yikes, it’s late.

  66. Giuseppe Franco July 11th, 2009 at 4:16 am

    BTW, I know it won’t deter those on this blog who continue to harp on Joba’s velocity but Job’s velocity was pretty good tonight.

    He sat around 94 MPH and hit as high as 97 MPH a few times.

    I’ve said many times that velocity doesn’t mean jack if you’re not punding the zone and missing with location.

    Just ask Kyle Farnsworth.

    Joba needs to learn how to pitch more than anything else. A 95 MPH fastball doesn’t help much if he’s not locating it and not throwing enough strikes.

  67. Juke Early July 11th, 2009 at 4:21 am

    Dear Annie & her Hair stylist ^

    I’ve been watching the NYY since 1956 & a kid in the Bronx. Can somebody tell me what earthly good it means, if a team can’t beat Boston, TB & the @#%&*! Angels? No WS again until they can.

    Season stats don’t mean a thing until contract time. So don’t show us sunshine & bandwagons, because that’s where you find those other teams.

  68. Giuseppe Franco July 11th, 2009 at 5:04 am

    Last I checked, this team had won 13 of 16 games and had the second best record in the AL.

    But some people just like to complain.

    Whine and moan all you want but the Yanks have to be pretty happy to be in this position despite all the ups and downs thus far.

  69. Mark July 11th, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Honestly, and this is about as unanalytical as you can possibly be, we were playing the Angels, and that is why we lost. New York is 5-15 in that stadium over the last however many years. They lose these kind of games to the Angels. They just do. Angels lose two hitters? No problem, they’ll get ten runs anyway. Yankees have a short pen and need the starter to go deep into the game? No, that will not happen. It’s like every single thing that can go wrong does. Jeter dropped a pop-up. That NEVER happens. And of course Matsui hits a ball that I am convinced goes out against every team other team, but against Anaheim, it just dies. I don’t believe in curses. I do believe that bad things give birth to bad things, though, and a lot of bad things have been born in Anaheim. I left to watch Quiz Show after the second inning. It was 4-0. Came back and it was 7-6. Life against the Angels. All that being said, the Yankees will probably come back to win this series. I refuse to give up on them, as they are not giving up on me, as they do not know I exist.

    As for Chamberlain, as bad as he’s been lately, you almost just have to hope that something clicks in and he figures it out. You can’t afford to send him down. Nobody wants Kei Igawa coming through that door.

  70. Cash is King July 11th, 2009 at 5:27 am

    All three Yankee pitchers tonight have good stuff, but instead of pitching they were throwing the ball. I’ve been saying for a while that Joba’s problem is between the ears and he’s not allowing his natural ability to take over games. In short, he thinks too much. He’s not in the best situation to develop as a pitcher because the Yankee organization and their fanbase talk about developing players, but are really only paying lip service because “winning” is really what they’re all about.

    As far as Bruney, Pete suggested he must be hurt, but if he is then why is constantly throwing 94-96 mph fastballs? I would think any type of arm injury will reflect in a decrease in velocity. IMO, he never had great command to begin with and it is surely lacking here now especially when it comes to locating his fastball. If you’re going to bust a hitter on the inside with a 96 mph fastball then you better make sure you get it in far enough so he can’t pull down the line like that batter did tonight on him.

    The same with Melancon. Great stuff, but poor location.

    When a pitcher can’t command his fastball then they’re in trouble and that’s what I saw tonight from all three pitchers. It’s the same problem Robertson has too even with his lesser fastball velocity.

    I know the Yankee organization preaches fastball command, but some of their pitchers are currently flunking that course. Case in point, Rivera spoils us with his command, but he had problems earlier in the season too and it was because he was having trouble with location and he paid for that temporary lack of command.

  71. Brian July 11th, 2009 at 5:50 am

    I think it’s a little premature to be talking about sending Joba to AAA. Who do you want to replace him with? Brett Tomko? Sergio Mitre? Give me a break, people. Have some patience. The guy is still finding his way as a starter. He’ll bounce back. Stick with him. He’ll get better. Everybody, please exhale. It’ll be OK and so will Joba.

    -Brian in San Francisco

  72. Cash is King July 11th, 2009 at 5:53 am

    One more thing about developing pitchers. It takes time, but I’m not sure the Yankees have the necessary time to do it right. Therefore, if the Yankees can get Hallday for Joba or Hughes, Romine or Jackson and Melancon as an example then they need to do the deal.

  73. Brian July 11th, 2009 at 6:06 am

    Anybody who thinks the Yankees should give up either Hughes or Joba for Halladay is insane. Insane. People – calm the hell down. Joba’s 23 years old and he’s got nasty stuff. The kid is learning how to pitch. Your patience will be rewarded down the line. Yeah, let’s give up Hughes or Joba for Halladay and then watch his arm fall off because Toronto’s overused him repeatedly. He’s had two bad starts in a row. It’s not the end of the world. I’m calling it right now. This kid will bounce back and I’m going to get back on this message board and rub it in all your faces. You’ll be back on the bandwagon before you know it.

    -Brian in San Francisco

  74. Ramey July 11th, 2009 at 7:11 am


    I agree entirely. That being said though, I think a little seasoning in the minors could do Joba some good. But, we should not even dream of getting rid of Joba or Hughes.

  75. murphydog July 11th, 2009 at 8:15 am

    Regarding Joba, I’m paraphrasing, but Roy Halladay wasn’t built in a day. And it is said often that Roy is “the best pitcher in baseball” right now.

    Sandy Koufax didn’t get it right away, neither did Nolan Ryan. I’m not saying Joba will have the career of any of those three pitchers, but it takes time to brew a good pitcher out of a strong arm, a bulldog head and youthful ignorance. Some people are single key types, tell them once and they get it. Other folks need the same message delivered several times and in different ways before they comply. Good teachers don’t have only one way to get through to a kid in the classroom and they certainly don’t give up on a kid, even if the kid fights them, because the teacher knows that the kid needs to break down and learn. Rather than talking about Joba’s makeup (personality), I’m more interested in the makeup of Yankees’ front office. Will they teach this kid using tough love if necessary or give up on him? If they can use him in a trade to get equal or superior talent back, I don’t have a problem. But if they trade him (or kill his development) because they don’t have the organizational skills or patience to teach a stubborn (lost? proud?) young pitcher, that’s different, and not very good news. To me the Joba story is as much about Yankee player development as it is about the player.

  76. Cash is King July 11th, 2009 at 8:36 am

    It’s not insane for wanting to win a WS today which trading for Halladay will help the Yankees towards that goal. Fruthermore, I don’t appreciate you calling me insane and if you can’t discuss this issue without insulting others then perhaps you shouldn’t say anything.

  77. Fan Interference July 11th, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I said a couple of weeks ago that Joba should go down to the minors, and work out his issues, and was attacked on this board for my opinion. I’m glad to see that there’s some rational people who realize now that Joba is falling apart mentally. He completely lost his composure after Arod’s throwing error. He looked like a spoiled brat throwing batting practice. That’s why Girardi pulled him so fast. And his comments after the game reflect a 23 year old who’s had his head inflated, and needs to get knocked down a peg or two.

    I don’t even want to get into Melancon, or Bruney. The Yanks are going to have to get a starter in here, possibly a bullpen lefty, to spell Coke if Marte doesn’t return, and an out field bat off the bench not named Hinske.

  78. Fan Interference July 11th, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Cash is King

    “It’s not insane for wanting to win a WS today which trading for Halladay will help the Yankees towards that goal.”

    Cashman can try and hold on to whomever he wants, but if the owners could fill the moat every game by getting a Roy Halladay in here, that’s what’s going to happen. Now I would like to hold on to our young pitchers, but you have to give up talent to get talent. People around here keep forgetting the we’re not the Oakland A’s, we don’t wait ten years to develop players. They either come up ready, or wilt under pressure. Hughes is responding well to pressure, and Joba is wilting right now.

  79. Fan Interference July 11th, 2009 at 9:00 am


    “I think it’s a little premature to be talking about sending Joba to AAA. Who do you want to replace him with? Brett Tomko? Sergio Mitre? Give me a break, people. Have some patience. The guy is still finding his way as a starter. He’ll bounce back. Stick with him. He’ll get better. Everybody, please exhale. It’ll be OK and so will Joba.”

    I like Joba, and want him to succeed, but the game that I watched last night had a young pitcher melt down and throw a cookie over the plate for a three run homer, after a team mates error. That is a level of immaturity that a team trying to win the pennant doesn’t need.

  80. ErikSec. 309 July 11th, 2009 at 9:02 am

    If Joba claims that during his last 2 starts, he’s had the best “stuff” he’s had all season, we may be in for a very scary ride.

  81. Fan Interference July 11th, 2009 at 9:07 am

    Joba’s head appears to be placed firmly up his A**.

  82. GGBG July 11th, 2009 at 9:52 am

    When Joba throws 90-92…topping out at 94…people always say he should be able to win at that velocity – and that velocity is not that important.

    The point that gets missed – time and again it seems – is that when Joba’s only throwing 92 something is not right with him. As a starter in the minors and when he first began starting he’d sit at 95+.

    When he sits at 95 it’s obvious he feels like he can go after hitters. When he sits at a lower velocity, he nibbles.

    I think the question is “why is he sitting at a lower velocity”?
    Shoulder injury?
    Being told not to throw so hard for fear of injury?
    Being told “pitchers” don’t “need” to throw 95 to succeed and taking that to hear?

    Some combination?

    Whatever it is, it needs to change. We want the Joba throwing smoke while trying to dominate. Challenging people. Whatever changed him into a nibbler needs to get fixed.

  83. Merrill Kazanjian July 11th, 2009 at 9:57 am

    This is Joba’s second and third time “around the league”. His stuff is still nasty but he has been scouted and thus, has become more predictable. He has everything necessary to succeed in the Major Leagues and has done a great job when compared to other hyped prospects. The newspapers are too short sighted and he needs to work through his problems on the big league level.

    Artist combines the faces of the Yankees-

  84. Mike in Harrisburg July 11th, 2009 at 10:09 am

    I would be surprised – but not shocked – if Joba is traded. Not surprised at all if he is sent down until September. I think you don’t give up on a guy with his potential until he’s well and truly shown he’s a bust. At this point he is still in “enigma” stage.

    Not that we would ever necessarily know but you have to think this is one of the reasons you get guys like CC and AJ – to whomp on the kids when they need to be set straight. Joba needs a good kick in the balls and a whole lot of tough love.

  85. Bret the Hitman July 11th, 2009 at 10:10 am

    CaptainsCorner July 11th, 2009 at 3:10 am

    I wonder if they put him back in the bullpen if he would be able to get his velocity back up since he would only be throwing 20 pitches and not 100..Like Hughes has been able to do in the bullpen.


    Bingo. Hughes HAS been able to play up his stuff in the bullpen and let it all fly. He has said as much himself. He has enjoyed better command, movement and velocity since the move to the pen.

    I’d like to point this out to anyone who claims that Joba’s stuff in the pen would even slightly resemble the stuff we’re seeing from him as a starter.

    If Joba goes back to the pen, he will see a boost in velocity just like Hughes did. If not, there’s always AAA but right now the rotation is a bad fit for him.

    I have no doubts Joba could at least outpitch Tomko as a reliever as soon as tomorrow, without any kind of grooming needed whatsoever.

  86. Eights July 11th, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Joba either needs to be sent back to AAA or put in the bullpen. As a starter for the Yankees, he doesn’t have “it” right now.

    Girardi needs to do his job and straighten this kid out.

  87. GiantsCauseway July 11th, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Tired of him telling us he sucks, we all know he sucks, time to stop sucking. He & Hughes need to swap jobs, or Joba can be packaged for Halliday.

  88. David July 11th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    I realize Joba isn’t pitching well and doesn’t say the smartest things in his postgames, but you people act like an ace is supposed to fly down from heaven. Take a look at some starters like Johan Santana and Jon Lester in their first 2 years.. They both had similar numbers to Joba during currently. You people have to learn to be more patient. Joba has given up over 3 runs just once in his last 14 starts, which I’d say is pretty acceptable for a 23 year old kid. Quit saying you want him gone, because you’re going to end up trading every bit of talent you have that way.

  89. Tom K July 11th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    David -

    Though I agree with most of what you say, the “3 runs once in his last 14 starts” is a bit of a deceiving number. Some of those starts weren’t good.

  90. Buck Nasty July 11th, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    Instead of Joba not working and not being competitive, and having to grow, how about it being the case of a young pitcher still trying to find his way in the major leagues, shocking IK YOUNG PITCHER STRUGGLES HOW DARE HE! How about we let the kid learn his craft before we start lynching him

  91. allen July 12th, 2009 at 12:35 am

    Chamberlain is a father yet he chose to drive drunk, was arrested and put in jail. He could easily have left his son fatherless. It should have been a life changing or at least humbling experience but it was not. He is more arrogant and out of touch with each passing day and there’s no reason whatsoever for him to change. Suggestion will not do it with his type. He may never make it because he thinks he knows everything. He can’t even muster a shred of respect for those there to help him, including his manager. I don’t believe whoever is in charge of the Yankees has the intelligence to scare the living crap out of this guy, which is what he needs. Even then, it probably won’t make a difference. The Yankees’ handling of him has ruined the team. There should be no exception–Never, never make a big deal out of a player who has yet to make it through one entire big league season.

  92. Joey July 12th, 2009 at 3:45 am

    No more fist pumps for fatso.

  93. Ontoceeve August 8th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    [url=]miley cyrus[/url] [url=]MILEY CYRUS[/url]

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