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Chamberlain: “I’m in better shape than I have been”

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Joba Chamberlain knew the weight question was coming. He had apparently already answered it once or twice this morning, and when a pack of reporters approached him this afternoon, he wasn’t especially happy to be discussing it again.

“This is the last time I’m going to answer this question,” Chamberlain said. “I know you guys have to ask it. I feel great. I’m stronger physically. I’m better in my bullpens, right where I was at the end of last year, getting my mechanics. I know you guys have to ask it, but that’s’ the last time I’m going to answer it.”

Of course, weight only matters in terms of being in shape. As I’ve written the past couple of days, the place Chamberlain is most noticeably bigger is through the chest and shoulders. Whether that’s a good or bad thing, I don’t know, but Chamberlain said he feels great.

“Awesome,” he said. “I would probably say that I’m in better shape than I have been in a couple years. The running is great. I mean, running’s never easy, but it’s something that I don’t’ dread every day. It’s a peace of mind for me when I run.”

Joe Girardi seemed to echo that idea: “You think about what it says (that he’s heavier), but Joba is going to be pretty much evaluated on how he pitches. That’s the bottom line, and we’ve been very pleased in what we’ve seen so far. The little adjustment he’s made with his hands seems to really (help). He looks better throwing bullpens now than he did last year. He sure does. And that’s encouraging for us.”

Associated Press photo of Chamberlain walking out of the bullpen with Russell Martin. I know it’s not ideal for this sort of issue, but I really haven’t seen a good full-body AP picture of Chamberlain.