Joe Girardi said things were emotional at St. Joseph’s Hospital this morning. He could “see the disappointment” in Joba Chamberlain, and Girardi himself called it a “crushing” situation. Chamberlain’s return from Tommy John surgery had progressed to the point he was almost ready to face hitters. And then this.
But if you take the emotion out of it, shouldn’t Chamberlain have known better than to get on a trampoline in the first place?
“I don’t want to get into that now,” Girardi said. “What I want to talk about is getting him better and being there for this kid. He’s going through a lot. This is very difficult what he’s going through.”
Obviously Chamberlain made a mistake yesterday. Logically, any one of us can take a step back and say that a professional athlete should know better than to go bouncing around with a kindergartner. But if Chamberlain’s biggest mistake was wanting to play with his son, then the punishment certainly doesn’t fit the crime.
Girardi himself said that he once missed three weeks as a player because he was flipping his daughter and caused back spasms.
“Fathers are fathers,” Girardi said.
And so, from one father to another, Girardi went into the hospital this morning with no judgment. Chamberlain might have made a mistake yesterday, but it was hard to feel anything but pity for him today.
“I just told him, we’re here for you,” Girardi said. “We’re going to be here for you. We’re going to get you through this, and we’re going to get you back on the mound, but you’re going to go through some time where it’s going to be difficult. You can only look forward. You’ve got to look forward. You can’t (ask), what if? You’ve got to just move forward. Here we go. We’re going to get better, we’re going to get health, and we’re going to be the pitcher we’re meant to be.”
Random thought . . . My sister did a lot of gymnastics when she was young, and we had a trampoline in our backyard. I fell on and off of that thing every which way without seriously hurting myself. The odds of Chamberlain ending up with an injury like this must be astronomical. Might have been a bad decision, but there’s certainly some rotten luck involved here as well.