Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, December 20, 2013

Keidel: Blame Bombers For Surreal, Sad Journey Of Joba Chamberlain

Lord, Chamberlain’s men doth flee.

Thus Joba Chamberlain, if anything, was the symbol of their spiritual collapse. He and Phil Hughes were the twin pillars of their (supposedly) pitching-plenty organization, evidence that the Yankees didn’t just flex their wallets every November to find their requisite golden arms.

Then, inexplicably, Chamberlain was fired. Brian Cashman, bitten by the Moneyball bug, snagged by the sabermetricians, decided he would remold the Yankees in his newfound, Geek Squad ethos. No need to waste the prodigy’s talent in the eighth inning when he could stretch the the kid out over 200 innings. Make him a starter. Mess with perfection. And the results were atrocious.

Then came the Joba Rules. Five innings or 100 pitches, whichever came first. And too often, the former came last. Joba lost his moxie, his might, and his mojo. He struggled to find the plate. He melted into a middling starter, booed off the very mound he once made his temple. He was bewildered, and eventually beaten, never returning to his flawless form.

Then came the away games. He was busted for DUI. He got fat. He got hurt. He began to refer to himself in the third person. He mangled his ankle in some bizarre trampoline accident. It was over.

...Is it a coincidence that the Yankees lost their famed Aura and Mystique when they took a wrecking ball to the very place that nursed the ghosts? Yankee Stadium, at least some form of it, exists across the street, but the apparitions didn’t follow, thus evaporating with the dusty wreckage from their only true home. And now with this limestone martini bar they call a ballpark, the Yankees have absolutely zero young, homegrown bucks ready to bust down the doors to the House that, well, Who Built.

Is it a coincidence that the Yankees are no longer feared? Is it a coincidence that the Yankees are struggling in large part because they haven’t produced a sublime starting pitcher since Andy Pettitte? Because they haven’t produced a renowned reliever since Rivera? Because they haven’t produced a marquee position player since Robinson Cano?

Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain are gone now, footnotes in the endless archive of America’s pastime. But we will always remember them, especially Joba, who had New York City at his fingers, until the Yankees cut them off.

Repoz Posted: December 20, 2013 at 06:20 AM | 33 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Gonfalon B. Posted: December 20, 2013 at 06:34 AM (#4621513)
Then, inexplicably, Chamberlain was fired. Brian Cashman, bitten by the Moneyball bug...

Is that what those things were called?
   2. Dan Lee prefers good shortstops to great paintings Posted: December 20, 2013 at 06:45 AM (#4621515)
...then came the midges.

Also, "he got fat"? That would have required being not fat at some point.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 20, 2013 at 07:41 AM (#4621517)
Because they haven’t produced a renowned reliever since Rivera?


I guess David Robertson doesn't count, for some reason?
   4. Jeltzandini Posted: December 20, 2013 at 07:59 AM (#4621522)
Pitching Prospect Disappoints, Police Seek Narrative.
   5. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: December 20, 2013 at 08:20 AM (#4621523)
Joba stopped being good after he got HURT.

He was outstanding as a starter in the early days. The revisionism from sportswriters on this score is just sickening.
   6. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: December 20, 2013 at 08:38 AM (#4621526)
How many clicks will not blaming the Yankees get you?
   7. Rants Mulliniks Posted: December 20, 2013 at 08:38 AM (#4621528)
He was busted for DUI. He got fat. He got hurt. He began to refer to himself in the third person. He mangled his ankle in some bizarre trampoline accident.....all because they tried to make him a starter! When will they think of the children!!
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 20, 2013 at 09:14 AM (#4621534)
He was busted for DUI. He got fat. He got hurt.

David Wells suggests that only the last of those problems is an impediment to baseball success.
   9. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:24 AM (#4621557)
Joba stopped being good after he got HURT.

He was outstanding as a starter in the early days. The revisionism from sportswriters on this score is just sickening.


I ran a tracer on Chamberlain's splits, and I'd almost forgotten how right you are about that. He was put on the DL with rotator cuff tendinitis on August 4, 2008, and look at his numbers breakdown for that season:

12 games started, ERA 2.76
30 games relieving, ERA 2.31

But then there's this:

ERA as starter prior to injury: 2.23
ERA as starter after injury: 4.50

On July 25th he outdueled Josh Beckett, allowing no runs and 3 hits while striking out 9 in 7 innings. Two starts later the injury showed up.



   10. zonk Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4621561)
Police believe sabermetrics was involved.
   11. haven Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:48 AM (#4621570)
Joba stopped being good after he got HURT.

Did he get hurt because he was a starter?
   12. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 20, 2013 at 10:59 AM (#4621575)
Did he get hurt because he was a starter?

Yes--the Yankees forced him to start games on a trampoline
   13. Ray (RDP) Posted: December 20, 2013 at 11:07 AM (#4621584)
Joba stopped being good after he got HURT.


If true, there's a good argument that the Yankees are responsible, for yo-yo-ing him between starting and relief, and then putting severe pitch count limits on his starts, and putting him on an irregular starting schedule.

No, it can never be "proven." But there's one thing for damned sure: their tinkering with him simply did not work.
   14. John DiFool2 Posted: December 20, 2013 at 11:19 AM (#4621592)
Love = Hate
And Death = Fate
An Enemy always = An Adorer
But Priest = Aura
And Life = Time
And Time = Space
And Space = Sublime
And Human = Race
Oh and Woman = Man
And Pot = Pan
The Fauna ought to equal the Flora
But Priest = Aura
And Beginning = the End
The End always = the Start
But Straight = Bent
The Mind sometimes = the Heart
And You = Me
The Land = the Sea
Richer = Poorer
And Priest = Aura
   15. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: December 20, 2013 at 12:08 PM (#4621635)
If true, there's a good argument that the Yankees are responsible, for yo-yo-ing him between starting and relief, and then putting severe pitch count limits on his starts, and putting him on an irregular starting schedule.

No, it can never be "proven." But there's one thing for damned sure: their tinkering with him simply did not work.


No it didn't work, but a couple decades ago it wasn't that uncommon for young guys to yo yo between starting and relieving for awhile until getting established in one role or the other.
   16. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 20, 2013 at 01:26 PM (#4621716)
Blame Bombers For Surreal, Sad Journey Of Joba Chamberlain

Another reason to hate the terrorists and their bombs.
   17. eddieot Posted: December 20, 2013 at 02:09 PM (#4621759)
Gone were the aura and the sense that the Yankees were not only popular but beloved by America.

Um
   18. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: December 20, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4621774)
Brian Cashman, bitten by the Moneyball bug, ...

Billy Beane never should have run $200 million payrolls year after year after year.
   19. Publius Publicola Posted: December 20, 2013 at 02:32 PM (#4621781)
NY IS America, eddiot. Didnt know that?
   20. jdennis Posted: December 20, 2013 at 04:30 PM (#4621870)
I'm from Nebraska, and to be honest with you, I was pretty shocked by Joba's initial success. When he was at Nebraska, he was running high 3 ERAs and had a low nineties fastball like every other run of the mill prospect. Nothing stood out about him to me. I was really surprised that he went through the minors so quickly, for the Yankees no less.
   21. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 20, 2013 at 04:36 PM (#4621872)
Props to #14. Very underrated album.
   22. Up2Drew Posted: December 20, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4621876)
Joba Chamberlain gave me, perhaps, my most delightful moment watching a MLB game. My brother and I went to a spring training game in Dunedin. We had great seats, right behind the Jays dugout. Toronto was playing the Yankees, and New York brought Chamberlain in to pitch an inning.

The Jays sent three hitters to he plate - I remember Aaron Hill led off. Chamberlain struck out the side on ten pitches. One pitch was fouled into the backstop, and Joba looked disgusted about it, he snapped at the return throw from the catcher.

After Hill struck out, he walked to the dugout directly in our line of vision and said something to the next hitter. I can best describe the look on his face as "thank God that's over with."

I have never seen major league hitters dominated like that up close and personal. It was great theater.
   23. Publius Publicola Posted: December 20, 2013 at 04:55 PM (#4621887)
I'm from Nebraska, and to be honest with you, I was pretty shocked by Joba's initial success. When he was at Nebraska, he was running high 3 ERAs and had a low nineties fastball like every other run of the mill prospect.


Roids.
   24. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: December 20, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4621892)
How many clicks will not blaming the Yankees get you?

I agree with YR on this one. Now I must take an aspirin and lie down for a while.
   25. Dale Sams Posted: December 20, 2013 at 05:12 PM (#4621895)
...Is it a coincidence that the Yankees lost their famed Aura and Mystique when they took a wrecking ball to the very place that nursed the ghosts?


1 World Series.
2 ALCS
1 Division Series appearance

Poor guys. Must suck to be a Yankee fan.
   26. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: December 20, 2013 at 05:29 PM (#4621910)
1221 ERA+ in 2007. The haters will never be able to take away the fact that for half as year, he was better than great.
   27. tfbg9 Posted: December 20, 2013 at 06:59 PM (#4621945)
The haters will never be able to take away the fact that for half as year, he was better than great.


Perhaps, but to most of us, when 2007 and Joba come to mind, our thoughts turn to swarms of midges and blown leads.
   28. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 20, 2013 at 09:07 PM (#4621966)
Worst Chamberlain ( as a person):

Neville
Wilt
Joba
??
   29. The Yankee Clapper Posted: December 20, 2013 at 09:47 PM (#4621980)
Worst Chamberlain ( as a person):

Neville
Wilt
Joba
??

Neville wins that hands down, but any such list is incomplete without Ice Box Chamberlain, a strong contender for any all-nickname team.
   30. RollingWave Posted: December 21, 2013 at 04:11 AM (#4622058)
"poke self in eye"

I'd say if anything, drafting Joba was a pretty moneyball thing given that most traditional scout will see massive red flag in his body and personality.

Now, the Yankees should more or less be blamed for their poor development and handling of their young pitchers, given the rather massive amount of pitching failure of what looked like pretty solid pitching prospect, it has reached a point where it's unlikely to be just extremely bad luck. But the rational of his article is amazing.
   31. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: December 21, 2013 at 06:09 AM (#4622064)
Neville wins that hands down, but any such list is incomplete without Ice Box Chamberlain, a strong contender for any all-nickname team.

Is there any evidence that Neville Chamberlain was a horrible person... I mean other than being a politician obviously.

No doubt he showed terrible judgment, and made a catastrophic decision. But that doesn't make you a bad person. And the reason for doing so, was that he was desperately trying to avoid a global friggin war. That counts for something I think.
   32. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: December 21, 2013 at 09:58 AM (#4622081)
Is there any evidence that Neville Chamberlain was a horrible person... I mean other than being a politician obviously.

No doubt he showed terrible judgment, and made a catastrophic decision. But that doesn't make you a bad person. And the reason for doing so, was that he was desperately trying to avoid a global friggin war. That counts for something I think.

In his desperation to pursue an accommodation with Hitler in 1937-38, Chamberlain his pro-Mussolini sister, who was living in Rome, to deceitfully circumvent his FM, Anthony Eden, leading to the latter's resignation.
   33. Jim Kaat on a hot Gene Roof Posted: December 21, 2013 at 11:48 AM (#4622108)
??


Joe, Richard.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
James Kannengieser
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogGleeman: Mets minor league team is hosting “Seinfeld night”
(134 - 5:41pm, Apr 17)
Last: billyshears

NewsblogOTP April 2014: BurstNET Sued for Not Making Equipment Lease Payments
(1564 - 5:39pm, Apr 17)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogChris Resop - The Most Interesting Reliever in the World
(12 - 5:38pm, Apr 17)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogDoug Glanville: I Was Racially Profiled in My Own Driveway
(244 - 5:37pm, Apr 17)
Last: zenbitz

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for April 17, 2014
(48 - 5:36pm, Apr 17)
Last: BDC

NewsblogMLB: Offense's performance vs. Brewers favors Matheny's interpretation of stats
(2 - 5:34pm, Apr 17)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-17-2014
(14 - 5:04pm, Apr 17)
Last: Eric J can SABER all he wants to

NewsblogPaine: Advanced Stats Love Jackie Robinson
(33 - 5:00pm, Apr 17)
Last: GordonShumway

NewsblogGeorge Brett, Inspiration for the Song “Royals”, Meets Lorde
(25 - 4:57pm, Apr 17)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogExposition:The Jonah Keri Mega Q&A
(16 - 4:38pm, Apr 17)
Last: BDC

NewsblogDaniel Bryan's 'YES!' chant has spread to the Pirates' dugout
(61 - 4:17pm, Apr 17)
Last: Ron J2

NewsblogOT: NBA Monthly Thread - April 2014
(298 - 3:40pm, Apr 17)
Last: Gold Star - just Gold Star

NewsblogOrioles launch D.C. invasion with billboard near Nationals Park
(3 - 3:25pm, Apr 17)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogMinuteman News Center: Giandurco: This means WAR
(66 - 3:22pm, Apr 17)
Last: JE (Jason Epstein)

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread March, 2014
(880 - 3:20pm, Apr 17)
Last: Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water

Demarini, Easton and TPX Baseball Bats

 

 

 

 

Page rendered in 0.5161 seconds
52 querie(s) executed