Bob Ryan has one of those stream-of-consciousness observation columns today. His last observation:
Has any team, anywhere, at any time in history, ever messed up a valued prospect as badly as the Yankees have Joba Chamberlain?
I’ve asked that question before. And it sure seems like Chamberlain was jerked around like crazy in going back and forth between starting and relieving as well as having strange workload rules and all of that. I have to think that the Yankees would do things differently with him if they had to do it all over again.
Still, it seems odd that they’d do what they did in the first instance. The Yankees are a lot of things, but they’re not a dumb organization. It makes me wonder if the injury he suffered in 2008 was more serious than anyone has let on. Makes me wonder if the team doesn’t have far more serious doubts about him than “his stuff playing up better out of the pen” or however they’ve put it recently as they’ve absolutely eliminated the possibility that he will ever start for the Yankees.
I guess what I’m saying is that, while I don’t like how the Yankees have handled Chamberlain these past couple of years, I’m not prepared to say that they simply “messed him up” like Ryan says. It has to be more complicated than that, doesn’t it?
Because of course he did.
It wasn’t just his first at bat, but it was his first pitch. It came off of John Kilichowski, an 11th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Vanderbilt. The ball went out to left center, off the bat of the lefty Tebow.
Next time, meat, throw him a breaking ball.
The other night, Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit needed help getting off the field after the second benches-clearing incident with the Yankees. It was later revealed that Benoit tore a calf muscle during the fracas, ending his season.
Yesterday he pointed the finger at just about everyone else for the incidents like the one that led to his injury. Hitters specifically. From The Star:
“I believe as pitchers we’re entitled to use the whole plate and pitch in if that’s the way we’re going to succeed,” Benoit said. “I believe that right now baseball is taking things so far that in some situations most hitters believe that they can’t be brushed out. Some teams take it personally.”
That “take it personally” line is interesting coming from Benoit as, in this instance, it seemed pretty clear that the whole plunking exchange which led to his injury started because Josh Donaldson took an inside pitch that did not seem to be a purpose pitch at all, too personally.
Did Benoit take a veiled swipe at his teammate here? If so, that’s pretty notable. If not it’s notable in another way, right? As it suggests that Benoit believes it’s OK for his teammates to take issue with inside pitches but anyone else who does is part of the problem?
Which is it, Joaquin?