Joba Chamberlain now has “almost a hipster kind of look”

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Baseball-wise Joba Chamberlain is looking for a fresh start after leaving the Yankees for the Tigers as a free agent, but more importantly Jason Beck of MLB.com writes that the 28-year-old right-hander is now free to fully express himself with facial hair:

Gone is the mustache he donned during the end of his tenure in the Yankees bullpen. Now, he has a beard, as so many former Yankees have done. Add a pair of glasses, and Chamberlain took to Michigan for the Tigers’ Winter Caravan with almost a hipster kind of look.

“You know, it’s the first year of my life [that I can],” he said with a smile at TigerFest. “College, couldn’t have any facial hair, and obviously in New York you can’t. I could have a mustache, but mustaches aren’t that cool. I’m not Tom Selleck. I tried the best I could, but it just didn’t work for me.

Chamberlain also explained: “I wear the glasses because I feel like I look smarter and I’m too lazy to put my contacts in.”

Beck reports that Chamberlain has dropped 15-20 pounds, too, but let’s focus on the important stuff for now.

Ken Giles: ‘I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston’

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Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”

Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”

Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.