There has been a lot of talk recently about comments made by New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner about pitcher Joba Chamberlain. Steinbrenner wants Chamberlain in the starting rotation, and out of his role as the set-up man for closer Mariano Rivera. That is the obvious direction that Chamberlain is heading, but as of today manager Joe Girardi and GM Brian Cashman are keeping Chamberlain in the bullpen.
Obviously it is the Steinbrenner name on the paychecks and they have a lot of clout within the organization, but shouldn’t the day to day operations of the club be handled by the manager and GM? Yes. I wouldn’t trust Hank Steinbrenner making any decisions for this club, and in Chamberlain’s situation Hank is out of line.
Chamberlain has thrown a grand total of 30 1/3 innings at the major league level and only 88 1/3 in the minors. To say that Chamberlain at 22 years old is ready to be a starter for the New York Yankees is ridiculous. Sure everyone wants to see his 100mph fastball, but we also want to see him pitch for more than three seasons. If Chamberlain does enter the rotation now he might be the next Mark Fidrych, but if they let him mature he could be the next Roger Clemens.
Chamberlain will be a very effective major league pitcher if he is given that time. The Detroit Tigers rushed Andrew Miller basically from the College World Series to the big leagues, and he continues to struggle with the Florida Marlins. The Yankees fans want to be chanting “Joba” for years to come.
I’m not saying that owners don’t have the right to voice their opinions, but they need to be somewhat intelligent about it. If you have the highest payroll in the sport you are going to want to control all aspects of your club, but what Hank needs to learn is that he has some very intelligent people running his club. Let them make the decisions Hank, and everything will be OK for the New York Yankees.