Player Profile: Joba Chamberlain

Joba Chamberlain has made quite a name for himself in his brief time in the Major Leagues. He is currently in his 3rd full season with the New York Yankees.

Joba is from Lincoln Nebraska. Chamberlain's parents, Harlan Chamberlain and Jackie Standley, were never married and split up when Joba was 18 months old. Many different stories have circulated about Joba's parents and his upbringing. Joba was born Justin Chamberlain but his brother Joshua couldn't pronounce his name correctly. Joshua would call his brother Joba instead of Justin. Joba's dad Harlan liked it so much, he had Justin's name legally changed to Joba.

Chamberlain started his college career playing for theUniversity of Nebraska-Kearney Lopers. He helped the Cornhuskers reach the 2005 College World Series and helped lead Nebraska to their first ever College World Series win going 10–2 with a 2.81 ERA.

Chamberlain was drafted as the 41st overall by the New York Yankees in the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft. He didn't make his debut until August 7, 2007 when he pitched out of the bullpen. He had the radar guns going on 97 and 98 mph on the gun, which got the attention of the crowd at Yankee Stadium, scouts, tv announcers and Yankee officals and teammates. His colorful attitude brought life to a "professional" group of calm Joe Torre Yankee players. He instantly won the hearts of New Yorkers everywhere.

He was lights out as a reliever but in Game 2 of the ALDS against Cleveland a swarm of migets hit Chamberlain in the bottom of the 8th inning with the Yanks ahead 2-1. Because of the unsuspecting attack, Joba's control and demeanor were off and the Yanks lost the game and the series to Cleveland.

There has been much debate as to wheter Joba should be a starter or reliever. He's had the Joba Rules put in place, he's been labeled as the future ace of the Yankees, and heir apparent to Mariano Rivera as the closer. That's alot to handle for a 24 year old to handle, but Joba does what is asked of him. Personally, I like him in the bullpen as the set-up man for Mariano Rivera. His stuff is electric out of the 'pen and he brings a closer mentality to the mound. As a starter, he has shown he can be really good, but too often enough he's shown he's average.

In 2009, Joba was a starter but spent the playoffs in the bullpen where he got keys out. Thus, the Yanks won the World Series. That's all that matters in the Bronx. In 2010, Joba is the 8th inning guy and I look for him to excel in that role. What his role past this season remains to be seen and debated but again, I see him best suited for the late innings. Just go in there and blow away kid and that's all anyone will talk about! Of course help the bridge to Mariano be safer and let Mo close it out and we all go home happy....hopefully on to a 28th World Title!
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