As Joba-gate (or shush-gate) sweeps the (first place) New York Yankees clubhouse, it remains to be seen whether Joba Chamberlain realizes that what he did was wrong, or even realizes he did something.
Perhaps appropriate that we’re talking about this on Mother’s Day, given that mothers are ones that do a lot of “shushing” (in church, in the grocery store, or especially in the car on long trips). In this case, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, Joba-gate started when Mariano Rivera suggested that his bullpen compadre use his “inside voice” as he wrapped up a media session and was discussing an emotional exchange with families who had been stricken with grief. Chamberlain, meanwhile, was trying to get the attention of his family who had come from Nebraska to Kansas City to see Saturday’s Game. And snapped back at the future Hall of Famer (according to the same NYDN article above)
“Don’t ever shush me again,” said Chamberlain…Rivera nodded with a bit of a smile, at which point Chamberlain — looking stone-faced without a trace of a smile — said, “Seriously. Don’t ever shush me again. I don’t get to see my family very often.”
“We’ll take care of it. We’re grownups and I know better than that. We’ll take care of that.”
“We did talk,” Rivera said Sunday morning. “It’s good. Sometimes you have little things that we say that we don’t mean. We’re a family here. It’s something that we take care of in house. Unfortunately it happened in front of you guys, but again, it shouldn’t happen. We apologize and we move on.”
Chamberlain seemed to miss the apology part:
“There’s no need to apologize. For what?” — but said that he and Rivera had “joked and laughed” afterward.
Apology: an admission of error or discourtesy accompanied by an expression of regret.
I maintain, Chamberlain never admitted error, nor expressed regret. What appears to be going on is Rivera, being the team leader his is, simply said a few soft words hoping the media (New York media) mind you would buy it and stop asking questions.
The last thing the Yankees need is a clubhouse rift, for the few players who are left in the clubhouse and not injured. I do think this will blow over, it’s a shame Mariano Rivera had to be the bigger man and Joba continued his petulant ways, but in the end, the Yankees always do well in moving past issues like this.
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