Apr
08

The Joba video

By

There’s nothing like a good DUI mugshot and video to spur on some high-n-mighty moralizing from the New York League of Self-Important Spots Writers.

First, the details: The Smoking Gun finally released the mug shot and video of Joba’s October arrest. I’ve been waiting to see this for months, and well, it’s what you would expect. Joba is dressed, as Deadspin noted, like a mime, and in the video, embedded below, he tries to buddy up with the cop.

As anyone with an open container in their car and a BAC well over the minimum would do, Joba first tries to play the Yankee card. “Obviously, I play for the Yankees,” he says to the unimpressed trooper. He claims New Yorkers aren’t polite and notes that Yogi Berra is short. I had no idea.

It is, in other words, your typical arrest video, but that shouldn’t let anyone from making more out of it than that! Of course not!

In his second-dumbest column this week, Wallace Matthews relates Joba’s arrest to his role in the rotation. While not quite saying that Joba should be pitching the 8th because he was arrested for drunk driving, Matthews really wants to make that argument.

The best moral rant though comes to us from Joel Sherman. He is concerned, so very concerned about Joba’s future:

It isn’t pretty. But ultimately it will go to the recesses of the mind, unless this video is about something more than a bad night in the life of Joba Chamberlain. There were organizations who bypassed Chamberlain’s 98 mph fastball in the 2006 draft for reasons beyond physical concerns. He comes from a broken home, and his mother was a self-professed drug abuser. Chamberlain also did a pretty quick turn from unknown right-hander to Broadway star. That could create trouble for even the most level-headed kid.

Members of the Yankee organization will admit that all of this gives them some concern. But they also say they think well of Chamberlain, that they sense an athlete with passion to honor his gifts. And it is not as if the Yanks have diminished the responsibility they’ve placed on that talented, fragile shoulder of Chamberlain…

When it comes to Chamberlain, we have always wondered if his body will withstand his violent delivery, all the skeletal cruelties that come with hurling a baseball that fast. But that video released yesterday will make you wonder if that is all that can curtail Joba on the way to being an ace.

Joba, all of 23, made a really bad inexcusable mistake when he drove drunk last year. What he did could cause more harm to other people than anything Alex Rodriguez ever injected into his body, and he doesn’t deserve a pass for it. The Yankees should make sure that Joba understands his responsibilities not just as a baseball player and role model but as a regular member of society who shouldn’t be driving under any influence.

That sad, Matthews, Sherman and their ilk are way out of line. Joba’s arrest isn’t a metaphor for anything. It’s not a sign that he can’t handle success. It’s not a sign that he should be pitching the 8th (and neither, for that matter, was Monday’s bullpen meltdown). It’s a mistake that shouldn’t have been made by someone who is, after all, fallible like the rest of us. Why can’t we just leave it at that?

Categories : Rants

86 Comments»

  1. Rob S. says:

    Ben K. what seperates you from any of these other self important sports writers? You spend as much time ranting against the Yankees as anybody who writes for the tabloids.

    • Expired Milk says:

      His and the other writers rants tend to have some reason behind them.

    • jsbrendog says:

      what site are you reading?

    • Josh says:

      The difference is that there are so many journalists take a holier than thou stance about the incident. I’m not saying Joba didn’t make a mistake, but to say that this single mistake is a sign of a pattern of behavior or even a metaphor for Joba the person is ridiculous. Ben isn’t acting as a moral arbiter the way many journalists are.

  2. Cam says:

    That screen shot of the video makes Joba look like a beast! He’s towering over that poor trooper! Good thing mimes aren’t known to be violent.

  3. Note to self: Never ever wear a shirt like that.

    • B.George says:

      He looks like hes going to a coffee house to read a poem and drink a cappuccino

    • Count Zero says:

      Fashion Tips 101 — vertical stripes = slimming; horizontal stripes = well, unless you’re an undernourished heroin addict, you should probably avoid them.

    • Drew says:

      That’s the first thing I thought when I saw the video of him getting out of the car.

  4. Yankeegirl49 says:

    This is a total NON STORY!
    YES, New Yorkers are rude, YES, Yogi Berra is indeed short and YES, Joba is a KID who made a mistake. Thankfully he didnt hurt anyone and hopefully he has learned (as he says he has). People have done worse and have gone on to have successful careers in whatever industry they were in, Joba should be no different.

    I find it quite ironic that Josh Hamilton is lauded as some sort of hero for overcoming drug abuse and becoming a productive player, but Joba could be “trouble” (according to Sherman) because of his background.
    Everyone cheered Hamilton at the HR derby, everyone pulled for the guy to do well. Let’s be real, just because he wasnt caught, doesn’t mean he didn’t drive (or worse) while stoned out of his mind.

    For that matter where is the uproar over the “trouble” Clay Buckholtz could be to the Sox..he was arrested as a thief.

    Kids make mistakes and Joba is indeed a kid. Maybe these idiots should let him move on.

    • zack says:

      Josh Hamilton (that we know of) hasn’t been convicted of endangering the lives of others.

      Perhaps Joba’s drunken rants aren’t a story, but Joba drinking and driving is very much a story, and simply saying “their kids and they make mistakes” is only adding to the problem…

      • Zack: I’m on board with you. The DUI should not be tolerated at all.

        My issue with the comparison that Matthews/Sherman draw between Joba’s drunk driving incident from six months ago and his role in the starting rotation.

        • zack says:

          Oh well, yeah, that’s just idiotic. But I wouldn’t expect anything less, they’ll use anything to try and bang the 8th inning drum.

          But, that said, I’d STILL rather see them at least use this approach and bring attention to DUI than their normal vapid attempts at argumentative writing.

      • Josh Hamilton (that we know of) hasn’t been convicted of endangering the lives of others.

        Techinically speaking, neither has Joba.

        A DUI is not necessarily “endangering the lives of others”. It’s operating a motor vehicle in violation of the law.

        Not to start a hair-splitting contest here, but I can only assume given the facts that Joba wasn’t operating that vehicle in a notably dangerous manner, he was merely driving it at 70 mph (which is what the cop stated). Subsequent to his arrest for speeding, the cop realized that he was drunk and rightly booked him for DUI.

        Had he really been demonstrably endangering the lives of others, he’d probably have been convicted of reckless endangerment and such.

        • A.D. says:

          There was actually a guy in Virgina that tried to argue that at the legal limit he wasn’t intoxicated/impaired and therefore he shouldn’t receive a DUI.

        • zack says:

          Actually, if you want to split hairs, speeding is, in fact, dangerous. Speeding drunkenly is, in fact, very dangerous. Anytime you get behind the wheel drunk, you’re endangering everyone else on the road. Sure, he wasn’t waving a gun at people or driving on the other side of the road, but the whole point of DUI laws are that it is, in fact, a dangerous act.

          • And yet, every single person in here who has ever driven a car has driven that car at 70mph, and the government does not take our licenses away, because speeding IN AND OF ITSELF does not equate to “endangering the lives of others”. The variegated distribution in human skill and vehicular aptitude may mean that there are numerous individuals who can drive much faster that 70mph without ever endangering anyone, depending on the circumstances.

            The fact that both speeding and driving drunk are criminalized acts because they are “dangerous” and thus can potentially be an “endangerment to the lives of others” does not mean that every incident of speeding or driving drunk is explicitly an endangerment to the lives of others.

            It’s the difference between endangerment in the legal abstract sense and endangerment in the actual historical sense.

            • zack says:

              Actually, it does. Going faster than the legal speed limit, by enough to warrant being pulled over (15 mph) is illegal precisely because it IS deemed dangerous, to one’s self and to others. Otherwise, the limit would be 70 mph, where it is in many place. Just because many of us go that fast on such roads doesn’t make it not dangerous or reckless. We all do lots of things that endanger the lives of others, but driving intoxicating and speeding is a far more serious and dangerous act.

              Your differentiation between the “legal abstract sense” and the “actual historical sense” is a sophistic fallacy. Its an endless slippery slope to claiming that anything that is dangerous isn’t in and of itself an endangerment. Me carrying a loaded gun around town by that same definition “does not mean that [...] it is explicitly an endangerment to the lives of others.” But it sure as hell is and is treated as such by the police.

              And the same thing with driving under the influence. Just because nobody got hurt, that Joba may be the best driver or drinker in the world, or any other excuse, doesn’t mean that he wasn’t endangering people’s lives.

              You’re, in effect, arguing that driving drunk and/or speeding is ok as long as nobody actually gets hurt…

              • You’re, in effect, arguing that driving drunk and/or speeding is ok as long as nobody actually gets hurt…

                No. I’m not.

                I’m arguing that driving drunk isn’t “endangering the lives of others” unless it actually did endanger the lives of others, in which case it’s driving drunk AND endangering the lives of others.

                Saying that Joba drove drunk but didn’t endanger the lives of others doesn’t mean I think it’s okay, it’s still wrong, it’s just less wrong that it would have been had he been driving drunk AND endangering the lives of others.

        • Drew says:

          I’ve gotten into this with you before tsjc. Whether you admit it or not, being over the limit, or even under the limit for some that are sensitive to alcohol, slows your reaction time. My argument a while ago was A-rod hurt no one by using Boli. This is true, what you are saying is false. Had he been allowed to drive the rest of the way home no one knows what would’ve or wouldn’t have happened.

          • Had he been allowed to drive the rest of the way home no one knows what would’ve or wouldn’t have happened.

            Exactly. Nobody knows what would have OR WOULDN’T HAVE happened.

            Joba, with a slowed reaction time, heavily drunk, and speeding STILL MAY HAVE NOT EVER BEEN AN ACTUAL DANGER TO ANYONE.

            Without real evidence of actual, physical, tangible endangerment, like pedestrians fleeing from the path of his car, he is endangering the lives of others ONLY IN THE THEORETICAL ABSTRACT.

        • radnom says:


          A DUI is not necessarily “endangering the lives of others”. It’s operating a motor vehicle in violation of the law.

          Not to start a hair-splitting contest here, but I can only assume given the facts that Joba wasn’t operating that vehicle in a notably dangerous manner, he was merely driving it at 70 mph (which is what the cop stated). Subsequent to his arrest for speeding, the cop realized that he was drunk and rightly booked him for DUI.

          Are you effing kidding me? Just because he wasn’t driving like a maniac doesn’t mean anything.
          Driving with reduced reflexes = unfairly endangering the lives of others. Period. End of story.

          There was no “arrest for speeding”. 70 in a 55 is nothing. He got arrested for the open bottle of crowne.

          • Just because he wasn’t driving like a maniac doesn’t mean anything.

            Except for the fact that he wasn’t driving like a maniac. That fact does, at bare minimum, mean that.

            Driving with reduced reflexes = unfairly endangering the lives of others. Period. End of story.

            Probably. Just not assuredly. Moreover, driving with alcohol in your system is not NECESSARILY driving with “reduced reflexes”. There’s always room for exceptions to the rule.

            What Joba did was a bad, stupid thing because it (driving plus drinking) USUALLY leads to endangerment of life MOST OF THE TIME. It does not NECESSARILY mean lives were ACTUALLY endangered. Perhaps that’s a level of hair-splitting your mind can’t accept. Mine can. Doesn’t mean either of us are right or wrong, just different.

            There was no “arrest for speeding”. 70 in a 55 is nothing. He got arrested for the open bottle of crowne.

            Correct. I misspoke. Should have said “Subsequent to his arrest legitimate traffic stop for speeding, the cop realized that he was drunk and rightly booked him for DUI.

            • Actually, part of what I just said isn’t entirely accurate. Let me rephrase.

              Probably. Just not assuredly. Moreover, driving with alcohol in your system is indeed driving with “reduced reflexes”, but driving with reduced reflexes is not NECESSARILY unfairly endangering the lives of others. It’s not that cut and dry.

              Many people can drink, beyond the legal limit, and not have their reflexes impacted to the point where their driving becomes dangerous. It depends on the human physiological effects, which vary from person to person.

      • Yankeegirl49 says:

        I am in no way saying he shouldnt be punished and the DUI should be tolerated. What I am saying is that one mistake should not mean he will be trouble forever. Should we lock him up and throw away the key?
        He had his day in court and was given what the justice system deemed appropriate (whether you or I agree is another story all together). As I said, hopefully he learned and it wont happen again. I am a proponent of second chances in this case..but not 3rd or 4th.
        And because someone has not been convicted or caught, doesnt mean they havent done anything. Chances are Hamilton got lucky by not getting caught, I’d be willing to be he got behind the wheel while on drugs. Ive known enough drug addicts in my lifetime to know that when they need a fix, they arent worrying about finding a ride to get it.

      • A.D. says:

        There’s 2 issues:

        #1: The DUI, obviously happened, not tolerable.

        #2: Is this some character flaw of Joba’s. Some people calling this a mistake which a “kid” could make, which doesn’t make it right, but could easily be a bad mistake & an outlier, and not some underlying personal/emotional issue.

        Or as some of these writers jump on, it could be some issue which will just lead to more trouble down the line.

        Personally I think it was a bad mistake & an outlier, but we will see.

  5. zack says:

    I would much much much rather read this drivel than the articles of phony-outrage over steroids.

    At least some sort of positive might be able to come from this, an wholly more serious crime on many levels.

    Honestly, people who drink and drive deserve whatever public humiliation they get, Joba included.

    Are these articles stupid? Yup. Badly written? Of course. But can I get worked up over them? Not really. Like I said, at least this might stop someone from drinking and driving…

    • Mattingly's Love Child says:

      I’m pretty sure that was what Ben’s message was in the post. This is a very serious crime, but it is no reason to want Joba to go pitch the 8th, it’s no reason to think that he won’t be able to handle New York, it’s no reason to think that he is going to become a drug abuser like his mother. You could look at it as a warning sign, sure, but Joba has also demonstrated having a lot of strong qualities (the trip for the family to Disney each of the past 2 offseasons).

      Some of the nicest, and most upstanding citizens that I know have had a DUI. Often times the DUI and the embarassment that comes with it is the ultimate wakeup call for a young person.

      I also disagree that it would prevent someone from drinking and driving, we’ve heard all the stories over and over again about athletes, movie stars, politicians all doing this. And it still continues…..It comes down to parents doing their jobs and people making smart decisions.

      • Yankeegirl49 says:

        Your last paragraph says it all.

        • zack says:

          Thats not true at all actually. Cultural representations and influences play a major part in shaping our point of view and morals/ethics. Of course it isn’t the be all and end all, but there is a reason that certain public campaigns are effective in creating or ceasing certain behaviors. Placing the onus solely on parents and individuals is naive.

    • frank says:

      But the important point is that this happened about half a year ago. It has been written about and scrutinized to death. And Joba has apologized more times than I can remember.

      But here we are…. drumming it up all over again.

      It’s simply another way for the New York media to use sensationalism to sell newspapers. They can take an old story – or even a non story – and find a way to spin it a certain way to make it sensation, make people angry, and get people talking. It’s called agenda setting… and it’s a powerful tool the media has that, sadly, goes unchecked.

      • It’s simply another way for the New York media to use sensationalism to sell newspapers. They can take an old story – or even a non story – and find a way to spin it a certain way to make it sensation, make people angry, and get people talking. It’s called agenda setting… and it’s a powerful tool the media has that, sadly, goes unchecked.

        While you’re correct… newspapers are dying.

        You ever try to mess with a cornered rat?

        • frank says:

          It’s not so much the papers as the writers they employ. We’ve already seen some big names in the industry go online. That’s obviously where it’s headed. Only the medium changes, the bias, hatred, vitriol and agenda go with them. That stuff isn’t going anywhere.

          And again, the only power we have is to ignore them.

          I apologize for ranting but I am a journalist and feel strongly about bias and op/ed & tabloid journalism.

        • Count Zero says:

          While you’re correct… newspapers are dying.

          You ever try to mess with a cornered rat?

          Precisely.

      • frank says:

        A great example is pushing back the release of the A-Rod book until he is expected to come back from the DL. At first glance, it seems like an effort to sell more books. But if that book were to be released this week… following a week’s worth of sensationalist excerpts leaked through the media (which they will do) would that book sell any less?

        No.

        Alex Rodriguez is on a short stint on the DL. He hasn’t ceased to exist or ceased to be a story. The agenda is to bring down the player. To incite as much bias and controversy as possible.

        Dustin Pedrioa called A-Rod a dork. That story went away quicker than he can grow his facial hair. Why? Because taking down Dustin Pedrioa is not the agenda. Criticize the Yankees, take down A-Rod – the biggest player in the game – that’s the agenda.

  6. B.George says:

    DOnt get me wrong I am upset that Joba put himself in the situation like any other human being but saying its a big consipiracy theory is absurd…..and Joel Sherman is the biggest piece of crap walking this earth other then Schilling….the guy hasnt written anything good on the Yankees in god knows when…he tries to write that the New Yankee Stadium is a bad thing and thinkgs the Yankees are the biggest piece of sh*t in the universe…the guy is a friggin idiot

  7. frank says:

    The only way to shut up sensationalist, biased writers like Sherman is to not listen to them…don’t read them…. don’t buy the paper.

    The whole point of making this into a big story again is to get people talking. It makes them money. And it works. They have to be ignored. But sadly that won’t happen in New York; where a fart out of the ass of Alex Rodriguez can change the course of human history.

  8. Double-J says:

    There were organizations who bypassed Chamberlain’s 98 mph fastball in the 2006 draft for reasons beyond physical concerns. He comes from a broken home, and his mother was a self-professed drug abuser.

    For these lines alone, this thread needs to get the “Horribly Retarded” tag, which BTW is one of my favorites. Can we just mark “Sherman = Retarded” from this point forward?

  9. Rich says:

    So the reason that Joba got drove drunk was to relieve the stress of being a starter instead of a reliever?

  10. B.George says:

    I wonder if Joba was using a heat pad while he was driving?

  11. Peter Lacock says:

    These names mentioned, Sherman, Matthews, are vaguely familiar to me. There were other names from back in the day but I forget. Something King maybe. George somebody maybe. A few more. I believe they all write for some lurid publications that I stopped reading quite some time ago because they write these types of stories. I wouldn’t know anything about this if it wasn’t mentioned here or by Pete Abe. I doubt Chad Jennings, Mike Ashmore or Tim Dierkes will make mention of it and I’m certain it won’t be on MLB.com or the like. It’s good that we can choose what to read and watch and I laugh as these so called journalists bring about their own demise and the demise of the tabloids they write for.

    • Great point.

      My retort: I can’t laugh at the sad, pathetic buffoonery of the Kansas City Royals bullpen if I never watch their games or read about them via some sort of news aggregation service like Fangraphs.com.

      To paraphrase Austin Milbarge, “We can’t mock what we don’t understand.”

  12. B.George says:

    Did anyone see that Curt Schilling predicted the Red Sox to win 105 games….im serious.

    Totally off topic I know but we are talking about someone being drunk and I assumed Schilling was drunk when he wrote that/

  13. Shamik says:

    I believe that what he said to the officer is not a big deal. He is just a young guy trying to get out of the situation by pulling the Yankee card and trying to be funny. Everything he said about Yogi and NY is obvious….99% of people would agree.

    However, I do think his DUI is a big mistake on his part and the Yankees should take some action. Luckily nothing happened but what if he hurt someone or got injured badly??

    • However, I do think his DUI is a big mistake on his part and the Yankees should take some action. Luckily nothing happened but what if he hurt someone or got injured badly??

      What is it that you would like them to do? It was a first offense, he apologized with full contrition, and his case was adjudicated.

      Also, let’s say Joba was a 23 year old construction worker, or a 23 year old teacher, or 23 year old retail clerk. Should those employers have “taken some action” against those theoretical Jobas, or are we holding the Yankees to a different standard than we would any other employer?

      • zack says:

        Actually, if he was a teacher, he almost certainly would have been fired or reprimanded/suspended.

        Its, you know, an ethical failure.

        • Not necessarily.

          Depends on the circumstances. If he’s never drunk at work, if he’s got a sterling record otherwise, if it happened in another state during the summer vacation, no, Teacher Joba likely wouldn’t be fired or suspended. Reprimanded, sure, but not fired or suspended.

          And, for all we know, Joba was reprimanded but not fired nor suspended by the team.

      • B.George says:

        Also, let’s say Joba was a 23 year old construction worker, or a 23 year old teacher, or 23 year old retail clerk. Should those employers have “taken some action” against those theoretical Jobas, or are we holding the Yankees to a different standard than we would any other employer?

        They would be fired.

        • Yankeegirl49 says:

          That is not true. I personally know someone who was caught ON THE JOB drinking..his job: Motorman for the NYC Tamsit Authority. HE DRIVES THE TRAINS. Know what they did? The suspended him for 3 weeks..while he went to the TA sponsored “program”. After he completed the program he has his exact same job back. He eventually (after 3 failed pee tests and 2 more suspensions) got fired.

  14. Drew says:

    I don’t know if anyone else is having problems with the site but my IEexplorer can’t open RAB without freezing. I’ve tried all day but can only get it to work with Mozilla.

    • whozat says:

      That’s probably because Internet Explorer is a broken web browser that does not comply with a wide variety of web standard. Try using Firefox or Chrome for all your browsing instead :-)

      • Drew says:

        Yea but I’ve been on this site for the past 5 months and had no problems. I have Mozilla but I’m used to IE so I like to stick to it.

  15. Rich says:

    Francesa just went off on Joba because he wasn’t sufficiently contrite in explaining the incident to the media.

    Can you say anal personality?

  16. Drew says:

    Off-topic. Watched the Fish Nats game today. Daniel Cabrera nearly broke Cantu’s hand. Mo am I happy he’s out of the AL.

  17. Kaitlin B. says:

    Obviously the DUI is a major issue and shouldn’t be brushed aside; it is never okay to drive drunk.

    However, as usual, the MSM is being moronic about it. What Joba did has nothing to do with baseball and everything to do with personal responsibility. Trying to make a connection between pitching roles and DUI is so stupid it burns.

    Next week: Wallace Matthews tries to connect Joba’s love of steak to the meaty role of relieving.

  18. RobC says:

    Here’s one for the writers….”Joba should be in the pen because he drove drunk and being in the pen would give Mo more time to be a good influence on him”

  19. Joseph M says:

    I saw the video, based on the road test I thought the officer could have cut him some slack. I also thought the officer was a bit full of himself. That said, Joba was wrong and he paid the price for it.

    We have to be honest here, Joba is a baseball player not choir boy there is a certain attitude that goes with that, cocky, entitled, arrogant rulebrakers maybe it just goes with the territory.

    A few months ago newspapers all over the country were fawning all over Ted Kennedy as word came down about his failing health, this was a man who at the age of 37 drove a car off a bridge killing a young woman in the process. He then left the scene of the accident, spending the next 12 hours getting his story straight and ponding his political future. They will order the flags flown at half mast the day he dies. My poiny, this will pass.

    As far as Francesa goes, two words, Don Imus. Francesa spent more than 15 years kissing the rear end of a man who spent the 70′s and 80′s in a substance abuse haze. Francesa should keep that in mind before he opens his mouth about this situation.

  20. Steve says:

    I got a DUI on my 23rd birthday. I even tried to evade the police.

    I am 43 now. It has never hindered me one bit.

    Joel Sherman should stfu.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.