The Morning After: Joba Chamberlain

Open Thread: 3/23 Camp Notes
Report: Yankees offered Freddy Garcia to Marlins
(REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi)

The Yankees got some awful news yesterday (really Thursday night), as Joba Chamberlain suffered an open dislocation of his right ankle playing with his son. It’s a really bad fluke injury and I do not recommend Googling it at all. It’s expected to keep him out for all of 2012, but the club is still awaiting test results to determine the extent of the ligament damage and any fractures. Here are some random thoughts and links on the injury…

  • A report yesterday indicated that Joba lost a “life-threatening amount of blood,” but both his agent and father denied that was the case. “There was no life-threatening loss of blood,” said agent Jim Murray while Harlan Chamberlain was a bit more blunt: “That’s [B.S.].”
  • David Robertson was one of those who visited Joba him the hospital yesterday. “He was feeling good,” he said. “[He’s] in good spirits.”
  • The moralizing of the injury was inevitable. People are calling Joba stupid and reckless and while he obviously made a mistake, the guy’s biggest crime was wanting to play with his kid. If trampolines are so dangerous, how come no one is getting upset that he put his five-year-old son in danger?
  • It’s still way too early to know what the Yankees will do with Joba contractually. His one-year, $1.675M contract is not guaranteed as an arbitration-eligible player, so the Yankees could release him anytime before Opening Day and pay him only 45 days termination pay (roughly $415k). If there’s “no trampoline” language in his deal, they could release him and pay him nothing. More than likely I think they’ll wait the season out, see how he’s doing come December, then decide whether or not to non-tender him (he won’t get a raise next year if he doesn’t play at all in 2012). I don’t think they want to repeat the Al Aceves mistake again. Who knows, maybe insurance will cover his salary this season.
  • As for the bullpen, Joba wasn’t going to be back until mid-June anyway. Nothing will change for the first few months of the season, but now they can’t count on adding that power arm at midseason. It creates an opportunity for guys like George Kontos, Adam Warren, David Phelps, and D.J. Mitchell. Chamberlain’s injury opened the door for Hector Noesi last year, and now another young arm will get a chance.
  • Stephen Drew, Jason Kendall, and Kendrys Morales are examples of comparable injuries, as are Yankees farmhands David Adams and Ravel Santana. The recovery time seems to range anywhere from six months to nearly two years. Of course all those guys are position players, and we’re talking about Joba’s push-off leg. If he can’t push off properly, he’ll inevitable blow out his arm at some point.

So that’s really all I have to say. I hope the latest tests show the best case scenario and Joba crushes his rehab and is able to get back on the mound sooner rather than later, but I’m not going to hold my breath. I was really looking forward to seeing him back out on the mound this summer.

Update: Via Sweeny Murti, apparently Joba could be released from the hospital as soon as today. The MRI results are not back yet, but the doctors told him there’s a chance he could be back on a mound by July. Fingers crossed.

Open Thread: 3/23 Camp Notes
Report: Yankees offered Freddy Garcia to Marlins
  • Plank

    If he was able to be ahead of schedule on his TJS, maybe he can heal up just as quickly on his leg. Fingers crossed.

    • DM

      Maybe. He seems like a bull too. He was still throwing 90-91 with a torn elbow ligament — like he barely noticed what would be extremely painful for most.

      • Bo Knows

        I was never in the Joba to start camp, but after all this….I want him to come back throwing hellfire for the Yanks leave as a FA, go to a team to start and dominate.

        you know just as a big Bronx salute to every person who is just offering blame and insults

        • Steve (different one)

          I wasnt on a lot of the threads yesterday, so maybe i am just not getting how bad the hysteria was, but I don’t get this sentiment. I don’t think it makes him a bad person, but he DID make a mistake. People make mistakes, and I can get past that, but the bottom line is that he is earning close to $2M to rehab his arm and he put himself in a risky situation that will cost him his season. He’s a big boy, and he is allowed to take those risks, but there are also consequences to those risks.

          I wish him the best, but it takes some wierd fanboy logic mechanations to put the blame on someone other than Joba and wish him to stick it to the Yankees because of that.

          • Ted Nelson

            It was unlucky, but how much of a “mistake” is jumping on a trampoline?

            • Cuso

              Based on what happened, and the truth that an incident of that nature is foreseeable ….yeah pretty big mistake.

              I feel bad for the guy, but all the apologists couching their defense of Jobs by “he just wanted to play with his kid” or “it’s only a trampoline” fail to grasp the significance of the recklessness.

              It WAS reckless. I feel bad for him. But it was reckless.

          • Landry

            Who is trying to put the blame on someone else? It was a fluke accident. If he had thrown out his back pouring a glass of milk (that actually happened to a friend), would Joba had made a mistake by pouring his own milk?

            • Steve (different one)

              Yes, this is a perfect analogy. Pouring milk and jumping on a trampoline. Totally comparable.

        • Kevin Winters

          I’d love to see that happen although it’s probably unlikely.

      • RetroRob

        Joba’s a tank or a soldier, but he’s not a bull.

        /RAB’d 2011 meme

  • A.Garcia

    I think this time he is going to be ou will help him to improve his arm as well as his attitude. Joba will come back and he is going to be a great pitcher

    • Betty Lizard

      May it be so.

  • DERP

    Baseball is better with Joba. Get well soon.

    • Robinson Tilapia


  • Kevin

    Here is a Mets blog view on Joba’s injury. Pretty disgusting if you ask me.

    “Just when you want to root for Joba Chamberlain and believe he’s turned his career around, you see another example about why he isn’t serious about his career or health. What he did last night was childish and irresponsible. Personally, I think it was stupid. He also put his son’s safety at risk.”

    • Robinson Tilapia

      In other news, Joba’s busted ankle was just named #5 starter in Flushing.

    • jay h

      I’m sure that blogger has never used a trampoline right?

    • Mike Silva

      y the way…

      Check out this promotional video via Rounderz, where Joba got hurt.

      If you had a non-guarenteed $1.6 million dollar contract, and baseball was your only means to live, would you think this is a good idea? Fast forward to the 15-second mark, it gets good

      That’s my point

      • rbizzler

        That looks awesome. I actually would only do that if I had a 1.6 million dollar deal. It would make the experience that much more thrilling.

      • Rainbow Connection

        Nice catch. You just blew a hole in everyone’s argument that Joba was doing something ‘innocent’.
        Fat people should not be doing this, especially if they are rehabbing an injury and getting paid to pitch in MLB. I had SOME pity for him before, but not now. He’s an idiot.
        And YES, you can tell your kid NO sometimes. NO is part of life.

      • Bo Knows

        Yes, I’m sure Joba was doing backflips, and corkscrews at that place, rather than you know just moving around like the kids in minute 1:12 of the film.

        Also, its a promotional film do you honestly think that this place wouldn’t hire people capable of doing extreme tricks? I’ve seen promo’s to skateparks where people are doing insanely acrobatic stunts, and then get there in person to see people who can barely do an ollie.

  • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

    It all hinges on whether or not the bone is infected. If it is he is done, plain and simple. If not he can likely pitch again sometime late this year or next if all goes well.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    After taking the pro-dad stance pretty strongly on here yesterday, who immediately joined the “what an idiot” crowd? To my surprise, my wife and mother of my child. Damn Protestant work ethic.

    • DM

      Do we even know what happened exactly? There’s a big difference between stepping out on one while holding your kid’s hands and bouncing a little versus him trying to do backflips into orbit.

      • Jamey

        It really doesn’t take much. Plant a foot just slightly wrong & you can do serious damage. I once saw a guy snap his arm losing balance while leaning against a school locker.

        • DM

          I’m sure — but that’s not my point. The reckless, irresponsible accusations need more context, no? Don’t we need more specifics first? Yesterday Joba was near death on a stretcher due to blood loss, but now he might go home today?? We need more info after this panic dust settles.

  • DM

    “Via Sweeny Murti, apparently Joba could be released from the hospital as soon as today. The MRI results are not back yet, but the doctors told him there’s a chance he could be back on a mound by July. Fingers crossed.”

    Quite a difference. Maybe we should’ve listened to “ESPN injury expert Stephania Bell” before jumping to conclusions.

    • Plank

      I’d love to hear all the moral thought police’s take on this. What length of time on the DL is it acceptable to make light of the situation?

      • DM

        I like the careful toggling of sentiment between “Sad news. He almost died. I pray for him and his family” and “Can the Yankees void his contract b/c of this?”

        • Fin

          lol I think the void the contract people are the same people that want to see Pineda sent down to AAA so the Yankees can mess with his Arb/FA clock. The stienbrenners cant make enough money for some people.

  • bpdelia

    Well lets say this:

    !) Trampolines are INSANELY HELLA DANGEROUS and every single parent knows it.

    2) I do dangerous shit with my kids all the time because life without danger is boring and not worth living.

    3) What he did is not in any way at all in the least bit wrong.

    4) OH MY GOD what if his kids got huort!!???!!! Yeah what if. SO what? Kids get hurt. You got hurt as a kid, I got hurt as a kid, my kids get hurt. Life is pain princess, anyone who tells you differently is trying to tell you something.

    My hugest pet peeve is this whole wrap your children in bubble wrap and make sure EVERY part of their body is convered with some sort of helmet or pad before they leave the house. I grew up not that long ago. In 1975 when I was born my mom held me on her lap on the way home from the hospital.

    Enough already.

    Pet peeve 2? You worry about your freaking kids I’ll worry about mine. True there is now a .002% greater chance of my kids having a painful injury but I’ll trade that for them being confident, explorer types and not sniveling spoiled brats with mommy daddy hovering over them constantly removing any and all forms of danger.

    Leave Joba alone, mind your own damn business.

    Rant over.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Best comment in the history of this site.

      • STONE COLD Austin Romine

        Definitely a top 20 commented topic post in the past 6 years.

        • Havok9120

          This. Well done.

    • nedro

      LOL! I was born in ’72, and I had to jog home after my own circumcision! Pussy. I’m tellin’ ya, kids these days… SMH.

      That being said, as a father of four, including two boys, I agree with everything you said, 100%.

    • jsbrendog

      i agree with all of this EXCEPT the fact that a major league balplayer, esp one rehabbing form injury, should not put himself in situations where it is dangerous and he can get hurt. i have no problem with him letting his son jump on a trmpoline, theyre fun! but joba shouldnt have gotten on himself. it was a mistake. it happens. he is still a great dad it seems and nothing has made him not seem like a solid dude. but regardless, the analogies ppl are making are stupid. pouring milk? driving a car? pouring milk is not dangerous. driving a car is a necessity. jumping on a trampoline, which is hella dangerous as you said, as a million dollar athlete, is just not smart. but again this changes nothing about him being seemingly a good person and good parent. he just didnt thnk. if i had a dollar for everytime i didnt think id be so loaded. but still, it was dumb and he is paying the consequences. whatever.

  • RRRRRRandy

    If Joba tweeted “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”, it would be epic

    • Delaware – Ralph


  • Mike

    But again…..he is recovering from an injury so he can perform his job, and now because of an unrelated injury he has hurt himself and the team.
    No one is saying he cant jump with his kid, or have a few drinks when out then drive home or break up a fight with your borther etc…… But the consequences for a pro athlete are alot different than for us mere mortals both in terms of needing their body repeatedly to perform a task which tens of millons have tried but only a few have succeded, limited career lifespan, and potential for public exposure of your issues.

    And as for a 5 year old on a trampolene- little boys are supposed to play on them….. Unless u are a circus act, big boys- especially rehabbing pro athletes- should stay on the ground

    • bpdelia

      Oh absolutely. Dude shouldn’t have been jumping on a trampoline. But remember he’s 25, he’s a bit of a wild card and his kid probably said “DADDY THIS” RULES COME AND JUMP WITH ME!!!!”

      Bad decision? Yeah of course.

      Epically huge unconscionably bad decision demonstrating that JOba is a(n) “idiot, moron, dolt, fat ass loser, drunken jerk off, block head” or any of the other crap that people have been saying today all over the web?

      Not even close. He’s a young dad who made a split second foolish decsion at a time that he was probably getting near feeling on top of the world.

      My issue is that there are a NUMBER of places I’ve read crap about him “endangering his kids” which basically drives me nuts whenever I read or hear that crap.

      I’m a super liberal dude, my wife is a mid wife and we run in some liberal circles so I hear the very worst of this kind of stuff. Like that circumsing my son is a form of life altering mutilation.

      I just can’t stand the idea that parenting is about shielding your kid from all pain and dissapointment.

      And in general I hate people judging others. Feel free to unload on JOba for his conditioning, his work ethic, his peitch selection etc. I may disagree but you have every right. But lets not go judgning a guy for jumping on a damn trampoline becuase it demonstrates nothing other than that he made a bad decision while playing with his kid.

      • BrianJ

        This has nothing to do with “endangering his kids”. Kids can handle falls a lot better than adults. He was not “endangering his kids” he was endangering himself. Accidents happen. No one feels worse than he does.

  • The Moral Majority is Neither

    ‘Jump’ to conclusions? You are twisted, man.

  • Jamey

    To answer a question, trampolines ARE dangerous. A friend of mine’s family had one for about a year & they ultimately got rid of it because they were paying higher insurance for having it.

  • Rich in NJ

    I am praying for his sake that he can be back this season.

  • Fin

    They are dangerous becasue people go wild on them and fall off them or hit their head on the metal edges. I dont think anyone can truly think that bouncing up and down with your kid, possibly holding his hands, in a controlled manor is inherently dangerous. It was nothing more than a freak accident. Now if we find out his kid was sitting their watching while Joba was doing back flips, thats a different story. I know trampolines are dangerous, and would avoid any risky moves on them if I were a pro athlete. However, it would never occur to me, that I could get hurt just jumping up and down on one while playing with my son. I too would have had to learn a hard leasson. For all of those that would have avoided it, you are more self aware than about 99% of us, who generally think we are bullet proof, especially at 25yrs old. I dont think there is a 25yr old alive that would think he could get hurt just jumping up and down with his son, probably not too many 45yrs old would worry either.

    • bpdelia

      Right. Also there is the “Well its in a kids amusement park so THIS type of trampoline must be safe I guess” angle.

      WHo knows. He didn’t BUY a trampoline and bring it home. He was out at a Sports Plus type place I’d guess, saw the trampoline thought, “Wow, that looks pretty cool, I guess it’s safe if the insurance company lets this place have one.”

      Then he fell.

      This is also a great time to remember one of the greatest Simpson’s eppisodes ever.


  • Tom Zig

    I’m not faulting him for playing with his kid, but surely there are better ways to play with him than getting on a trampoline.

    • mt

      I completely agree – he is a 240 pound plus professional athlete rehabbing from severe elbow surgery – could have also fallen on his elbow.

      If he could not get a worker to fill in and accompany his osn on teh trampoline and take his son on teh trampoline or go with another adult who could accompany his son, he should have said no to this one particular activity.

      I have no problem with the son on the trampoline – it is Joba that made an unwise choice.

    • Fin

      Again, I think its in the context of how he is playing with his kid on the tramp. Do you people that say its so dangerous really expect people to beleive that just casually jumping up and down is somehow fraught with danger? I agree that doing flips and other acrobatic manuevers, is dangerous. If I hear he was doing such things I will change my opinion. However, if he is just jumping up and down with his kid, I fail to see the inherent danger.

  • Jonathan

    I love Joba and he’s always been one of the nicest guys to interact with at games. I had several surgeries done at an elite clinic in Nebraska while he was pitching there and lots of people had personal stories about him that match up with what I’ve seen. He was my first autograph and I wish him the absolute best in his recovery. I would be ecstatic to see him back on the field this year throwing mid 90s with a wicked slider….and maybe one 99 or so over Youk’s head.

  • Ted Nelson

    As others have said, depends what the context was. Was he flipping drunk showing off, or was he bouncing with his son? Maybe we’ll never know, but that’s important. If he’s drunk or something is the only way I have a real problem. Flipping even isn’t the end of the world. Worse than lightly jumping, but Ozzie Smith used to flip right on the field. If he’s jumping with his son I see the risk as only so much more than driving down the road with his son.

    • Fin

      In a normal circumstance, I wouldnt even care if he was fliping. However, the fact he was recovering from TJ surgery would make that completely foolish as your body would tell you that is a risky move as you might need to use your arms to brace yourself. He would have had to made the decision not to listen to his internal warnings and gone ahead with it anyway.

      • Ted Nelson

        True, I didn’t think of the arm issue. Guess he’s already throwing, though, so not as reckless as earlier in rehab. Might not feel any discomfort at this point, but still not the best decision.

      • DF

        Just falling on your arm after TJ is going to hurt your rotator cuff. Even bracing yourself with your arms. The chances are like .0001% you do anthing to hurt your rotator cuff when you arm isn’t rotating.

        This is nothing more than dumb luck. Shit happens.

    • Fin

      Lol, lets really hope he wasnt drunk and showing off infront his 5yr old. That would certainly be an issue.

    • Gonzo

      Gotta agree. Time will tell if this is a Jeff Kent situation or just an innocent mishap.

  • jjyank

    I’ve always loved Joba. I have fond memories of 2007 when he was called up. I was delivering pizza as a summer job while in college, and I literally sat in the driveway of a house listening to the Yanks on the radio when Joba was called in from the pen to get the team out of a jam.

    I don’t fault him for wanting to have some fun with his kid. Was it the smartest decision in the world? Probably not. But I think people are exaggerating how “stupid” the decision was. I’ve been on plenty of trampolines as a kid, and while they’re are not exactly safe, this type of injury is still a freak thing.

    I feel bad for Joba, I remember reading that he teared up last year when he found out he needed TJS. The dude just wants to pitch and help the team win, and now he’s even further away from doing that. I wish him the best and a speedy recovery.

  • 28 this year

    For all the people that say Joba made a mistake on a trampoline, we should question his judgment to allow his son to jump on the trampoline. After all, I am sure his son with worth a whole lot more to him than Joba means to the Yankees. Oh wait, we dont question whether children shoudl be allowed on trampolines. Well then its just a freak accident.

  • Zack D

    Heath Bell is over 250lbs, he slides into the mound during the ASG, he jumps into his pool and he’s labeled as “fun-loving”, “easy-going” and “a real guy”. Bell said everyone came up to ask what will he do in his next ASG.

    Joba jumps on a trampolene with his son and he’s a stupid SOB who doesn’t respect baseball.

    • Fin

      He didnt use a diving board did he?

  • JCYanks

    Joba and his family will certainly be in my prayers. While I wish he could be back for the Yankees with that upper 90’s (if it still exists) fastball in July, I think it is more important that he focuses on getting himself healthy and that his family is taken care off. We do tend to take baseball a bit too seriously around here, and the player as a person should be first and foremost before the team. We can definitely question Joba’s decision to go onto that trampoline, but I hope he learns from his mistakes and is bringing hell or high water sliders again in 2013.

    • Rainbow Connection

      Oh good. Prayers. That’ll help. Crazy.

      • jjyank

        Relax dude. I’m about as far from religious as you can get (I am an overt Atheist), but I still respect the beliefs of others. If some people believe prayer is a positive force in this universe, then I say to let them. Who are you (or any of us) to say what is right or wrong?

  • cheddar

    If I were making $1.6M a year and knew that a non-work-related injury could cost me my job and $1.2M (if not all) of my salary, I would be extremely careful as to what physical activities I engaged in. Especially if I was rehabbing from another injury and my value in the open market had already been in decline.

    As a father myself, I understand the desire to participate in my kid’s life as much as possible. I also understand the responsibility of being the primary wage-earner in my family.

    A simple “Daddy can’t go on the trampoline because I still need to let my arm heal” would not have turned his kid into Manson.

    • Landry

      That 20/20 hindsight is always perfect.

      • cheddar

        No, it’s basic risk/reward analysis.

        Joba is grown man. He thought that the reward from playing with his son on a trampoline outweighed the risk that he would get hurt again and potentially cost his family a lot of money.

        I completely respect his right to make such a decision. And now he has to deal with the consequences of that decision.

  • Kosmo

    Joba was due back midseason 2012, so instead of missing 3 months, which isn´t that big a deal, he can rehab his ankle and be ready for the start of the 2013 season. Of course barring any serious setbacks.
    Wish him well and a speedy recovery.

  • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

    Couple things on the injury:

    First, an open dislocation is gnarly, but you can recover. I had a compound open fracture a few months ago, and am nearly back to pre-injury capabilities. From what I understand, while they’re not the same, the recovery can be similar. I’m not more than a beer-league athlete, so I imagine a guy with very expensive rehab available to him should be able to make a very fast recovery of it. Probably not this year, but next year seems very possible.

    Second, as a close physician friend pointed out, they (Joba’s doctors, the Yankees) may want to check to make sure there isn’t something else going on with him. An open dislocation is a freak injury, and not something that happens to normal people very often. There could be some more serious issue going on with the guy.

  • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

    I’m a father of two and trampoline owner who believes Joba did nothing wrong.

    However, anyone questioning whether trampolines are dangerous need only google trampoline accidents. The number of accounts (and photos…brutal) of this exact type of injury is astounding. So much so that I am stunned that my wife gave the a-okay for us to get the trampoline. Stunned.

    As has been pointed out, the consequences of accidents are much higher for super high earners like pro athletes. But that Joba got hurt on a trampoline is less a freak accident than it is a not entirely unusual outcome.

  • Virgil Earp

    The club needs to do a better job watching their investments. First David Robertson gets hurt off the field and now Joba. You would think the richest organization in the sport would do a better job at managing this. Where’s the leadership from the top that has been sorely lacking since George’s death?

    • Mike Axisa

      Yeah really. If George was still around he’d be paying people to dig up dirt on these guys so he could blackmail and extort them like a real leader.

      • Zack D

        George would have bought every staircase in Tampa and installed ramps!

        • Bo Knows

          George would have call Joba a bunch of names and would then proceed to show him how to properly jump on a trampoline.

    • Rainbow Connection

      George signed bad players to big contracts. He was a fool.

  • mustang

    “He’s a young dad who made a split second foolish decsion….”

    Your right but the problem here is that Joba seems to make a lot of these “foolish decision” coming into camp over weight, DWI, and this last thing. Waving it off because he is a 25 years old only mask the problem that this guy needs to grow-up before one these “foolish decision” ends up being a fatal decision.
    I wish him the best luck and fast recovery.

    • Josh Amaral

      I like how you used to glaring examples of terrible decisions and then summarized Joba playing with his son on a trampoline as “this last thing” to help make your point.

      People play with their kids, end of story. Freak injuries happen, end of story.

      You’re a tool.

      • mustang

        “People play with their kids, end of story. Freak injuries happen, end of story.”

        True. But when you’re a father and the way you support your family is by playing baseball you SHOULD have more sense than to jeopardize that by doing something stupid. I’m sure it would benefit his kids more to have their father pitching then one day of jumping on a trampoline.
        Playing with your kids is fine using some something the both of you seem to lack.
        That’s the END!

        • mustang

          Playing with your kids is fine using some common sense something the both of you seem to lack.
          That’s the END!

          • fin

            GOod god, do you really think athletes walk around all day afraid of getting hurt and questioning everything they do? He wasnt out playing a pickup basketball game, or skiing or driving a bullet bike. THings that just about everyone who has done them has suffered some sort of injury. He was at public place with his son and hoped up and down on a trampoline with him. For god sakes get some perspective, hes just a person doing normal person things. THese guys dont live in a plastic bubble afraid of their own shadow. You may be afraid of trampolines and their inherent risks, but most of the population views jumping up and down on about as dangerous as driving a car.

            • mustang

              “For god sakes get some perspective..”

              Perspective is exactly what I have and as a father I know better than to risk my livelihood over jumping on trampolines.
              Google “dangerous of trampolines” or” polls on trampolines” before you start quoting what “most of the population views”.

  • JD

    Sad news for Joba. I suffered a similar injury playing soccer. I would bet he is out till September. I am thinking that Kontos will make us forget Joba in the intervening months.

  • savagemurph

    mike was right shouldn’t have googled it

  • Monterowasdinero

    Joba will not pitch for the Yanks this year. No scenario where that happens. I feel bad for him but am in the camp that it is very poor judgement to jump on a trampoline with your 5 year old son or with him watching. Always a tendency to jump higher, try flips etc. Arms are needed. Joba didn’t have the brains and maturity to sit it out and watch.