At the moment, the New York Yankees – injury-riddled and all — are sitting in a place where no one expected them to be at this point in the season, at the top of the American League East.
The Yankees are playing effective baseball and have gelled together as a team in an almost family-like manner. Well, in every family, there’s always some sort of rift at some point. For this Yankee family, a rift was exactly what happened in the dugout before Saturday’s game against the Kansas City Royals involving two of the organization’s most recognizable stars.
Before Saturday’s contest, Yankee closer Mariano Rivera was speaking to the media in regards to his experience earlier in the day meeting with several local families who had recently been through some emotional times. At one point during the interview, Rivera turned to fellow bullpen mate Joba Chamberlain and asked him to quiet down.
Chamberlain, taking exception to this, told Rivera in front of onlookers, “Don’t ever shush me again.”
Neither player cared to comment about the situation after the game, but clearly Chamberlain was quite bothered by the situation. As Mo continued to talk with reporters, he seemed to almost laugh off the situation while Chamberlain remained almost stone-faced.
Now, while this more than likely won’t hold any relevancy as it pertains to the team’s success on the field, a minor spat between the embattled young relief pitcher, already seen by many as ‘pampered’, and the greatest closer of all-time is something of note.
With this situation, a lot of people will undoubtedly take the side of the legend and point to the fact that Joba should have shown more respect to Mo, especially in a public setting with everyone watching. But, that’s also the factor that makes Mo in the wrong here as well.
Had this been a situation in the clubhouse where Rivera had instructed Chamberlain to turn down his music or something of that nature, then yes, the seniority factor sets in and the youngster should do what he’s told. However, Rivera should have had the wherewithal to wait until after he was done with his media session and privately ask his bullpen buddy to please keep it down when he’s in public contact with the media.
Either way, I’m sure that the two will discuss the situation behind closed doors and all will be resolved. One thing I do know is that this is another one of those situations where everyone involved better thank their lucky stars that ‘The Boss’ still isn’t alive. He would not have taken kindly to a public display of this nature.