There are millions of Yankees fan out there who, if given the opportunity, would do far more than simply jump at the chance to meet legendary closer Mariano Rivera.
However, the one-time potentially dominating starter turned extremely disappointing reliever with an awkward mustache, Joba Chamberlain, has the chance to chat it up with the greatest relief pitcher of all time on a daily basis. But that doesn’t mean he has to treat Rivera with any sort of respect.
The Yanks were in Kansas City for a weekend series and Rivera, who at 43 and with five World Series rings currently, is retiring at the end of the season. Thus, the KC media were interviewing the future Hall of Famer in one of their final opportunities to do so.
At the same time Rivera was talking in the dugout, Chamberlain was yelling to fans in the stands. We’ll let David Waldstein of the New York Times take over from here:
Rivera was conducting a dugout interview after he had finished meeting with local families that have endured hardships. During the interview, Chamberlain was standing on the railing of the dugout signing autographs and speaking loudly to be heard above the public address system to members of his family in the stands.
At one point Rivera called out, “Joba, suave,” and used a hand gesture for Chamberlain to keep the volume down. Rivera continued to speak with the reporters, but once the interview ended Chamberlain said to Rivera, “Don’t shush me.”
Rivera initially thought Chamberlain was joking, but Chamberlain reiterated the point twice more with a stern expression, saying: “I’m serious. Don’t ever shush me.”
Baseball’s a long season. From Spring Training in March all the way through a World Series that now ends in November, there is pretty much zero chance tempers will not flare at various points throughout the proverbial marathon.
Thus, Chamberlain is given the benefit of the doubt in that stuff like this probably happens more often than we think. However, Chamberlain called out a legend in front of reporters’ cameras, an absolute no-no no matter how long the season is.
Also, to put it bluntly: Who does Chamberlain think he is?
There’s a reason why this is the very first we’re hearing of the flash-in-the-pan pitcher this year, and that is because the 27-year old Chamberlain is currently on the DL with an oblique injury.
Meanwhile, Rivera is 14-for-14 in save opportunities this year and currently boasts an incredible 1.76 ERA in 15 1/3 innings pitched in 2013.
He looks like he could pitch until he’s 50. Heck, he looks like, if he were so inclined, he could remain in the league longer than Chamberlain at this rate.
But “shhhh,” Joba won’t like hearing that.
[H/T: CBS Sports]