Joba is out of shape? Was he ever IN shape?

The word out of Tampa is that CC Sabathia has dropped weight and looks like he is in terrific shape. That’s good news for the Yankees because, when you consider how lousy Phil Hughes’ second half was, Sabathia is the only starting pitcher the Yankees have that they can count on.

But evidently there is a constant combined weight for Sabathia and Joba Chamberlain. Whatever weight CC lost, Joba packed on.

And, as shown in the picture above from last season, it isn’t like Joba resembled Tim Linecum’s waistline last year.

This Tweet should alarm Yankee fans.

Ouch.

This is a make or break year for Joba. As I wrote before, I blame the Yankee management for the derailing of his career. But this is bonkers.

It’s not like this is Joba’s first year in New York. It’s not like he should be surprised that he will be under the microscope (provided they find a Petrie dish big enough for him.) The Yankees are thin in pitching… but not LITERALLY.

Perhaps Joba felt that with Bartolo Colon in camp, there would be no way he would be declared the fattest pitcher.

But the team needs a starting pitcher and relief depth… not a guy who looks like someone signed up for fantasy camp.

Besides, this is his 4th spring training in a row where his role will be in question.
He should know that the New York media loves to pick on a player’s weakness. And when your name is ALREADY Joba, maybe you should try to watch your weight a little better.

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Be my (Ellis) Valentine

On this Valentine’s Day, let’s honor a REAL Valentine… namely former Expos star outfielder Ellis Valentine.

The star out of Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, he went to Montreal to form a remarkably talented outfield with Warren Cromartie and future Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. Valentine became an All Star with 20 home run power, double digit stolen bases and a rifle for an arm that helped him win a Gold Glove.

He was a Kellogg’s 3D Super Star, and his having a 3D card meant I voted for him on my very first All Star ballot.

He was hit in the face by a pitch in 1980, resulting in that bad ass face guard seen on his 1981 Topps card above.

Sadly that was when his career began to take its down turn. In 1981 he was dealt to the Mets. But soon more injuries and drug issues derailed him. He played his last big league game in 1985 and was broke not long after that.

But Valentine put his pride on the shelf and built himself back up, kicked the drug habit and now counsels young players in Southern California about how to avoid his pitfalls.

He founded the A.V. Light Foundation in Lancaster, California to counsel families and is involved with B.A.D., an anti drug organization for baseball players.

Valentine’s days as a baseball superstar may have been limited but his life is worth celebrating as he has become a positive figure in many people’s lives. And as Jackie Robinson said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.

But let’s not forget… he was a hell of a player.
Take a look at his throwing arm. Look, but don’t try to run on him!

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Mark "The Bird" Fidrych is still worth remembering

It’s been nearly 2 years since Mark Fidrych died and as a baseball fan, it still makes me sad knowing he is no longer around.

We may never see another unlikely and insanely bizarre success story like The Bird ever again, but I truly hope we do.

We need more FUN stars. We need more players on the field who are awesome and cool and that we can point to and say “if I had a decent pitch, that could be me.”

I am convinced that is why Fernando Valenzuela is still a God at Chavez Ravine. Every Mexican American who watched him pitch thought “Hey that looks like me!” or “that looks like my buddy!” and felt they were only a screwball away from being a World Series hero.

The Bird was a goof ball from Massachusetts who just happened to have the ability to get batters out.

Gee whiz, I wonder why he is so loved by THIS goofball from Massachusetts!

Watch this video and enjoy the Bird. And while you are at it, baseball… find a new Bird.

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