A New York area newspaper intern has been fired, a week following his incendiary comments regarding New York Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain. The intern, whose name is being withheld at his request, reportedly said that Chamberlain “should be allowed to be a starting pitcher” and suggested that “starters are more valuable than relievers.”
Such talk was not taken lightly by the newspaper community, who found his words both outrageous and offensive.
“The kid obviously just doesn’t know anything about baseball,” said one New York sports journalist who was present for the controversial words and spoke on the condition of anonymity. ”Did he not see Joba coming out of the bullpen? The guy’s a flame-snorting monster. I once saw him throw 108MPH in the 8th inning. Make him a starter though and he’s the right-handed Jamie Moyer.”
And the problems don’t just end there according to the journalist. The Yankees also need Joba to fill that role. He explained that ”No team in the history of baseball has ever won the World Series without a lock-down guy in the 8th inning.”
Obviously, both Chamberlain and the Yankees have a lot to gain with Chamberlain in the bullpen. But why are the words so hurtful and offensive?
“You spend such a large portion of your time and your career trying to sell one storyline that you believe is immutable fact and now this kid comes in and suggests that storyline is wrong? That hurts me and that hurts my family.”
The intern uttered the offensive words during a monthly meeting of New York sports journalists where they gather and watch highlights of Chamberlain during the 2007 season.
When reached for comment, the intern sounded both humbled and confused:
“They were all gathered and were offering up toasts to Joba the reliever and telling crazy stories of things they’ve seen Joba do out of the bullpen. At one point they all started chanting ‘Joba in the 8th.’ I guess I still have a lot to learn about being a journalist.”