For the first time since signing with the Detroit Tigers in the offseason, Joba Chamberlain returned to Yankee Stadium sporting a beard and some impressive stats. But let’s start with the story on the beard. Why the beard?
“I guess when you’re told to shave every day for so long, you just say forget it after a while,” Chamberlain said. “It’s not as easy as I thought, though. Once it gets long, you have to use special conditioners, comb it, make sure nothing’s stuck in it.
“I was just going to do it for spring training and then didn’t shave one day, and, seven months later, I still haven’t shaved.”
Anyway, Joba Chamberlain made his first appearance in the series last night and the ovation wasn’t pretty. There were mostly boos, some jeers and very few cheers. But a nice way to say it: the reception for Chamberlain was not kind.
Still, Chamberlain is focusing on the success he’s found with the Tigers, who are currently in first place in the AL Central.
“It’s weird being on the other side,” Chamberlain said. “I think the biggest difference is there’s less media, and less traffic. But other than that, not too much, the game is still the game.”
His trip to New York gave him a chance to catch up with old teammates, his former manager and the place he called home since being called up in 2007. Although Chamberlain is no longer a Yankee, he still holds the memories he made in the Bronx close to his heart.
It’s great to come back where it all started,” he said. “The Yankees will always have a special place in my heart and I couldn’t thank them more for giving me the opportunity to play this game and to still be playing this game.”