Joba Rules — Oh wait, no he doesn't

Innings pitched: 2.2
Earned runs: 1
Hits: 7

Above and in the posted link are the 2009 postseason stats of a man who once inspired slogans and T-shirts and stories with enough hyperbole they were legends, only told in the present tense. 

Heck, for six weeks his dad Harlan became part of the extended pinstripe family. Even now — in the final days of a season where this pitcher posted stats bad enough to bounce him from, say, the Pirates rotation — the hysteria has worn off. But this guy still sends grown men into fits so hysterical they fuel five straight hours of sports radio banter.

Let's say this now and forever: Joba Chamberlain is no longer a phenom of any kind. He no longer dominates, no longer intimidates. Heck, Yankee fans probably wish he'd frustrate. Guys with abundant talent do that, but unlike the A.J. Burnetts of the world Joba's steamroller has a few flat tires.

Forget the stats. Forget that Chamberlain the savior posted a 4.75 ERA. Forget that he has gotten one more out this postseason (eight) than he has allowed hits (seven). Forget that he allowed 243 baserunners in 157.1 innings and saw his strikeout rate nosedive worse this season than The Magic Hour. Here's the thing: He's no longer all that special.

Look, Chamberlain still has very good, if not excellent, stuff. He can hit 93, 94 on the gun and can have a nasty slider. But the 100-mph heater is gone. He rarely throws the breaking ball — not for strikes at least. And not to get all dinosaur on you and wax poetic on feelings, but Joba no longer has the confidence. His celebrations are more reminiscent of sighs of relief than anything. In 2007 they were exclamation points.

Despite his quiet demeanor and lack of T-shirt slogans, and perhaps because of it, Phil Hughes has passed Chamberlain. And the pedal is pressed firm against the floor. Hughes has always been better anyway, dominating the minors like no other. Expect Hughes to one day thrive as a starter one day soon. Chamberlain? Forget starting. At this point, I'm not sure he'll regain the goods in the 'pen.

Remember: eight outs, seven hits, stats more feeble than phenom.

Joba Rules? No. He doesn't.

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