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Sports Psychology, Baseball, Joba Chamberlain And The New York Yankees

Posted by: Dr. Granat on May 30, 2008

What should the Yankees do with Joba Chamberlain?

Don’t Tamper With Success



        Baseball championships are won with great pitching.


        The Boston Red Sox appear to be building a baseball dynasty with their

cadre of great starters and relief pitchers.  If the Yankees want to compete with

their rivals, they need to develop their own crew of starters and relief pitchers.


         Joba Chamberlain has proven that he is a great relief pitcher and a super set up

man for Mariano Rivera.  These two are a dynamic duo.


          Chamberlain looks like he can have a long and brilliant career coming out of

the bullpen and he can eventually replace the aging Rivera when he retires in a few



        There is no question that the New York Yankees can benefit from having another

quality starting pitcher.  However, it makes no sense to change the one two punch of

Joba and Mariano in an attempt to improve on the team’s current record and on its

mediocre performance in 2008.


       The Yankees won many of their recent championships as a result of the outstanding

work that Mariano Rivera has done at the end of games.  If the Yankees allow Joba to

remain a relief pitcher, they will give him the opportunity to help the team three or four

times a week for perhaps twenty years.  This adds up to a lot of games and a lot of

wins and saves.   If they make him a starter, he will only have an impact on the team once

in every four or five games. 


       Also, starting pitchers are at great risk for injuries due to the wear and tear of

throwing one hundred pitches per outing.   Keeping Joba in the pen may allow him to

have a very long and very successful career.


       The starting rotation is a weaker link within the New York Yankee organization now.

Why not fix this by getting another starter or two who can win fifteen games a season?


            Now, Joba may prove to be a great starting pitcher.  However, I like the idea of

keeping things simple and leaving a successful strategy in place. 


Jay P. Granat, Ph.D. is the Founder of

He has developed a program for breaking hitting slumps.

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