In the wake of Joba Chamberlain’s grisly trampoline misadventure, an ill-advised father-son outing that might cost the hefty right his pitching career, New York Baseball Digest’s Mike Silva adds bad parenting to the laundry list of the reliever’s atrocities (“I don’t get why parents allow their kids to bounce up and down on such a device… there are other great ways for kids to exercise, not to mention they should be doing something a bit more stimulating to the mind,”). He’s got a point, and deserves credit for at least having the guts to put his name on such a public critique rather than taking to Yelp like some crazed, self-entitled consumer. Conversely, the New York Daily News’ equally scold-tastic Bill Madden chooses to invoke the name of another legendary Yankee washout, Brien Taylor (“call it dumb and dumber for two Yankee golden-arm pitchers who threw away their careers with off-the-field hijinks”)
Chamberlain had been explicitly told by the Yankee trainers not to engage in any sort of physical activity that would potentially put his arm in harm’s way. You would think they wouldn’t have had to tell him that, but then there had already been too many things in Chamberlain’s past to indicate he wasn’t gifted with a whole lot of common sense.
He didn’t handle the instant fame well, didn’t stay in shape in the offseasons and reported to camp overweight last spring.
Then there was the October 2008 DUI conviction near his home in Lincoln, Neb., in which his police video wound up featured in the Driver’s 13 episode of tru-TV Presents: “World’s Dumbest.”
It was as if he had a death wish for his career and now he’s succeeded. This is an injury far worse than the blown-out elbow. The broken bone — on his push-off ankle — was out of the skin, blood was all over the place — “he could have died,” surgeons reportedly said — and very likely it will take more than one surgery to put everything back together.