Once thought to be the heir to New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, pitcher Joba Chamberlain had a few choice words for Rivera before New York’s 3-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals.
Rivera, the all-time leader in saves, was conducting an interview with reporters in the road team dugout, while Chamberlain was interacting with fans and his family near the top railing, according to the New York Daily News.
Chamberlain was reportedly being very loud, which interrupted Rivera’s interview, as reported by the Daily News.
Rivera then said: “Is this guy always loud like this?” But the young reliever only got louder with his family members.
The 43-year-old then said to Chamberlain: “Joba! Yo! Bro!” Rivera shouted. “Shhh. Stop it.”
That did not sit well with Chamberlain, who later said within earshot of reporters, “Don’t shush me again.” He then emphasized his point after Rivera smiled: “Seriously. Don’t ever shush me again. I don’t get to see my family very often.”
Rivera acknowledged after the game that the two have not spoken since, but that they will work out any differences.
Chamberlain also said the situation will remain in house between him and Rivera.
With 622 career saves, Rivera announced this will be his last season, and has thus conducted countless interviews on his farewell tour. He missed all but nine games last season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The 27-year-old Chamberlain has gone back and forth from closer to starter and back to closer again since he entered the league in 2007. The team created the “Joba Rules” to monitor his innings and pitch count early in his career. He too missed most of last season with a gruesome ankle injury while jumping on a trampoline, but made a quick recovery after he was originally expected to miss the entire year.
Chamberlain has never been shy about his feelings, but he hasn’t lambasted a teammate in front of the media or the public before.