Joba Debate Over: Mo Says Pen!

Today’s 12-7 loss to the Rays featured a rough outing by Joba – two triples, a double and two walks – but he’s getting over the flu and, according to Girardi, “was throwing up for a couple of days.” (I know. Thanks for sharing.) The point is, he wasn’t 100% and will probably do a better job next time out. The larger question, given that he and Hughes are battling for the 5th starter spot along with Mitre, Gaudin and Aceves, is does he belong in the bullpen? I mean, seriously belong there? I’ve been on the fence when it comes to this never-ending debate, but not anymore. Mo has weighed in on the subject. Thanks to @gcf123 on Twitter who tipped us off during the game that Mike Francesca was interviewing Mariano on WFAN, I went to the Fan’s web site and heard the following exchange, or a reasonable facsimile:
Francesca: “Where do you think Joba belongs? In the rotation or in the bullpen?”
Mo: “If I’m the owner, I put him in the bullpen. If I’m the manager, I make him the 8th inning guy.”
So there it is. The Great One has spoken. End of discussion.
On an entirely different subject, Marc Carig at the Star-Ledger/  (@Ledger_Yankees) tweeted about the Red Sox’s new ad. Take a look.
As a Yankee fan, am I offended by the ad? Not at all. I think it’s funny. What surprises me is that The Nation seems to be so focused on the rivalry that they planned a campaign around it. Don’t they have players to tout? Other teams to worry about? Hopes for winning another championship? Or how about some inspiring words from Curt Schilling?


  1. mikeeff

    yeah i heard it with my own 2 ears. His imperial Majesty has spoken. so let it be written, so let it be done

    ( and I’m NOT a B-jobber as you know )

  2. ooaooa

    Finally a cool day, not warm but cool and much less wind. Hughes was just ok. Joba stunk. Consensis here is that he either belongs in bull pen or Scranton. Swisher should be fined for his rediculous blunder on 1st base. Before the game no roster player came near the fans. This is disgraceful. Certain players every day used to be designated signers each day. Now, after Yankee Fandom has spent tons of money supporting this team, we all are treated like we have H1N1. Two A ball players signed and Jeter waived to 3 kids next to me. A-Rod didn’t even look never mind wave to fans. We did luck out and get a Rays BP ball and when no one came for the seats in the front row by 1st base we kept them warm in case anyone did come. Front row is always nice. No one came and we enjoyed the view. Rookies did a nice job in the 8th inning and Cano looks real good at the plate and on the field.

    Sat. looks warm!!

  3. travelingbballbabes

    Mo is right! Joba’s gotta come out of the pen. He’s just not hacking it as a starter (and don’t give me that flu crap!).

    I feel like with this economy, it seems wasteful to be dedicating an entire campaign to how much you hate the Yankees. Was it funny? Yes. Did it have a point? I think not so much. If you had at least thrown a Red Sox player in there, I’d have bought into it more. Or Wally the Green Monster. Hell yeah.

    Did you hear that Nick Johnson tweaked his back already? Grumble.


  4. raysfanboy

    Wish I could have gone to that game. I will tell you, the wind is gusting big time down here. I think that sneezing on a baseball could send it over the fence these days. Happy to see what I hope is our newest 2B knocking his third of the spring out, Sean Rodriguez. Glad baseball is starting up again, but I wish the nice weather would come along too.

  5. Jane Heller

    His Imperial Majesty sounded great on the show, didn’t he, Mike? I love how he uses the word “definitely” all the time. lol. His attitude is always so upbeat and positive, even when Francesca was giving him the business about his April stats.

    Glad the wind died down today, John. I was thinking of you while I watched the game. People didn’t look quite as bundled up. Swisher did have a lapse with that play at first, but it’s early. Better now than later, right? I agree that Cano looks like he’s off to a terrific start, which is awesome news. As for the players not taking the time to talk and sign, what can I say? Maybe they were too cold to come out. LOL. Seriously, I know it must be disappointing. Have a great day tomorrow.

    Mo does know what he’s talking about, A.J.! I thought the kids might stage another comeback too, but the pitching wasn’t exactly first rate. That Whelan kid, for example, was all over the place. Too bad Bleich only pitched to one batter. I would have liked to have seen more of him.

    Well, Joba did have the flu, Serena. He lost, like, eight pounds in a few days, so I’m sure he wasn’t at full strength. Not even sure why he took his turn. But Mo said he should be in the pen and he must be right! I thought the ad was funny because it showed everyday people going about their business hating the Yankees. It was well done. I just don’t get making the Yankees the centerpiece of the campaign. And yes, Johnson has a stiff back – already. Who knows when he’ll get in his next game.

    I was so impressed with Sean Rodriguez, raysfanboy. My God, he’s good. I’m not looking forward to facing him in the regular season, given all the other young talent you guys have. Scary. I’m hoping your nice weather kicks in soon!


    On the Joba debate, I have felt from the beginning that he belongs in the pen. Mariano agreeing just underlines it for me. And not that we want to think about this, Jane, but some day we are going to need a new closer — Joba getting good in the 8th inning would be a good start.

    On the Red Sux ad, this would not have been funny to me as a Yankees fan if we had not added a new ring in 2009. Boston needs to stop with the anti-Yankee mentality and focus on their team. But they can’t do that because they always have to look at “the ring count” between the two teams. End of story.

  7. Jane Heller

    Joba hasn’t been able to put it all together as a starter, Peter. At least, not yet. But I think most people (except the Yankees front office) feel he’s better suited to the pen. We’ll see which side wins.

    Yes, someday we’ll need a new closer, Diane. It’s hard to even type those words, but I know it’s true. Mo knows it’s true too. I think he’d like to see Joba set up, the way he did for Wetteland, and then transition into the closer role. I hope it’s that simple. You think the Sox ad is about the ring count? I just think the “Yankees suck” thing is their rallying cry – the thing that unites them all. I mean, they chant it morning till night.

  8. ladyjane303

    I have to agree with the master – Joba in the pen always was my preference. Saw some good stuff from the other contenders the other day, so this will be an interesting contest. I had to laugh at the Sox ad – but isn’t there some rule about truth in advertising that they violated with this? Most exciting news of the day – the Yankees at Dodgers road trip is (to quote Mo) definitely on! Tickets purchased this morning. Jane – You’ll have some backup in the Yankee cheering section (there are 5 of us coming), and it will be great to see you again!

  9. Jane Heller

    It will be an interesting contest, ladyjane, because Mitre, Gaudin and Aceves put on a better show than Hughes and Joba! We’ll see what the next round brings. Truth in advertising. LOL. I hadn’t thought of that with respect to the Sox ad. The Yankees don’t suck, but I guess people are entitled to their opinion. 🙂 As for the Yanks-Dodgers series, I’m so excited that you guys are coming out here. I guess I’d better get on stubhub and purchase tix asap.

  10. TribeTed

    Jane when it comes down to things, I think the Red Sox are wanting more fans in it.

    Do I think it’s dumb to post a commercial on the rivalry this early in the season?… absolutely!

    You make great points.

    But I would like to say that the Red Sox don’t really need to worry about any other team this year than the Yankees.

    So they did need to post a commercial on this factor. They are trying to prove a point by stating, “Hey fans, we are going to get the Yankees this year” instead of the same thing every year.


  11. wetfeet

    Jane the RANGERS have their own Joba, CJ Wilson can be a lights out set up man. Stick a mike in his face and he wants to be a starter, he gets his try, throws to many pitches per batter, back to the setup role, gets bored sees a mike, here we go again!

  12. Jane Heller

    Ted, Red Sox fans chant “Yankees suck” every year, win or lose. It’s a mantra. And I think they already have a terrific fan base.

    So you understand the whole starter-reliever thing, wetfeet. I look forward to seeing what happens with Wilson. He sounds like a setup man to me!

    I guess they want to give him one last shot, Paul, without the innings limit. If he doesn’t make the rotation in spring training, end of argument – I hope.

  13. crazy19canuck

    Joba may do very well out of the pen. I dunno Joba seems to be like Andy Sonnanstine. He’s a good pitcher, but doesn’t have to endurance to be a starter. Don’t know if that’s because of those Joba Rules from last year…
    Just hope they can make up their minds soon.

  14. Jane Heller

    Part of the problem, Ginny, is that Joba hasn’t thrown a lot of innings. He came straight from college to the minors, but the Yankees rushed him up through the system, to the majors, and he never really had a chance to develop. But he was great in the pen in ’07 so I’d put him back there.

  15. bklyntrolleyblogger

    You know I’m on record..Always thought Joba should be in the pen. Now I’m just curious to watch the Hughes Rules in action.

  16. Jane Heller

    Hughes is an interesting case, Mike. He has an innings limit, but it’s also about rotation versus bullpen with him. He’s always been groomed to be a starter but he was terrific in the pen during the regular season after Wang went down.

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