There are a couple of issues gnawing at my insides. The first is Joba Chamberlain's usage, and the second is Barry Bonds. I am a Yankees fan first and foremost, and I understand not destroying the golden arm of Chamberlain. But I cannot get past this desire of the Yankees to tempt the fates to leave Joba as a set-up man.
Wouldn't this lead to another season of babying in 2009 as he will not accumulate the necessary innings in 2008 to be a season-long starter in 2009 under the +30 Rule being applied this season?
Joba has been ranked as the top starting pitching prospect in baseball by Baseball America with four plus pitches, and the Yankees want to waste that in the 8th inning. I can't be the only one who thinks this is idiocy, either to have a reliever ranked as the #3 overall prospect or the Yanks wanting to waste his skills in the bullpen.
After all, it was the Yankees that forced this situation by taking Joba out of the rotation last summer to be used as an every other/third day reliever. If he had been left in AAA, he could have accumulated another 40 innings and be capable of 160-170 innings in 2008 under this rigidly applied rule-of-thumb +30 Rule.
On the Barry Bonds front, I am tired of listening to professional baseball commentators claim that the Rays do not need to bring in Bonds because the publicity hit is not worth the short term benefit to the performance of the Rays. Geez! prospect plaudits aside, this team has sucked for as long as it has existed. I am sure the fan base will find that, like team chemistry, winning does wonders for publicity.
To espouse that the fans won't support a Bonds-included team is to ignore a decade and a half of real life experience in San Francisco. A moribund franchise needs to take some chances to leap towards success. A one-year deal for Barry Bonds is not a multi-year contract for Greg Vaughn. The Rays' management should bring Bonds in for its fans - not to spite them.