Goose, Joba clear the air
Chamberlain glad to get call, but says he won't change
ST. PETERSBURG -- Joba Chamberlain and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Goose Gossage had a "great conversation" via telephone on Tuesday, but not surprisingly given their mound demeanors, neither is in any particular hurry to back down.
Gossage placed the call to clarify some of the comments he made on Monday in Cooperstown, N.Y., when the former big league fireman said Chamberlain should cut out his exuberant antics.
While Chamberlain -- who had not heard the comments -- appreciated Gossage's forthcoming nature, he once again said that he would continue all the fist-pumping, yelling and gyrating that has helped make each appearance an on-field attraction.
"People are going to say something to me about it all the time. You know what I'm saying?" Chamberlain said. "The fact of the matter is that I got to where I'm at by being who I am. I'm not going to change because of what people say.
"It's something that you've got to take and learn from criticism constructively and try to better yourself for it. I appreciate the fact that he was a man and didn't just make comments and [not] come back. He actually told me where he was coming from."
Making a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Monday, Gossage was asked about Chamberlain's celebration last week against the Indians, when Chamberlain demonstrated after striking out David Dellucci -- two days after Chamberlain surrendered a three-run, pinch-hit homer to Dellucci.
"There's no place for it in the game," Gossage said on Monday. "I will stand by that and I love Joba Chamberlain. I'm with him down in Spring Training. He's a great kid, but no one is passing the torch today. Nobody talks to them. When I broke into the big leagues, I didn't say two words all year."
The outspoken Chamberlain certainly doesn't abide by the rules Gossage followed during his debut season of 1972 with the White Sox.
Even before Dellucci called Chamberlain "bush," the reliever was criticized for similar behavior after striking out Frank Thomas -- then of the Blue Jays -- on the Yankees' first homestand. Thomas and Chamberlain actually posed for a photograph on the field the next day after discussing the situation.
"It gives people something to talk about," Chamberlain said. "It might be a topic of conversation for a long time, because I'm not going to change for [anybody]. I got here because that's who I am."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he was fine with Gossage's call.
"Any time you get a Hall of Famer or a guy who has a ton of credentials, you want them to talk to your players," Girardi said. "You want them to share knowledge. Obviously, Joba and [Gossage] talked today, and I think that's a good thing."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.