Huff shows Joba fist-pumping of his own
Oriole returns gesture after homering off Yanks' Chamberlain
Aubrey Huff had it all planned. He just needed to accomplish the more difficult task, and that was to hit a home run off the Yankees' Joba Chamberlain.
When the Orioles first baseman did just that on Sunday, belting a three-run home run to right field in the first inning off Chamberlain, it gave him his chance for a little retribution for the fist-pumping gestures that Chamberlain makes from time to time after striking out a batter or getting out of an inning.
Huff celebrated as he rounded first base, looking directly at Chamberlain and shouting as he pumped his right fist. Huff repeated the move after touching home plate, showing off with a more authoritative fist pump as he accepted greetings from Brian Roberts and Adam Jones, who were aboard for the shot.
Chamberlain's fist pumps have been a topic of conversation around the league since he debuted in 2007, and the Baltimore clubhouse has been no exception. Huff made no secret of the fact that he acted with Chamberlain in mind, coming into the game 1-for-8 against the 22-year-old with three strikeouts.
"He's done it a couple of times to me when he's struck me out," Huff said. "For me, it's just in good fun. I always told the guys that if I get him, I'm going to give him a nice fist pump. For me, it wasn't really showing anybody up. I was just trying to have some fun with it. He does it all the time and I figured, 'You know what, why not?'"
Yankees manager Joe Girardi declined to comment, but Chamberlain struck a familiar tone in defending his actions, even though the fist pumps have occurred a little less frequently this year.
Chamberlain -- whose back appeared to be turned when Huff rounded first base -- said he "honestly didn't see it," but noted cryptically, "This won't be the last time I face him."
"He did what he was supposed to do with the pitch -- he hit a home run," Chamberlain said. "If he wants to do a back flip, he can do a back flip. It really doesn't bother me.
"I'm not going to make everybody happy. I understand that. I'm out here to win ballgames, I'm not here to make friends, to be honest with you. If I make friends along the way, awesome. But this is about this team in here and giving them everything I've got. If I don't show my emotion, that's not me being a person and a baseball player. That's cutting this team short of everything I can give them."
The Yankees, aided by Johnny Damon's three-run home run in the seventh inning, came back for a 5-3 victory.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.