Bring me the head of Joba Chamberlain

The Yankees' new relief stud says the ball "slipped" when he threw two consecutive 90 mph-plus heaters over the head of Kevin Youkilis yesterday.

From Nick Cafardo in the Globe:

The rookie phenom said there was no way he was throwing at Youkilis because "I have too much respect for the game and too much respect for Youkilis. That guy plays the game right."

This kid is good. He's humble and very believable.

Cafardo notes:

Chamberlain, knowingly or not, seemed to kick the Red Sox when they were down. The Sox had already been buried for three games; their offense was nowhere to be found. They were no-hit by Chien-Ming Wang into the seventh inning after being no-hit by Roger Clemens into the sixth the night before. They had been enraged by a call in the seventh when umpires ruled Youkilis out of the basepath. Then the ultimate indignity of Youkilis having to avoid torpedoes coming at his head.

"I didn't know pitches were coming at someone's head at 98 miles per hour. I didn't see any other pitches out of the strike zone," Youkilis said.

Youkilis made the most sense when asked whether he felt Chamberlain was throwing at him: "I don't know. Only one guy really knows the answer."

This comes, of course, after Scott Proctor, while still with the Yankees, threw at Youk's head earlier this season.

I am skeptical about Chamberlain's explanation. Was he trying to embellish his rep in the storied Boston-New York rivalry?

N4N respects players like Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon, each of whom raised their game in this one-sided series against the Sox. Yet we also know about Jason Giambi's fondness for steroids (and how that seemingly helped the Yankees beat the Sox in 2003), and about A-Rod's churlish attempt to slap the ball away from Bronson Arroyo in 2004. Retaliation, within the parameters of baseball, when appropriate, is acceptable. Throwing at someone's head is not.

IMHO, there will be payback

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