Friday, April 6, 2018


Photo: New York Post
Joba Chamberlain is my friend. That sounds are strange to me now as it did when we met back in 2011. At the time, I was working for some truly oppressive "suits" at Major League Baseball. Much like Joba's story with the Yankees, I wasn't ever really allowed to be myself during my time in the "FanCave". They watered me down at every turn.

They edited me, made everything I did or said vanilla and corporate to the highest degree. They took the fire out of who I sort it was a lonely, frustrating 7 month gig.

I started to forget who I was. In my opinion the same happened to Justin. He had a life and passion in his game like a wild, untamed horse. He went two speeds, 100mph and 101mph.

Baseball was his art form, and it was truly awesome when he burst on the Bronx Baseball Scene. Yankee fans had a kid they could cheer for, and Chamberlain loved every minute of it.

See, "Six Two", what I call him, and me are performers. We like doing things our way, and living a life out loud! The saddest thing about people like us is that many of the decision makers in world will go out of their way to dampen and silence our voices. We'll get told to "Wait your turn." Or "Hey, you gotta pay your dues and that's not how it's done here." It's bullshit frankly, but it always seems like there are more of those company types holding sway over the rest of us. Don't you think?

It's now 2018. I rarely preform anymore...other than cracking a few jokes to entertain the kids I'm lucky enough to coach everyday. And you know what? It's not a bad thing. I honestly feel like I'm doing important work with these young wisenheimers. My ups and downs have given me some real pearls to share with them...maybe it helps one not step in the same pothole on their run in life's road race. Anyway, I do find myself at quiet moments asking "what if" questions. What if I'd toed the line? Would I be better off? Would I have made it? I still have a lot of innings in my arm so to speak, but like Joba, no team to play for now.

Photo: New York Post
Six Two is still Six Two. We text now and again. He is not pitching, but I ABSOLUTELY bank on the fact that if the phone rang he'd be up for whatever. That is a part of Joba they can't take away. He has remained himself. He's a great dad and friend. He learned and grew while in the Big Leagues. Sure, as a pal I wish he'd get another shot, but I really think Chamberlain is just fine with who he is and where he is. I envy that about him. They didn't break him.

Why write this piece at all? What does it really have to do with Baseball? Well, after Stanton got booed, I realized how fickle life can be. How you can be the MVP at one moment and then get booed because of a bad day. You can be on the cover of ESPN the Magazine under the heading "Next", and then be out of baseball. You can be in the final 4 actors to be hired at Saturday Night Live, and then end up coaching a High School Girl's Rowing Team...hey, life is a crazy thing.

Everyone has an opinion, post or tweet about who you are, what you should be and what you should say and's all nonsense. Maybe that's what I learned most from my friend Justin "Joba" Chamberlain. Be you. Don't ever let them tell you "No". Keep your head up and ride the ride. Because just as quickly as you got here, you could be somewhere new just as fast. Maybe you get to your dream, your place, your goal by a different road...maybe that's what happens...maybe.

Thanks, Six Two.

You're still lighting the gun up at 99mph in the game of life. This was Joba's warm up song. It's as loud and wild as he is....TURN IT UP AND LIVE YOUR LIFE OUT LOUD

--Mike O'Hara
BYB Writer
Twitter: @mikeyoh21 

Mike O'Hara's New Website

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