Mariano Rivera, Joba Chamberlain had words before Saturday's game

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Mariano Rivera, Joba Chamberlain (USATSI)
Mariano Rivera (left) and Joba Chamberlain had a little disagreement on Saturday. (USATSI)

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Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is the greatest reliever in baseball history and one of the most respected players in baseball. His teammate, Joba Chamberlain, is ... not. Needless to say, when the two exchanged words in the dugout before Saturday's game at Kansas City, it became a story. From David Waldstein of the New York Times:

Rivera was conducting a dugout interview after he had finished meeting with local families that have endured hardships. During the interview, Chamberlain was standing on the railing of the dugout signing autographs and speaking loudly to be heard above the public address system to members of his family in the stands.

At one point Rivera called out, “Joba, suave,” and used a hand gesture for Chamberlain to keep the volume down. Rivera continued to speak with the reporters, but once the interview ended Chamberlain said to Rivera, “Don't shush me.”

Rivera initially thought Chamberlain was joking, but Chamberlain reiterated the point twice more with a stern expression, saying: “I'm serious. Don't ever shush me.”

On Sunday, Chamberlain said the two met and put the issue to rest.

NJ.com reported Sunday that Rivera said Chamberlain apologized and called Chamberlain a "good kid," saying, "Sometimes we say things we don't mean to say."

"He's like a brother to me," Chamberlain told NJ.com on Sunday. "Pretty sure everyone's had an argument with their sibling at one time or another."

Chamberlain also threw 30 pitches in a bullpen session and said he'll throw an inning in a rehab assignment Tuesday for Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre in Toledo. Chamberlain, 27, has been out since late April with a strained right oblique.

You can't expect grown men to basically live with each other for 162 games a year plus spring training and not have a disagreement here and there, so the only serious infraction here was having the argument in public. I'm guessing stuff like this happens more than we realize.

Rivera, 43, saved his 14th game in 14 chances a few hours later. He owns a very Mariano Rivera-like 1.76 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 15 1/3 innings after missing most of last season with a knee injury.

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