Towards the end of spring training, Joe Girardi said Joba would start the season in the bullpen but that he still thought of Joba as a starter. Then Joe opened the door by saying it wouldn't necessarily happen this season. Thank God! They'd finally come to their senses.
So what happens? Joba comes out of the bullpen on Opening Day and electrifies an ecstatic crowd, picking up right where he left off last season (and putting behind him a weak spring training where he never knew what role he was preparng for). It was so exciting, you imagined even the biggest fools would say they were wrong and that Joba was right where he belonged. Even if they wouldn't admit that, at least they'd applaud and apprciate what he did. So what did Hank Steinbrenner do just minutes after the game and Joba's dominating performance? He praised his young pitchers, swore he'd "protect" them from overuse (presumably by Girardi) and said they'd only get better and hopefully really step it up during the post-season. "By then, of course, Joba will be in the rotation," Hank said. (I'm paraphrasing, by the way.) Can you believe it? Hank REITERATED that Joba is DESTINED to become a starter right after Joba excels in the bullpen in dramatic fashion, challening the other team's best hitter for his final out. Will they never learn?