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Joba (and his beard) are back

8/4/2014
Joba Chamberlain brought a full-grown beard back to the Bronx Monday night. Getty Images

NEW YORK --- As Joba Chamberlain mingled around the batting cage, he came over to pay his respects to Derek Jeter. The shortstop immediately gestured toward Chamberlain's beard. A group of Yankees, including David Robertson, then gave Chamberlain big hugs and handshakes.

As far as the reception he will receive in his first return to Yankee Stadium, the man who was once arguably a bigger rookie sensation than Masahiro Tanaka doesn't really know what to expect.

"I don't know," Chamberlain, 28, said. "It is going to be interesting. I gave them everything I had. I had some great years. I had some terrible years."

He said he wouldn't change anything -- "the good, the bad, the indifferent."

"I hope they appreciated I did go out there every time and try to do everything I could to put up a zero and give us a chance to win," Chamberlain said.

What about the beard?

"I guess when you are just told to shave every day for so long, you just say 'Forget it' after a while," Chamberlain said. "It is not as easy as I thought. Once it gets long, you have to use special conditioners and things like that. After a while, you have to comb it and make sure no birds fly out of it. That's a 'Family Guy' [reference]."

What's the biggest difference from Detroit compared to New York?

"Less traffic," Chamberlain said. "It's still the same game."

The reliever said there is a lot more going on in New York compared to Detroit off the field. The dedication of the fans is similar, he said. How they respond to Chamberlain -- who has been excellent as the eighth-inning guy for Detroit -- might not be the same.

AL Player of the Week: Brett Gardner was named AL Player of the week. Gardner hit .478 (11-for-23) with five homers, three doubles and seven RBIs.