Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Nunee to Joba: I'm not Youk!
By Wallace Matthews
Did Joba Chamberlain struggle with his control on Wednesday? Ask Eduardo Nunez.
Actually, that was shouted by a fan at The Boss toward Joba Chamberlain after Joba's second pitch of a live batting-practice session whizzed behind the head of Eduardo Nuñez, sending the utility infielder sprawling to the ground, where he lay motionless for a few seconds before deciding to get up and risk his life again.
"It was close. I was so scared," a laughing Nuñez said in the clubhouse afterward. "I was like, 'Oh my God, first day and he's taking me out!' That's my teammate and my friend; are you kidding me?"
As Nuñez was climbing shakily to his feet, a guy sitting behind home plate bellowed, "Hey, Joba, that's not Youkilis!" a wisecrack Joba said he did not hear.
In any event, no blood, no foul. Joba apologized and Nuñez resumed his hitting -- although he took no more swings, wanting to make sure he had a good look at every pitch -- and it was actually the less-dangerous of two close calls in the cage for the Yankees. At about the same time on the back field, Curtis Granderson was lining a ball off the left (non-pitching) arm of Kelvin Perez, who was in his follow-through when he got hit.
Perez, too, finished up his stint but left the clubhouse with his arm heavily wrapped.