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Friday, February 18, 2011
In baseball, a gut can still lead to glory

So Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain was already on the bubble when it comes to making the final roster, and he now stands accused of showing up for spring training this week sporting some new flab on his abs, some extra junk in his trunk and the sort of love handles that have nothing to do with celebrating Valentine's Day on Monday.

Granted, it's not the greatest career move Chamberlain could have made. But even the Jets' Rex Ryan, New York's most notable endorser of lap band surgery, is unlikely to look at the "Before" and "After" photos of Joba's physique and say the extra 15 or so pounds the 6-foot-2 Chamberlain could now be carrying above his listed weight of 230 will be a huge problem. So save the Joba the (Pizza) Hut jokes for now.

Baseball history is larded (couldn't resist) with examples of mildly chubby to downright enormous pitchers who were far bigger and yet nonetheless more successful than Chamberlain has been.

• Click here to read the entire story by's Johnette Howard