Joba Chamberlain takes nothing for granted
In the Pro's Questionnaire, our favorite sports figures take an abridged version of the famous personality test, the Proust Questionnaire. New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain is up next. espnW caught up with the reliever at a MasterCard Priceless New York event at Yankee Stadium, where he talked about his relationships with his father and son, staying positive and becoming a real-life Guitar Hero.
Your main fault:
Joba Chamberlain: Wow, that's a tough question. Way to start me off with an easy one [laughs]. I would say my main fault is just taking days off. Not only in the game of baseball but sometimes as a father and as a friend. There are days you get complacent and I think I can do a better job of that.
Your idea of happiness:
JC: I have two goals in life. One is to tell my family every day that I love them and to make somebody smile. A smile is something that exudes happiness and it's pretty much what I do every day.
Your idea of misery:
JC:Not being happy! Not being able to smile! Just not being thankful for what you have. Everybody is dealt a different hand. It's how you play that hand and you perceive that hand to be. I think that's being miserable -- not looking at everything as a positive.
If not yourself, who would you want to be?
JC: Probably my 5-year-old son. I only say that because if this world lived as 5-year-olds, it would be a better world. They show compassion but they hold nothing back and if we all could live like that ... I wish I could live like that.
Your favorite food/drink:
JC: That's easy -- steak. I'm from Nebraska. My favorite drink on a hot day is iced tea.
Hero/heroine you admire most:
JC: My father. He's paralyzed on his left side and not once in my 25 years have I heard him ask why. There are things I go through -- obviously with the injury I have now [Tommy John surgery] -- I've learned you can't take life for granted. I look at this as a positive and not a negative. He's someone I look up to every day ... I've never heard him complain in 25 years. He annoys me [laughs] but I've never heard him complain, so he's definitely someone I admire.
What you hate most:
JC: Hate is not in my vocabulary. I don't hate anything. I think that word should be erased from a lot of people's vocabulary because it happens too much.
The natural talent you'd like to be gifted with:
JC: Playing the guitar. I'm really good at Guitar Hero but I don't know if that translates very much.
Your greatest fear:
JC: Not living life to the fullest. Not being the best father I can be. Not being the best friend I can be. That's something you have to work on every day and I try. It's something that I continue to work on.
Your greatest extravagance:
JC: You have to use words that I can readily identify! My greatest splurge, I would have to say, is after we won the World Series [in 2009] I bought a new car. It was the first impulse buy of my life. I was kind of nervous. I was actually sweating when it happened. I thought I should take care of myself for the hard work that we had done to accomplish a World Series.
Your most treasured possession:
JC: My relationship with my father and my son. To have that and to do those things that I've done -- obviously the game of baseball has allowed me to do those things and I cherish that.
Your present state of mind:
JC: Happiness. Joy. Thankfulness. Humility. I think it's something that this game of baseball can teach you, but there's nothing like the game of life. There are bumps and bruises. It's how you get back up and the people you surround yourself with.