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Conflict over the Joba Rules

As you may know, Brian Cashman has implemented the Joba Rules with the Yankees, a specific set of guidelines for Joe Torre as to how he is to use pitching phenom Joba Chamberlain, who has been pitching out of the pen for the Yankees since against. Given Chamberlain's youth and Torre's history of overusing his bullpen, this is a pretty defensible move on Cashman's part, to ensure that a guy whom Cashman expects to be real good for a long time isn't damaged in the short run.

Well, not surprisingly, some Yankees are now unhappy about the Joba Rules. Specifically, Mike Mussina:

After Joba Chamberlain was deployed in yet another new fashion, with just one day off after a two-inning stint and to register a save, Mike Mussina strongly stated that the fireballing righty must be allowed to pitch daily in October.

"When you put on a uniform in the postseason, you're available every day," Mussina said. "That's just simply the way it is."

When asked if this represented a team-wide view, Mussina said, "I am pretty sure you can take a survey, and it would be the same opinion."

In those responses, you could see how Chamberlain's usage pattern might instigate discord within the organization. No player fighting for a championship or manager trying to save his job wants to be dictated to by upper management about how a player can be used, not when it could mean the difference between the Canyon of Heroes or not.

However, general manager Brian Cashman is entrusted to balance both the present and a future in which he wants a healthy, overpowering Chamberlain in the rotation. So as the overseer of the Joba Rules, he was hardly thrilled about Mussina's sentiments, saying by phone last night, "Mike needs to worry about doing his job and we will do our job. "At the end of the day, we [upper management] know what we are doing."

So says the man with the 4.96 ERA this season.