Mariano Rivera and Joba Chamberlain had an awkward war of words in the New York Yankees' dugout prior to Saturday night's game against the Kansas City Royals.
Rivera was talking to people about an emotional pre-game meeting with a family who lost a son when Chamberlain, in a loud voice, was trying to get somebody's attention behind the dugout, according to The New York Daily News.
Rivera asked Chamberlain to lower his voice and, in full view of fans and reporters, Chamberlain took exception to the Hall of Fame closer's request and replied several times "Don't shush me again."
Asked about the exchange after the game, Chamberlain said, “I’m not talking about it.” Chamberlain said he hadn’t spoken with Rivera since the diss. Asked whether he felt the two needed to talk, Chamberlain snapped, “That’s between me and Mo.”
Rivera took the high road after the incident, although he seemed surprised that Chamberlain had barked at him in such a public setting.
“It’s amazing,” Rivera said before confirming that he and Chamberlain had not spoken since. “We’ll take care of it. We’re grownups and I know better than that. We’ll take care of that.”
While Rivera sat in the dugout speaking with reporters before the game, Chamberlain was standing by the railing at the top of the dugout signing autographs for fans, shouting as he interacted with people in the stands.
Rivera paused during one answer and joked to reporters, “Is this guy always loud like this?”
Rivera chuckled before proceeding with his answer, but Chamberlain’s shouting continued — and may have grown even louder. Rivera seemed to lose his train of thought as Chamberlain got louder, prompting the closer to call out to his younger bullpen mate to ask him to be quiet.
“Joba! Yo! Bro!” Rivera shouted. “Shhh. Stop it.”
Chamberlain quickly replied, telling Rivera that he was talking with family.
“You do this every day,” Chamberlain said, referring to Rivera’s meeting with the media. “I don’t get to see my family every day.”
Rivera finished his five-minute interview while Chamberlain continued signing autographs, though Chamberlain could be heard telling people in the stands, “I look at it every day. I have to be quiet ... They’re doing an interview.”
As Rivera wrapped up his interview, he began to stand up from the dugout when Chamberlain looked into the dugout
“Don’t ever shush me again,” said Chamberlain, who started his up-and down career as a reliever before becoming a starter for the Yankees and is now in the bullpen again.
Rivera nodded with a bit of a smile, at which point Chamberlain — looking stone-faced without a trace of a smile — said, “Seriously. Don’t ever shush me again. I don’t get to see my family very often.”
Rivera explained to Chamberlain he wasn't telling him to be quiet but to lower his voice.
Asked later by reporters about the incident Chamberlain said it was between him and Rivera.
In the court of public opinion — at least in Yankees Universe — we all know who's going to win this one. Don't mess with Mo.