Joba Chamberlain Says He Got Text Message From Kevin Youkilis, Ending Awkward Silence Between Former Foes

Joba ChamberlainTAMPA, Fla. — Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain says he’s received a text message from new teammate Kevin Youkilis and hopes whatever tension existed between the two is past.

Chamberlain and Youkilis were at the center of recent Red Sox-Yankees battles, with Youkilis getting a taste of Chamberlain’s inside fastballs several times. Youkilis agreed to join the Yankees in December, though, and Chamberlain left him a voicemail welcoming him to the team. At first, Chamberlain did not hear back, but on Tuesday, he said he had received a text from his new teammate at last.

“It’s one of those things where people made it a bigger deal than it was,” Chamberlain said after working out at the Yankees’ minor league complex. “There’s nothing to it. There’s nothing between us. I’m glad to have him on our side. We’re two grown men. We’re playing on the same team. Our one goal is to win.”

A three-time All-Star, Youkilis takes over at third base from Alex Rodriguez, who is expected to be sidelined until at least the All-Star break following hip surgery.

“I would rather, me, knock it out and get it out of the way,” Chamberlain said. “Let him do his business. Focus on playing. He’s going to have questions enough of filling Alex’s shoes, and this, that and other things.”

Chamberlain, who started last season on the disabled list because of elbow-ligament replacement surgery and a broken ankle, threw 31 pitches during his initial outdoor bullpen session. He is eligible for free agency after the World Series.

“It’s been a great offseason just to be able to work out, play catch, and have no limitations,” Chamberlain said.

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