BOSTON -- The judgment of Joba Chamberlain came down from on high on Friday afternoon, the 21-year-old New York reliever receiving a two-game suspension from Major League Baseball for "inappropriate actions" on the Yankees mound.
But a day after Chamberlain was ejected for throwing a second consecutive 98-mph fastball over the head of Kevin Youkilis, it was David Ortiz's judgment of the situation that was possibly more damning.
"Man," said Ortiz on Friday afternoon, "he should know better."
On most days, Ortiz cuts a lively figure during batting practice, dancing along to the stadium music or talking loudly to anyone who will listen. He grew somber when asked about Chamberlain's suspension, saying he wasn't sure what was a justifiable action.
"I don't know, dude," Ortiz said. "I'm not a judge. But, hey, I know you've got to take that seriously."
Youkilis, for his part, was ready to move on.
"No big deal," the Red Sox first baseman said. "I mean, I'm not Major League Baseball and I don't decide on that stuff. So, I've got no comment."
"It's a new day," Youkilis added. "New game. We're facing the Orioles. So we've just got to focus on their pitchers and try to win a ballgame today. So that's past."
Others wondered whether the suspension was anything more than symbolic.
"It fits right in with the Joba Rules," Cora said.
The Yankees' self-imposed rule of thumb when handling Chamberlain's workload is to make him unavailable for a number of games, following a pitching appearance, per number of innings pitched during that last appearance. Cora noted that Chamberlain pitched more than one inning against the Red Sox on Thursday. So he stood to miss more than one day, anyway.
"Probably," Cora said, "he'll get suspended today."
Cora was right. Chamberlain began serving his suspension during Friday night's game against the Devil Rays, without trying to appeal.
Alex McPhillips is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.