Joba leaves Yanks to be with father

Received call in Boston Sunday night
April 14, 2008 5:12:20 PM PDT
Yankees reliever Joba Chamberlain left the team after his father collapsed at home in Nebraska, and the pitcher was placed on the bereavement list.Harlan Chamberlain was hospitalized Monday at St. Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Lincoln. Hospital spokeswoman Jo Miller said the family requested no further information be released.

"He is currently in critical but stable condition," Joba Chamberlain said in a statement released by the team. "I also want to thank my teammates and my manager for giving me so much support when I have needed it most. Their actions are the reason I was able to reach my father's side as quickly as I did."

Joba Chamberlain's sister called the Yankees during the eighth inning of New York's 8-5 loss at Boston on Sunday night, the Daily News reported on its Web site. The newspaper said the reliever spoke with his sister after the game and broke into tears, and manager Joe Girardi tried to console him.

Chamberlain, the Yankees' primary setup man, traveled with the team to Florida, where New York started a series against Tampa Bay on Monday night. Chamberlain then left for Nebraska, teammate Phil Hughes said.

Harlan Chamberlain had polio when he was 9 months old and uses a motorized scooter. He is deaf in one ear and without full use of his left arm.

Harlan Chamberlain raised Joba as a single dad. He attended New York's season opener this month and was at last week's series in Kansas City.