New York Knicks' point guard Jeremy Lin is taking the sports world by storm. In light of his stellar production on the court, former major league pitcher Fernando Valenzuela and New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain shared their thoughts on the Lin-Sanity.
-- FernandoMania --
In 1981, Valenzuela became an international superstar when he began the season 8-0 with five shutouts as a 20-year-old pitcher out of nowhere with an unorthodox delivery for the Los Angeles Dodgers. The sports world went wild during the craze known as FernandoMania.
Valenzuela, 51, told the Contra Costa Times in a phone interview of the sensation Lin, "I just think he has to focus on the game...That's the only thing he can do: keep working and keep doing his job."
Great advice for Lin coming from the man who eventually became the first rookie to lead the National League in strikeouts with 180 and finished the season with a 13-7 record with a 2.48 earned run average en route to capturing the NL Cy Young Award.
What makes FernandoMania so impressive in comparison to Linsanity is there were no constant sports coverage websites and television networks, nor were there any social-media users.
The lefty sensation sold out 11 of his starts at Dodger Stadium and had the sports world crazy by pure performance and word of mouth that year.
On the other hand, Twitter helped spread the wildfire of Lin as he set an NBA player record by being mentioned 2,610,684 times in his first week of play.
-- Jobamania --
“If there is anybody in New York City who knows what he is going through, it’s me, and I’m very honored to be able to say that,’’ Chamberlain told the New York Post.
Chamberlain busted onto the baseball scene out of the bullpen in August 2007 for the Yankees. In 19 relief appearances, the right hand flame thrower (at the time at least) went 2-0 with a 0.38 earned run average. Like Lin, Chamberlain was playing in the media capitol of the world and quickly became a fan favorite.
As sports fans around the world purchase their Lin basketball jerseys and pump out Lin pun phrases, "Joba Rules" tee-shirts were the big item being sold and worn at sellout crowds in Yankee Stadium.
Chamberlain also mentioned in the interview with the New York Post that he would like to have dinner with Lin sometime in the future and discuss the similar experiences each have gone through in the limelight of the Big Apple.
If that ever happens, the New York media will more than likely eat that up (pun intended).
The first-round 2006 MLB Draft pick had elbow ligament replacement surgery this season and has been cleared by team officials to start throwing off a full mound within the next week. He is expected to make a full return by late March.
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