Joba the Not

A Joba Chamberlain impersonator will serve two years probation after telling people he was the Yankees pitcher.

New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain throws against the Detroit Tigers in the third inning of a spring training baseball game in Lakeland, Fla., Saturday, March 15, 2008. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

BELMAR, N.J. (AP) -- A 30-year-old man who signed autographs and scored free food and drinks by claiming he was New York Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain isn't smiling now.

Ryan Ward of Toms River, New Jersey, has been fined more than $2,500 and will serve two years' probation for telling people he was the former Nebraska ace.

Ward does bear a striking resemblance to Chamberlain, who became an instant sensation when he joined the Yankees in 2007.

Ward claims he was just having fun, but prosecutors weren't amused.

They had charged him with theft charges that could have brought a year in jail. He was allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges -- partly because he checked himself into an alcohol rehab facility for treatment of a drinking problem he says he has had since high school.

Courtesy: Associated Press

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