Soriano blows off reporters, life goes on

On the other hand, Soriano compounded matters somewhat by ducking out of the clubhouse without talking to reporters, which will cause fire and brimstone to be rained down upon you even if you’re Albert Pujols. It’s the second time Soriano has done that in his tenure with the Yankees, and predictably enough the reaction has not been kind. It’s also been predictably silly, as demonstrated by this attempted indictment of Soriano by John Harper of the Daily News. Some choice nuggets:

The problem for Rafael Soriano is that no matter how superbly he has handled his current job, he’s not Mariano Rivera.

No, Rafael Soriano is not Mariano Rivera. I suppose there’s no arguing with that fact. This, however, isn’t really a problem for Soriano, in so much as no one is Mariano Rivera. I feel like I make this point every time we get these “how will the Yankees live after Mo?” bits, but if you take the premise that Rivera is the greatest closer of all-time seriously, it necessarily follows that every other relief pitcher is inferior to him. Therefore, if “not being Mo” is a problem for Soriano, it’s also a problem for everyone else, so let’s cede the point and call it a was, mmmkay?

And so when Soriano gives up a ninth-inning home run and blows a save in stunning fashion, as he did in Monday night’s 8-7 loss in 11 innings to the Blue Jays, Yankee fans can’t help but recall the image of Rivera crumpled on the warning track in Kansas City back in May.

Actually, this is the first time since last night I’ve thought about that. So thanks for that.

One thing for sure: Soriano doesn’t handle himself in defeat the way his predecessor did. Nobody was more accountable or classier when he did blow one than Rivera.

I really don’t have much patience for this kind of gibberish. Do you know what “classy” players do when they screw up? They feed you the most trite, meaningless, garble about “putting it behind us” and “getting it back tomorrow” that the writers of Bull Durham wouldn’t have even put them into the “cliches” scene, and then they go out, do whatever they do after any other game, and cash their checks when they come around. It’s not like Mariano Rivera would have stood in front of his locker teary eyed and contrite, begging the fans and David Phelps/Robinson Cano to forgive him for having an off night or something. No one needs that, and if you actually care about these things as a fan, you probably need to consider counseling or finding another hobby.

Of course, I don’t think very many fans actually care about it, and if it didn’t get flogged in the papers I don’t think hardly anyone would even notice it. And that’s sort of the rub: reporters care a lot about being stiffed by players, because it is a legitimate problem for them. If players don’t talk to them, they can’t get quotes to fill their stories. That makes their job a little bit harder in the short term, but if it happens too often, their editors might notice that they don’t actually need those quotes to make good copy, and if too many editors decide that they don’t really need the only thing that makes the contemporary beat writer stand out, then suddenly you’re looking at the possibility of a drastic overhaul and downsizing in those jobs. I’m not saying that the writers are explicitly creating a mountain out a molehill to protect their guild or anything, but I definitely think there’s at least a subconscious impulse to it. The human brain is pretty good at identifying and responding to threats to our well being, and I would imagine that newspaper writers are as attuned to threats to their jobs as anyone these days.

Anyway, Soriano will probably get a talking too from the brass today (creating media firestorms is Brian Cashman’s job Rafi), and he’ll have to issue a hollow and insincere apology, after which everyone will move on and forget it by Friday. Until the next time someone skips out on dealing with reporters after a bad game.

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

13 thoughts on “Soriano blows off reporters, life goes on

  1. Alex Rodriguez

    What's the big deal if he decided to not to talk to reporters? I mean sure mo would have. But we seriously need to stop comparing everyone to Mo and how he handles things and the media. Soriano is not Mo. Hell no one is. He blew a save and felt crap/disappointed and did not want to be bombarded. Not a big deal.

  2. Hugh

    Have just been reading a bit of Fire Joe Morgan for fun and thus was imagining how much fun they would have had with the nonsensical nature of this reporting. Agree with all you say and think you might easily have gone a fair bit further in your commentary…

    • BrienJackson

      I might have, but I've beat this horse before.

      • Moiuz

        So why Soriano's lack of desire to speak after a blown save such a big deal? Why brien?

        Shouldnt we be talking about teams .500 record since July 25th?

  3. brian

    A lot of yankee fans actually resent the success that Soriano has had and are rooting for him to fail (as long as it doesn't cost the team the division)

    the fact that Soriano has been every bit as good as Mo would have been kills some fans, get over it

    • skeaney

      Any intelligent Yankee fan would be rooting for him to have an exceptionally great season in the hopes that he opts out of his contract.

  4. jeff in fla

    Couldn't disagree with you more. The most important thing you're overlooking is he left his teamates hanging. Derek Lowe, Eric Chavez et. all had to bear the brunt of the nightly media circus while Soriano took a pass. You may pooh pooh that as trite, but it doesn't sit well with your teamates He's a rude, surly apparantly miserable human being who seems to find zero joy in doing for a living what we'd all kill to do. I find it almost impossible to root for him other than strictly for the result and when he starts to falter on a regular basis, and they run him out of town like that punk Beckett, I'll be happy to drive hime to Laguardia. Having said that, he's been near perfect this year and the booing he received last night from the fans was disgraceful. Shame on them and shame on him

  5. jeff in fla

    THEY'RE TOO BUSY COVERING HIS CHICKEN BLEEP BUTT THAT'S WHERE! wHAY ARE U AN APOLOGIST? YOU'RE A REPORTER. SO YOU HAVE ACCESS TO PLACES WE DON'T. TELL ME I'M WRONG. TELL ME HE'S A WALKING RANDOM ACT OF HUMAN KINDNESS AND THE MOST MISUNDERSTOOD HUMAN BEING ON THE PLANET AND I'LL BACKPEDDLE.

    • What?!?! (Seriously?)Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      • BrienJackson

        ^

    • not jeff in fla

      caps locks always ensure your point is taken seriously, like for instance:

      WHEN YOU WANT TO CURSE AND PUT "BLEEP" IN THE PLACE OF THE CURSE IT NEGATES THE POINT OF CURSING IN THE FIRST PLACE…plus it looks dumb!

      As an aside, why do fans require players to be walking random acts of human kindness for us to treat them like people who have a job to do? I mean, yes, I think we can all agree that it would be pretty amazing to be a professional baseball player, but I'll also be the first to admit that I have not dedicated my life to practice, fitness, constant travel, and all with the possibility that I'll never make it (if I even had the abilities to make it in the first place)! Maybe we should enjoy what they do on the field, root for them if they're on our team, and hope the Yankees win (which we tend to do a lot).
      Unless the player in question eats babies on his days off.
      That would probably merit some judgment.

      • Amen. Amen. Amen. Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      • BrienJackson

        I'm still struggling to figure out why not smiling on the field and maybe being a very introverted personality suddenly equates to being a bad person. Not saying he's a *good* person per se, because those two things above are literally the only things I know about him and, ya know, I'm cool with the whole admitting I don't actually know people I've never met thing.

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