I was fully prepared to use this blog today to completely castigate the idiot New York Yankees “fans” who booed Rafael Soriano off the mound following a rare blown save last night. Until I heard about what little regard Soriano has for the media and, indirectly, the fans.
This isn’t the first incident of Soriano blowing off the media, an unwise move on his part when the Yankees are one of the most closely followed sports franchises in the world and the media can drive some fans’ perception of the players. I have numerous Google alerts set up to alert me to any Yankee-related news and I read the sports sections of the local newspapers first thing in the morning, which is why I found out about Soriano dissing the Yankees media contingent so quickly.
Perhaps he didn’t want to answer media questions about the booing. If that was the reason, I can’t say I blame him there. I was pretty pissed off myself when I heard it. I thought it was a low-class move by the fans in attendance at last night’s game. The Yankees wouldn’t be where they are in the standings without Soriano almost flawlessly stepping into Mariano Rivera’s shoes.
Soriano is not Mo and he doesn’t even deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as Mo until he closes big games in October, but he also didn’t deserve the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately booing that was heaped upon him yesterday. That booing and the entitled attitude that drove it is a key reason why other baseball teams' fans hate Yankee fans. But criticism of Soriano for not answering questions afterward is fair.
Soriano just reminded us that no matter how many games he saves, he’s not Mariano Rivera. And that’s something we should worry about in October, but it didn’t justify the despicable display at Yankee Stadium last night. However, Soriano didn’t endear himself to anyone with his behavior afterwards and alienating the media is something he should think twice about doing.