|Rafael Soriano doesn't feel like talking. (US Presswire)|
After blowing a save opportunity against the Blue Jays on Monday night, Yankees closer Rafael Soriano took off without talking to reporters. This, of course, isn't done, and John Harper of the New York Daily News is none too happy about it. Seethes Harper:
But he's always been considered a bit of a diva. Both Braves manager Bobby Cox and Rays skipper Joe Maddon had issues with Soriano when he played for them, and then there was the moody vibe he gave off during his first year with the Yankees, when he came over as the defending AL saves leader and wound up pitching the seventh inning.
Last year he also pulled one of these no-shows early in the season after blowing a game, and after taking heat for it in the media, wound up apologizing a day later.
This time he knew better.
As Harper points out, this is more than just making the media's job more difficult; it's also off-loading your media-relations duties onto your teammates, who will be forced to answer questions about you in your absence.
Mostly, though, it's about the media. While the reporter-athlete relationship is often a contentious one, it's also a symbiotic one. Reporters get paid to cover the games, and sports leagues enjoy enough free publicity to make them the envy of, well, every other industry in the world. In that light, Soriano, even if frustrated and weary of the depressingly banal questions headed his way, is obligated to take his turn.