Rafael Soriano told the Yankees that he didn’t want to pitch against an American League East team in spring training, so he was scratched from tonight’s game and will pitch at the minor league complex tomorrow.
The above little gem was courtesy of LoHud and it sort of put a damper on my euphoria about Ivan Nova and the Yankees beating up on the O’s 10-0 in the kind of game I love (a blowout). I was so impressed with Nova, enjoyed seeing the regular lineup play most of the game and, of course, was thrilled to have Mo come in to pitch the seventh.
I expected to see Soriano too and was surprised when I didn’t. Now I know the reason for his absence. He’s certainly not the first guy to want to avoid his division rivals during spring training.
Francona scratched Buchholz the other night when the Yankees were in Fort Myers to play the Red Sox; supposedly the manager didn’t want his pitcher facing the Yankees any more often than necessary. I remember saying, “How silly is that? The Yankees have seen Buchholz a thousand times and will see him a thousand more.”
I also remember when Curt Schilling refused to face any AL East teams in spring training the year he came to the Red Sox from the Diamondbacks. In that case, I just said, “It’s Schilling. He’s a diva. What else is new?”
But Soriano? He faced AL East teams every six seconds when he was with the Rays. What’s the big deal all of a sudden? It’s stuff like this that pisses me off. If you’ve got good stuff, you’ll fool hitters no matter how many times they’ve seen you. Am I wrong?