Yanks boast shutdown bullpen by adding Soriano

Was this a classic case of misdirection by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, or did the team’s thinking suddenly change within the last 24 to 48 hours? 
Either way, the Yankees will head into 2011 boasting one of the best bullpen combinations in the game, agreeing to terms with free agent right-hander Rafael Soriano on a three-year, $35 million contract. 
The move gives closer Mariano Rivera a top setup option, effectively replacing Kerry Wood, and also a potential future successor — assuming Soriano sticks around, as the deal contains opt-out clauses after the ’11 and ’12 seasons. 
The signing came less than a week after Cashman told the Westchester (N.Y.) Journal-News that he would not give up a first-round Draft pick to the Rays as compensation for signing Soriano. 
“I will not lose our No. 1 draft pick,” Cashman told the newspaper. “I would have for Cliff Lee. I won’t lose our No. 1 draft pick for anyone else.”
But you know what they say – actions speak louder than words, and this morning, Soriano is a Yankee. We know his numbers are good, with an American League-leading 45 saves in ’10 for the division-winning Rays. 
But here are a few fun things you might not know about the Yankees’ new setup man:
He really, really likes ‘Sweet Caroline.’ As in, the Neil Diamond song and Fenway Park eighth-inning fan anthem. 
“The first time I heard that I [was] with Seattle in ’02,” Soriano said in August. “I [saw] everybody going crazy singing that song in Boston. Every time I pitched the eighth, I [heard] the words. I like it, I like it. It makes me feel good.”
So good – so good?
He’s extremely confident – and, apparently, crushes breakfast.
“I think he absolutely feels like he’s the man,” Rays pitching coach Jim Hickey said. “But I can remember as far back as Spring Training saying that he [exudes confidence even] at the breakfast table. And he really does. The scowl and the cocksure attitude are not just a ploy for the ninth inning. That’s the way that he walks around. I think that’s more of his personality than it is a game-time mechanism for him to get up for the ballgame.”
He has mysterious gestures on the mound, and won’t tell you what they mean. 
I’ll let MLB.com’s Bill Chastain explain:
When Soriano enters the game, he bends over and uses his right index finger to scribble something in the dirt on the backside of the mound. He then removes his hat, appearing to read some message on the underside of the brim. When asked what he is doing in either case, Soriano smiled.
“That is for Soriano,” he said. “I keep that for me. That would be something that’s mine. A lot of people ask me about it. That’s mine, I don’t [tell anyone].”

19 Comments

And this from a known Cashman basher with plenty of innuendo:

Yanks Exec: Cashman Still In Charge, Despite Soriano Signing
Posted by Steve Lombardi
http://waswatching.com/2011/01/17/yanks-exec-cashman-still-in-charge-despite-soriano-signing/
What I call “thigh thumping.”

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The Winter of Our Discontent
Posted by Brian Burkhart

http://bronxbaseballdaily.com/?p=11514

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Bob,
This was posted last week:
Roger Clemens and the late-winter trade
By Benjamin Kabak
http://riveraveblues.com/2011/01/roger-clemens-and-the-late-winter-trade-41134/
By robertgkramer@aol.com on January 12, 2011 1:45 PM

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Bob,
Don’t get so defensive, there’s no “challenge” here. But, I seldom look for innuendo. Everything I read I take for face value!

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Yankees organizational depth: Relief pitchers
Posted by: Chad Jennings
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2011/01/16/yankees-organizational-depth-relief-pitchers/

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Fan Confidence Poll: January 17th, 2011
By Mike Axisa

http://riveraveblues.com/2011/01/fan-confidence-poll-january-17th-2011-41403/

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Where can I find that article Bob?

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Read the article you sent out by Chad Jennings–Decision makers, relievers, and a few links-Sent out on January 16th. I think you’ll find the comments and innuendos there in Jenning’s articles and the other links. Check it out. How do you interpret what they are saying?

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Robert: Are you sure it was the Boss who got us Brown and Johnson and Clemens? Hey Clemens and Johnson made a positive contribution while they were with us. What about Vasquez? The Boss didn’t get him. And what about Nick Johnson? etc. etc. Can’t blame the boss for every dud we’ve picked up. I’m not sure where I got the article. It was this morning. It might have been one of the articles you sent out on this blog that I clicked on. Anyway, I didn’t dream it. I read it but can’t find it at this point. If I do, I’ll let you know. Have a nice Yankee day!

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Robert: Are you sure it was the Boss who got us Brown and Johnson and Clemens? Hey Clemens and Johnson made a positive contribution while they were with us. What about Vasquez? The Boss didn’t get him. And what about Nick Johnson? etc. etc. Can’t blame the boss for every dud we’ve picked up. I’m not sure where I got the article. It was this morning. It might have been one of the articles you sent out on this blog that I clicked on. Anyway, I didn’t dream it. I read it but can’t find it at this point. If I do, I’ll let you know. Have a nice Yankee day!

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I remember the Boss getting us “over the hill stars” such as Kevin Brown, Roger Clemens, and Randy Johnson.

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There’s an article on another web site criticizing the Steinbrenner sons H & H for getting involved in the signing of Soriano. Personally I’m glad they had the balls to get into it because they’ve been criticized in the off season for not getting involved and leaving it to Cashman who seemed to be doing very little. We were wishing that the Boss was still there who had a more hands-on approach. Good for them. If not for them perhaps Cashman wouldn’t have signed Soriano and we’d be facing 2011 with a rookie starting rotation and weak bull pen and set up for Mo. We’re still not there yet when it comes to starters I don’t think. Maybe Nova in the rotation but Mitre after his performance last year? One would have to hope that if he is in the starting rotation he will do better than he did most games he pitched in 2010. The article suggested the lunatics are running the asylum. Well many of the Yankee fans based on what I’ve read during the 2010 season and in the off season suggest that “the lunatic” is running the asylum, but the lunatic is Cashman, not the Steinbrenners.

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Yankees organizational depth: Starting pitchers
Posted by: Chad Jennings
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2011/01/15/yankees-organizational-depth-starting-pitchers/

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Decision makers, relievers and a few links
Posted by: Chad Jennings
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2011/01/15/decision-makers-relievers-and-a-few-links/

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Yankees organizational depth: Outfield corners
Posted by: Chad Jennings
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2011/01/14/yankees-organizational-depth-outfield-corners/

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If some of the kids come on strong or the Yankees are out of the race by July 31st, Soriano will be a very valuable trade chip.

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Rivera Convinced Yankees to Sign Soriano & Plans to Act as Mentor
Posted by Rob Abruzzese
http://bronxbaseballdaily.com/?p=11466

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Something lost and something gained
Posted by: Chad Jennings
http://yankees.lhblogs.com/2011/01/15/something-lost-and-something-gained/

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Finally, a free agent signing to get excited about! Now all we need is a good starter signing and a 4th outfielder that can play defensively and also hit. Then we should be able to go into 2011 with some hope of getting into the playoffs and hopefully winning the WS. Anyway, feel better today than yesterday.

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