Rafael Soriano's first failure as the New York Yankees' $35 million eighth-inning reliever was bad enough, helping to make a 4-0 lead turn into a 5-4 extra-inning loss by walking three, giving up a hit, failing to get through the inning and being charged with all four Minnesota runs in that inning.
What Soriano did after the game -- bolting the clubhouse and leaving his manager and teammates to answer for him -- is even worse. It opened the door for teammates has has apparently not attempted to fully embrace to begin wondering about him. Worse, it opened the door for the media horde that follows the Yankees to begin swallowing him up.
And they did.
Mark Feinsand of the Daily News said Soriano "bolted the clubhouse before talking to reporters, leaving his teammates to answer for his mess. Nick Swisher, Dave Robertson and Boone Logan all stood by their lockers like men and took accountability for their part in the loss. Soriano can't say the same."
Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York wrote "Whatever the Yankees' clubhouse is, it is not a room of excuse makers or responsibility shirkers. Until now."
Oh, boy! Soriano is a terrific reliever who probably should not have even been in a four-run game after throwing 19 pitches the night before. To be honest, you can forgive an occasional bad night. The bigger problem is that Soriano is in New York, and now he has opened the door for his teammates to wonder about him, and the media to make his life miserable.
The Yankees need to hope Soriano recognizes his mistakes, accepts responsibility for it and moves on. His job is hard enough without him giving his teammates, and the media, ammunition to make it harder.