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    by Published on 06-27-12 11:28 AM

    Rafael Soriano has been quite the lightening rod during his brief time with the Yankees. Signed by ownership against the wishes of general manager Brian Cashman, ostensibly because he was the best pitcher left on the market after Cliff Lee opted for the Phillies, and given an absurdly lucrative and friendly contract considering how barren the market for him had been until the Steinbrenners got involved, Soriano has endured a tumultuous stay in pinstripes literally from day one. It certainly didn’t help that he didn’t live up to his billing on the field either last season, battling ineffectiveness and injury to miss a good chunk of the season, losing his billing as the team’s Eighth Inning Guy to David Robertson along the way. It was a toxic mix of circumstances that conspired to make Soriano one of the most universally unpopular Yankees in recent memory. Fans complained about him, the media hounded him, and I sort of wonder if he ever contemplated giving up the extra money in exchange for just getting out of town this past winter.

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    by Published on 06-27-12 10:29 AM

    This season has been a roller coaster ride when it comes to feelings about the state of Yankee pitching. In Spring Training, everyone was wondering what the Yankees were going to do with all those starters. Then Michael Pineda went down, Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes were brutal to start the season and everyone was wondering what to do with the starting pitching. Then Mariano Rivera and David Robertson were hurt and the bullpen became a scary place. Then the bullpen did extraordinary work and everyone was wondering how long it could last. And now the rotation seems as solid as ever and the bullpen is less scary because Robertson is back and there is less need for bullpen outs. Now that is quite a ride. As of this morning, the Yankees have the best winning percentage in baseball. The pitching is in a good place.

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