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Q&A: Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Rafael Soriano says his rituals are personal

Soriano mum about his rituals

Why does the Tampa Bay Rays' relief pitcher, Rafael Soriano, sometimes reach down to the mound and write something in the clay, and what does he write? Also, what does he have on the inside of his baseball cap that he periodically looks at?

According to St. Petersburg Times baseball writer Marc Topkin, Soriano has an elaborate routine when he comes into a game, usually in the ninth inning with the Rays in the lead.

Soriano draws something in the dirt behind the pitching mound. He says it's personal, and he doesn't want to share what it says.

He also looks into his hat to read a message he has written that "has to do with my faith," but he also wished to keep that private.

Whatever part the rituals played in his performance, it's hard to argue with Soriano's success this past season. He led the American League with 45 saves in 48 opportunities and had an earned run average of 1.73 in 64 appearances.

In the future, you probably will have to watch Soriano do these things in another uniform. Soriano is now a free agent and it's widely thought that he has priced himself out of the Rays' range.

You can read Topkin's full story at tampabay.com/sports/baseball/rays/tampa-bay-rays-texas-rangers-alds-preview-rays-closer-rafael-soriano/ 1125777.

Voting data collection required

It was reported that after the first three days of early voting that more Republicans had voted than Democrats. How did anyone know? Don't we have secret ballots in this country anymore?

Regardless of how you early-vote — in person at a precinct or by mail — your ballot is tied to your name, and your name is tied to your party affiliation from your voter registration.

So collecting information on how many Republicans have voted vs. Democrats vs. independents at any given moment is as simple as asking a computer to collate the information. That data was collected and tallied by each county in the state and reported daily, as required by law. Both counties and the state posted the information daily on their websites during the early voting period.

But the only information available from those ballots was how many people turned out and their stated party affiliation. So if you're a Republican, for instance, that is known and reported. But how you or anyone else voted remains secret.

Update on White House crashers

Have Tareq and Michaele Salahi been charged with (or convicted of) any illegal activity for crashing the White House dinner for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh?

The couple, who crashed the dinner on Nov. 24, 2009, have yet to be charged. The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly still investigating.

Q&A: Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Rafael Soriano says his rituals are personal 11/07/10 [Last modified: Sunday, November 7, 2010 3:30am]
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