While Yankee Brian Cashman’s less than enthusiastic response to his club’s acquisition of reliever Rafael Soriano has been noted far and wide, what’s good for the GM isn’t acceptable for the blogging gander. TYU’s Moshe Mandel reports River Ave. Blues — a member of the YES blog network — and the YES-hosted Pinstripe Bible — had differing responses to the above transaction. In the case of the latter, criticism of the deal was removed from the site, while in the matter of River Ave. Blues, “the YES network toolbar had disappeared”.

Because YES hosts Pinstriped Bible, they likely were able to directly censor Goldman, asking him to remove his post and edit it so as to mitigate the harshest points of criticism within it. As for RAB, because YES has limited control over the content of the site, their only choice was to pull their toolbar from the site until the displeasure over the deal settled a bit.

The question then becomes whether there is anything wrong with what YES did in this case. Some might argue that the team has no responsibility to provide a forum for criticism of the club and the moves that they choose to make. The problem with this argument is that YES has already chosen to provide that forum by affiliating with blogs in the first place. PB and RAB are critical of moves made by Brian Cashman all the time, yet no censorship of this sort has ever occurred before, to the best of my knowledge. It is unseemly to suddenly object to the content of the blogs now that they are critical of whomever in the organization was responsible for signing Soriano, particularly when similar criticism of other key members of the organization has gone uncensored in the past.

As of this writing, the YES toolbar is again at the top of the River Ave. Blues front page. It seems hard to imagine Hal or Hank Steinbrenner trolling the sportsblogosphere (not that either site is particularly obscure), but not as difficult to envision a strong critique coming to the attention of a Yankee functionary on a bit of a power trip.