In a move that is not unprecedented (see Maddux TY WU), Cliff Lee (a scholar and a gentleman) has told the Yankees and their insufferable fan-base that they can take their money and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine. At this point it is reported Lee (a saint and a martyr) chose to forgo the extra 2-years and $28 million the Yankees were offering. Instead he signed with the Phillies for five years and $120 million ducats.
In this day and age of ultra-consumerism and the capitalist rat-race, it is rare to see a superstar athlete take less than market value. Especially when the New York Yankees are dictating said value. The Yankees are not used to this type of treatment and I am sure there is an uproar reverberating throughout the Big Apple and their gravity of influence. Also you can probably imagine the hair-pulling and hissy-fits of agent Darek Braunecker being forsaken a slice of a larger cash pie. There had to have been quite a bit of pressure on Lee to go to New York, so why didn’t he?
Maybe he doesn’t like Reggie Jackson, maybe he isn’t a front-runner like the reprehensible Carl Crawford, perhaps he hated the Yankees as a child and has always said he would never play for them, perhaps he believes that the Evil Empire is everything that is wrong with America, perhaps his wife does not shop at Saks 5th Avenue, perhaps he doesn’t want the stench of Nick Swisher’s goofball antics sticking to his career…whatever the reason, it is a breath of fresh air and he has become a hero of sorts for those that feared his employ by the Steinbrenner /Cashman regime.
In his press conference later today, I am sure he will spin a tale about how comfortable he felt in Philadelphia in 2009. After all, you can only shuck-n-jive the status quo so many times in a 24 hour period, so you can most likely expect a politically correct response for his controversial decision. He will thank the Yankees and the Rangers for their interest in his services. He will say it was the toughest decision he has ever made. He will never tell the full truth though.
My take is he pictured the Phillies rotation with him in it and drooled over possibility to stick it to the Yankees in the 2011 World Series. (Even though we all know it will be the White Sox there) Since, after all, the Yankees are favorites to win the AL year-to-year. The Phillies now roll with Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels as their top four. A rotation to be reckoned with in any era of baseball.
My opinion counts as much as the next guy’s but I choose to see Cliff Lee as a real American hero from the sticks of Arkansas. Sure $120 million dollars is nothing to scoff at b-b-b-but it could have been $148 million. That’s 4228.57 times the average American’s salary. He is being paid like a prince and he deserves it…because he is a prince, he is a gentleman, a scholar, a martyr, a hero, a saint…Christ…he deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor. He is the antithesis of
Lebron James Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and the main source of antipathy for Yankees fans who act like, for the most part, the spoiled children of Presidents & CEO’s.
The White Sox will not face Lee until the 2011 World Series, should both teams have the fortune of staying healthy and hot enough to get there. Unfortunately this is also the case for the Yankees, since they do not find the Phillies on their 2011 schedule. Just think of the missed hype opportunity for ESPN Sunday Night baseball! Either way, the best lefty in the game goes to an equally insufferable and undeserving fan-base, a team which I detest and the city of Brotherly-Hate. Lee will have more money than God...but he isn’t God, he is just doing God’s work and no one should feel sorry for Texas...the home of Satan.
Cliff Lee will never be here and will be shunned when he gets to the Field of Dreams.