Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fight for Cliff Lee could be over before it starts

Everyone in the baseball world assumed the New York Yankees would have an edge in the battle for Cliff Lee because of their bottomless wallet. But the fight for his services could be over even before it starts, thanks to some idiot fans.

The media has painted a portrait of a money-hungry Lee who will chase the last dollar because he supposedly wouldn't even consider a discounted contract offer from the Philadelphia Phillies one year away from free agency. (Don’t you think the Phillies regret trading Lee now that they are sitting at home watching him pitch in the World Series?) While this portrayal may be partially true, I have my doubts that he will sign with the Yankees just because they can offer him the most money, especially now that his wife has been badly mistreated in the Bronx.

Sure, Lee will want as much money as he can get as the premier free agent, but he seems to have developed a genuine attachment to his town and team even though he has only been there a few months. Arlington is a lot closer to his offseason home in Little Rock and he and his wife are obviously happy in his new baseball home. If the Texas Rangers can come somewhat close on the money, I could definitely see Lee saying no to a few extra million from the Yankees and staying in Texas.

It's also hard for me to imagine any decent husband wanting to push his wife into living in a town she is clearly uncomfortable in. And if I were Kristen Lee, I would probably tell Cliff to tell the Yankees to take their money and shove it.

Sure, Lee and his agent will play spin doctors to keep up the perception that the Yankees are still in the battle for his services and raise his asking price. But if Mrs. Lee tells her husband that there's no chance in hell she's moving to New York, the fight for Lee could well be over before it starts, leaving the Yankees in a real mess.

Thanks to artolog and Fui in terra aliena via Wikipedia for the photo.

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