Friday, December 17, 2010

Only love for Cliff Lee and his new deal

I thought I was done writing Cliff Lee posts (and was just about to deactivate the Cliff Lee Google alert I set up) after his flirtation with the New York Yankees officially ended when he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. But I feel compelled to write one more post about him taking less money to head back to the City of Brotherly Love.

Jon Heyman asked players' union chief Michael Weiner if the union had any issues with Lee spurning more lucrative offers from the Yankees and the Texas Rangers to go back to Philly. Weiner firmly replied that Lee taking a lesser deal was not at all a problem, which I hope represents the start of a sea change for the union. Think back to the winter of 2003 when the players’ union effectively scuttled the trade of Alex Rodriguez to the Boston Red Sox because he had the nerve to agree to give up some money to make his contract more affordable. I'm still bitter at the union for that considering that ARod would be Boston's problem right now if the union had minded its own business. But I can forgive if union officials have decided to stay out of the way and let players make the best decisions for themselves, even if that means making less money to play baseball in the city they really want to play for.

Meanwhile, Roy "Doc" Halladay sounds thrilled about the Lee deal and not at all jealous that Lee got a better deal from the Phillies than he did. I believe him because by all accounts Halladay is a good guy, even if he is a fierce competitor who's slightly scary on the baseball field. He could have been a free agent himself this offseason and would have made a killing. But he chose to take a contract extension for fewer years and dollars than he could have gotten on the open market for the chance to join a club that had played in the World Series the previous two seasons. Again, it's heartwarming to see players like Halladay and Lee choose family and comfort over excess millions.

So there seems to be only love for Lee and his new deal. Is it Ok to move on now? I'd like to deactivate that alert soon. My inbox is crowded enough.

Thanks to Rubenstein via Wikipedia for the Cliff Lee photo.

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