Baseball fans are well aware of this, but the rest of the world may not bet. Free agent pitcher Cliff Lee signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies this week. Mr. Lee was the hottest free agent on the market this off season.
Cliff was traded to the Texas Rangers in the middle of this past season. The left hander solidified the pitching staff, helping the team into its first post-season appearance in 11 years. The Rangers reached the World Series for the first time in their history. It was the first time in a VERY LONG time that the DFW area had something in sports to cheer about in October besides the Cowboys. In fact, the World Series has more than made up for the embrassingly dismal season our 'football' team is having.
Cliff's contract was up at the end of the season. The Yankees were the supposed frontrunners for his services (since they have a never ending pile of money to blow). The Rangers were seen as an outside shot, but they made a serious effort to get him. At the last minute, Philly came in and swooped him up.
Lee signed a contract reportedly for 5 years at $120million, give or take a few million. The Yankees had offered him 7 years at $160 million. The Rangers had gone up to 6 years at $140. IN taking the lesser of the three offeres, he explained that he was comfortable with the team (having pitched there before), and he felt it was his best chance to win more championships. I respect that - he didn't go for the tallest pile of money, he went for his (and his family's) happiness - and a very tall pile of money.
Thank you Mr. Lee. I mean that sincerely. Although you were only here for half a season, your impact was far greater than the short time frame would indicate. Yes, it would have been nice to have you back, but at the length and dollar figure of the contract, it would have crippled the Rangers' efforts to field a decent team around you. You helped give us a World Series. Outstanding. I wish you all the best.
You want to know the BEST part ??? The damn Yankees didn't get him!!!!!!!!!