Cliff Lee is New York Public Enemy #1

2010 December 14

What am I supposed to write here? I just want to type a string of expletives. I want to post stupid GIFs to display my range of emotions. I just spent the entire evening following Twitter like a massive baseball nerd, enjoying myself way too much reading fake Cliff Lee tweets and jokes about Chase Utley’s wife. I never quite believed the Phillies rumors, so I was able to keep a smile on my face, knowing there was no way he would pick the team that traded him away just an offseason ago. No possible way.

Yet soon after midnight, OFFICIAL tweets — if such things exist — confirmed that Lee had indeed signed a 5-year, $115 million deal with the Phillies, with an easy vesting option for a 6th year. The Yankees had offered a bigger 6-year deal. The Rangers had offered an even bigger 6-year deal with an option for a 7th year. Yet Cliff Lee picked the Phillies. Why in God’s name would you choose to play in front of the animals in Philadelphia? When he starts losing it by his 4th or 5th year of the contract, they’re going to be booing his ass off the mound.

Apparently, that contract has a higher AAV than the Yankee offer. Maybe that’s it. Maybe he wants to beat the Yankees and he sees the Phillies as his best shot. Maybe he really likes Roy Halladay. The obvious parallel is LeBron James signing with the Miami Heat, considering the contract totals less than two other offers, but it’s not at all the same. There wasn’t an entire city with an attachment to Lee, considering he’s been on four teams in the past two seasons, and Halladay is the better pitcher. But this deal does create a seemingly unstoppable team, and I don’t see them struggling out of the gate like the Heat.

A rotation of four aces doesn’t have to share the ball like two and a half basketball stars. Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and Oswalt will take the balls on their respective days and dominate the NL to the tune of a combined 3.25 ERA. The NL East is wrapped up for the next two years, possibly three. Sandy Alderson needs to work his magic to set up the Mets to win in three years, not now. Sigh. This is awful.

But it’s almost worth it when I listen to Yankees fans on WFAN who want them to buy every single  free agent on the market crying. Maybe they shouldn’t have spit on Lee’s wife.

Ruben Amaro, Jr.:

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