Cliff Lee didn’t need the pomp and circumstance of “The Decision.”
Instead of pulling a LeBron James and telling a national TV audience that he was taking his talents to South Philadelphia, the calculated left-handed ace made a simple call. Now, Lee is a Phillie again.
In a series of unimaginable events, the pitcher told both the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers, ‘No thanks,’ late Monday night. He joins a staff already consisting of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels.
“You hear about a deal like this and you’re kind of shocked,” Shane Victorino told MLB.com. “But this shows how much Cliff loved Philly. He turned down money to come back. That says a lot about him.”
Both the Yankees and Rangers reportedly offered Lee six-year deals worth $138 million, with options for a seventh year. But Lee turned both teams down, choosing the Phillies for considerably less money — a five year, $120 million contract. Why? Well, Lee just flat-out liked the Phillies’ atmosphere. Of course, he also enters the Miami Heat of big-league pitching rotations.
“He missed our team. He knew how fun the clubhouse was,” Victorino said Monday. “I’m sure that came into play.”
Fans not No. 1 in her heart
Whether it’s by showing clips of former Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson getting pelted by snowballs or Santa Claus being booed, Philly fans are always the poster children for unruly behavior.
So, it’s pretty ironic that some distasteful behavior from Yankees fans may have cost New York Cliff Lee.
While seated in the family section at Yankee Stadium during last year’s playoffs, Lee’s wife, Kristen, was taunted, spit at and even had beer thrown on her.
“The fans did not do good things in my heart,” Kristen told USA Today. “When people are staring at you, and saying horrible things, it’s hard not to take it personal.”