Everyone was sure Cliff Lee would be a Yankee. I can picture Brian Cashman (how fitting is that name?) sitting in his office, just waiting for the phone call to confirm the Evil Empire’s latest acquisition. But, hold the phone, the Yankees tried to offer Seattle damaged goods! What? The organization that everyone loves to hate, trying to pawn off substandard players on a helpless Seattle club? Who would have thought?
So the boy from Arkansas ends up here. And boy is that nice to type. But this is not about whether we get to keep our golden arm. At least it won’t be until the end of this piece. This is about the edge he gives us. Think about this for a minute. Right now, the ball club is 1-1 against New York. The possibility that we will be 2-1 come Tuesday is pretty good. Ok, really good. But if we didn’t have Lee, how confident would you be? Now before you say we wouldn’t be here without him, back the truck up and remember how the regular season went for him. He didn’t start coming around until September. And by then, the team had all but locked up the West. There were those who called it a bad trade. There were those, who made me laugh, that said we should just go ahead and trade him for a bunch of prospects. What say those people now? I’ll tell you what they say. Not much.
And now he gets to pitch on baseball’s biggest stage, against a Yankee favorite, in Andy Pettitte. No doubt, New York would love to make this a show for Cliff. They want to show him how things are done on the city that never sleeps. In the Yankee fans’ minds, this is their chance to begin the courtship process, as their team seeks to increase its payroll once again. If they could, there would be thousands of Yankee fans lined up to treat Lee and his wife to an evening Le Bernardin or Keen’s, followed by a trip to the Great White Way, to catch Jersey Boys.
But if you think Lee considers this an audition, forget it. He is, first and foremost, a baseball player. And tomorrow night, he wants to do one thing. And that is beat the Yankees. He knows Pettitte will bring his ‘A’ game. And there is nothing more satisfying than showing up the hometown favorite. The biggest cheer Lee wants to hear tomorrow is complete silence in the ninth, as he looks to finish off the Bombers.
Now, on whether the Rangers have a chance to re-sign him. WHO CARES?!!!
Are you that detached from the here and now? Can you not enjoy the success this team is having? I’ve been on quite a few message boards over the last few weeks and inevitably, one person, whose sense of reality has taken a break, always brings it up. Forget about it for the time being. Enjoy the ride. One of my greatest joys in taking road trips is all the stops along the route. So stop worrying about when we’re getting there and take a minute to enjoy the World’s Largest Ball Of Twine.