Monday night, Cliff Lee shocked the world by announcing he was spurning millions offered by the New York Yankees and the Texas Rangers to rejoin a Philadelphia Phillies squad he led to the World Series before departing on terms that were less than Brotherly Love.
The pitcher agreed to a five-year, $120 million contract, a dollar figure that’s somewhere between 20 and 30 percent less than what the Yankees and Rangers offered. SI.com’s Joe Lemire wants to make him a saint.
“And the notion of baseball-player-as-mercenary has taken a hit, as a man who could have made history with the second-largest contract ever given to a pitcher instead rejected that offer to play where he felt most comfortable. It’s a move surely to be wildly popular not just among Philadelphia fans but also throughout baseball – except, of course, in Texas and New York, who are now scrambling for backup plans.”
On one hand, sure. On the other, please, please spare us.
Pardon our Scott Boras-inflected French, but $120 million is still a sh*tload of money. Will Lee’s choice bother people in the Bronx and Arlington? Of course. But will it alter the paradigm of baseball players choosing money over a “good situation?” Heck no. And will it alter the perception of fans? Not even a little bit.
Lee choose between making a ton of money and making a ton of money. Call us when he plays for free.