Though we got to throw shit-fits when the Phillies were one of seven teams to toss stones at Cliff’s bedroom window in the middle of the night, he is seemingly taking forever to open the front door. Talks have apparently stalled, which is to say, they’ve never happened.
Ruben claims he’s made no “direct” contact with Cliff or his agent, Derek Braunecker, which implies some sort of “indirect” communication. We can fairly assume, therefore, that Ruben has merely been exchanging scrolled dossiers with Braunecker, carried in the weary talons of a messenger pigeon.
But other teams have been able to look Cliff in the eye while they talk to him, so the smart money is probably on the Rangers or Yankees, as if I really had to tell you that.
Already in Texas, they’re attempting to forcibly assimilate Cliff to the down-home, cactified surroundings of the only state that pondered leaving the union post-1897 (No, I am not going to fact check that).
According to this headline, Cliff hates big cities and would fit right in with the casual stylings of Arlington, rather than New York or Philadelphia, where everyone is constantly furious and murder-minded. But the article itself has really no input from Cliff , and merely speculates that because he looked less than thrilled to speak in front of a large crowd at a banquet, he is less likely to pitch in a big market, even though he already has, and he did just fine, and he didn’t really want to leave.
"“And according to one person who spoke with the pitcher over the summer, Lee would welcome a return to Philadelphia.”—Philadelphia Daily News"
My GOD! I knew it was that person. And we’re back in the game! Wait. Who is this “person”? Hell, it could be me. Don’t listen to me. I’m the one who predicted the Yankees would start 2009 with an 0-10 record. My brain is so consumed with bias I can’t even roll off the futon in the morning without screaming “PHILLIES RULE!!” into my pillow.
So while I don’t necessarily disagree with the hopeful theory that Cliff would love to come back and pick up right where he left off and maybe take me on a hunting trip where we release some of the slower Mets into the woods of Bucks County and see how long it takes for us to stalk them down, I don’t believe this is the proof we need that he’d turn down a fat-ass Yankees check to do so.
(Also worth noting in that article is Cliff’s father reflecting on the fact that everyone in his hometown of Benton, Arkansas loves and supports Cliff, so why would anyone ever want to leave?)
But why stop there, as if the Yankees, Rangers, and Phillies are the only teams clamoring for him? Apparently the Nationals have every chance as well. Andrew Marchand on ESPN New York says Cliff will just go where the money will be the highest.
"“But when I said to this person, if the Yankees offer $1 million less than the Nationals, he would still go to Washington? The person said he thought yes, he would go to the Nats.”"
You hear that, Nats fans? All you have to do to get Cliff Lee is outbid the Yankees! It should be noted here that outbidding the Yankees is like praying for deer-scraps as a mastodon feasts on a carcass.
"“So when these things are going on, these big money sweepstakes, which a potential franchise-changer out there, the wild card entry has to be considered as a major stalking horse.”"
You hear that, Nats fans? Your team is a sinister-looking horse, following Cliff Lee everywhere and snorting shiftily every once in a while.
Ruben claims he’s made no “direct” contact with Cliff or his agent, Derek Braunecker, which implies some sort of “indirect” communication. We can fairly assume, therefore, that the Ruben has been exchanging scrolled dossiers with Braunecker, carried in the weary talons of a messenger pigeon.