Day 5 of “Operation Cliff Lee Countdown”

Today was depressing. Not only did I have to read about how the Red Sox were sure-fire bets to win the World Series now that they’ve signed Crawford and Gonzalez (didn’t the media say the same thing about them last year after they signed Lackey and Beltre?), but I continued to check for updates about Cliffy and could only find out that the Yankees had upped their offer to 7 years (7, apparently, is the new 6 in baseball these days) and that the Texas delegation was in Arkansas to make their case to the Lees. Blah blah blah. As I said yesterday, I’m not a patient person and this whole Lee thing, on top of the whole Jeter thing, is dragging me down. So what did I do about it? I went to a screening tonight of the most depressing movie on the planet. “Rabbit Hole” was a Pulitzer Prize-winning play and now it’s a critically acclaimed film that’s about to open in limited release to qualify for the Oscars. Nicole Kidman, who plays the mother of a child that died and tries to come to grips with the tragedy, is on everybody’s Best Actress list, along with Natalie Portman and Annette Bening. She’s very good. And it’s hard not to be moved by the film (Kleenex essential). But fair warning: it’s just not an easy story to sit through. Here’s the trailer.
I was hoping that when I emerged from the theater and turned my phone back on there would be news – as in “Lee signs with the Yankees!” No such luck. I’m thinking Friday is the day. Or maybe Saturday. Definitely by Sunday. If it goes longer than that, I’m over it and will start doing Countdowns for anybody and everybody. Meanwhile, here’s tonight’s Cliff Lee video.
It was an easy pick, since Danny Knobler says straight out that Cliffy will be a Yankee because he won’t be able to leave “all that money on the table.” So far, nobody’s been able to leave money on the table, judging by the choices made by Werth and Crawford. 
Oh. One more thing. Recently, I noticed that this blog has passed the 20,000-comment milestone. That’s a whole lot of people checking in here. A heartfelt thanks to all who’ve taken the time to leave a word or two.


  1. phillingintheblanks

    I agree with Jeff. Dear Cliffy (who I still have the tiniest bit of hope—however unrealistic—somehow ends up with the Phillies) will take his time. I’m not suggesting the whole spitting-on-his-wife incident has anything to do with where he will end up, but it’s sure ammo to use for him to draw out the process and make Yankees fans and brass salivate for as long as possible before he finally agrees. And you have to admit…that Red Sox team is looking pretty darn good. The Phillies, on the other hand, disappointed me sorely by letting Jayson Werth slip through the cracks. He’s my favorite. Maybe the reason I want Cliffy for the Phillies so bad is that not only would the Phillies have the best starting rotation in baseball, I would have my new favorite Phillies player. I just LOVE Lee…do you remember in the 2009 WS when he caught that pop-up with a simple, seemingly lazy flick of his right wrist? That’s the kind of swagger I love in guys like Lee and Werth. Anyway, right now, Werth has left me favoriteless!



    i’m having a hard time waiting so as always it is good to hear that you are wanting to know that he is coming now as well. the boston globe isn’t helping either. red sox nation is understandably obsessed. ok so channukah is gone and now i’m saying all i want for christmas is cliff lee. i hope i’m not stiill asking for him for a new year’s present!

  3. Jane Heller

    Be sure to tell me how you like Black Swan, Jeff. I’m seeing it on Tuesday night. Natalie Portman is supposed to be great and I did love the director’s last one, The Wrestler.

    Yes, I did know his full name, Paul. I’d be happy to refer to him as Clifton in these posts if it would get his attention and make him sign.

    Sorry you lost Werth, Christine, but it never sounded to me as if the Phillies were that intent on keeping him, did it? Maybe they don’t like dealing with Boras or they didn’t want to commit to 7 years. I do remember Cliff Lee catching that pop-up in such a nonchalant way – how could I forget? – and I’d love to have his swagger on the Yankees. May the best team win!

  4. phillingintheblanks

    Yeah, you’re right, Jane…the Phillies never really seemed too proactive about bringing back Werth. Ruben Amaro made a ton of comments riding somewhere along the line of, “Werth isn’t actually all that great.” I mean, obviously that could just be a negotiating tactic, but at the same time, nobody really genuinely seemed high on him. Throughout the 2010 postseason, Werth seemed like the only guy on the team who was stepping up in key situations, the only one who did anything especially noteworthy. That’s probably partially my bias, but everyone else really just seemed like big ol’ duds. (This is excluding the pitching staff.) …And I suppose just about any fan would be thrilled to have Cliffy’s swagger in their rotation. You might just have to wait a few more days! 😉

  5. Jane Heller

    It’ll be over before Christmas, Barbara. It HAS to be. How much more thinking does Lee have to do? He’s got all the facts. He either wants to come to NY or he doesn’t, and right now I’m not sure which it is.

    Thanks for your song parody as always, Dave. I may not get the references but I enjoy the effort! I’m not even going to Plan B or C or Z if Lee falls through, but I hope Cashman has plenty of backups. Not that I’m giving up. I’m just….cautious.


    i’m getting obsessive. i can’t stop checking if there is news. i just watched the derek press conference and thought maybe in the time it took to watch it the news would be out. usually i don’t have a free minute in my work day to be this obsessive! i just saw a story on that says cc is giving cliff space but amber feels no such need. “I tell her I have her house right down the street,” Amber said with a smile, even though she wasn’t kidding.
    way to go amber. i am starting to get a bad feeling that he is texas bound but i think that’s just my worry growing.

  7. Jane Heller

    Barbara, I’ve been just as obsessive, continually checking to see if there’s news. And I’m feeling the same way you are all of a sudden, despite Amber’s terrific campaign efforts. Just read something about the advantage of Texas not having any state income tax and how that appeals to Lee. Ugh.


    “Come on, Jane…can’t you see…
    He’s the Pied Phifer…trust in me!
    He’s the Pied Phifer…and he’ll show us where it’s at…
    Come on Jane…follow me…
    It’s Clifton Phifer…follow we…
    It’s Clifton Phifer…and we’ll show him where it’s at…”
    Oh, you know, I couldn’t resist that little Crispian St. Peters parody…the name conjured up the tune…that’s how my strange brain works, to which you’ve become accustomed by now. When they put me away in the home, I’ll be like Mel Blanc was at the end — you know, the Man of Many Cartoon Voices — nonresponsive unless I hear a song title in someone’s speech, and then I’ll warble something incomprehensible…
    But oh, how I DO hope we get one large bone thrown to us in this sweepstakes. There won’t be any morsels left on the plate if no Lee…oh wait, maybe Greinke…?…but let’s not go there…instead, joining Rays Renegade in the Captain Morgan Poopdeck at the outer limits of the Trop in Tampa gets more and more tempting every day…!
    SO — 20,000 comments, eh? Gadzooks! CONGRATS! That’s a whole lot!! Back in the ’80s, The Moody Blues recorded a tune they titled “22,000 Days,” which I presumed was supposed to be a whole lifetime…but it calculates to a mere 60.27 years…heck, I know people from high school older than that…so as long as there’s hope, and the Yankees, we’ll keep a-bloggin’ and a-carryin’ on…

  9. Jane Heller

    Thanks for the nice words, blithescribe. Yeah, seven seems to be the number for this off-season sweepstakes, and it’s nuts – especially for a pitcher who isn’t going to be the same forever and can’t play other positions. But what are you supposed to do if you’re a team with “needs,” as Brian Cashman puts it?

  10. blithescribe

    Congratulations on the 20,000+ comments! I’m not surprised though, this is a fun place to hang out and it’s clear I’m not the only one who thinks so 🙂
    Yeah, I saw that the Yankees upped their offer to seven years and I think that’s wise. It’s crazy that seven years seems to be the new standard for high end players, but being crazy doesn’t make it any less true. I wish the Angels front office had realized as much a few days ago, but they sure know now.

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