Day 9 of “Operation Cliff Lee Countdown”

At least we know the identity of the Mystery Team that’s been in the Cliff Lee hunt. Or at least we think we do. “Sources” say he’s leaning toward that team, and by the time I wake up tomorrow morning maybe he’ll be wearing their uniform – again.
How would I feel if the Phillies end up with Lee after all this? Conflicted. On one hand, the Yankees really need a guy of Lee’s caliber in the rotation. On the other, seven years is absurd and I’d be relieved if we weren’t stuck with a contract of that length. On one hand, I love Lee as a pitcher and think he would thrive under the bright lights of New York. On the other, he and his wife are supposed to love Texas, particularly because it’s closest to their home in Arkansas. 
Wait. Am I nuts or is Philadelphia not near Arkansas?
I don’t see PA on that map. Well, maybe Cliffy isn’t leaning toward Philly. And maybe I’ll stop thinking about the whole subject, go watch a movie and wait to see what will happen (or not happen) tomorrow.
What movie am I going to watch? “All Good Things” with Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst. Here’s the trailer.
It’s based on the true story of Robert Durst, who may or may not have murdered his wife in New York but definitely murdered his neighbor in Texas. 


  1. antonella

    Oh Jane, I was fine with Lee going to Texas.. BUT I will DIE if he goes to Philadelphia [being that 2 close friends of mine are from Philly & the Phillies vs Yankees thing goes on year round]..

    If Lee takes the less money/less years deal.. He seriously just played with NYY & TEX.. He was begging for 7years & hearing that he may settle for 3-4yrs sounds crazy at this point.

    But what do I know, right?

    PS- if he goes elsewhere, I hope Kristen doesn’t go to the games when he plays NYY.. I have a feeling she’ll get thrown more than spit this 2nd time around ๐Ÿ˜

  2. phillingintheblanks

    I’m still in shock this whole thing is actually true…and it seems it is, at this point. I would understand any decision he ends up making. I think Yankees fans say they’d rather Lee sign with the Rangers than the Phillies, and Phillies fans say they’d rather him sign with the Rangers than the Yankees. So maybe it will be the Rangers after all. But we can still hope, the both of us!


  3. Jane Heller

    Antonella, the good news is he’s out of the AL again, not to mention that our long national nightmare is over. The bad news is we still need a starting pitcher. After he picks himself up off the floor, Cashman needs to get on the phone.

    Very exciting for the Phillies, Christine. Halladay and Lee will make a formidable 1-2.

  4. antonella

    This was all very comical at the end. Maybe that’s the problem Jane.. He was scared to pitch in the ALEast.. that’s my story. Boston scared him with all their new players. LOL!

    I kinda feel bad for the Rangers’ fans.. eek.. talk abt suicide watch!

    PS- Cashman is probably sedated right now. In complete shock.

  5. levelboss

    “The wait is over. In a surprising development that leaves two top American League teams empty-handed, Cliff Lee has agreed to sign a five-year, $120MM deal with the Phillies. ”



    doomed! doomed i tell you, the Yankees are doomed!

    but then again.. who knew the Giants would’ve won the WS, eh?



    Thankfully we resigned Mo and Jeter.
    That’s it. Otherwise we have really done nothing nothing this winter to improve us!

    We have no pitching. CC can’t pitch every game.
    Doesn’t look like Andy is coming home and Boston and Philly have been ramping up.

    I think we’re in for a long drought my friends.
    I’m going to go sedate myself.


    now what do we do?
    i am not surprised, i am just concerned. we don’t have a rotation and there is nobody else out there.
    i live with a red sox/phillies fan. only one of us is happy.

  8. abby1306

    Wow, I don’t know what to say, I didn’t expect that. I was at work when I got the news and I was so shocked my students asked me what’s going on with me. I kind of still don’t believe it. Cliffy must really love his Phillies. The only good thing about this: Texas didn’t get him as well. But now Cashman has to come up with another plan. Are there any other good pitchers available? Maybe it’s the best idea to get Ivan Nova on track, he’s got great potential. I mean what else can they do? Mitre? Come on! That’s not even worth a thought. Now I’m really curious how Cashman will continue….maybe in the end there won’t be any significant changes. But hey, they can do it, they’re the Yankees. We believe in them unconditionally, right Jane? ;D


    I’m sorry the Yankees didn’t get him, but I’m glad he isn’t in the American League.

    There has been so much talk in the media and among fans about what the various players think and how greedy they are. Two signings give me hope for the human race.

    Jeter. He says he wanted the longer contract so he never has to do another contract negotiation. I believe him and it’s refreshing. He’d never put on a spectacle like “The Decision.”

    Lee. It wasn’t about money or length of contract. It was about where he wanted to play and where he had enjoyed his time.
    Good for him.

    If anyone reading this is left-handed, can pitch 95+ miles per hour, and have a wicked curve, please email


  10. Jane Heller

    I feel bad for Rangers fans too, Antonella. He kept saying how much he liked playing there and management really went all out to sign him. But as I said above, I’m just glad he’s out of the AL.

    We’re not doomed, levelboss.:) We’ll have somebody to take his place, even if Cashman has to comb the Dominican, Japan, Cuba and every country in South America for an arm!

    Yes, the mission did fail, Michael. To say the Phillies are now well stocked with starting pitchers is an understatement.

    You’re right about everything you said, Peg. Andy probably won’t come back to pitch now. On the other hand (I’m big lately on looking at both sides of every issue), he might feel the Yankees need him even more and decide he must be our hero. But the problem with not getting Lee and the time he took to make his decision is that Cashman had to wait and not make other moves. The whole thing really paralyzed him; other teams too.

    Barbara, take heart in the fact that the Yankees are not starting the season with a rotation that consists of CC, Hughes, AJ, Mitre and Nova! (Or even Pettitte.) We will get somebody. I just hope we don’t have to give up a lot of players to get the somebody.

    I’m curious about what Cashman will do too, Nadine. It’s one thing for a GM with a big payroll to throw money at free agents. Maybe the true test is how he’s able to better the team with trades. So now it gets complicated. Who will he go after and who will he give up? We could be saying goodbye to some popular Yankees. And yes, we love the Yankees unconditionally. I’ve learned my lesson. ๐Ÿ™‚

    HAHA. Love your solicitation for pitchers to email Cashman, Melissa. I agree that it’s nice to see a player decide to play where he’s comfortable and take fewer years (the money will be the same, relatively speaking), but I’m not happy about how long he made the Yankees and Rangers wait for him to profess his love for Philly. He held things up for both teams.

    So glad you loved Black Swan, Jeff! I still haven’t seen it but am dying to. People are telling me they either love it or hate it, but I know I’ll love it – the darker and crazier the better, I say. So do you think Natalie Portman will win the Best Actress prize? I think she’ll be duking it out with Annette Bening.

    Sue, you must be so happy. You were never in favor of trading Lee in the first place, so to have him back must be worth a celebration. Congrats!

  11. antonella

    Everyone is praising Lee for taking less money.. lemme explain the mood in Texas right now.. [It was hard keeping a straight face today while talking to some Rangers’ fans]

    Lee contacted Philly.. Rangers told him pretty much, whatever he wanted.. he would get [look at their deal] Texas is close to Arkansas.. These fans were sure he’d be here.. NOW in their eyes.. he’s nothing but a liar.

    Sure, he took less YEARS.. but definitely NOT less money. He’ll be making more a year in Philly.

    In other news: Russell Martin is now a Yankee ๐Ÿ™‚ This makes me feel a little better abt our young catchers.

  12. Jane Heller

    I wish I could muster some enthusiasm over Russell Martin, Antonella. Out here in Dodger land, he was a Big Deal for awhile and everybody loved him. But then he kind of bombed, got hurt, fell off the radar. I can only hope he rebounds as a Yankee the way Swisher did.


    I wonder why he kept the other teams hanging Jane. Perhaps the Phillies had told him they wanted to see the other offers and then they’d present something to him.

    Now Cashman better prove HE is worth the $$$$$$ the Yankees pay him.

    Let’s hope the good AJ shows up and spends the entire season with the Yankees, rather than letting his evil twin take over.


  14. redstatebluestate

    I am quite Natalie-biased… so I’m gonna go with her for best actress. But it wasn’t just Portman. The entire cast was stellar! The film was dark, yet tangible. I left feeling like I really learned something. It was fantastic.

  15. ladyjane303

    A little late to the party, but I have to say I’m glad it’s over. Now we can focus on getting Andy back and taking care of other business. Never comfortable with the prospect of a 7 year deal anyway.

  16. Jane Heller

    I don’t know why Lee kept the other teams hanging, Melissa, if what he really wanted all along was to go back to Philly, especially since I read that it was he who reached out to them, as if: “Please don’t make me go to NY or Texas!” Yes, now Cashman will need to prove his worth to the team. As I said above, any GM with a big payroll can sign FAs. It takes cunning to pull off successful trades.

    I’ve always loved ballet films, Jeff. There’s a great old one called “The Red Shoes” if you get a chance to rent it or see it on TCM. Supposedly, Aronofsky was a fan of it. “Black Swan” opens here Friday and I will be first in line!

    I wasn’t wild about the 7 years either, ladyjane, but I did love the idea of having Lee in the rotation. I’m not sure that Cashman’s first order of business will be trying to get Andy back. I think he needs to go out and get another starter and let Andy decide if he wants to retire or not.

    Glad you’re over Lee now, pinstripeperson2. LOL. It would be fantastic if Nova turned out to be a starter we can depend on, and I hope he’ll be given a shot. But we need somebody with a Major League track record. Like now.

  17. Jane Heller

    Congrats to you, Peter. I know you must be feeling that Christmas came early. But seriously. Lee will be making a lot of money. He just took fewer years.

    Dave, I don’t think the payroll argument will fly with your family. The Yankees did offer the gaudiest deal. And as for being favored to win? You’re right – we’re not. Now everyone’s in love with the Phillies and Red Sox, which is fine. But we all know that things don’t always go as planned. I wouldn’t write off our season just yet.

  18. blithescribe

    There sure is a lot of misdirection and subterfuge going on this post season, not to mention shocking twist endings. Was there an all GM team building showing of The Prestige that we were unaware of? My condolences to the Yankees, and to the Rangers as well, really. I suppose there is comfort in knowing that, in either case, the other team didnโ€™t get him and you wonโ€™t have to face him in the AL. There is a lot of post season left (or so I keep reminding myself) and I am sure something good will come through for the starting rotation before the season starts. Maybe this is the sign Pettitte didnโ€™t realize he was looking for to come back?

  19. pinstripesperson2

    I was shocked when I heard that Lee was going to the Phillies. I had already had my heart broken once when we didn’t get him in the middle of last season. I wasn’t as upset this time. I guess I’m over him now. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you look on the bright side, this is a chance for some of our young guys (I’m looking at you, Ivan Nova) to step up.

  20. raysrenegade

    You always felt that presence in the room that the mystery team had their own tricks up their sleeve. I would love to wax poetic that things like this do not gaurantee anything after 162 games, and that he only pitches every 5 days, but the reality is that this was a right uppercut straight to the chin.
    Hopefully it is more like a Gerry Cooney( Huntington, NY native) punch instead of a Mike Tyson locomotive hitting below the belt.

    Rays Renegade


    Oh, crap. No song parodies today; they’d be too angry. All I can think of is the scene in “Independence Day” when Harvey Fierstein (?right name?), who plays Jeff Goldblum’s brother, is stuck in traffic in NYC when the aliens attack — a big fireball is bearing down on him, and he has no chance — and all he can say is, “Ohh…crap…”
    So that’s where we are. Burned up; burned out. Silver lining? Well, now for the first time in at LEAST two years, I can fire back at any whiny sports fans (including in my own family) who groan about the Yankee payroll and how they buy EVERYBODY, and how they’re ALWAYS favored to win it all…um, not for the foreseeable future…oh sure, maybe they can save some piece of their face with a second-line pitcher somewhere, somehow…but I have to say it now…if next year’s World Series is already set in stone, between two teams all too close to NYC that love to wear red…it will be the first WS in a generation that I won’t bother to watch at all (well, also ’cause I know that you’ll be reporting on it for all of us)…

  22. Jane Heller

    The Yankees won’t be seeing Lee every 5 days, Renegade. He’s only a “right uppercut to the chin” if we face him in the World Series, and I’ll happily look forward to that possibility.

  23. Jane Heller

    Yes, Kristen (so that’s your name, blithescribe!), it’s comforting to know Lee is out of the AL now. And there certainly has been a lot of subterfuge, although I have to admit I like it better when the Yankees are the ones doing the subterfuging!

  24. scofid

    It’s disappointing that Lee didn’t come to New York, but I agree that by the 7th year, the Yankees would definitely be getting the short end of the stick. So, all things considered, I’d rather see them invest in a commitment to youth given the other aging parts of the team. Zack Greinke is probably not the answer but hopefully the patience that Brian Cashman is preaching will prove to be well worth it. You and I know that the Yankees roster as of today is not necessarily what it is going to look like on March 31st. I am confident that the rotation won’t be left shortchanged…


  25. Jane Heller

    I’m assuming the same thing, Scott – that the rotation/roster on Opening Day will look quite different from what it is today. Cashman may want to invest in youth but he needs to put a winning team on the field and the two goals aren’t always compatible.

    LOL, Barbara. Yes, you may have to move in order to maintain your sanity. Come out to California where the chatter about the Dodgers is a lot easier to take.


    what i heard on boston sports radio this morning before i turned it off was how well the red sox match up against the phillies pitchers so they will do well in the world series. should i go to another country for the year?


    Oh Barbara, that gave me a good chuckle for the day! Exactly WHERE did the Red Sox finish in 2009? And someone already has them in the World Series? Against the Phillies, who, hmmm, didn’t get there either?

    October is 11 months away – an awful lot can happen before then – and it will!


  28. antonella

    Cancel the regular season folks.. March 31, 2011 will be game 1 of the WS BoSox vs Phillies. LOL.

    A lot can happen in 162 games plus the playoffs.. Prime example.. the Giants! Never in a million years would I have guessed they would be the 2010 WS Champs but they did it.

    Being that the Yankees are the official underdogs now.. I’m kind of excited for the season.. I have a feeling that Jeter will be JETER & ARod will be AROD & AJ will get rid of “bad” AJ.

    umm, Jane.. Maybe you should start an Andy Pettitte watch.. LOL

  29. Jane Heller

    I love that we’re suddenly underdogs, Antonella, although no one ever thinks of the Yankees that way. You make a great point about the Giants. Who knew they’d win their division much less be world champs? That said, they had pitching, which is still our big “need,” as Cashman would say.

  30. antonella

    Very true. We “need” it. The first step is Andy.. I’m very excited for Nova to enter the rotation.. I’ve said this for a while.. guided by some vets like Andy & CC.. he could be greattttt ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve been hearing some reports that maybe the Yankees would attempt to get King Felix before the trade deadline.. Even though, I know that would be crazy for Seattle to let him go.. I think I’d shed tears of joy if it did happen LOL!

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