Here's what he claimed in Wednesday's presser:
"At this point it's about trying to win championships," Lee said, preparing to join a rotation that already includes Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels. "I think this team gives me the best chance to do that."Harsh! But given that rotation, and the rest of the team, he's not inaccurate. The New York Post made a big deal because the Lees said the Yankee fan issue in the ALCS was "way overblown." But the real story here is that while Lee dissed the Yankees in a number of ways. It's clear he had no intentions of coming to the Bronx; he just used the Yanks to drive up his price. To top it all off, he said that the Philllies gave him a better chance to win than the Yankees. When was the last time the Yankees got so owned by a free agent who signed with somebody else?
Our Yankee-hating reader with the controversial name of urinalfresh23 has flushed back onto the scene since Lee rejected the Yankees. He writes:
Losing out on Cliff Lee is a PR nightmare for the Yankers, which is just about as devastating to them as what happens on the field. Without positive PR, you don't sell tickets. Get the hint? Why do you think everyone in the front office is doing damage control?While I don't think it's quite a PR nightmare, there is simply no good way to spin this issue. The Yankees' swagger of having the ability to swoop in and get whatever player they wanted is gone, thanks to Cliff Lee. No longer can they make the assumption that more money will get them whatever player they want to put under the ol' Christmas tree. Every December, Yankee fans run out and buy t-shirts of whoever the latest free agent du jour is. Don't see anybody lining up for Russell Martin t-shirts!
But here's the thing, even if you think Lee was a jerk who used the Yanks to get more money from the team he really wanted to play on, Mark Teixeira did the exact same thing. So the Bombers have no moral high ground here. Sorry.
I don't think there is anything the Yanks could have done to get Lee -- they got played, plain and simple. But here's the thing -- if I could have figured out in October that Lee wasn't likely to be a Yankee, why couldn't they?
And why did Cashman waste time on nonsense like rappelling off a building instead of formulating a coherent Plan B? (Oh, and by the way, signing Martin as catcher wasn't exactly a big coup, given that he already needs surgery.)
I'm afraid Cash's Plan B will consist of trading Jesus Montero for Carlos Zambrano, or something equally as dopey. Cashman has exactly one sharp tool in his skill set -- the ability to spend a lot of money. Creative deals aren't really his strong suit.
What do you think? Tell us about it!