"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

It’s Only a Day Away

The Cliff Lee Drama promises to unfold shortly–tomorrow they say–and I for one am fed-up with all this waiting. I hope he signs with Texas, stay the bad guy (and I think he’s lock to go back). Look, if he comes to the Yanks, I’ll bellyache about the contract, because it’s insane, but I’ll be pleased that he improves the team in the short term. If he passes, I’ll be relieved and eager to see what the Yanks do next.

That said, this waiting game isn’t endearing Lee to anyone. Not that he does–or should–care.

It’s raining in New York this morning. The Jets play the Dolphins in the late afternoon game out in Jersey. I wonder if football players wake up bummed when they hear raindrops or if it just doesn’t matter at all to them as they gnaw on a slab of raw meat.

In the meantime, check out this loving appreciation of Vic Ziegel and Maury Allen by Harvey Ararton in today’s New York Times.

Araton gets props over here.

In the meantime, the Knicks are on early this afternoon. Yes, the Knicks. Amare has been so much better than I ever expected. What a nice surprise. It’s been awhile…

UPDATE: The first half of the Knicks-Nuggest game today at the Garden is enough to turn fair-weather Knicks fans like me back on. 66-65 Knicks at the half, a shoot-out. Lots of fun. Nene vs. Amare has been spirited, Amare came close to getting his second tech and tossed in the second quarter. Refs gave the Knicks a hometown call. Nene’s thrown down three dunks, the last one, emphatically! over Amare.

Can’t remember the last time I was actually excited about watching the second half of a Knicks game…

UPDATE: Knicks win a good one…that’s their 8th win in a row, something they haven’t done in 16 years.

Celts and then the Heat come to the Garden this week. Nice.

[Photo Credit: N.Y. Daily News and Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images]


1 RIYank   ~  Dec 12, 2010 9:51 am

Yeah, I've kind of tuned out because the waiting chatter is too much for me. As Diane reminded us,

How do you wait? Patient-Lee!

Jets-Dolphins should be good. But Giants-Vikings postponed, because... yep. The Teflon Dome has collapsed, under 17 inches of snow.
I'll be watching the Pats play the Bears in the snow.

2 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 12, 2010 9:57 am

I've coveted the guy for about 5 years now, so I'm not ready to give up on him yet, despite this really really slow bottle of ketchup act he's putting us through Yeah, the money we're throwing at him is to the point of embarrassing, but as I and others have been saying, the Yanks are built to win now (as in the next couple three years). I hope he does the right thing, and comes here ready to win big. Haven't there been utterances all along that this is where he wants to be? (despite the horsecrap his wife went through at the Stadium).

Now, if he decides to stay in Texas, I'll still admire him as a pitcher, and think about what could have been. But at the same time, he'll be Denny fucking Neagle to me. So, c'mon, Cliff Lee. Let's not let all the good vibes come to that. Do the right thing. Be a damn Yankee already.

3 Sliced Bread   ~  Dec 12, 2010 10:09 am

[1] yeah, that Giants game was supposed to be one of my big diversions today from the "Cliff Lee Decides At The Speed of a Glacier Show" that's been playing in the back of my mind on perma-loop.

We're decorating the tree this morning when the kids get home from Sunday school. We'll get the Xmas tunes cranking, and then we have a party to go to later in the afternoon - but that 1pm Giants game would have been a great diversion. Adding to my bummage, I won't be able to see the game tomorrow night.

4 The Hawk   ~  Dec 12, 2010 11:47 am

I'm kinda 50/50 on Lee but when Sabathia was being courted, it was the same situation. Everyone got sick of the waiting, griped, but look how that turned out. I remember saying "**** him, let him pitch in Anaheim" or something to that effect on occasion.

Still, I think Sabathia was a better prize due to his age. Lee makes me a bit nervous. What would be great is if he went to Texas, the Yanks went ahead and traded for Greinke, and he pitched along the lines of 2009 for the next eight or so years.

5 hiscross   ~  Dec 12, 2010 12:08 pm

Nice to see global warming working out so well. Reading all the whining about Lee tells me a who;e bunch of people have never played the game and certainly don't a thing about business. Lee is a very good pitcher, and he might give the Yankees a world series or two. Shilling did the same for Boston. So the question is can Lee make the difference? With play-off being expanded, the regular season doesn't start until late August. Teams that have their eye on the big dance, shouldn't care about baseball from April - late August. Get into the play-offs fresh and stay hot. if Lee can do that for the Yankees, then great. The Texas heat will wear him out like it did this past year.

6 rbj   ~  Dec 12, 2010 1:03 pm

1 Lee. Texas has no income tax, I believe. NY has both a state & city income tax, so I'm sure Lee is taking that into account too. Lot of numbers to crunch, along with emotions. So I'm not sweating it. What I am sweating is that I've had rain, which has now turned to snow, meaning there's going to be snow on top of ice tomorrow morning.

I believe it is called the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. With the snow collapsing the roof, I believe that the Humpty Dome has had a great fall.

7 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 12, 2010 1:17 pm

If he passes, I’ll be relieved and eager to see what the Yanks do next.

I've said this before, losing out on Lee could be a double blow to the Yankees. We'll lose out on pitching the Yankees desperately need and make stupid panic move(s). I dread seeing what they'd do next. Frankly, I'm not sure Cashman wouldn't bring back Pavano.

8 Simone   ~  Dec 12, 2010 1:48 pm

Like with C.C., I think Lee is just drawing out his decision so he can claim that it was difficult to make. He wants to win and get paid. I believe that he will sign with the Yankees. However, the wait is excruciating.

9 Raf   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:17 pm

[7] Cashman doesn't seem to be the type to make panic moves.

10 The Mick536   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:17 pm

Okay. Enough is enough. If I were Cliff Lee, I'd be worried that the Yankees won't catch the ball and throw it as well as the Rangers do. They certainly won't be keeping Carl Crawford off of third base, or Ellsbury for that matter. And if Jeter bats .270, A-rod hits fewer than 25 and Tex doesn't make it to the end of the season or bats .260, Lee goes into the second inning down 0-1 against the Sox more times than he would like.

11 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:23 pm

[9] Kei Igawa.

12 monkeypants   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:26 pm

10) i bet that is exactly his line of thinking at this juncture.

13 thelarmis   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:29 pm

clifton might also rather pitch against the AL West more often, than the East. that could be a factor, along with the locale and city/state tax.

it's "snowing" here in atlanta. so few flakes, i can actually count them. pretty much on one hand. this should cause sufficient panic throughout the metro area...

14 Raf   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:35 pm

[11] Kei Igawa wasn't a panic move, not even close.

15 Raf   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:39 pm

[6] If taxes are the reason Lee signs with Texas, he needs to fire his accountant.

16 rbj   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:44 pm

[15] Just that if you want the same take home pay, Yankees have to offer much more money. And it seems the Lees live in Arkansas, dunno if that state & locality have income taxes.

17 The Hawk   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:47 pm

There was an article today about the tax thing, I forget where, and the guy said the taxes would really only be about one or two million more in NY, due to Lee living in Arkansas and only getting taxed on home games.

18 The Hawk   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:49 pm

[8] That rings true.

19 The Hawk   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:50 pm

Here tis: "The idea that the money can be made up via decreased taxes in Texas doesn't appear to have much merit. Beyond the fact that Lee is an Arkansas resident, he'd only be responsible for New York taxes for the 81 home dates each year. Over the course of a seven-year contract, the tax differential would be expected to be no more than $1 to $2 million"


20 Raf   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:52 pm

[16] Whatever difference in pay could be made up with endorsements (he can hawk Subway sammiches with CC), and given that free agents in general haven't flocked to the Rangers/Astros, I don't think that having no income tax isn't that much of a selling point to players.

Having said that, I'm not sure as to how it would work out (taxwise) if the Lee's are residing in AR, playing 81 games in TX, and the other 81 games on the road.

21 Raf   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:53 pm

[17,19] Ah, there ya go... Thanks.

22 Raf   ~  Dec 12, 2010 2:55 pm

[20] *is that much of a selling point...*

23 Mattpat11   ~  Dec 12, 2010 3:04 pm

[14] Then I have no idea what the hell the point of that was if not a response to Matsuzaka.

24 thelarmis   ~  Dec 12, 2010 3:11 pm

[23] i agree it was definitely a direct response to the dice-klay deal. at first, we all kinda liked him here, called him "Quest". then he, you know, actually pitched...

25 Raf   ~  Dec 12, 2010 3:25 pm

[23] The point was to sign a starting pitcher, as has been the case since free agency started. They were also interested in Gil Meche and Ted Lily as well. They already had signed Mussina, and had Pavano, Johnson and Wang in the rotation. They were in on Matsuzaka and were outbid. They were in on Igawa and won the bid. It isn't a panic move any more than the other free agents they've signed over the years.

26 rbj   ~  Dec 12, 2010 4:17 pm

[19] Thanks. Didn't realize it would be that low.

27 RIYank   ~  Dec 12, 2010 5:31 pm

This football game (at Soldiers Field) isn't exciting, but it's impressive.
Since late Thanksgiving afternoon, the Patriots have outscored opponents 100-3 (as of late second quarter of the Bears game).

28 OldYanksFan   ~  Dec 12, 2010 10:00 pm
29 JeremyM   ~  Dec 13, 2010 12:40 am

It's just too bad that Pete Rock and CL Smooth only put together two full albums, an EP, and a handful of other songs. They were perfect together.

And I don't think I ever want to hear about Cliff Lee and taxes ever again.....

30 Greg G   ~  Dec 13, 2010 11:44 am

Cliff should have an hourlong special on ESPN where he makes his decision. I think he will choose the Yanks in the end.

In NY he will have more chances to win. The tax money will be offset by Playoff shares for the next 5-7 years. (Depending on how long the Yanks can continue to field a playoff team) The Yanks going forward will eat large contracts like cookies if necessary. Lee's included. Win now baby!

feed Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via email
"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver