Liguori: The Great Snub

By Ann Liguori
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I love New York. Although I am not originally from New York, this displaced Midwesterner has called New York her home for over 30 years. But as much as we New Yorkers know that this is the greatest city in the world, it’s not for everyone and apparently, it’s not where Cliff Lee and his family wanted to be. It may seen insulting that Lee picked Philadelphia over New York, but I think it’s all about a team he feels he can win with and less about liking or disliking the Big Apple. Okay, it is insulting.

Forget about the much publicized ‘bigger’ contract numbers that New York offered, it could be that with Philadelphia loading up the contract on the front-end, perhaps he and his agent preferred the way the Philadelphia contract was structured? Yes, he left 30 million on the table. But what’s 30 million if you prefer living in another area and will be happier playing for another team?

Did Lee and his family have a problem with the Big City? A guy from Arkansas is not necessarily going to feel comfortable or fit-in in the Big Apple, but then again, Philadelphia is no small potatoes. Obviously Lee enjoyed his time in Philadelphia towards the end of the 2009 season and may figure he has unfinished business to attend to there.

Did Lee have a problem with the way Yankee fans treated his wife during game 3 of the ALCS? Was that the deal breaker? I don’t think so. Fan rudeness and unacceptable behavior, although I am against it, can happen anywhere and Philadelphia fans can be more than feisty. In October, after it happened, Lee said himself that it was a matter of a few fans acting like ‘fools’ and that would not affect his decision.

Was Lee turned off with comments from Yankees’ brass relating to Derek Jeter before Jeter and the Yankees came to terms with his contract? That can’t help. The Yankees aren’t shy about showing whose boss in terms of negotiating. Even though I know how difficult it is to write a story or talk about a story if all we hear is ‘no comment,’ I’ve always felt that, from a business side, there is more up-side for both parties involved to negotiate ‘in private’ and not leak any information to the press until the deal is completely finished.

Does Lee feel he has a much better chance of winning with the ‘A List’ pitching staff that Philadelphia put together? Bingo — I would think this would be the top reason Lee chose the Phillies over any other team. The top priority of most professional athletes is to win. And Lee must think he has a better chance at winning in Philadelphia than anywhere else. It’s that simple. It may be a hard reality for Yankees fans to swallow. I root for the Yankees and yes, it’s tough to see Lee go elsewhere. But add Lee to a rotation featuring Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Roy Oswalt and you have one word – scary! Scary good. One of the best starting pitching rotations ever!

So as much as it hurts Yankees fans, don’t over-analyze Lee’s decision. He basically chose a team that he thinks he can win with. As insulting as that seems to Yankee fans, it’s refreshing that in his case, it doesn’t seem as if it was ‘all about the money.’

Be sure to visit Ann’s web site at www.annliguori.com and order a DVD copy of an interview with your favorite sports legend of a copy of Ann’s book, ‘A Passion for Golf, Celebrity Musings About the Game.’.

pixy Liguori: The Great Snub
Comments

One Comment

  1. Prince says:

    Bernard, may you & yours have a safe and happy holiday. Cheers brother.

    1. Bernard says:

      Thanks, Prince of Peace…Happy Holidays!

      Cheers.

  2. Bernard says:

    Thank you for the correction. I am a YANKEES fan from Union County and I have been impressed by the pitching skills of Cliff Lee.

    Be well…

  3. Prince says:

    Bernard, you look stupid correcting him. The Phillies did not make the post season in ’04 and ’05
    like you stated, only 4 teams make the post season iin each league, the Phillies were not one of them. First post season was in ’07 like he said. You should look it up before you make a comment. And the Yankees, OK, he should have said 15 out of the last 16 yrs, very impressive don’t you think, but you knew that or being stupid, maybe you did not. And the wife thing, now that was funny, maybe he hit a personal nerve with you Hill Billies in Philly

  4. Bernard says:

    Phils have been in playoffs since 2004 (excluding 2006 season). Also, the following comment is inane: Yankees have made the post season 16 out of the last 15 years.

    Also, I am offended by your inflammatory comment regarding his wife.

  5. Santa says:

    gee Ann, you think making $25 mil a year didn’t have anything to do with it. Lee stated that no one spat on his wife, in his words “it was over blown”. Yankees have made the post season 16 out of the last 15 years. Phillies have made the post season just the last 3 years. A chance to make the post season you said, yeah, his chances where greater with the Yankees, as always. I guess living in the mountains of Pennsylvania will reminded him of the mountains of Arkansas and where he can keep his relationship with his wife, who’s actually his sister, a secret.

    1. PHILLYCOP FROM PHILLY says:

      IF ITS NOT YOUR WAY, THEN YOU INSULT THEM, THAT IS WHY LEE DID NOT WANT TO BE IN NEW YORK… NEW YORK STINKS, TRAFFIC TAXES LARGE CROWDS AND VERY HIGH RENT, GET REAL ITS A DUMP, THE BEST PART OF NEW YORK IS LEAVING. I DON’T LIKE PHILLY EITHER, BUT PHILLY IS MUCH BETTER PLACE TO LIVE AND RAISE A FAMILY. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR OVER PRICE TICKETS FOR THE YANKEES, TAKE OUT A LONE FROM THE BANK AND GO BUY A TICKET AND PAY FOR PARKING….AND CHEER ON YOUR OVER THE HILL BALL PLAYERS

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