A brief Cliff Lee post mortem post mortem

Link Dump: The Boss, Fifth Starter, Joba
Open Thread: Cashman helps fight cancer

For the Yankees, Cliff Lee will forever be the one that got away. Whether that’s a blessing or curse depends upon how Jesus Montero develops and whether or not Lee ages gracefully. Right now, his loss stings, and Texas Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg has decided to rub salt in our wounds. The Rangers’ owner believes that his persistency kept Lee from the Yankees and gave the Phillies the time they needed to put together an offer.

While speaking at a Rangers’ Fan Fest this week, Greenberg expounded on his theory. “We had three different meetings with Cliff and his wife and his agent in Little Rock,” Greenberg said to his fans. “Even though Philadelphia was probably not in, they were always in the back of our mind. I think if we wouldn’t have gone to Arkansas that last time, I think he was going to sign with the Yankees. We pried the door open a little bit to give ourselves another opportunity. And ultimately the Phillies were able to take advantage of that opportunity that we created.” I would be pretty angry at this news if I weren’t so apathetic in the first place.

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Link Dump: The Boss, Fifth Starter, Joba
Open Thread: Cashman helps fight cancer
  • Mike

    Another way to read those comments is “We never had a chance to sign him.” Weird thing to admit to when they are trying so hard to convince the fan base that they are going to be regular contenders.

  • http://twitter.com/stephen_mr Stephen Rhoads

    GOOD FOR YOU, CHUCK!

    /drinks cyanide

  • Xstar7

    That’s pathetic. Fuck the Texas Rangers.

  • JimmieFoxx

    Whatever helps you sleep at night Chuck.

  • Accent Shallow

    I think the Yankees absolutely dodged a bullet by not paying Lee until he’s 38-39, but only time will tell.

    • toad

      agree

  • steve (different one)

    What a wierd thing to brag about.

    If anything, it prob just says Lee played both the yanks and the rangers. His heart was set on philly and maybe he told them “wait until the bidding stops and make me an offer in the neighborhood”

  • Dismortologist

    Screw Cliff Lee… I’m more upset about signing Soriano than losing Cliff Lee.

    • fire levine

      Interesting angle. While I can’t say I’m more upset about one or the other, losing out on lee would definitely have been easier to swallow if we hadn’t gone out and gave up our pick on top of a ridiculous contract for a reliever

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    I still don’t get how he is responsible for this, it strikes me as a 2 + 2 = 8 situation. But whatever makes you feel better for losing out on him, Chuckie.

    I hate the whole “if the Boss was still alive…” thing but if the Boss was still alive, Chuck Greenberg would not be.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

    /loser mentality

    (though I do hear that Webb has been doing well, sort of wish the Yankees had him right now)

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      You know who said Webb has been doing well? Brandon Webb.

      I think we should wait until he throws some innings before getting too upset about that one. I like the idea of Webb on the Yanks, but scouts who saw him pitch said he wasn’t hitting 90. Plus, the Rangers don’t expect him back until at least the second month of the season.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

        Oh, I didn’t know he said that. Either way, for multiple millions or not, he does pass the better-than-Mitre test by name.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

          So does Galarraga but he’s not, actually.

  • STEVIS

    Chucks a schmuck and his pathetic team from Texas will go back to their comfort zone……. bottom of the pack in the west!!
    We caught a break not getting Lee… no sour grapes, i don’t think that in a season or two he will still be an ace.
    I also think that his ego is somewhat inflated! He should be the one that should feel shafted!!

  • Mike HC

    This guy has a serious Yankees complex.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      +1

  • http://twitter.com/Carlosological Carlosologist

    Can we set Hank loose on Greenberg? It would be hilariously awful.

  • ultimate913

    No worries, people. Berkman, while no longer a Yankee, did our work for us. Taken from a Rangers blog:

    This morning, while driving to work, 1560 here in Houston was talking to Lance Berkman. Berkman was talking about being a free agent for the first time, and said that he had his agent call five teams — Atlanta, Houston, Colorado, St. Louis, and Texas — to gauge interest once he was on the market. Texas had some interest, although he said when he was closing in on a deal with the Cardinals, the Rangers got a lot more aggressive with him.

    He went on to indicate that if it had been about the most money, he could have gotten more from the Rangers than the $8 million he got from the Cardinals, but went on to say that he didn’t want to play in the A.L., and additionally, once the Rangers lost Cliff Lee, he felt they were just an “average” team — that last year was a “lightning in a bottle” season where pitchers pitched over their head, and he didn’t think they would be that good in 2011, so he opted to go with the Cardinals.

    Thanks, Berkman.

    • mbonzo

      Well he’s right. Wilson and Lewis had good seasons, and should in no way repeat what they did. The team has no Ace, and every pitcher on their rotation is a question mark. They have a great farm system, which means they might have an Ace and some reliable starters in the future, but 2010 was a lucky lucky season. If they were in the AL East they wouldn’t have made the post seasons, and I don’t even know if they’d be much better than a .500 team.

      • CS Yankee

        The Giants lead the league with luck last year…how they got past Philly and look what they did to Lee in the WS. Other than SP, they had a joke of a team.

        The Rangers had it as well with their bats, arms, etc. but they were easily the best team in their divison. Giants not so much.

    • CS Yankee

      So why call the Rangers?

      He could start for Texas but St Louis has that one 1B…what is his name?

      All the other teams make sense…Helton has no power anymore, back to Houston at a deep discount, but St Louis?

      • ultimate913

        Apparently, he’ll be playing the OF(either RF or LF) for STL. That should be a fun experiment to watch.

        • CS Yankee

          I know…

          But help me understand something because it doesn’t pass the water test.

          He has his agent call only five teams, one of which is the Rangers…the Rangers;
          1) Are in his home state
          2) Have serious coin to spend
          3) Don’t have a legit 1B
          4) Could easily win the West again

          Again, if your only calling 5 teams doesn’t that lead to them being a solid choice?

          Plus, is St Louis even going to be a wildcard team next year because Cincy & The Brewers look better to me as of right now?

          Plus-plus that Larussa guy is almost as crazy as Ozzie.

          • Mister Delaware

            I imagine Berkman didn’t foresee the Marcum and Greinke deals.

            Also, this tweet by Old Hoss was really funny at the time: “The Cardinals like L. Berkman so much they are going to put a statue of him in the OF this year.”

  • Pasqua

    Read: “Fans, we failed you as an organization, but we’re going to spin this to make it sound like we won! Oh, and we have giant, giant inferiority complex! Go Rangers!”

  • Mark

    How about this- Chuck is throwing a bone to his fan base by making it SEEM if they were directly responsible for keeping Lee away from the NYY.

    This is , of course, the next best thing to resigning him themselves.

    Pathetic

    • mbonzo

      Chuck is trying to create a rivalry between the Rangers and Yankees to try and boost the fan base. He just comes off as an arrogant prick though. Rangers fans may see the Yankees as a rival, but Yankees fans know that the Rangers are not an elite team.

  • Corporate Scum

    Mark Cuban woulda been a classier owner.

    • CS Yankee

      Mark Cuban would of been a scarier owner with that checkbook.

      FTFY

      • All Praise Be To Mo

        But it would have been fun to watch.

        • CS Yankee

          Would Pettitte return his call when he offered him 25M$ to pitch a year?

          • Billion$Bullpen

            Yes he would.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

    You can tell Greenberg’s new at this ownership thing.

    • CS Yankee

      Kind of like Molly Brown on the Titanic?

      • Elliot

        More like his neighbor Jerry Jones.

    • Corporate Scum

      I really want to make a joke about a certain Politician here……

  • Big Apple

    The spin on this story sound like the spin put on by the Bosox when Theo performed his magic by signing Crawford which immediatly upped the Yanks price tag for Lee.

    Since Lee didn’t end up with the Yanks…and never was going to…I see it as Boston grossly overpaying for Crawford. But somehow that gets lost.

    • Elliot

      If the Yankees had signed Crawford to the same contract, they’d have been excoriated.

  • MikeD

    Wow, I’ll give Greenberg credit. He’s trying to create interest in the Rangers by doing everything he can, including making up stories and trying to link his team to the Yankees. It’s an old strategy. The Royals used it back in the 70s/early 80s. The Mariners used it in the 90s. Those teams all eventually fade away to be replaced by another team that thinks they can live off the Yankees name. Chuck and his Rangers are the latest pretenders.

    Basically, they traded away their top position player for a cup of tea with Lee, who then rejected them, even after he went to battle with the Rangers players, helping them to the World Series. Greenberg and compaany met with Lee numerous times, including flying in their billionaire owner. They just couldn’t seal the deal. Pretty embarassing.

    The Yankees offered the most money over seven years, but Lee went back to a team he wanted to play for and which offered him the highest annual-average salary. That’s fine. He didn’t reject the Yankees. He did reject the Rangers, and no matter what Greenberg says can’t change that.

  • NapLajoieOnSteroids

    I think what the Rangers owner is doing is brilliant from a marketing standpoint. He is not only trying to drum up a passionate fanbase but is going out of his way to try to create some sort of rivalry with the industry standard Yankees. A Yankees-Texas rivalry would be more profitable for him and his brand.

    So he shoots at the hip and hopes for the best.

  • rek4gehrig

    Hey Chuck, believe it or not, it isnt all about you

  • Big L

    Seems to me he’s just trying to take his fans minds off the fact that he wasted their best prospects on a short term rental! I know I would be pissed if Cash had traded Jesus Montero for a three month rental of Cliff Lee!

    Keep trying to convince yourself Chuck, you got over on us!

  • Bo

    Don’t even act like you’re more than a temporary blip of the Yankees’ radar, Chuck. You’d be up to your eyeballs in Josh Hamilton speculations, leaks, and rumors if your market had tasted post-season success more than once in four decades. Back to your hole.