Great Moments in Cliff Lee Love

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Apparently ladies love cool Cliff:

Cliff Lee love isn’t about box scores, ERAs, or innings pitched. You won’t understand it by dissecting interview transcripts, psychoanalyzing his heart, or rereading the fine print of the leaner contract he signed with Philadelphia at the expense of a fatter paycheck dangled by the Yankees.

It is about animal instinct. It is about being a Marlboro Man in a Metrosexual World. And it begins and ends with Game 1 of the 2009 World Series, when in one of those rare moments of superhero shine, a less-is-more ace incinerated the almighty Yankees the way Indiana Jones crushed the Germans with little more than a whip, a sneer, and a few good Hollywood one-liners.

…Watching Lee’s no-drama dominance that night, women across this cubicle-cluttered, iPhone-armed nation of pale-faced dot-comers and overpaid Wall Street slicksters were wondering: They still make men like that?

Sure enough, as Beckner handed us menus she shared a final thought about Lee and that World Series game, and she served it up with naughty relish: “I wanted to do all sorts of things to that man.”

I was going to mock this reaction to Lee as the silly and superficial ravings of a troubled woman, but than I realized that most of the male Phillies fans who read this blog reacted in more or less the same way when Ruben Amaro signed him this winter.

(thanks to Jonny for the heads up)

The Braves cave, a little anyway, on their outside food policy

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On Friday the Atlanta Braves announced a new policy for outside food, prohibiting ticket holders from bringing in their own. This was a reversal of their old policy — and the policies of the majority of teams around the league — which allowe fans to bring in soft-sided coolers with their own food and beverages, at least as long as the beverages were sealed.

The Braves claimed that the policy change was “a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league,” but this was clearly untrue as no other teams are cracking down on outside food like this. If there are new security procedures, everyone else is able to accommodate them without an opportunistic crackdown on fans bringing in PB&J for their toddlers. It seemed more likely that this was a simple cash grab.

Today the Braves have reversed the policy somewhat:

While they’re looking for kudos here, this is likewise an admission that the “security” stuff was bull because, last I checked, security procedures aren’t subject to popular referendum and aren’t changed when people complain. What really happened here, it seems, is the Braves, for the first time in living memory, were called out by the public for their greed and realized that even they have some responsibility to not be jackasses about this sort of thing.

Still, a gallon bag policy is not the same as it was before. You could bring coolers into Turner Field and still can bring them into most parks around the league. But I guess this is better than nothing.

Donald Trump may throw out the first pitch at the Nationals opener

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It’s just gossip now, but Politico is hearing that Donald Trump is in talks to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Opening Day. The Nats are not commenting. Neither are the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, who no doubt feel slighted given that the president effectively is a local.

With the caveat that, on Opening Day, tickets are likely to be more expensive and thus you’re likely to have a lot more rich people and friends-of-the-owners in attendance, thereby ensuring a more conservative crowd, I’m struggling to imagine a situation in which Trump strolls on to a baseball field in a large American city and isn’t booed like crazy. He’s polling as low as 36% in some places. He’s not exactly Mr. Popular.

Oh well. I look forward to him three-bouncing one to Matt Wieters and then grabbing his phone and tweeting about how it was the best, most tremendous first pitch in baseball history. Or blaming Hillary Clinton for it in the event he admits that it was a bad pitch.