Cliff Lee brushes off the fan spitting stuff

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I continue to maintain that the “fans spit on Kristen Lee” thing is being blown way out of proportion. If you’re going to take anything from her comments it’s not that, which was a brief, one-sentence aside. It’s the several things she had to say about liking Dallas, wanting to be close to Arkansas and her and her husband’s smaller town temperament. For his part, Cliff Lee is blowing it off too:

“I brush that off as fans being fans. You can’t control 50,000 people and what they’re going to do. There were some people that were spitting off the balcony on the family section and things like that, and that’s kind of weak, but what can you do? No, I don’t know the guy that did it. It could be anyone. Who knows? Who cares? They’re at home right now.”

And, quite predictably and quite understandably, Cliff Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker — who certainly doesn’t want the Yankees or any other team to shy away from his client — says that the Kristen Lee stuff will have no bearing whatsoever on where Lee ends up signing:

“The story is not an issue to us. Her experience in New York is certainly a non-issue. She enjoys New York as much as anyone enjoys New York.”

“As much as anyone enjoys New York?” Wow, I had no idea it was that bad.

Manny Machado to face another team that doesn’t like him very much

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Brewers fans booed the living heck out of Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado during the NLCS. They had reason to, of course, as Machado turned in a couple of pretty dirty plays. To Machado’s credit, he embraced the role of heel pretty well by grabbing his crotch in the crowd’s general direction in Game 7. I can’t say I want my kid doing that, but (a) Machado is not my kid; and (b) If you’re gonna be the bad guy anyway, you may as well own it, so thank you Manny. You provided us with some entertainment.

You might think that the ill-will toward Machado is over now, but that may not be the case. Because if you remember back to April and May of last year, there was a good bit of it between Machado and the Red Sox.

In a series between the Orioles and the Red Sox in late April 2017, Machado slid hard into Dustin Pedroia, injuring him. Despite the fact that Machado seemed genuinely concerned about Pedroia, suggesting no ill-intent — and despite the fact that Pedroia seemed OK with the play — Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes threw at Machado’s head later in the series in retaliation, earning a suspension.

Fast forward a week, when the teams met again, and Chris Sale — the World Series Game 1 starter — threw behind Machado, resulting in a warning being issued. Machado would later homer in the game, which one thinks would help bring some resolution to all of that, but after the game was over Sale’s pitch was still sticking in his craw.

As was the F-word. A lot of F-words were in Machado’s craw too:

That ended up being the end of all of that, but one wonders if Machado still harbors some ill will. Or if Barnes does. Or if Sale does. My guess is that even if they do harbor some ill will, or if Machado harbors ill will toward them, everyone will keep a lid on it because this is the freakin’ World Series and no one wants to hurt their team over a more than year-old beef.

But I bet the Fenway Faithful let Machado hear it. Keep a camera on Machado, Fox.