Cliff Lee: “Philly fans don’t need a teleprompter to tell them to cheer”

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Cliff Lee gave his introductory news conference with the Phillies earlier this afternoon (see the video below).  There were a few notable quotes from Lee. One was about how Philly fans are great because “they don’t need a teleprompter to tell them too cheer.” I suppose that could be construed as a swipe at the fans in either Texas or Seattle, so that’s fun.

More interesting to me was when he was asked about taking the shorter, less-guaranteed money deal to come to Philly.  His response.

“When you hit a certain point, enough is enough.”

Money, that is.  Which I imagine is a quote that some people will run with in the next 24 hours as evidence that Lee is selfless and team-oriented and stuff. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone who does run with it also notes that, if Lee pitches as well as he believes he can over the next five years, he’ll end up making more money on this deal than he would have on the Yankees deal. And that he’s making more per-year for each of the next five years than he would have on the Yankees.

Which isn’t to slam Lee, of course. Good for him for going where he wanted on what are really great terms.  But just be wary of anyone who spins this as a selfless deal in which he turned down the big Yankee dollars on a matter of principle. Because anyone writing that is distorting things pretty significantly.

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Clint Hurdle retires from baseball

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Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres interviewed Clint Hurdle, hoping he would become the hitting coach under new manager Jayce Tingler. Hurdle considered the opportunity but ultimately decided to retire from baseball.

Hurdle, 62, was fired by the Pirates following a disappointing 2019 season in which his team went 69-92, the club’s worst finish since 2010. The Pirates’ 2019 season was mired in controversy with a litany of clubhouse issues as well as more than a handful of benches-clearing brawls.

The Pirates were successful under Hurdle, however, reaching the postseason in three consecutive seasons from 2013-15. They lost the 2013 NLDS to the eventual world champion Cardinals in five games, then lost the NL Wild Card game in the following two years to the Giants and Cubs. Overall, in Hurdle’s nine seasons in Pittsburgh, the Pirates went 735-720 (.505).