Behind Every Great Player….
October 28, 2010 4 Comments
… Is a wife that’s trying to get more money.
You probably know where I’m going with this, and you’re right. I’m talking about Cliff Lee’s wife, and her recent comments about how she was treated at Yankee Stadium.
Let me start off by saying that I think it’s absolutely disgusting for any fan to harass a player’s wife. The wives and families of players should not be mistreated. Ever. It is unacceptable, and absolutely classless.
Now, let’s talk about this story for a minute. It really is a non-issue, but it’s our off-season now and we have to talk about something.
During the ALCS games between the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, some of the fans allegedly spat at Cliff Lee’s wife, Kristen, threw beer at her, and shouted obscenities. She reportedly felt harassed and unsafe, and rightfully so if this happened to her.
If these allegations are indeed true, then I’d like to apologize to Kristen Lee on behalf of all Yankees fans.
I’ve always been skeptical, however, when it comes to the “perfect timing” of stories such as this one.
Cliff Lee, coming off of yet another dominant start against the Yankees, is heading towards free agency in the off-season. The Yankees, coming off of a disappointment in the ALCS, are in the market for a dominant starting pitcher. Is there any baseball fan out there who doesn’t see a Yankee offer going to Cliff Lee?
Now, most fans have been saying “Cliff Lee in pinstripes in 2011” all season. Personally, I’m one of them. I’d love to see him pitch for us next season. The media has also been talking about Cliff Lee in the Bronx, but they always link every major free agent to the Yankees. As is the case with every off-season, everyone assumes that free agents generally go to the highest bidder. More often than not, that is true. Also, more often than not, the Yankees are the highest bidders for the players they want badly.
So, knowing what we know and going where we’re going, the general consensus is that it’s all about the dollar signs.
Now, could this story have come at a better time? Honestly, it couldn’t have. Now that Mrs. Lee has felt the “animosity” of New York, I’m sure she’ll need something to ease the pain of the emotional scars. Something like… Oh, I don’t know… an extra few million a year to go shopping with? I’m pretty sure the line “My wife likes New York, but she feels threatened and unsafe” will come up at some point in the negotiations, in which case the line “How about we add a few more million to that figure” will come up in return.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not blaming her. I’m not saying she’s wrong for making allegations that are not entirely accurate. For all we know, the incident might have really happened. If it didn’t happen, however, or if she slightly exaggerated what really did happen, then it’s just a bargaining chip going into the off-season negotiations. If I were married to a professional baseball player, and the Yankees were interested in him, I would do whatever it took to support him and get the best deal possible.
At the end of the day, if the harassment was as bad as was initially reported, she could have told stadium security, and it would have been taken care of. In fact, I’d like to think that Yankee Stadium security run a tight ship, and everyone, especially the wives and families of players, are safe and protected.
Cliff Lee pitched in Philadelphia, for Heaven’s sake. I find it hard to believe that Mrs. Lee didn’t attend any of her husband’s games there. I don’t care how much you hate the Yankees, you cannot claim that Yankee Stadium is a more hostile environment than Citizens Bank Park. Surely she must have seen what real harassment looks like. If she hasn’t, she can ask Nick Swisher and Melky Cabrera about how it felt to have coins thrown at them in the outfield.
Since the initial reports of harassment in the Bronx, several articles have surfaced saying Kristen Lee isn’t dwelling on what happened. That it doesn’t make her dislike New York, or affect her opinions and feelings about her husband’s upcoming off-season. Smart woman. Play the card, but don’t burn any bridges. Sit back, relax, and wait for the New York Yankees to make it all better.
To be fair, I’ll say it again: I would have done the same thing.