A few notable Cliff lee comments from today’s press conference in Philadelphia, all according to The Associated Press.
On the factors that helped him make the decision: “There were a lot of variables. I enjoyed my time in Texas. We had a good team and made the World Series. Sometimes making these decisions is tough. When you get your family involved and weigh all your options, it became an easy decision with this team and this pitching staff and what they’ve accomplished over the years. I like the National League. I like hitting and I like facing the pitcher instead of the designated hitter. This is a special group of guys.”
On the money and the chance to win: “It’s plenty of money. When you hit a certain point, enough’s enough. It’s just a matter of where you’re comfortable, where you’re happy, where your family’s the most comfortable, what team gives you the best chance to win. At this point, it’s about trying to win championships. That’s really the No. 1 thing for me. I think this team gives me the best chance to do that. That’s really it.”
On the factors that kept him out of New York: “No one came up to my wife and spit on her. Nobody poured anything on her. You go to any stadium, the opposing team stands and starts cheering, especially in the postseason, fans are going to say things to them, they’re going to do things, that’s part of it. That story was way overblown and was false and had zero to do with the whole thing. Hopefully we can put that behind us because it was a non-issue. There wasn’t anything that scared me away from New York. I wasn’t scared to play there. It was just I wanted to have all my options in front of me. Once the Phillies were there, it was relatively close to everything, it was a no-brainer for me.”
• Jon Heyman reports that the Yankees expect to hear a final decision from Andy Pettitte within a few days. He also reports that Pettitte is expected to return “because family supports it,” but Pettitte doesn’t want to be lowballed.
• Also from Heyman, the Mariners have “no interest” in trading Felix Hernandez. Sorry to shoot down those Felix-for-Melky Mesa rumors.
• Scratch Randy Choate off the list of possible left-handed relievers. He’s reportedly going to the Marlins on a two-year deal.
• Dave Miley, Butch Wynegar and Scott Aldred will be back in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre next season. That’s a big league staff in Triple-A, no doubt. Frank Menechino will come up from Trenton to join them as infield coach. The training staff of Darren London and Lee Tressell is also coming back.
• Down in Trenton, manager Tony Franklin is back for a fifth season. He’ll be joined by pitching coach Tommy Phelps, hitting coach Julius Matos (who held the position before Menechino), and coach Justin Pope. I assume that’s the same Justin Pope who was a first-round pick and pitched for a while in the Yankees system.
Associated Press photo from Lee’s press conference