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Hank Steinbrenner thinks it would “behoove” Cliff Lee to be a Yankee

Dec 10, 2010, 8:43 PM EDT

Hank Steinbrenner smoking

Want the latest example of Yankee exceptionalism? Of course you do.

Here’s Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner, when asked about free-agent left-hander Cliff Lee by the Associated Press earlier today:

“For somebody of that stature, it would certainly behoove him to be a Yankee, which would probably be for the rest of his career. I think that would be a great move for him but, of course I’m prejudiced.”

Steinbrenner sounds pretty confident. And rightfully so, really. His club reportedly offered Lee a seven-year, $161 million contract that will be very difficult for the Rangers to top. In fact, a penny more and it would be the richest deal ever awarded to a pitcher.

Hank isn’t all that concerned about giving a seven-year deal to a 32-year-old pitcher, either.

“Looking at how well Andy pitched up until this year and so forth, and he’s a lefty, the same kind of pitcher as Andy, I don’t really see a problem,” Steinbrenner said. “I think Cliff’s the kind of guy that can get it done and be effective for a long time. He’s a great pitcher.”

That could very well be true, but let’s be honest, the Yankees aren’t going to concern themselves with what Lee will look like six or seven years from now. Why? Because they aren’t like you, or your favorite baseball team not named the Yankees. They are exceptional.

This is the same organization that witnessed Kevin Brown break down at the end of his seven-year, $105 million contract due to back problems. Most organizations would probably take a few notes from that experience, but you see, the Yankees play this free-agent game by different rules. Your albatross is their Kei Igawa.

  1. gt929 - Dec 10, 2010 at 9:21 PM

    Ya know, we don’t really use those big ol’ words down here in Texas, so I’m just gonna guess that be-hoove means to put hooves on something. Like the devil has been be-hooved. So I guess I agree with the ol’ fella.

    • Old Gator - Dec 10, 2010 at 11:12 PM

      Tell that modest little demurral about big words to Cormac McCarthy, why dontcha?

      • gt929 - Dec 10, 2010 at 11:37 PM

        LoL, umm, had to Wikipediate that name first. Just like I figgered! There’s 2 of ’em, but with names like that, they had to be Yankees!

        Eh, I’m just making jokes by playing to the stereotype. (Big word there, see?) And I just invented a new big word- Wikipediate!

      • Old Gator - Dec 11, 2010 at 11:37 AM

        Yeah, I know. I was just showing off myself. I was referring to the novelist, not the folksinger. As we all know, folksingers use even fewer big words than Texans. But that’s only because they’ve never had an education.

  2. proudlycanadian - Dec 10, 2010 at 9:27 PM

    It behooves Hankie to develop a bit of humility. With an attitude like that, I suspect that he will dissipate his father’s legacy and financial largess.

    • Old Gator - Dec 10, 2010 at 11:14 PM

      Well now, that is the prerogative of sons, is it not?

      • proudlycanadian - Dec 11, 2010 at 7:41 AM

        At the risk of obfuscating my story line, I must digress and report that it is usually the third generation that blows the lucre and becomes irrelevant.

      • Old Gator - Dec 11, 2010 at 3:50 PM

        Or you could turn to the tale of the Baron Thurn und Taxis who blew all but a few measely millions of a centuries-old family fortune, then upon being diagnosed terminally ill blew that on one last week-long blowout farewell party in his castle in Germany. I don’t know about you, but if you’re gonna finish off the estate, do it that way instead of pissing it away on some pitcher with back problems.

    • Adam - Dec 11, 2010 at 10:47 AM

      When exactly was George humble when it comes to putting a winner on the field and getting the man he wanted? It sounds to me like Hank is picking up right where George left it.

  3. thatmntwinsgirl - Dec 10, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    Yes, because any other team is just selling “someone of his stature” short, isn’t it Hal? Terrible thing to say, especially since Lee’s (former?) team is the reason the Yanks didn’t go on to the Series…

  4. drpaisley - Dec 10, 2010 at 10:16 PM

    For somebody of that stature, it would certainly behoove him to be a Yankee

    Hey, it made A-Rod the Centaur of attention

    • Glenn - Dec 11, 2010 at 8:20 AM

      Now that is funny!

    • Old Gator - Dec 11, 2010 at 5:17 PM

      Dingggg! Bad punmanship is alive and well on Circling the Bases. Et in arcadia ego, and all that. What a beauty! And classically educated, too. My hat is off to you – just for a moment, so the little propeller won’t stop spinning.

  5. iamthedoublestandard - Dec 10, 2010 at 10:23 PM

    Talk about overblown.

    Texas: “Why don’t u tell me what u want Cliff?”

    Yanks: “You know what you’re going to get.”

    And by ‘get’ they means that every year it’s balls to the wall for the WS ring. You don’t have ego, you might as well not show up.

  6. frankvzappa - Dec 10, 2010 at 11:27 PM

    what a pompous douche…the Yanks are up a creek without a paddle if they dont get Lee, and even if they do they still wont even win the division, let alone make the series…Red Sox Nation will be too strong for the next half decade at least…

    • Kevin S. - Dec 11, 2010 at 12:56 PM

      Hank’s a pompous douche who needs to STFU and let the adults handle such matters, but it’s severe homeristic wishcasting to think the Yankees are somehow “up a creek” without Cliff Lee. Somehow, I get the feeling they’ll be there in September either way.

  7. aintitfunnyhowtimeslipsaway - Dec 11, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    I suppose MSNBC used the worse picture of Nolan Ryan they could find a few days ago, so their editorial sense of fairness is intact. What owner is not arrogant about his team?

    • Old Gator - Dec 11, 2010 at 11:40 AM

      I agree. They should have used that photo of him sitting in the dugout watching the Mutts celebrate at the end of the LCS in 1986. He was young and beautiful then.

      Me, if they’d taken a picture with Georgie the War Criminal sitting next to me, I would have been barfing on my Guccis. Nolan got off easy.

  8. sedettiger - Dec 11, 2010 at 6:53 PM

    Is that Hank Steinbrenner or Sammy the Bull?

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