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

Dec 15, 2010, 3:47 PM EDT

Cliff Lee phillies throwing

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.

  1. 18thstreet - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    When they stop waiving those stupid towels, then I’ll respect their greatness as fans.
    — from Red Sox Nation

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:09 PM

      Not going to happen. As if we give a shhhhhhh…..

    • mss16 - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:18 PM

      When you stop singing Neil Diamond songs I’ll consider you not lame.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:24 PM

        Yeah, we’re at least cool enough to sing songs from his son.

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:31 PM

        In their defense, Neil Diamond is going into the Rock and Roll HOF…yeah…the rock HOF…. Bon Jovi? No. Rush? No. But Neil Diamond? Yup.

      • phillychris - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:31 PM

        Phillies Fans 1 — Red Sox Nation 0

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:42 PM

        Ut, Neil is only going there because he gave half the DNA required to create his son. C’mon man!!

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 5:54 PM

        Who’s Neil Diamond’s son?

      • motherscratcher23 - Dec 15, 2010 at 8:35 PM


      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 8:58 PM

        Dude… You sang his music on a regular basis as a kid I guarantee it.

        No really. Mike D from Beastie Boys. That was the false rumor everyone used to spread anyway. Mike D, his last name is Diamond, but he’s not his kid. I figured everyone heard it at least once.

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:49 PM

        Nope. Never heard that one. But I like the Screech reference.

  2. Richard In Big D - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    It pains me to say this, but, if Lee is talking about the fans in Texas, he’s right. While much better than 10 years ago, Rangers fans are quite inept at knowing what to do, and when. If not for the greatness of Chuck Morgan, only about 5% of Rangers fans would ever make the appropriate sound or gesture at the appropriate time. If Cliff really feels that that’s an issue, he would have been more than welcome to do instructional meetings or such.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:05 PM

      “Rangers fans would ever make the appropriate sound or gesture at the appropriate time”

      That’s somewhat amusingly perplexing….

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:10 PM

        I picture a scene where Hamilton hits a dinger into the stands and the crowd, in unison, let’s out an erotic “uhhhhhhhhhhh, yessssss” and then goes immediately silent in the longest awkward pause in history. Then one dude says quietly, “what we meant was, yay?”

    • hermitfool - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:43 PM

      I’ve never witnessed anything like the slavish behavior of Ranger fans at a play off game this fall. If the electronic direction would have been to take off their clothes and get naked several thousands would have stripped. Nice, well-mannered people. Didn’t hear a curse word the entire afternoon. But it was hard to take the fans seriously when 95% of them marched in lock step. Give them credit. When they weren’t watching the scoreboard for their marching orders they stayed focused on the game, unlike the drunken mob of Gen Xers at the last Cubs game I tried to watch at Wrigley.

  3. Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:02 PM

    Welcome home, Cliffy. Tell Kristen she has nothing to worry about here—we have Tasers.

    • easports82 - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:10 PM

      So that’s what’s being used instead of teleprompters.

      Is that because they’re more effective when the entire fan base is inebriated?

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 5:16 PM

        Inebriation at games is not limited to the Bank or the Vet, mmkay? I’ve seen it at plenty of other venues in my travels.

  4. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:08 PM

    Philly fans DO need a teleprompter to tell them when NOT to cheer! [see response to Michael Irvin’s career-ending injury during Eagles game]

    • stealofhome - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:12 PM

      They could also use a teleprompter to tell them when not to beat up Santa. Or when not to get tased. Or when not to vomit on 11 year old girls.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:26 PM

        Yes or to tell us how many times we’ve already hear that one you piece of repeating sh…… (Adam Sandler, when he was cool and funny) 😉

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 15, 2010 at 5:01 PM

        J5, you only say that b/c you were the guy leading the Irvin cheers, the santa abuser, the puker and the guard with the taser…

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 5:11 PM

        Hey, Heyward, don’t make me pelt you with batteries encased in vomit balls!!!!!

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Dec 15, 2010 at 5:23 PM

        mmmmm batteries encased in vomit balls…..

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 9:29 PM

        Heck yeah I was. I was still making mustard in my draws back then with Santa I think. I was a bad kid.

  5. Mark Armour - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:10 PM

    But, Craig, we are never going to know how much he was offered by the Yankees. While his contract will be a matter of public record soon enough, the offers he received that he did not accept are private. Does it not strike you as odd that once he signed with Philly the leaks from the Yankees suddenly contained lower contract figures than we had previously been told (from other leaks)? I figure the 7/161 leak from last week is likely closer to the truth than anything coming out of the Bronx in the past 36 hours.

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:22 PM

      Been thinking that too …….. when did 7/161 come off the table anyway???

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 4:27 PM

        When Cliffy’s agent told Hank and Cashman to shove it. “Yeah…well…uh…it was $154 anyway!!!!! So…take THAT!!!!”

    • delawarephilliesfan - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:26 PM

      @Mark excellent point. What of it, Craig? You don’t like info “spoon fed” by agents, but you eat it and ask for seconds when served by a jilted GM??

      Come April, the Yanks offer to Lee will be down to $85 Million

      • Craig Calcaterra - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:28 PM

        Multiple reporters came up with those final figures from the Yankees. I wasn’t spoon-fed anything. I’m just relying on the latest info out there. Most of which came from people who originally reported the $161 million and came down afterward. Maybe they were all misled too. I don’t know.

  6. pete8880 - Dec 15, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    Yankee fans don’t know what to do after being rejected, except lash out at Philly fans. It’s gonna be a long year for the most arrogant fans in sports!

    • basedrum777 - Dec 15, 2010 at 7:03 PM

      Its not arrogance if you back it up…

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:04 PM

        1: exaggerating or disposed to exaggerate one’s own worth or importance often by an overbearing manner
        2: showing an offensive attitude of superiority : proceeding from or characterized by arrogance

        In other words, yes, it is arrogance, even if you “back it up”—whatever that’s supposed to mean.

  7. gt929 - Dec 15, 2010 at 5:43 PM

    Yeah, we rubes down here in Texas never know if we’re supposed to cheer, spit, vomit, or tase.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:09 PM

      Don’t sell yourself short—y’all know when to spit.

      • gt929 - Dec 16, 2010 at 1:28 PM

        Not since Gaylord Perry was here!

  8. Michael - Dec 15, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    The Yankees also have used the “MAKE NOISE!” scoreboard crap, so I think Cliff may have dissed all three previous teams/suitors in one fell swoop.

    • basedrum777 - Dec 15, 2010 at 7:08 PM

      As a yankees season ticket holder who grew up in south jersey I can probably debunk this pretty easily. Until the new stadium was opened there was not a louder venue for baseball in America. I have been to almost every ballpark of the last 15 years and can assure you that the Vet and CB ballpark have never been as loud as the old Yankees stadium.

      Phillies fans are extremely dedicated to their team and cheer very very loudly. They just don’t have a stadium that holds the sound like the old YS did. Its the same issue with the new YS.

      Now the Rangers game that I’ve been to, against a rival (Oak), on a Friday, which I bought tickets for that day….ummm no. They didn’t make noise or care or pay attention….

      And since Seattle regularly draws about 30k people to games I wouldn’t even waste a comment there…

      • Cyn - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:17 PM

        What exactly are you debunking? No one said Yankees fans can’t be loud but at both the old and new Yankee Stadiums, the scoreboard repeated shows/showed the “make some noise” prompts, at which time the fans make noise.

  9. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Dec 15, 2010 at 9:42 PM


    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.

    Actually it was swipe at Yankee fans.

  10. Jonny 5 - Dec 16, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    The Best part. As I do, Cliff Lee prefers the NL. He enjoy’s hitting, and enjoys facing other pitcher instead of the Dh (of course).. That’s the image though that I remember most of Cliff Lee in Philly. Him on base with a grin that literally went from ear to ear. Every time he got on base he reminded me of my kid, and how he just beams when he gets on base. Cliff had that same look, like he was in little league again… Truly awesome imo.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 16, 2010 at 11:56 AM

      Merry Cliffmas, Jonny!!!!!! Happy HalLeedays!!!!

  11. michaelmoser01 - Dec 21, 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Who does like to at least try to hit.

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