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Cliff Lee speaks

Dec 15, 2010, 9:36 AM EDT

Cliff Lee phillies throwing

John Clark of NBC Philadelphia was the first guy to track down Cliff Lee since the deal was announced, talking to him in what is either the Philly airport or a Barnes and Noble or something. I can’t tell. The video is below.

Lee doesn’t say anything terribly groundbreaking — I wish he would have made some Voltron references or something — but he does mention that his family enjoyed their time in Philly, that he liked his teammates and all of that.

That’s an angle that has been fun to think about.  Everyone — myself included — made light of Cliff Lee’s wife saying that she hated New York, but there are some indications that family considerations had a lot to do with Lee’s choice.  His own statements about them liking Philly, sure, but some people are suggesting that Kristen Lee wasn’t as big a fan of Texas as many people assumed. Kyle Scott over at Crossing Broad has a source who claims that while proximity to Arkansas was nice, it may have been too close, actually. Family visiting all the time, don’t you know. As a hermit who doesn’t always play nice with extended family, I can certainly understand that.

Anyway, here’s Lee:

  1. clydeserra - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    It always baffles me when athletes say they want to stay close to home when signing their big contract. They have these things called jet planes now. For a few HUNDRED bucks you can get your mom anywhere in the country in less than a day.

    • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 10:59 AM

      What about your mother-in-law?

      • bleedgreen - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:27 AM

        I’d make sure she got roughed up by the TSA.

      • Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:55 AM

        Say something about a powdered donut with 4 ounces of jelly in her purse?

  2. Utley's Hair - Dec 15, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    I knew John Clark was tall, but holy crap!!!

  3. Brian - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    oh my god he’s sooooo dreamy.

  4. tomemos - Dec 15, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Is that Voltron reference itself a Wu-Tang reference? “We form like Voltron, and he just happen to be the head.”

  5. IdahoMariner - Dec 15, 2010 at 2:05 PM

    It actually baffles me that so many people are stumped by the idea that someone might consider more than just the amount of the paycheck. My family makes employment decisions based on location, too — is the city a great place to live, do all of us like it there, is it close to family/friends we love (because while we can fly almost anywhere in a day, it’s way more fun to only have to fly somewhere in an hour or so — airports are life-sucking places, why would you want your mom to waste her days there?), do we think the people we will work with share our values/will not be assholes (“The No Asshole Rule” is a life-changing book, by the way), will our kids love their school there like they do here, …. why would any of that change, if you are a decent human being who puts family first, depending on whether one job offers you a few million more than the other, when your base is already 20 mil/year? Craziness. Where you live and who you work with matters to people, and it’s not all that different to an elite athlete, if the elite athlete values his family and wants to continue to enjoy his job long term. They aren’t machines. The ones who recognize this, last longer and are happier.

  6. macjacmccoy - Dec 15, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    Also family especially wife has alot to do with money. Im sure when he went to his wife and said well I will be guaranteed nearly 20 million less if I go to Philly. If she said I dont like that he would have said ok. But if she said she has no problem with that then Im sure he was like ok. Anyone who believes its just the players decision is nuts they might have the majority of the pull but not by much probably something like 51-49 player over family. If his wife said I am not staying in Texas and Im not going to NY Im pretty sure he wouldnt be doing it either.

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