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Hey, Chuck Greenberg was delusional after all!

Feb 2, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

Chuck Greenberg

Remember last week when Chuck Greeneberg said that his visits to Cliff Lee knocked the Yankees out of the running, and how Yankees President Randy Levine called Greenberg delusional for making such a suggestion?  Seems Levine was right. Here’s Heyman:

A series of interviews with several people either involved in the talks or with knowledge of them revealed the following picture:

“Delusional” may be a tad colorful, but Greenberg is likely wrong that his frequent trips moved the Rangers ahead of the Yankees, if indeed they were ever ahead. If the Rangers had a slight advantage over the Yankees, it was very likely because Lee enjoyed his time in Texas, not his visits with Greenberg. According to people in the know, the frequency of trips very likely had nothing to do with Lee’s decision at one point to counter Texas’ $120 million, six-year proposal with a request to approximate the Yankees’ $148 million, seven-year offer.

I chuckled at the “not his visits with Greenberg” line. Putting it that way makes old Chuck’s claim in the starkest relief. Lee’s a hunter and a family man. On what planet is sipping team with Greenberg in the parlor and talking business going to make him more likely to consider the Rangers?

All of that said, Levine was still being a jerk in his response to Greenberg because that whole revenue sharing = welfare business was totally beside the point and rather obnoxious.

  1. txrangers90 - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    i dont think he was saying that it was him solely that moved the rangers ahead, its just that with the more meetings it took Cliff Lee longer to make a decision with the rangers potentially willing to go to a 7th year, so it gave the phillies the time to sneak in there and sign him, thats all he was saying

    • seeingwhatsticks - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:52 PM

      Agreed. I don’t think Greenberg said that he moved the Rangers ahead of the Yankees, what he said was that the more compelling offers they put on the table the longer the process dragged on and kept the window of opportunity open for another team to step in. I think it’s clear that Lee never wanted to go to the Yankees (and I don’t find his wife’s opinion a very convincing reason as to why he didn’t want to go to the Yankees), but also that he wasn’t bowled over by the Rangers’ offer (and possibly not a big fan of their owner). Of course he is going to say that he loved being in Philly and never wanted to leave now that he’s there, but when you look at it rationally I think he didn’t want to go to the Yankees and didn’t really want to go back to Texas and kept the negotiations going as long as possible in the hopes that someone else stepped in and made a concrete offer.

  2. Jonny 5 - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    If anyone deserves credit for Lee signing with Philly, It would first be Mrs. Lee. Then I’d have to put Ruben Amaro right above the crazy Lee loving fans of Philly who are as I type this, buying out all the spring training tickets available to be the first to see Mr. Lee back in red pinstripes.

    Any Married man would agree Mrs. Lee is more than likely the largest (aside from the dollar amount) contributing factor to the signing.

    • phillysoulfan - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:44 PM

      Not disagreeing with you but you also have to consider that Cliff liked it here too. If Cliff didn’t like it here, it wouldn’t matter how much his wife did. He wouldn’t come.

      • Jonny 5 - Feb 2, 2011 at 3:35 PM

        How could he not? The truth is most good players would love playing in Philly anymore. The last person to request a trade was Rowan (blessing in disquise). Yeah Lee liked playing here, but I think without his wife he may have just said “Even though it was really fun and all,screw them, they traded me for a sack of beans, and I didn’t enjoy that at all, I’m going to NY.”

        It’s all speculation of course.

  3. Dan in Katonah - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    I think Greenberg’s toupe is what did the Rangers in. It must have been very distracting in the Lee’s parlor during the meetings “Would you care for another rug, I mean mug, of tea Chuck?”

  4. banksatdixie - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:54 PM

    Its more the fact that Dallas is a huge market and the team was on welfare that Levine was getting at. People need to get off Levine’s balls about the comment. What it wrong to say? Probably. Was it a false comment? Absolutely not.

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 2, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Didn’t MLB give the Rangers something like $40MM in loans over the past year? I don’t know the terms of the loans, but I am guessing ol’ Bud wasn’t playing hardball (forgive the pun) on the interest rates.

    So let’s face it, the Rangers have some work to do to be among the financially respectable clubs in baseball.

  6. brianhanie - Feb 16, 2011 at 11:52 PM

    Levine is a moron and will ultimately lead to the demise if the Yankees. I took from what Greenberg said to be what the ret if us were already thinking. I am also glad that Cliff Lee went to the Phillys to pitch in a less profile role …as the Rangers found out, he is no ace. I believe that isnthe reason the Phillys traded him in the first place. I am not sure that his tenure as a ranger went particularly well. He struggled to get through most starts and had one or two command performances against…..guess who…. The Yankees. Remember Colin Cowherd comments. I believe Chuck was right and Levine is an idiot for his comments. The Rangers fan base is glad to have an owner that won’t rape the organization and the league for personal gain. Good riddance Tom Hicks.

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