With a saturated market for sports news, we're always looking for ways to say something new and say it better. That's why, many people will come out on Thursday and say that Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee cost himself millions of dollars in free agency.
They'll say that because Lee, a free-agent-to-be, threw a stinker on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the World Series surrendering seven runs in only 4 2/3 innings.
Somehow, you have to think he'll bounce back. Even more so, you know he''s still going to get paid this offseason. Big time.
Just like it was probably premature for some to say following Lee's dominance of the Yankees in the ALCS that he was the best postseason pitcher ever (woops), but not only is it also premature, it's downright asinine to say that Lee will lose anything financially from this start.
He'll hit the market in a matter of weeks and big-market teams everywhere will be clamoring for chances to speak with the lefty ace, backing truckloads of cash up to his house with the promise that it can all be his if he just signs on the dotted line.
One start, no matter how ugly, no matter what the circumstances, will not take away from the fact that Cliff Lee is quite literally the best free agent –pitcher or position player — on the market this offseason. Teams, big-market ones, especially, are drooling over the thought of having Lee in front of the assembled media in their city, buttoning up the last button of a fresh new jersey, ready to take the ball 35 times for them next year.
Something else bodes well for Mr. Lee, as well: the lack of success of some of those big-market teams.
The Chicago Cubs have new ownership, they have money and they have had some forgettably futile seasons as of late. You don't think they'd offer Lee the moon (even one full of ribs) and then some if he wanted it? The Red Sox, the same Red Sox that missed the playoffs completely this year, will likely want to make a splash in the market. There'd be no better way to do so than to nab Lee right out from underneath the Yankees.
Ah, yes, the Yankees. The Bombers remain the No. 1 reason that Lee did not lose a penny Wednesday night by the bay. The Yankees have gotten up-close looks at Lee's dominance in the postseason the last two seasons. It's hard to imagine Brian Cashman and Co. letting anyone, especially the Red Sox, sign a guy who has dominated New York so prominently in the last couple of years.
Also, the debacle that was Game 1 for Lee won't be his last start this year. If he comes out and dominates any starts he has left in the Fall Classic, everyone we'll forget we're even having this conversation. If he gets shelled again, it still won't matter.
Sleep easy, Cliff, now and in the weeks to come. You're going to become a very, very rich (er) man in a matter of weeks, maybe months.
Do you think Cliff Lee cost himself any money on Wednesday night in Game 1? Leave your thoughts below.