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MLB Postseason is a Postcard From Cliff Lee

San Francisco Giants To Whom It May Concern,

Hey guys, how’s Philly? Miss me?

I won’t lie, I miss you guys. I miss Philadelphia with all my heart. I miss that brotherly love. You made me feel like part of the city even though I’d only been there for like, two months. You’re all good people, passionate people. I like that you like baseball. But Seattle is my new home. I mean Texas. Well, I’m renting a condo in Dallas actually, sorry. It’s been really great here, too.

But not like Philly. I’ll always remember the times that we had. But what’s funny is, we might actually spend some more time together. The World Series begins soon and after last night’s big-time victory I had over the Yanks (8 innings, 13 strikeouts by the way. Heh, I never struck out that many in a game with the Phillies.) I’m just two wins from getting back there. So I might see all of my old friends again. I’m excited, are you?

Now I know Roy Oswalt has done a fantastic job. He’s a really good pitcher, really good. But I think it’s kind of cool that you all miss me a little bit still. Imagine this. Imagine if I had stayed. It would have been me and Roy and Cole. That could have been cool. Hell, if you think about it, it could have been me, Roy, Roy, and Cole if they really wanted.

Oh well, I’m with Texas now and enjoying my stay here. I don’t know where the wins will take me a year from now. That was a typo, I meant winds, get it (I make jokes sometimes).

I wanted to ask you guys, do you think there is any way I might be able to come back next year? Let’s try and devise a plan where the Phillies open up some payroll and make it me, Roy, Roy, and Cole. I think I would have a really good time pitching with three other guys like that.

It might not happen, but it’s worth a shot to ask. Anyway, if I don’t see you guys in a few weeks I’ll send another postcard from San Francisco. But I hope to meet up with you all again in the near future. You’ve all been big supporters.

Yours truly,

Cliff Lee

50 Comments

50 Comments

  1. Paul Boye

    October 18, 2010 at 11:41 pm

    ::Rubs hands::

    I’m excited for the comments on this one.

  2. Pat Gallen

    October 18, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Haha, I know. I just said the same thing on twitter. Needed to stir some things up a bit on this off day. I mean come on, there is nothing else to talk about!

  3. Andrew from waldorf

    October 18, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    Adding lee is too much.
    Like the Lakers when they got Karl Malone and Gary Payton and didnt win the title.

    Get 2 stud relievers instead

  4. Pat Gallen

    October 19, 2010 at 12:01 am

    You don’t mean that Andrew. Do you?

  5. Sweet Dee

    October 19, 2010 at 12:02 am

    This. I love this to death.

    I mean this both non-sarcastically and sarcastically. Genius. Bias for the man aside.

  6. Andrew from waldorf

    October 19, 2010 at 12:33 am

    sure it would be great if he was signed for a respectable contract.
    You can never have too much pitching.

    but id rather have some younger guys and a few closers.

    hypotheticly if this happened Cole Hamels goes in game 4?

    We didnt even need 4 pitchers in round 1.

    so if you sign lee Cole is relegated to 1 start in ALCS and 1 WS

    Rather have a few arms and some young blood

  7. Bruce

    October 19, 2010 at 12:44 am

    I watched Cliff Lee pitched another masterpiece tonight. His career record in postseason? 7-0. Yikes !! The Yankees are in trouble and they know it. The big question being asked now is will Joe Girardi still have AJ Burnett pitch the 4th game in the ALCS series?

  8. bacardipr05

    October 19, 2010 at 1:29 am

    hogwash andrew..

  9. Dan

    October 19, 2010 at 1:40 am

    The problem with relief pitchers is that a lot of them are so up and down from year to year. It’s hard to get real consistency outside of big names like Heath Bell and Mariano Rivera. At least Lee is consistently good year after year. Plus if we have 4 studs all we need is Madson and Lidge and we’re good to go. Of course we’re not getting Lee, but it’s nice to dream sometimes.

  10. Ryan H.

    October 19, 2010 at 1:57 am

    Oswalt’s performance in game two was only a notch below Lee’s performance in game 3 of the ALCS . not much different. 8 innings 1 run or 8 innings no runs. Oswalt really isn’t that much of a step down. and I am still damn sure that Halladay is much better than Lee. Halladay in fact is the best pitcher in the game by a good margin. Lee is in the coversation. so is Lincecum. but Doc is king.

    I really love watching Lee though. the way he works is so fun. so fast and so methodical. love the way he runs on and off the field. the way he’s standing on the mound waiting for the batters to get there every inning.

  11. MikeB.

    October 19, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Tremendous post, Pat but let us hope that we not have to face Texas and Lee in the World Series.

  12. Andrew from waldorf

    October 19, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Hey if the payroll is going up because of all the sell outs go for it.

    But hows Cole Hamels feel when hed be a #1 on most teams and is a 4 here?
    what you guys want to win 140 games next year?

  13. bostonkate

    October 19, 2010 at 3:43 am

    Cliff lee can’t be human, and that’s all I have to say on the subject.

    That and the fact that I question how much more powerful josh hamilton would be had it not been for his prolonged drug use. The man is incredible.

  14. Lefty

    October 19, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Pat!
    At some point we got to get past this! Geez Isn’t it bad enough we have to watch him pitch brilliantly in the postseason in other uni’s.

    Then you give us this? What are we lab rats to be toyed with? Chimps to be trained and given bananas if we do well? Dogs that ‘ll do tricks every time you throw a bone? SHEEEEEESH ! Give us a break will ya. 🙂

  15. Terry

    October 19, 2010 at 5:21 am

    Great post. Remember in the off season when fans were talking about putting a pool together to bring in Halladay and still keep Lee? I’m still up for that. Hell, I’ll put up the first hundred bucks. Oswalt is only on the hook for one more year, with an option for ’12, so it’s not the most far fetched thing in the world. The front office could afford to do it if they really wanted to, and relief isn’t much of a problem. Lidge, Madson, and most of the others in the pen are still under contract for next year, and the farm is full of strong young arms. Werth and Moyer (God bless him) are off the books next year, and if they could find a way to move Blanton, that’s 20 mil that you don’t have left over from this year. I know that they’re already committed to 130m+ without counting Jayson and Jamie, but this would be a stretch worth making.

    Lee will command a long term deal, which actually would work of for the better. It would guarantee the Phillies are a tried and true dynasty. Imagine a rotation of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels, and Kendrick. Or Worley. Or me. Or Ray Charles. The 5th really wouldn’t matter. With that top four, their over/under on wins would have to be in the 120 range. Plus, if the salary of the top four was a stretch, again, Oswalt is only locked up for one more year, with the team’s choice on a second.

    I know it’s a long shot, but I’d say it’s worth it. Then again, it’s not my 150+ million dollars I’m thinking with.

  16. Lefty

    October 19, 2010 at 7:45 am

    “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in. “

  17. bfo_33

    October 19, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Good post for an off day. You’re a pistol, a real funny guy.

    There is only 1 good reason to sign Lee, to keep him away from the Reds/Red Sox/Yanks/Twins,… In terms of win/loss record, having Lee on the team next year won’t be a deciding factor in whether the Phils make the playoffs. In terms of team record, we’d be better served resigning Werth. The impact would be in the post season.

    Spending money on a bullpen is the equivalent of investing in collectible plates for your retirement account. Few guys are consistently good year after year. Our pen of the future is Madson, Mathieson, Bastardo, and whatever scrap heap finds are available.

  18. Chuck

    October 19, 2010 at 8:13 am

    You just HAD to go there, didn’t you, Pat??

  19. Lefty

    October 19, 2010 at 8:14 am

    From AP
    -Asked how much it would cost to sign Lee when he hits free agency this winter, Nolan Ryan leaning against a wall in a hallway outside the Rangers clubhouse grinned and said “go next door and ask them.(yankees) I think he got their attention tonight.”-

    He’s not coming back here unless we inflate the payroll significantly.

  20. Kate

    October 19, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Show the reasonable contract, Cliff, and we’ll talk.

    Congratulations on spanking the Yankees yet again, by the way. Rooting for you all the way until you’re trying to spank us.

  21. bfo_33

    October 19, 2010 at 8:25 am

    The Yanks have a history of going hard after pitchers who shut them down, especially in the post season (see Burnett, Pavano, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Tommy John,….), and have an unlimited payroll.

    If you are Cliff Lee, and have a penchant for the big stage, do you give a discount to be part of a 4 headed monster in a 2nd rate city (although it’s a first rate baseball town), or do you go to NY, cash in big time, be on the big stage all the time, and be THE MAN? The Yanks will get more athletic in the outfield (bye bye Swish, hello Carl Crawford), and make Lee an offer he can’t refuse.

  22. Chuck

    October 19, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Lee will be a Yankee next year. Count on it. He/his agent has said all along that he wants “CC Sabathia money”. The Phillies will not….and SHOULD NOT give him that.

    I am very happy with H2O for next year…and for Hamels and Halladay after that (and Little Roy if he wants to stay)

    Also…those of you who are rooting for Lee against the Yanks…be very careful what you wish for. The Phils match up better against the Yanks for the WS. The Rangers are a dangerous team….REGARDLESS OF CLIFF LEE. Not saying that they can’t be beat…but…

    However, first things first. LET’S GO COLE!! GO PHILLIES!!!

  23. jeff of Nova

    October 19, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Andrew posted:
    “what you guys want to win 140 games next year?”

    Simple Answer …. YES

  24. Chuck

    October 19, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I want to win 162.

  25. bfo_33

    October 19, 2010 at 9:43 am

    With the exception of Cody Ross, nothing has particularly surprised me about the Giants. Good startign pitching, but their defense is not as good as the numbers show, and of the only two guys with speed, one is a defensive liability, and the other can’t buy a hit. We take at least two in SF, and I wouldn’t write off Blanton yet.

    Expect to see Rowand tonight over Torres, but don’t know about ss, 3rd, or the batting order. Cain will not make it to the 5th inning. He’s going to be ineffectively wild, and make a mistake to Howard that winds up in the bay. I also expect to see Cole give Lee a run for the best consecutive post season starts.

  26. Manny

    October 19, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Awesome post! Loved how you wrote a couple times “me, Roy, Roy, and Cole.” First me…

    Cliff Lee is awesome. If we can do some magic and get him, sure, I’m on board. Hell we could even make a 3 year offer in the offseason and see what happens… there’s an outside chance he’s a guy like Roy1 and takes it.

    (I’m laughing at myself for suggesting that… but hey, who knows right!?)

  27. Terry

    October 19, 2010 at 10:02 am

    I’m with Chuck, I want 162 wins. Of course about 60 of them would be unnecessary, but so what? It’d be fun to watch. And Manny, I hope you’re right. He seems like the kind of guy that would take winning first, but realistically, he knows this is his time to cash in. I’ve never been in the situation (obviously), but I could imagine it’d be hard to turn down 120+ million.

  28. Dave

    October 19, 2010 at 10:05 am

    I just love that Cliff addresses his letter with, “To Whom It May Concern.”

    Is he writing a cover letter here?

    Pretty funny stuff, Pat.

    I fell in love with Cliff, and I am now head over heels in love with Doc. Obviously, I don’t play hard to get.

  29. Chuck

    October 19, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Why would Cliff Lee turn down that kind of contract? He’s be stupid to. Just like Jayson Werth would be stupid to turn down whatever he’s offered by some team willing to pay.

    In 2011 we have Roy 1, Roy 2, Cole and Domonic Brown…

    …And, we’ll compete for a 5th NL East.

  30. Cindy Dellet

    October 19, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Hey Cliff, I miss you. You are a great pitcher and great athlete! Too bad the Phillies couldn’t open their wallet enough to keep you and get the other guys too. I wish you the best in the playoffs and in the future. But when you play the Phillies, I hope you have your worst day ever!!!! lol

  31. Ginger Snapps

    October 19, 2010 at 10:19 am

    It would be great to have Clifford back in the burgundy pinstripes once again

  32. Mike B

    October 19, 2010 at 10:25 am

    If we had H2O + CL that would create a chemical that somehow causes the Phillies to win 324 games next season. DOUBLE PERFECTION!

  33. Brian Michael

    October 19, 2010 at 10:27 am

    The same reason the Yankees and Yankees fans fear Cliff Lee, is why we can’t stop talking about it….he’s just that good.

  34. Remy

    October 19, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Oh great, another “Wish We Still Had Cliff Lee” posting. GET OVER IT!!!!!!! This is why talking sports with some people can border on the crass. The Phillies go out, get the best pitcher in baseball, get another bona fide ace at midseason, pull off the best record in baseball (thanks to the dominant pitching of a 3 ace rotation), and you STILL have the audacity to gripe about Lee not being a Phillie. There are a lot of Phillies fans that are beginning to sound like little brats. “Oh, my daddy bought me the Lamborghini instead of the Ferrari, but I’m still upset because I want the Ferrari too…boohoo.” Reminds me of some Yankees fans, and it’s sickening.

  35. Bob in Bucks

    October 19, 2010 at 10:36 am

    This is just silly. We have three stud pitchers, four would be obscene and not doable financially. For all of you who talk about the sell-outs at the park, just do a little math. Total sellout will give you 3.6 million TOTAL TICKETS. To get another $25 million means you divide 25 by 3.6. Here I’ll do it for you – $7 increase in ticket price which will mean no more sellouts (ask the Mets and Yankees). Phils need more revenue from TV but market size is limited with New York to the north and Baltimore to the south. Just math folks.

    Give it up. Lee is great but he is going for the money, as he should. We are tapped out.

  36. The Dipsy

    October 19, 2010 at 10:36 am

    There was a post with a link yesterday indicating that Lee would give Philly a discount over the Yankees and Rangers to resign. I didn’t read the link. If this were the case and Cliff’s demand was more than “reasonable”, because just “reasonable” won’t cut it, then I guess the Phils would have to think about it. I guess “reasonable” to Cliff would be something like 5y/110, which is fine. It appears that a “reasonable” contract for the best pitcher in baseball has already been set at 3y60m, this being Roy’s contract.

    With this in mind, Cliff would not sign for what Halladay signed for because Cliff has not made his money yet as Halladay already had. If he did, then he would doing himself a disservice because he is worth more than that. On the other hand, in order for the Phils to even consider doing it, given their stated salary concerns, Cliff would have to sign for below market value, for a short period of time, and agree to a back loaded contract (we have Oswalt for another year or we could just not pick up his option and then it wouldn’t matter). We would probably also have to dump Blanton in the off season to make it work. On top of all this, you have Werth to think about (he’s gone) and Hamels maybe wanting (and us willing to give him) and extension.

    Its all nice to talk about and I love Cliff but its all just too much to do. To me. Or is it?

    The Dipsy

  37. GR

    October 19, 2010 at 10:38 am

    For as awesome as it would be to have a rotation of Lee, Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels; its pretty much unrealistic. If we’re talking about not being able to afford to resign Werth, Lee is out of the question. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Phillies will make an offer for him, and I do think he’s going to be in pinstripes next season; unfortunately, they most likely will be Yankee ones. I had to believe they want him, and the only reason they didn’t counter offer the Rangers deal to Seattle was because at the time, they didn’t really have a spot for him, they’re rotation was playing pretty solid, and was injury free (Had they foreseen the late season struggles they were having, then maybe they try a little harder for him); but, fact of the matter is, they are confident they can get him in free agency and only have to spend some money, rather than send money and players to another team, and after two years of him dominating them in the post-season, well, as the Yankee motto is; If you can’t beat ’em, buy ’em. I think the Phillies are going to make an offer, or at least talk to him, but thank Yankees are pretty much going to hand him a blank check and let him fill it in.

    I think the Phillies are bringing in good money, and have a lot of money, and they are spending it, but they don’t have the Yankee bank roll just yet. They continue to build an NL powerhouse that can be a force and a contender for the next few years, and money will start to become less of an issue.

  38. Phillistein

    October 19, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I’m with you Dispsy. Ruben has worked his magic very well over the past 18 months but don’t see this as do-able. Lee is in a different position then Halladay. Lee seems to be a different person then Halladay. He is going to follow the money – and it ain’t going to be to Philly.

    If we’re wondering how we’re going to sign Werth with the oft stated financial limitations – how are we going to sign Lee?

    Lee is a great pitcher. (He seems to have double whammied the Yankees as he’s good and caught them when they are simply not hitting.)

    Lee is NOT unbeatable.

    If we’re lucky to make the WS and see Lee and the Rangers then we’ll do what it takes.

    “To be the best you have to beat the best” Rick Flair….uh….Cholly Manuel

  39. Bob Myers

    October 19, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Philly fans need to line up with their affections behind Roy Halladay, and detach themselves from Cliff Lee.

    Roy Halladay chose to come here, wanted to be here, and offered us a discount.

    Cliff Lee dissed Philly by declaring no discount through his agent.

    Which one should Philly fans love and support?

    Ruben Amaro was smart enough to know the answer to this. I hope the fans catch up!

  40. Phillistein

    October 19, 2010 at 11:42 am

    What Bob Myers said!

  41. The Original Chuck P

    October 19, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Bob in Bucks… I think you’re missing a major part of the equation:

    Postseason ticket sales and postseason merchandise and postseason TV revenue AND the added franchise value

    You’re 3.5 million tickets number goes up to almost 4 million with the postseason and postseason tickets cost 2.5x more than regular season tickets so postseason ticket sales alone are bringing in an extra $7 million. Postseason merchandise and TV revenue… who knows what that brings in. Plus, adding a player like Cliff Lee means that we would sell MORE merchandise. What does everyone do when we sign Roy Halladay? They go out and buy a red Halladay t-shirt for $25… and yes, everyone does it (I have two red Halladay t-shirts in my house). You add new players to sell more merchandise. You add new players to make sure that you get to the postseason. Long playoff runs make it possible to keep moving forward.

    This Phillies franchise is a machine… gotta keep it well oiled and moving forward.

  42. The Original Chuck P

    October 19, 2010 at 11:59 am

    By the way… my affections and affinity lies with whoever is wearing the the red pinstriped jerseys and I believe that we have what it takes to win a World Series this year… without Cliff Lee. Whether it be the Rangers or the Yankees, we have what it takes to win now and I think that our guys would LOVE the opportunity to hand Cliff Lee his first postseason loss.

    My focus is on the SF Speedbumps, I mean Giants.

  43. branderson

    October 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    For everyone who thinks the author is being serious about reeling Cliff Lee back, c’mon now. It’s just a funny article. Obviously it is unfathomable to have Roy^2, King Cole, and Cliff. We’ll be fine next year and I expect Blanton have a sub 4.00 ERA 13-7 type-year.
    I’ve watched him come through Oakland and know he will realize his potential

  44. Patti

    October 19, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    You should still be here Lee , we should have kept you and dealt Blanton and or Kendrick. Hope the Phillies top brass see the light and bring you back to Philly.
    But as greedy as they are that is an enormous wish. I still hope it comes true.

  45. Brooks

    October 19, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Cliff, gee thanks for the offer but, we’re doing pretty well about now and frankly, adding another starting pitcher onto our roster is not high on our list this year for next. We’ve done a lot of drinking and bickering about this but have decided that our list of priorities does not include a starter. Perhaps you might know of someone capable to fill our positional needs? Here is the list we came up with (and are still bickering and discussing, drinking too):

    1) Quality closer – You remember Brad? Well, he is back but had to get way too many cortisone shots and we are pretty sure that means he’s near the end of the line. So, a RH hard throwing closer is pretty much on the top of our list.
    2) More right handed middle relief. Nearly as important as finding a closer. Chad Durbin had his big year in 08 and just has not found the same groove. Jose is getting old and is too unpredictable. Somedays he is unstoppable and some days he just cant find the stopper. Even some lefties would be considered for this middle relief. Romero, we’ve kinda lost our patience with. Can you believe this guy walked 29 batters in 36 innings? No need to put up with that – We like the kid Bastardo, he just needs to develop some consistency but I think he’s got what it takes and we are willing to take a chance with him. The other kid, Worley, so far he is showing some promise and frankly taking a chance with him is not too expensive at this point. The rest of the middle relief, Baez, Herndon, Zagurski, if they are pitching in the ML next year it will be with another team, not here. And finally Ryan Madson – well, this guy is just pure Philly. He had a chance to move on for more money and decided that he wanted to stay here and we are not only glad but better for it.

    Our offense is looking pretty solid Cliff. Can you believe all the injuries that Cholly dealt with and still came out on top? We’re hoping that Jimmy can play even to his career average – Raul is getting old but we have D Brown and Ben Francisco. We’re probably going to lose our wild man Jayson but the rest of the offense remains intact and most of them are All Stars (hey, you know this!). Even our bench at this point is looking pretty solid. We love Wilson Valdez. Put him anywhere in the IF and just watch his cannon gunned defense, its amazing. Sweeney and Gload are nice additions and they truly want to play here. We can work with Schneider at Catcher but would’nt mind entertaining someone you might recomend.

    But Cliff, if you’re still available say in 2 years, why don’t you give us a call?

    Oh, by the way, if you do decide that you might want to contact us – remember, only serious applicants need apply.

  46. Derek L

    October 19, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    What if every Phillies Phan just donated say $20 to the Phillies to put towards getting Clifton back here? I’m down. Heck I’ll throw in $50. Who’s with me?

  47. bclark

    October 19, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I love this post and I’m super excited about it, but I have think that it’s not real. I want to see Lee back as much as anyone, but I don’t want my hopes up and find out this isn’t a real postcard, or email, or whatever.

    And also As much as I do want the Rangers to wipe the Wanks out, I am also afraid of Lee pitching AGAINST the Phils. We all know how great he is.

  48. Ryan H.

    October 19, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    cliff lee is going to want a 7 year contract . that’s why we got rid of him and brought in halladay. halladay was willing to do three years when lee wasn’t. If Rueben has learned anything from Pat Gillick it is that you simply never give long term contracts to pitchers. It always comes back to haunt you.

  49. Too Bad

    October 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Cole Hamels is awful! How this guy was an MVP is beyond me.??? You should have traded him and kept Cliff Lee. Big MISTAKE losing Cliff Lee. Guarantee that he will be the world series winner and MVP against the Giants.

    The Phillies didn’t even show up to play ball yesterday, they looked tired and bored, they should have just stayed home.

    Phils are out in 2 more, Giants will sweep in Games 4 & 5 at home.

    The Phillies office is full of cheap skates, you lose Werth next year too? Are you kidding me? WTF?!?!?!? Philadelphia is the 4th largest city in the United States, don’t tell me there is NO MONEY???????

    The dynasty that could have been, but NEVER WAS!!!!!!! What a hoot!

  50. Too Bad

    October 20, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Phillies out, Giants sweep at home.

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