Cliff Lee and the Yanks down the toilet

If there is a Baseball God, Cliff Lee returns to Texas and the Yankees sit and watch Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and the best pitcher on the market go elsewhere.

I don’t know Lee, but I hope he’s enough of a smalltown guy to ignore the seventh year of the Yankee contract and stick with the Rangers. It’s actually funny—this whole sixth-or-seventh-year thing. When I signed my last book contract, I actually had two competing deals. One was a single-book deal with more money up front, the other a two-book deal with slightly more total dough, but less per project. I wound up going with the single-book scenario, but only after losing a whole lot of sleep. I debated publishing quality, length I would have for each product, finances, finances, finances.

Unlike Lee, however, I need to watch every … single … bill. Whether Lee makes $20 million annually over six years or seven years, he’s set for life. There’s no doubt about that—it’s somewhat easy to blow your dough after making, oh, $2 mill a year. But $20 mill? Unlikely.

Hence, if I’m Lee I ignore the whole six-or-seven debate and ask myself, simply, Where will I be the happiest?

Then I’ll watch as the Yanks sign John Maine.

5 thoughts on “Cliff Lee and the Yanks down the toilet”

  1. Jeff, I hear this argument a lot about people signing big money contracts, and I don’t think it’s entirely fair.

    First of all, I think that a lot of these guys have to watch every single bill, too, in a way. Now we can comment on their lifestyle or what have you, but the fact is that people life the lifestyle that their income lets them.

    Second, I heard Tom Izzo interviewed this summer about the topic of, “How many millions are enough millions?” Izzo said to look at it this way: Every incrementally bigger payday is one more generation of your family that is taken care of for life. Or another cousin that’s taken care of for life. Or a newly born nephew who doesn’t ever have to worry about money now.

  2. The notion of being able to take care of family members, of multiple generations, by athletes making millions upon millions of dollars might be the case for some of them, just not for those who are broke five years after their careers end. That would be my response to Mr. Izzo.

  3. So, Tom Izzo, you don’t think your kids should work?

    As for the “choice” thing, yeah, I think *most* people would take other things other than money into consideration. Especially at this rate of money. (I’d be the opposite of Lee, but if the Rangers offered me 100 mill and the Yankees 70, I’d go to the Yankees, because you’d have to pay me a hell of a lot more than that to ever live in the hellhole known as Texas). But these guys don’t pick the bigger money because it’s more money, they pick the bigger money because A) that’s how they “keep score”, and B) the MLBPA will have a hissyfit if they don’t.

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