This just in: Cliff Lee is good. I mean really good.
Cliff Lee could pull a Ron Burgundy right now: "Hey everyone, come see how good I look!"
Sometimes when you are getting ready to stare fate in the face, you may not be ready for the outcome. Especially if you've seen it before.
Enter the New York Yankees.
Everyone has been drooling over Cliff Lee's postseason dominance. As a Tampa Bay Rays fan, I've seen it first hand. You get one crack at Lee, typically early on in the game. If you do not take advantage of it, then you might as well go home early.
Once Lee gets in a groove, the only thing you can root for is a high pitch count. And with a pitcher who paints the corners nearly as good as a guy named Greg Maddux, rooting for a high pitch count is almost the equivalent of chasing the wind.
Yes, Lee has been incredible, which might lead some to say he's been too incredible.
Consider the New York Yankees one of them.
Oh, of course, it was just a announcer who got opinion-happy. It was a freudian slip of the tongue. It doesn't represent the feelings from the dugout. He's not even management.
This is the New York Yankees we're talking about, right? You mean to tell me that this team has fallen so far and ownership has changed so much that the apple has fallen that far from the tree?
Please. This smells of Steinbrenner.
Use any tactic possible. Any means necessary. Do it in a way in which you can deflect any heat.
It sounds like the Boss is alive and well. Use a rogue announcer. Deflect blame. And while this is happening, you can hope to get in Lee's head. Or at least the umpire's head.
Desperate times call for desperate measures.
The Yankees know full well of what Lee is capable of. Last year in the postseason against the Yankees, he threw a complete game, giving up only one unearned run. He was 2-0 against the Yankees in the World Series. Unfortunately, the Phillies couldn't put Lee on the mound for every game and lost.
But there is no getting to this kid. No accusation, no strike zone, there is nothing Lee can't handle right now.
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon remarked that the main reason why the Rays lost is because they faced some guy named "Sandy."
Perhaps you've heard of him. Sandy Koufax?
Sandy Koufax, career, postseason:
57 innings, 32 hits, 10 runs, 2 home runs, 11 walks, 61 strikeouts
Cliff Lee, career, postseason:
56.1 innings, 32 hits, 11 runs, 1 home run, 6 walks, 54 strikeouts
If anyone thinks Lee has been too incredible, you would be right. Except there's nothing you can do about it.
The Yankees' best shot at Lee would be to follow a tried and true slogan that has worked in their family for years: If you can't beat him, pay him.
If the Yankees have had problems sleeping because they've been dreaming of Lee in pinstripes, this will only add to the infatuation. The Yankees pretty much gave a blank check to CC Sabathia. Expect the same thing for the Lee.
The Yankees' struggle to the finish is about to end. As they fall off a Cliff named Lee, expect them to not try to climb that mountain again.
It's much easier to try to move the mountain to New York.