Cliff Lee Denies That He’s Waiting to Join Yankees

Via the NY Post:

If you think Cliff Lee has made up his mind to pitch for the Yankees next season, the Rangers left-hander has something to tell you.

“It’s a lie,” Lee told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on Monday. “Write that. Are you writing? Write that it’s a lie. I did not say that, and nobody close to me would say that. Either say who the source is or shut up, because I am saying it is not true.”

ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd said earlier Monday that Lee “mails it in” for the Rangers when facing inferior teams, and is mentally prepared to move on to the Yankees.

“That is a dude that gets out of town the second the season ends,” Cowherd said of Lee. “He’ll get out of town, go to the Yankees and jettison the Rangers.”

Lee is 2-4 with a 4.18 ERA since he was traded to Texas last month after a deal with the Yankees fell through. With the Mariners, he was 8-3 with a 2.34 ERA.

“He wanted to be a Yankee. He doesn’t like Texas,” Cowherd said, according to the Dallas Morning News. “He doesn’t pitch well in the heat. I’m told he will not re-sign with Texas. He wants to be with an elite team.”

I really think that what Cowherd said couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure, Lee hasn’t dominated every start the way we’re accustomed to seeing. But I can hardly imagine a pitcher who started off with two complete games, an 8.1 inning outing, a complete game, then two eight inning outings is hardly mailing it in.

In his last five starts he has given up a large amount of runs, 23, but that happens sometimes even to the best of them. There has been a lot of talk going around that it is only a matter of time before Lee becomes a Yankee, but a radio host should know the difference between rumors and hearsay and actual information coming from either the team or the player. To this point the Yankees have not said anything about Lee, mostly because they can’t, and Lee hasn’t said anything definitive about leaving Texas.

This seems to me that more than anything it is a radio host trying to drum up ratings or buzz. It happens all the time, but unfortunately this time it has gotten back to the player and clearly pissed him off. Just as long as he isn’t mad at anybody in New York, I am happy.

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