And not just because he and the Mariners beat the Yankees tonight. Well, he beat the Yankees minus Nick Swisher, who beat him with two homers.
And not because Phil Huuuuughes had an off night. It’s not even because Lee has now thrown three complete games in a row. (OK, yes, that’s part of it. I love pitchers who hang in there.) It’s because I still haven’t forgotten the pop up during the World Series. Remember? There he was, pitching a gem for the Phillies, when the ball was hit in the air and – without blinking – he stuck out his glove in the most nonchalant way and caught it.
The guy doesn’t get rattled, is as cool as they come, is completely comfortable on the big stage. I had the Mariners TV feed tonight, and after the game they interviewed Lee.
“I enjoy pitching with the big crowds in New York,” he said. “They know baseball here. They don’t need a teleprompter to tell them when to cheer.”
I’m paraphrasing, but that’s the gist of what he said. He likes New York. He’s not afraid to pitch at the Stadium. He’s proven it over and over. Is he perfect? Of course not. Do we already have enough pitching? Depends on whether A.J. pulls out of his funk, not to mention if Andy stays healthy down the road. Would we have to give up lots of prospects? Not if he’s signed as a free agent. What I’m saying is that if there’s a Cliff Lee Sweepstakes coming up, I want the Yankees to be in it.
I mean, just picture it. Instead of that guy shaking his hand, it would be Cashman. Sweet.