I wasn’t at Yankee Stadium for the ALCS. I didn’t hear fans taunting family members of the Texas Rangers. And I certainly don’t know Cliff Lee’s wife Kristen. But according to USA Today via the LoHud blog, the fact that she’s miffed at Yankee fans could play a role in her husband’s decision whether to re-up with the Rangers this winter or wind up in the Bronx, among other possibilities. Here’s the pertinent excerpt:
Perhaps the Rangers’ greatest sales pitch simply was having Kristen sit in the visiting family section at Yankee Stadium during the playoffs. She says there were ugly taunts. Obscenities. Cups of beer thrown. Even fans spitting from the section above.
“The fans did not do good things in my heart,” Kristen says.
“When people are staring at you, and saying horrible things, it’s hard not to take it personal.”
It’s more than likely that Kristen Lee did hear and see some “horrible things.” But was she on hand in Arlington when Rangers fans were chanting “Yankees suck” every six seconds? Did she never watch her husband pitch in opposing ballparks when he was with the Indians, Phillies or Mariners? While there’s no excusing bad behavior, it happens everywhere. I would think that by now the wife of a professional ballplayer as well traveled as Lee would have seen and heard it all, not to mention grown a thicker skin.
If she genuinely wants her husband to stay in Texas because she loves it there, because it’s close to the couple’s home in Arkansas, because it’s the best environment for her family, because the Rangers organization ponies up the biggest contract in the history of baseball, then by all means they should stay in Texas. But if she’s going around ragging on Yankee fans, I’m afraid I’ll have to take it personal. I just will.