Can we please ease up on the "Cliff Lee turned down money!" rhetoric?

I am getting a little tired of hearing about all the money Cliff Lee walked away from when he signed with the Phillies.

Yes, he could have tens of millions of dollars more if he signed with the Yankees and Rangers. And yes it is rare for a player to NOT sign for the highest dollar.

But let’s slow down the selfless Cliff Lee not caring about money storyline please.

He isn’t walking away from the Rangers and Yankees to go to Calcutta and help the sick.
He isn’t Gandhi, making his own clothes and living on a crust of bread.

He is still making $120 million!
If he isn’t stupid with his money, his great grandchildren should be able to go to Law School with the full tuition paid.

And he gets to pitch for a contender and one where he doesn’t have the pressure of being the #1 starter.

It was a smart baseball decision because Halladay is ahead of him in the rotation and the Phillies have the best shot to make the World Series in 2011 and 2012.

It was a smart decision in terms of going to a fanbase where he already has goodwill in the bank.

It was a smart family decision because his wife and kids loved Philadelphia.

And it STILL made him $120 million.

He had three offers. One was obscene. And the other two were OBSCENE!

It’s easier to walk away from $50 million when you still get to pocket nearly 2 1/2 times that!

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Rest in Peace, Bob Feller

Baseball lost one of its greatest figures tonight when Rapid Robert, Bob Feller, passed away in Cleveland, Ohio.

His biography reads like a slice of Americana that Norman Rockwell would say “Oh come on… that’s too much.”

The farm boy from Iowa whose father builds him a baseball field.
The star pitcher who was signed for a dollar and a signed baseball.
Striking out 17 batters as a 17 year old.
Throwing harder than anyone had every thrown before.

And of course leaving the game in his prime (and stopping any chance at 300 wins) to serve in the Pacific Theater. As a Naval Officer on the USS Alabama he earned 8 Battle Stars in his four years in service.

And oh yeah, returned to baseball better than ever and did what must now seem impossible:
He led the Cleveland Indians to the World Series title.

He also barnstormed with black players before integration and pitched in Cuba. He pitched along side Satchel Paige when they were both in their primes. And later when Satchel was past his, they were teammates on the 1948 Indians.

Feller also was ahead of the curve in physical fitness and kept himself in terrific shape. And you could see it as he entered his 90s with all his faculties and able to throw out first pitches and reminisce in wonderful interviews.

He was a real American heirloom and one of the greatest pitchers of all time.

There weren’t many like him and now he is gone.
Rest in peace. You were an original.

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