If you're are a fan of things that are beyond awesome, you've undoubtedly heard the news that Cliff Lee has signed a five-year, $120M contract to re-join the Philadelphia.
Lee played for the Phillies for a short period of time in 2009. The Phillies acquired Lee at the trade deadline that year, and he led them to playing in the World Series. Exactly one year ago today, the Phillies shipped Lee off to Seattle to clear payroll room for their trade to land Roy Halladay and (though this part seems to have failed) re-stock their farm system.
Evidently, not only does Lee have incredibly fond memories of his time in Philadelphia, but he also has no hard feelings for being sent off to Seattle. In a way, he's telling the world: "Hey, I don't blame GM Ruben Amaro - I'd have traded me away if I could have got Roy Halladay, too."
Lee's decision created an absolute frenzy as the news started to trickle in through Twitter. It also creates a huge hole in the Yankees rotation, which at the moment seems to be CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and a whole bunch of question marks. And it is also leaves Philadelphia with, on paper, one of the best rotations the sport has ever seen.
Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, and some fifth starter, who might as well be a broom stick will cause nightmares for the entire National League and whoever they get put in front of in the playoffs next year - which has to be considered almost certain, assuming the pitchers stay healthy.
Over the summer, LeBron James took a fair amount of flack from fans for his decision to join the star-studded Miami Heat, but to me, this is quite a bit different. For one, Lee is leaving a whole lot more money on the table than LeBron did. Second, Lee's other options were the Rangers and Yankees - two teams that, especially with him, would have had excellent chances to win the World Series in the next few years. So it certainly seems like this isn't just about putting himself in the best spot to win.
Rather, Lee seemingly made this decision for no other reason than valuing a group of players he loved teaming with above money. Yes, Cliff Lee is absurdly wealthy already, and just added another $120M to his retirement fund. But $13M can buy a whole lot, and $30M can buy even more.
With their insane rotation - which I'll repeat again just out of pure fun - of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels, the Phillies not only have one of the greatest rotations in baseball history, but also, in my opinion, one of the easiest to root for.
With all due respect to the Yankees and Rangers, Cliff Lee taking a lesser offer to join the Philadelphia Phillies is something to cheer about.