While most observers were simply in awe of Cliff Lee’s decision to turn down Yankee money to play in Philly, Skip Bayless has figured out the real reason he chose to spurn
Bayless, one of the many shouters on ESPN2’s “First Take,” says that like LeBron James, Lee couldn’t handle the pressure of New York or the pressure of being the Rangers’ No. 1 gunslinger. He needed to hide behind the Roys and Cole Hamels of the world, rather than be a superstar on his own team.
There’s a very simple reason why Bayless is wrong, of course. Baseball and basketball are not the same thing. No ace pitcher has ever won a World Series by himself. Lee tried that twice and lost.
Unlike LeBron and Wade, Lee doesn’t have to share the ball with Roy Halladay. They don’t have to like each other, they don’t even have to talk to each other. They will never even be on the field at the same time. But they need each other to win, because that’s the way baseball works.
Lee didn’t run away from Texas and New York, because he was afraid of being The Man. He went to the one team where being The Man might actually mean a championship.
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