Year in Review: Cliff Lee

Posted by Pat Gallen, Tue, December 29, 2009 02:30 PM | Comments: 116
2009 Year in Review, Posts

http://blog.lehighvalleylive.com/sports_impact/2009/08/large_phillies.JPGJust when you thought the Cliff Lee talk would simmer, we reel you back in!  It is the Year in Review, so we have to cover everyone.  Yes, including the guy who was here for a three month stretch that was one of the most important and unimaginable showings in Phillies history. As quickly as he came in, he was swept away by the front office to Seattle.

The brevity of Cliff Lee’s stay in Philadelphia is somewhat of a head-scratcher considering he dominated the final two months and the playoffs like he was Sandy Koufax.  Still, it’s a piece of Phillies history that won’t soon be forgotten by the allegiance who witnessed it.

Beginning with a complete-game four-hitter against San Francisco in his first start with the Phils, to his finale; seven hard-fought innings in World Series Game 5 to keep the team gasping on life support.  No matter the challenge, Cliff Lee seemed up for it.

In between his first and last starts, Lee tossed in a litany of season-altering performances, many of which you will see on our Top 25 list in the coming days.  A complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts against Arizona? Check.  A CG-SO against Washington late in the season?  You bet.  A 4-0 postseason record with a 1.56 ERA and two complete games?  Lee made it happen. What he could not help was a World Series defeat at the hands of the evil empire.  But don’t blame Lee for that.  His two WS victories presented a small window of opportunity for the Phillies; one which they could not capitalize on, unfortunately.

And just like that, it’s over.  Feeling the need to secure long-term financial stability, coupled with the belief that Lee would test free-agent waters once 2010 was through, Ruben Amaro Jr. sent him packing to Seattle in that raucous three-team deal that brought Roy Halladay to Philly.  Whether it was the correct move or not, it will only allow for Cliff Lee’s legendary status to grow here in this baseball-crazed town.  Sure, we will learn to love the same type of shutdown efforts by Halladay every fifth day, but few have ever made their mark on a city like Cliff Lee.

There have been heaps and heaps of trades consummated at the deadline over the years, but few have rendered results like this one.  It’s safe to say that this was one of the finest acquisitions in the history of this franchise.

And for that, we will always, always remember Clifton Phifer Lee.

2009 numbers (with PHI): 7-4, 3.39 ERA, 79.2 IP, 74 K, 10 BB, 3 CG, 1 Shutout

GRADE: 9.8/10 – Few players will ever steal the breath of a Phillies fan the way Lee did.  This would have been a 10 out of 10 had the Phils captured back-to-back World Series titles, although it wasn’t from lack of effort Lee.  Just an incredible season, there’s really no other way to put it.

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About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1595 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

  • Posts: 0 The Dipsy

    Chuck – Stop. We will all understand when Howard asks for $23m a year and the Phils don’t pay him. Thats business. We all know that if you keep Utley and Rollins and Werth (I think they’ll keep Werth) then Howard would have to go along with probably Victorino. You can’t keep everyone. We know that. The Lee thing is completely different. 9m for 1 year. Thats all it took.

    The Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Georgie

    Philsgirl has a great argument, and everyone here knows that if the Phils don’t win the WS in 2010, and it comes down to starting pitching, the “what if” becomes the white elephant in the room. And not just for the fans, but undoubtedly the players as well.

    Chuck, we all realize that Howard will go to the AL at some point, probably sooner than later, so, no, I don’t think you’ll see the same reaction when that happens. Keeping Cliff Lee for one more year, while the core of the team is still here and in their prime, just seems like a no-brainer to me. I’m hoping they’ll be fine without him, but if they end up losing a championship due to lack of SP, well, I don’t even want to think about that now, it’s too painful.

  • Posts: 0 Don M

    yea my fault.. I had read that article about a month ago so I only took out of it that their payroll had increased 48% since 2006

    “The price of the ticket is the least expensive thing the average fan will pay for when going to a game. Or pretty damn close. The money that is made by the club outside of tickets is the BIG number.”


    Avg ticket price is what, $30?
    $30 x 3.6 million fans = $108 million dollars

    I would say that’s easily the biggest chunk of their revenue
    Any that pays $30 AND then spends more than that on other things is spending too much at the ballpark

    I have an uncle that works for Aramark.. they took a HUGE drop the past two years since tailgating and bring-your-own food are now the most popular options down there

    I’m not saying they aren’t making money.. but lets not pretend that they aren’t spending money either.

    Some people want them to spend even more, which is easy to say when its not coming out of our pockets … not yet at least .. the slight increase in ticket prices directly relates to their increased payroll.. and their SOLD OUT games help give them revenue to keep this whole cycle going

    I guess they didn’t want SOLD OUT games in 2010 … and then only 20,000 fans in 2013 … so they’re trying to keep things within their budget.

    Keeping Lee and trading him later wasn’t an option.. that would have been a complete d!ck-tease to the fans. So that is why we heard “3 team trade” all along

    People can be upset we don’t have both, and that’s fine … but to still be crying over losing Lee, instead of being thankful that we now have the better of the two pitchers doesn’t make sense to me

  • Posts: 0 Chuck


    YOU stop!!!

    All I’ve heard from you…and a bunch of other people on here….is how “insulted” and “blind-sided” you are over this Cliff Lee thing….something that was necessary to do for the OVERALL health of the team..

    All you guys and girls are doing is crying and whining about something that’s done….and we are BETTER OFF THE LONG-RUN for it..

    And…I guarantee that when the time comes for Ryan Howard to walk…all sorts of people are going to bitch, moan, complain…those SAME people that bitch, moan and complain every time the guys strikes out 4 times in a game.

    Seriously…if we don’t get back to the World Series…what are you all gonna do…proclaim that the reason is because the Phillies didn’t elect to keep Cliff Lee for 2010??

  • Posts: 0 South Jersey Al

    Philsgirl got it absolutely right. Her post should be carved into Amaro’s desk under the heading – What Might Have Been.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    All I have to say is…Roy Halladay had better go something like 22-3 with a 1.27 ERA….because anything less than that…and fans are probably want to run him out of town.

    I actually feel kinda bad for him right now….here he is…in red pinstripes…happy as hell to be here….and all anybody is talking about is Cliff Lee and “What Might Have Been.”

  • Posts: 0 ashmidt

    alot of great stuff on here, philsgirl and georgie, you go girls, don and chuck you 2 guys have to be working for the phils pr dept. out of all the great points here , you 2 goobers still persist on defending the bluebloods.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Wow…I’ve been called a “goober”….I’ve been called lots of things but never a “goober”….I’m not even sure how to react…


    How is it that just because someone defends the Front Office…you know the one of Gillick and Amaro and Montgomery and Giles…the SAME F.O. that has given us 3 straight NL titles., 2 straight WS appearances, and a World Title….

    How is it that just because someone decides to say “Ok…they’ve pulled the right strings so far so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt with their decisions” that that person is then assumed to be working for the PR dept…??

  • Posts: 0 South Jersey Al

    Don’t feel too bad for ol’ Roy. He’s got plenty to feel just fine about. And I’ll bet if he were to honestly answer the question, he’d like his chances of winning that title he’s after if Lee were in the rotation with him. That’s all we’re saying. No disrepect to Halladay, but Halladay with Lee is better than Halladay without. And as far as no longer talking about Lee, that doesn’t stop Jan. 1. Not this Jan. 1 anyway. That stops when the next parade begins, because we had a much better chance at a parade with him still here.

  • Posts: 0 Griffin

    Philsgirl, excellent and well-written post.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    “Halladay is better with Lee than Halladay without.”

    No sh!t!!….Thats’ not the point of the argument….I would have loved to have had Halladay and Lee together as much as anybody else….but it didn’t make sense OVERALL…for the future health of this club…to just settle for 2 draft picks when Lee would have left at the end of the year.

    But Roy Halladay will be JUST FINE…WITHOUT Cliff Lee here…he’s the best pitcher in baseball…

    If anything…Roy Halladay makes Cole Hamels better..

    Maybe these three prospects won’t be worth a damn…and maybe they will….but I’d rather take my chances with having them here…starting at AA….than settling for 2 draft picks at the end of the year…

    We could afford to do that BECAUSE we got Roy Halladay in the fold….along with Hamels, Happ and Blanton….

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    I don’t work for the PR department, but I 100% agree with Chuck and the few others who can see past the 9 mill for one year of Lee and Halladay. I think everyone of you whiners did not think it was possible to have both Lee and Doc before this trade happened. You short sighted cry babies, Dipsh*t included, are blinded by how inexpensive for one year Lee would have been. The big picture is that baseball will be played in Philly after 2010, win or lose the WS. And that team has to be competitive, financially and physically. We have 4 or 5 years of Doc. And because of the trades we have made a top 10 farm system. What does that mean it means that games in philly will have a competitive team on the field past 2010 and be affordable for phans to buy tickets. I drive down from Vermont 10-15 times a year for games, no way could I afford to do that if they signed everyone and did not care about a budget. And I want to do it for years to come to watch a team that is competitive every year, not just one. So get it out of your heads the whole it was only 9 million for one year, then in 2012-2013 we would be the Mets, or the Marlins.

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    THANK YOU!!!!….shag beta!!!!

  • Posts: 0 shag beta sigma delta

    no problem chuck, I really think the reason I left Philly was to get away for Dipsy and the other know it all whinners of Philadelphia. And Maybe living in Vermont I do not have the same doom and gloom philly phans have. But to me the glass is three quarters full right now, and two or three more WS appearances and a few more rings in the next 5 years it will be overflowing. Happy New Year to you all and yes even you Dipsy

  • Posts: 0 Chuck

    Dipsy’s ok….he’s sort of like a cartoon character that you just can’t hate…just kind of annoying sometimes!! That’s ok…I’m sure that I’m annoying, too, at times.

    Anyway…Happy New Year to you as well…stay warm in VT.

  • Posts: 0 pheeling it

    I had to go back and read some of these because i dont care about losing lee but i really admire him, one of my favorite pitchers.

    i dont think keeping lee would have done anything.

    i think that the NL is watered down to hell, and were goin win our division by 4 or 5 games again. so what if we get 110 wins in a season with lee, we dont need it! we will still get to the world series without him, making just as much money for FO as winning it with him. and restocking the farm allows us to make moves. Gillies may not seem attractive because of our depth at outfield but look at what michael borne is doing! prospects are important!

    brad lidge costs so much money and for some reason i just dont see him coming back to form. i tihnk aumont will be huge!

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