The Evster's Top Six Reasons to Keep Cliff Lee

The Evster's Top Six Reasons to Keep Cliff Lee

Full disclosure: I have watched a grand total of five innings of Phillies baseball this year, and four of those innings were on Tuesday night. (I really like that Jeff Mayberry fella!) But despite my lack of viewing, I still follow what's going on, am aware that Cliff Lee has been amazing, and am not a total bozo -- so when I heard last week that Ruben Amaro was shopping Cliff Lee (AGAIN), I had a mini-meltdown.

This is Cliff Lee we're talking about! 7-2, 2.45ERA, sprints off the mound in between innings, Cliff Lee! Why does he continue to be tossed around the league like Alyssa Milano?! Is nothing sacred?!

Ugh.

So here are my Top Six Reasons to Absolutely, Positively, Not Trade Cliff Lee

Reason #1 - Trading for Prospects is Friggin' Dumb

In the past four years, Cliff Lee has been traded three times, and in each one of those trades the team dealing Lee hasn't gotten dick.

In 2009, the Phils traded Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Jason Knapp and BIG DADDY LOU MARSON for Lee. If you recall, the Indians WOULD NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES do the deal if Carrasco was not involved. Since then, Carrasco has won 10 career games, and is currently TEARING IT UP in the minors. Before being sent down to AAA this April, he posted an ERA of 17.18 for the Indians. Did you read that correctly? Go back and look at that statistic again. The guy had an earned run average of SEVENTEEN POINT ONE EIGHT. If/when Carrasco is recalled, he'll also have to serve an 8-game suspension for repeatedly throwing at batters. Also, Marson is 0 for 3 on the season, and has a lifetime batting average of .219.

Later that year, Amaro dealt Lee to Seattle for 2023 Cy Young Award winner, J.C. Ramirez, Phillippe Aumont (he's from Quebec!) and Tyson Gillies, who according to Wikipedia is nicknamed "The Hamster" because of his recurring hamstring injuries.

YOU WANT MORE PROOF THAT TRADING CLIFF LEE SUCKS BUTT?

In 2010, Lee was traded from Seattle to Texas for Justin SMUH-SMUH-SMUH-SMOAKE (.240 -- 3HR -- 8RBI this year), Blake Beaven (real name!), Josh Leuke (aka Josh Puke) and Matt Lawson (currently poppin' bottles for AAA Columbus at a .250 clip).

Trade value schmade value!

Reason #2 - Cliff Lee Actually Wants to Live in Philadelphia

Dude, I know, if you give it your all here, no one will love you more than Philly fans. John's Roast Pork is the greatest. Beanie Sigel actually shoots people. Philly 4 Lyfe. Whatever. No human being in their right mind actually wants to live in Philadelphia. Last week, when it was 93% humidity, I wore seven pairs of underwear in one day. My next-door neighbor has rocked jean shorts for three straight weeks. If it wasn't for your stupid friends and family, you would've moved to Barcelona years ago. Have you ever seen a Catalan woman Flamenco dance? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A CATALAN WOMAN FLAMENCO DANCE?

So after playing in three cities in two years, Cliff and his family decided they wanted to settle down. Enough with the moving, the living out of boxes, the kids having to switch schools over and over. And seeing as the Lees could choose WHEREVER THEY WANTED TO LIVE, they chose Philadelphia. The guy and his wife -- actual human beings -- chose Philadelphia. THAT'S WEIRD.

Do you remember how much you hate Scott Rolen? Because for all intents and purposes, Scott Rolen was the QUINTESSENTIAL Philly ballplayer. Do you remember why you hate Scott Rolen?

It's nice to have someone who wants to be here.

And it's nice to not live out of a stinkin' box! The last time I moved was five years ago and I still have no idea where my NBA Superstars tape is.

Reason #3 - That Amazing Catch vs. the Yankees

Doc's reverse scooper vs. the Lakers, Wes Hopkins breaking Ernest Givins's nose, and Cliff Lee's basket catch in the World Series. We already knew he was a pimp, but Lee solidified himself as my wife's favorite athlete of all time after that catch. When I play company softball at the Belmont Plateau, I stand out in left field dreaming of making a play like Cliff's. Last Tuesday, I took a slice of pizza out with me to the field, just to give myself a better chance of making that dream a reality. So there I was, shoveling pepperoni into my face, when a lazy fly ball was hit right toward me. This was the moment I'd been waiting my whole office career for, making a catch while eating dinner. The chicks who I work with were gonna love it, they'd be sending me selfies in no time. And then as the ball came down, I panicked, threw my pizza on the ground and made a stupid, fundamental two-handed grab. Rickey Henderson woulda scoffed. Then a dude came zipping by a 4-wheeler and I screamed like a mule. I have not showed my face in the office since.

#4 - But Evster, Trading Cliff Lee Will Free Up Lots of Money

Shut up. There's no salary cap in baseball. Money doesn't matter. The Phils organization makes plenty of dough already and can spend as much or as little as they choose.

#5 Name One Person Named Cliff Who You Don't Like

It's impossible. Cliff Huxtable, Cliff Robinson, Cliff Clavin. Three for three, all solid dudes. Plus, my brother's college roommate was named Cliff and when I was 13, he gave me a stack of nudie mags. Yes, most of them were from the 70s and featured ladies wearing tube socks, but they were still women and they were still (almost) naked, and for that I am forever grateful.

#6 Gotta Give the Lee-Halladay-Hamels Rotation One Stinkin' Chance Before Blowin' It Up

The Phillies put this staff together for a reason. Get us to the playoffs and these guys will do the rest. Granted, most of the guys on this team stink (lookin' at you, Laynce), Roy Halladay's arm might fall off at any moment (he'll be fine), and before Wednesday night, Cole Hamels was lookin' more like Carlos Carrasco (figuratively!). So with Lee still in town, combined with KAPTAIN KYLE KENDRICK and a late September pickup of , oh, I dunno, Pedro Martinez, we'll be poised to make another championship run.

That is of course if someone on this team besides Dominic Brown can learn how to hit a friggin' baseball.

Cliff Lee is batting .281 this year by the way.

You tellin' me he can't hit in the 2-hole?

Also, did someone in this world really name their son, Tyler Cloyd?

The Evster writes the blog TV My Wife Watches where he writes about TV his wife watches. Follow him on Twitter @TVMWW. Or look at this picture of a cow. He's a nice cow. 

MLB Notes: Rangers' Rougned Odor's suspension reduced to 7 games

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MLB Notes: Rangers' Rougned Odor's suspension reduced to 7 games

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor started serving his suspension Friday for punching Toronto's Jose Bautista after the penalty was reduced from eight to seven games.

Odor was out of the lineup for the series opener against Pittsburgh. He will be eligible to return June 4 when Texas is home against Seattle.

Bautista was suspended one game, and he was serving that Friday, when the penalty was upheld a day after his appeal was heard.

The Rangers promoted former top prospect Jurickson Profar from Triple-A Round Rock, and he was in the lineup against the Pirates as the leadoff hitter playing second base. Odor had been leading off.

Odor's penalty was cut by Major League Baseball special assistant John McHale Jr. The appeal over Odor's role in a May 15 brawl between the Rangers and Blue Jays was heard Tuesday. The league disciplined 14 players and staff over the melee in Arlington (see full story).

Red Sox: Struggling RHP Clay Buchholz to bullpen
TORONTO -- Struggling Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is being moved to the bullpen and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will take Buchholz's spot in the rotation, starting Tuesday at Baltimore.

Buchholz is 2-5 with a 6.35 ERA in 10 starts and has allowed five earned runs or more six times. He gave up season-highs of six runs and three home runs in Thursday's 8-2 loss to Colorado.

Rodriguez (right knee) is on the 15-day DL has not pitched for the Red Sox this season. He's 0-3 with a 3.54 ERA in five rehab starts at Triple-A Pawtucket. He went 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA as a rookie in 2015.

Buchholz has made two career relief appearances, one in his rookie season in 2007 and another in 2008.

Manager John Farrell said Buchholz will make multi-inning appearances in order to remain stretched out and could return to the rotation later in the season.

NBA Playoffs: Cavs blow out Raptors for second straight Finals appearance

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NBA Playoffs: Cavs blow out Raptors for second straight Finals appearance

BOX SCORE

TORONTO -- LeBron James scored 33 points, Kevin Love had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and the Cleveland Cavaliers advanced to their second straight NBA Finals by beating the Toronto Raptors 113-87 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals Friday night.

It's the third finals appearance in team history for the Cavaliers. Cleveland lost to Golden State in six games last year and got swept by San Antonio in 2007.

For James, it's his sixth straight trip to the finals, including four with Miami. He broke the 30-point barrier for the first time this postseason and finished with 11 rebounds and six assists.

"We needed LeBron to set the tone for us early and I thought he did that," coach Tyronn Lue said.

James will be the eighth player in NBA history to appear in six consecutive finals and the first who didn't play for the Boston Celtics.

"He's just a great player," Lue said. "He's a proven winner. He's always won over the course of his career. To go to six straight finals is unbelievable."

James got there by taking down a Toronto team that set a franchise record with 56 wins and reached the conference finals for the first time in 21 seasons.

After a second-quarter dunk, James shared some verbal barbs with rapper Drake, the Raptors' global ambassador and the man who popularized the nickname `6ix' for Toronto.

Kyrie Irving had 30 points and J.R. Smith added 15 for the Cavaliers, who will face the winner of the Golden State-Oklahoma City series on Thursday.

Cleveland would open at home against the Thunder but would be on the road against the 73-win Warriors, who trail 3-2 against Oklahoma City heading into Saturday's Game 6.

The Cavs will be seeking to end Cleveland's 52-year championship drought, the longest by any city with at least three professional teams. No Cleveland team has won it all since the Browns blanked Baltimore 27-0 to win the NFL championship in 1964.

"This city has been craving a championship," Lue said. "We have the right team and we have the right talent."

Kyle Lowry scored 35 points and DeMar DeRozan had 20 as the deepest playoff run in Raptors team history ended, much to the disappointment of a sellout crowd of 20,605 dressed in red and white T-shirts that formed a maple leaf pattern on either side of the court. Fans stood and cheered "Let's go, Raptors! Let's go, Raptors!" throughout most of the final three minutes.

Raptors coach Dwane Casey said reaching the conference finals was "a tremendous learning experience" for his young team, one that's "a step ahead" in its process of becoming a championship contender.

"We're learning," Casey said. "We're not where (the Cavaliers) are right now. We're going to be."

A dejected Lowry said it was hard to see the positive side of Toronto's best season ever.

"Of course you're going to look back at some point but right now I'm disappointed," he said. "Simple as that, I'm disappointed."

Toronto prolonged the series with back-to-back home wins in Games 3 and 4 but never mounted much of a challenge to the conference champions in Game 6, falling behind by 21 in the third quarter.

The Cavaliers came in 0-4 at Air Canada Centre counting the regular season and playoffs, but looked much more like the team that handed the Raptors a trio of lopsided losses in Cleveland this series.

The Raptors trailed 88-78 on a jumper by DeRozan with 10:23 remaining but James scored six points in a 14-3 run that gave the Cavs a 102-81 lead with about 6 minutes left.

James scored 14 in the first and five of Cleveland's nine field goals were from long range as the Cavaliers led 31-25 after one.

After video review, the officials waved off a basket by Biyombo with 3:18 left in the period and gave him a flagrant foul for knocking down Love.

Tempers flared again early in the second when Richard Jefferson reacted angrily to catching an elbow from Jonas Valanciunas as the two battled for a rebound. Patrick Patterson came over and shoved Jefferson out of the way. Both Patterson and Jefferson were given technical fouls.

Cleveland made five more 3-pointers in the second and outscored Toronto 9-3 over the final 71 seconds to lead 55-41 at halftime. The Cavaliers made 10 of 15 3-point attempts in the first half, while Toronto was 2 of 12.

The Cavs led 78-57 after a 3 by Love at 3:53 of the third but Lowry scored 15 points as Toronto closed the quarter with a 17-8 run, cutting it to 86-74.

Tip-ins
Cavaliers: Shot 17 for 31 from 3-point range. ... Outscored Toronto 17-5 in fast break points.

Raptors: Finished their playoff run by playing every other day from April 29 onward, a 15-game run that started with Game 6 of the first round against Indiana.

NFL Notes: Jets' offer to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick stands at 3 years

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NFL Notes: Jets' offer to QB Ryan Fitzpatrick stands at 3 years

NEW YORK -- A person familiar with the negotiations says the New York Jets made a three-year offer to quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick in March that includes $12 million guaranteed in the first year.

That offer has remained on the table for Fitzpatrick, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither side is commenting publicly on the negotiations.

The New York Post first reported the terms of the offer Friday.

Fitzpatrick and the Jets have been locked in a contract stalemate. The 33-year-old quarterback is a free agent and coming off a season in which he threw a Jets-record 31 touchdown passes and led New York within a victory of the playoffs.

Both the Jets and Fitzpatrick have said they would like a reunion, but have unable to agree on a deal.

Bears: First-round pick Leonard Floyd agrees to deal
LAKE FOREST, Ill. -- The Chicago Bears and first-round draft pick Leonard Floyd have agreed to a four-year contract with an option for a fifth year.

The Bears drafted the outside linebacker from Georgia with the ninth pick after trading up two spots in a deal with Tampa Bay. Chicago hopes he will add some athleticism to a team trying to build on a 6-10 season. The 6-foot-6, 244-pound Floyd led the Bulldogs in sacks for the third straight year with 4 , and tied for the team lead with 10 1/2 tackles for loss last season.

With the announcement Friday, the Bears have agreed to contracts with eight of their nine picks. Defensive end Jonathan Bullard, a third-rounder, is the exception.

NFL: Navy's Reynolds, Carter can defer military service
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Keenan Reynolds will get his chance to play in the NFL this season.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter announced Friday that the record-setting Navy quarterback Reynolds and fullback Chris Swain can defer their military service to play in the NFL.

Carter made the announcement during his graduation speech to the academy in Annapolis. As students cheered the news about their graduating classmates, Carter said: "Go get 'em."

Reynolds was drafted in the sixth round by the Baltimore Ravens. He is the NCAA's career leader in touchdowns with 88. He had 31 touchdown passes while leading Navy's triple-option offense. The Ravens plan to use him as a running back, receiver and kick returner.

Swain has signed with the San Diego Chargers (see full story).

Redskins: Activists criticize poll on team name
WASHINGTON -- Native American leaders and activists have criticized a recent US national poll that found nine of 10 Native Americans aren't offended by the Washington Redskins' name.

On a conference call held Friday by the National Congress of American Indians and "Change the Mascot" campaign, panelists voiced opposition to a Washington Post poll that surveyed 504 Native Americans, 90 percent of whom said the name doesn't bother them.

James Fenelon, a California State San Bernardino sociology professor, called the poll "immoral," adding it was not representative of Native American communities. Amanda Blackhorse, lead plaintiff in the trademark case against the Redskins, said the "misguided" poll will not affect attempts to change the name.

National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata said: "This issue is not about polling. This issue is about human rights."

D.C. council member David Grosso said he hadn't been swayed and that the government would not support the team moving back into the District unless the name was changed.

The team currently plays its home games in Maryland, with its headquarters and training facility in Virginia.