During the ALCS, Cliff Lee continued to dominate on the field, blanking the New York Yankees while allowing only two hits in eight innings of work at Yankee Stadium in game three. Off the field, Kristen Lee, Cliff Lee's wife, was berated by fans while sitting in the visitor's wives section of Yankee Stadium.
Fans spent the game hurling insults at Kristen Lee, throwing beer and spitting in her direction, according to ESPN.com. The actions of the fans caused many to wonder if Yankee supporters damaged New York's chances of landing the prized free agent pitcher this offseason. There's no question owner Hank Steinbrenner and general manager Brian Cashman will make a serious run at Lee, but with teams lining up to throw money at the ace, the enviornment surrounding potential suitors will likely have an impact on Lee's choice.
Lee's agent, Derek Braunecker, downplayed the report today in a statement to ESPN. Read that and more after the jump.
"The story is not an issue to us," Lee's agent, Darek Braunecker, told ESPNNewYork.com. "Her experience in New York is certainly a non-issue. She enjoys New York as much as anyone enjoys New York."
Kristen Lee, however, didn't take the same tone.
"The fans did not do good things in my heart," Kristen Lee said, according to the newspaper. "When people are staring at you, and saying horrible things, it's hard not to take it personal."
Lee has seen his value skyrocket after another dominating campaign in 2010. Playing with Seattle, Lee dazzled the fans with pinpoint control and command in his two months with the team. After a trade to Texas this summer, Lee has put on show in the playoffs, racking up three wins and a K/BB ratio of 34-1.
Realistic or not, Seattle Mariners fans continue to hope general manager Jack Zduriencik will lure the prized free agent back to Seattle in the offseason. AL West rival Texas would also love to keep Lee if they can afford him. With a gaudy stat-line this year, Lee has no shortage of landing spots this offseason, with a sky-high payday to boot.
Come back to Seattle, Cliff. We'll treat you like the king that you are.