...and no, not the whole "I'm retired... wait, no I'm not... wait, yeah I am... wait, ok, no..." thing. You'll see what I mean in a minute; just allow me to develop my point.
Last week, a reputable Seattle blogger with the U.S.S. Mariner community speculated that the Mariners will probably want to trade Cliff Lee in the next few weeks. He went on to examine all the possible teams that could complete the deal. He formulated that, in his opinion, the Twins were the best option in regard to need and the depth of players they could give up. It seems as if a lot of other folks think the same thing. (I heard that Buster Olney from ESPN agreed, but I can't read his article about it because I refuse to pay to be an "insider." Good grief, ESPN makes enough money -- they have to be generating a ton of revenue just on the ads on their site -- they don't need to relieve me of mine.)
Let me just say that I sincerely doubt Cliff Lee will come here in real life. For various reasons, it just doesn't add up in my opinion. But, let's go with it so I can eventually get to my point.
I love pitching. I love pitchers. I especially love good pitchers. Good pitchers are leaders. They alone set the pace of the game. Usually, the team goes as its pitcher goes. They are in charge; they earn the win or loss; they are who we talk about when we speak of match-ups. They are the center. There is a reason they stand, above all others, on a mound. They have my undying devotion. Unless they hurt my team. Then I can just as easily despise them. My passion runs both ways.
Would I love to add a true ace to the Twins rotation? Absolutely. Do I have to love him? Not really.
First impressions are very hard to shake. I've spent so many years hating Cliff Lee when he was with the Indians, I would have a hard time letting it go. He was a rival I always hated facing. For one, he was good and very tough to beat. But, for another, he always seemed like an ass. I seem to remember reading that says some cocky stuff. Put him up there with Mark Buerhle, Justin Verlander, and CC Sabathia at the top of the Pitchers I Can't Stand List.
And then there was the time (was it last year or the year before?) he got all in a snit when Carlos Gomez bunted for a base hit off him. Really? I'm not sure I want a crybaby on my team.
So here I am, potentially facing the dilemma of accepting a man I loathe to a team I love. I know he could be a great help, and obviously I would want him to do well, you know, for the good of the team. But, I would find it very, very hard to actually root for him.
I'd be quite like many of the rabid, die-hard Vikings fans I know who struggled with welcoming Brett Favre, a man they hated for years. Now I finally understand what they were going through.