Currently on a conference call introducing Cliff Lee as a Seattle Mariner. He does not sound thrilled. Here is a sampling.
"My initial reaction was shock and disbelief...Initially, I was disappointed because making it to the World Series was a lot of fun, and I was looking forward to making a third run at it."
"At first I didn't believe it, because I thought that we were working out an extension with the Phillies and I thought that I was going to spend the rest of my career there...This goes to show this is a business, and you never know what's going to happen until you have a full no-trade clause."
Why do you think it an extension didn't work out?
"There was not enough dialogue. (Also) They had an opportuity to get the best pitcher in baseball, and I can't blame them for choosing Roy Halladay over me...I was under the impression they would keep me for a long time."
"I'm going to be as positive as I can, and go over there and try to make it to the World Series with those guys...it's a new chapter. I've got to go to the Mariners and make the best of it. I'm going to go in with an open mind and do everything I can."
Excited at all about returning to A.L.?
"Uh, yeah. I've got to."
What did you like about the Phillies?
"Those guys are the real deal. It was a true team and I can't say enough about them."
Was able to reach Ruben Amaro for a response. "I am not really going to comment on the negotiations, other than what I said yesterday," he said. "There was nothing contentious about our talks, but it may not have led to something we were comfortable with. I would have loved to have kept both guys on the club. It was a matter of, we felt more comfortable with the deal we could do with Roy than the one we could do with Cliff.
"I hope Cliff Lee pitches tremendously well. We would have loved to have kept him, but it didn't look like we were going to move toward that goal."