And this year will be different from any other year becuase of the events that happened this past week in Philadelphia.
The Phillies pulled one over EVERYONE in baseball when they got Clifton Phifer Lee signed to a 5 year contract to bring his left arm back to the Phillies starting rotation. A rotation that already was thought to be one of the best in baseball, with 2010 Cy Young winner Roy Halladay, 2008 WS MVP Cole Hamels, and Roy Oswalt.
When this postseason started, I had convinced myself that Jayson Werth wasn't going to be back in red pinstripes. And even though I may have hoped and joked about the possiblility of getting Cliff back, deep down I was sure he was going to go to New York, to the super rich Yankees who could pay him an arm and a leg to go pitch with his best buddy from Cleveland, CC Sabathia. When a Mystery Team got in on the Cliff Lee bidding at the end of the winter meetings, I didn't even think it would be the Phillies. I was sure it was the Nationals (J Werth trying to get his buddy onto the same team). That was ruled out Sunday when the Nationals tweeted that they indeed were NOT in the Cliff Lee running. Still didn't think it was the Phillies, though.
I got home from work around 8:10 pm on Monday and took a look at twitter. I had been crazy at work all day, hadn't been keeping up at all. But it looked like I was just in time for what was going down that moment. The Phillies had been outted as the Cliff Lee "Mystery Team". I spent the next 4 hours trying to watch TV while keeping up with the emerging info, but to be honest, it was hard to concentrate on the TV.
I kept saying to Mr. ChickPhilA that there was no way I was going to be able to go to bed until we knew what was going on with Lee. I was giddy. And the whole Phillies Twitterverse was giddy right there with me.
When I saw this tweet from Joel Sherman of the NY Post, I was getting reallllllly excited.
Finally the football game was over. Sportscenter was starting. Stupid Brett Farve was on the screen, but the scroll along the bottom confirmed what everyone was hoping: Yankees are OUT on Lee.
Then it changed to Yankees/Rangers OUT.
The only other team left was the Mystery Team. Our Mystery Team. The freaking PHILLIES!!!
While Farve continued to babble, all the sudden the side bar countdown thingy changed to a large icon: Breaking: Phillies to sign Lee.
I actually teared up a bit. I was so excited.
Sure the guy had only been on our team for 3 months - but what a crazy awesome 3 months they were. From his very first game with the Phills, a Friday night complete game win in San Francisco where he took a no hitter into late innings and even slapped a double off the wall in left field, to the crazy behind the back catch in the world series to the laid back post game interviews where he talked about "throwin' strikes" and "puttin' up zeros". We loved how he sprinted on and off the field every inning. We loved the phantom throw to second after every mid-inning warm up. We loved that he loved to hit. Hell, he even stole a base. In a playoff game. He was insane. Philly loved him.
Everyone was freaking out on Facebook and Twitter. I called my mom at 12:15 to tell her the news. I didn't think I would be able to sleep without knowing what was going to happen, and now that I knew Lee was coming back, I was so excited it was hard to get to bed anyway.
Anyway - to say I am ready for baseball to start would be an understatement. Just like Cliff said in his press conference yesterday, I too " Can't wait to get to spring training and get this thing going."
While you wait for the next Cliff Lee Phillie start - check out the video of Cliff Lee from after his 1st Phillie start from mlb.com.
And while you're at it - watch this video too, of Cliff and Mitch Williams after the press conference yesterday - where Mitch tells Cliff not to show up in St. Pete for spring training since the Phills train in Clearwater. Ha.