Call it a miracle, a holiday present, or just fate: Cliff Lee is back. Phillies fans awoke to the news Tuesday that the much-beloved star pitcher will return next season.Sporting a Phillies sweat shirt, Patrick Kleman and his mom strolled through the aisles of a Center City sporting goods store looking for…what else? Cliff Lee gear. “I was up at one o’clock when he signed and I was just pumped,” Kleman said. “I called my mom at two o’clock, ecstatic. I wasn’t cryin’ or nothin’, I was just excited. I can’t wait for baseball season to come around.”Kleman’s mom, Donna Depalo, is also a Phillies fan — despite being from New York. She said Lee’s selection of Philly, over a sweet offer from New York, is touching.”The bottom line was he did turn down like $50 million to come here,” Depalo said. “He loved it here and he was disappointed when he left. The rivalry is that Philadelphia’s always been called New York’s little sister. You know what I mean.”Depalo’s son said getting Cliff Lee back doesn’t quite make up for losing the World Series to New York, but it helps.
The news of star pitcher Cliff Lee’s return to the Phillies next year shocked even the most dedicated of fans. Enrico Campatelli Jr. is the founder of the sportsblog 700level.com. He said Lee is similar to another Phillies star pitcher.”He’s down-to-earth, he really embodies the Philadelphia fans’ attitude and I think the only other guy in baseball you could really compare him to is Roy Halladay ,” said Campatelli. “And I think you know how much Philly fans love him.Lee turned down bigger offers elsewhere, including a deal from with Yankees. He agreed to a five-year contract that’s reportedly around $100 million dollars.To give your take on the Phillies’ acquisition of Cliff Lee, in six words, go to NewsWorks.org.