If there were any doubt about what a first-class operation the Phillies have become, the signing of Cliff Lee ends the argument.
As everyone now knows, Lee passed up about $30 million when he decided to join the Phillies instead of the New York Yankees. Free-agent athletes don't often shortchange their bank accounts deliberately.
But Lee, who pitched the Phils into the World Series in 2009, actually liked playing in Philly. After he pitched for the Texas Rangers this year, he and his family wanted to come back.
For Philadelphians, Lee's decision is less of a shock than it would have been 10 years ago. For New Yorkers, it is an inconceivable bubble-burster. They were counting on acquiring Lee to lead them to yet another championship. Instead, the Yankees got a Bronx cheer.