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Cliff Lee

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May 23, 2014 | By Sam Donnellon, Daily News Columnist
IF YOU'RE LUCKY, you spend your peak seasons with the same team peaking with you, contending every year, winning a championship or two even. If you're really lucky, you're Jimmy Rollins, playing your entire career with that same team, chasing cool team records, assuring iconic status in your adopted town long after your playing days are over. And if you are neither of these . . . well, then, you're Cliff Lee. One of two things was going to happen for Cliff Lee this season. One was that he would play a key part in a surprising season by the Phillies and their veteran core.
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April 9, 2011
Here is how Phillies ace Cliff Lee fared last night: IP           H            R            ER        BB        K        ERA 3.1        10           6            6        1          3        7.24
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October 19, 2011
  ST. LOUIS - "Call it whatever you want," Texas outfielder David Murphy was saying yesterday. "You can call it ironic. Call it funny. Call it . . . " Baseball? "Exactly," Murphy said. Last year at this time, the Texas Rangers were favored to beat the San Francisco Giants in the World Series. They had a lineup of great hitters. They had a green but formidable pitching staff. And they had Cliff Lee. Mr. October already had pitched them past Tampa Bay and the New York Yankees, two lineups that appeared a whole lot more intimidating than one that contained Pat Burrell, Aubrey Huff, Cody Ross and Edgar Renteria.
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March 11, 2015 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
CLEARWATER, Fla. - This was 10 days before Christmas 2010, and Cliff Lee had ruined the New York Mets' annual holiday party. Students from six elementary schools had gathered on the Citi Field concourse to see David Wright dress up as Santa Claus and hand out presents, and Wright's teammates milled around and patted the kids' heads and signed autographs. But among the players, the season's joyful spirit was cut with dread. The day before, Lee had signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phillies, and every player on the Mets' roster knew what was coming in 2011.
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February 27, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Cliff Lee makes it all look easy, and Drew Smyly had no reason to believe otherwise until he worked out with Lee in Little Rock this winter. The pitchers share a home state and agent. Smyly is trying to crack the Detroit Tigers' rotation and thought any time spent with Lee would help. Then, 15 sets into the first exercise, Smyly understood. "I've never had a workout like that," Smyly said. "When are we going to move onto a different exercise, man? We're just doing the same [stuff]
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March 10, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - The first dose of bad news the Phillies encountered since the start of spring training arrived Friday when Cliff Lee alerted the team of discomfort in his pitching elbow. Soreness resurfaced in the same area of the arm that limited the accomplished lefthander to only 13 starts last season. An MRI exam Saturday revealed "little to no changes" from his last exam, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Sunday. Amaro described the inflammation as "very mild" but did not deny the team's concern given the flexor pronator strain that prematurely ended Lee's 2014 season.
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March 7, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Cliff Lee's first start since July took all of 20 minutes. The plan was for him to handle two innings, and he did so using only 22 pitches. A mishmash of scouts sat in the green seats behind home plate at Osceola County Stadium and watched one of the Phillies' potential trade chips throw without issue. Suitors for Lee will wait for a much larger sample size before moving on a deal, but Thursday signified a solid first outing of the spring for the 36-year-old lefthander.
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June 4, 2013 | By Phil Sheridan, Inquirer Columnist
Baseball trade-deadline talk is like Christmas decorations at the mall. It starts earlier every year, and that is not a good thing. Already, there is buzz about whether the sub-.500 Phillies will trade Cliff Lee in an effort to begin rebuilding a championship team. In Dallas, the talk-radio topic last week (in between jabs at Jerry Jones) was whether the first-place Rangers should bring Lee back. In Boston, the Globe's Sunday notes column led with an item about Lee's being the No. 1 name in the trade market, based on an informal poll of dozens of baseball people.
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May 6, 2013 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
THE BOSTON RED SOX entered the first weekend of May with baseball's best record and the game's hottest pitcher, too. Former top prospect Clay Buchholz is 6-0 with a 1.01 ERA. He won American League Pitcher of the Month honors earlier this week. He also was accused of cheating. After throwing six shutout innings Wednesday in Toronto, Buchholz was accused of doctoring pitches by two former big-league pitchers-turned-Toronto broadcasters: Jack Morris and Dirk Hayhurst. Both said Buchholz was applying a foreign substance to the ball, which is illegal.
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September 12, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Three of the foremost experts on pitchers' arms have examined Cliff Lee's injured left elbow in recent weeks. They all agreed that Lee, who visited Philadelphia on Monday for another doctor's appointment, can follow his original rehab plan. So Lee will not throw until sometime in November. Nevertheless, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. categorized his confidence in Lee's ability to contribute in 2015 as "high. " Skepticism will linger until Lee demonstrates his health next spring.
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March 18, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - On each of the last two mornings when Phillies pitchers gathered to play catch, Cliff Lee was absent. The discomfort in his pitching elbow had progressively worsened, so the 36-year-old lefthander weighed his options. Late Monday afternoon, the Phillies announced that Lee will try for a third time to non-surgically rehabilitate the tear in his common flexor tendon. Season-ending surgery, not recommended last summer, was endorsed by doctors after the latest setback.
SPORTS
March 18, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The latest news on Cliff Lee wasn't really news, in a way, because nothing has been new regarding the lefthander's $120 million arm in the last 10 months. Lee has had a sore elbow since last May, when the pain was enough to cause him trouble when he turned a door knob. He's had a sore elbow since grabbing at it during his last regular-season start in Washington on the last night of July, hours after baseball's trade deadline. He's rested it. He's rehabbed it. Twice.
SPORTS
March 13, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The 30 pitchers in Phillies camp broke their circle and each took a few steps to pick up his glove. Cliff Lee found a spot among the two rows of hurlers and began playing catch with bullpen coach Rod Nichols. This was the start of Lee's throwing program Wednesday. As he tossed a baseball for about 10 minutes, pitching coach Bob McClure watched by his side. Afterward, the 36-year-old lefthander retreated to a back field and threw his first bullpen session since the elbow setback that has put in question his season and could lead to the end of his playing career.
SPORTS
March 13, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Cliff Lee climbed back atop a mound yesterday morning, 5 days after feeling pain in his left elbow. The pain is still there. "I got through it," Lee said. "There's still something there . . . If it starts to progress worse, then obviously that's a pretty telling sign. If it maintains how it is, then I'll keep going. " Lee remains ready to attempt to pitch through a tear of the common flexor tendon, with the very real possibility that the pain that he first felt 10 months ago never goes away and that his 2015 season will end before it has a chance to begin, with a corrective surgical procedure.
SPORTS
March 12, 2015 | By Jake Kaplan, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Cliff Lee will attempt to pitch through the tendon tear in his elbow that limited him to 13 starts last season. Despite months of rest and rehabilitation, the problem resurfaced Friday. Lee is 36 and pitching on maybe the final contract of an accomplished career. "It's hard to find a problem with going out there and just continuing to try to do it just to see what happens," he said. Surgery would sideline the lefthander for six to eight months, ending his season and perhaps his playing days.
SPORTS
March 12, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The look was remarkably familiar. Cliff Lee sat in front of his locker stall yesterday afternoon while his teammates took on the Detroit Tigers outside the clubhouse doors. He was in uniform, but in no position to help out. He spoke with an uncertain voice, looked ahead with eyes unsure of what the future held for him in the game he's played, in one way or another, for 3 decades. "It's not a good sign, obviously," Lee said of the same injury that limited him to 13 starts in 2014 returning before he even could begin 2015.
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March 11, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - About an hour before the Phillies took the field in Sarasota yesterday afternoon, and about 24 hours before he was originally scheduled to be warming up in the bullpen at Bright House Field, in preparation for his second spring training game, Cliff Lee wore street clothes as he walked out of the clubhouse. Lee was finished for the day. His work was limited. For the second straight day, he did not throw a baseball. "Tomorrow," he said before getting in his car and calling it a day. Lee can only hope to receive some good news when he returns to the Carpenter Complex this morning.
SPORTS
March 11, 2015 | By Matt Breen, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - All Cliff Lee can do now is wait. Lee's MRI reports have been sent to Birmingham, Ala., the home of James Andrews. The orthopedic surgeon is the best in the world, Lee said. And the doctor's opinion could determine the Phillies lefthander's future in baseball. Lee said he will likely miss the season and possibly more if his left elbow requires surgery. A recommendation from Andrews is expected sometime this week. "It would be six to eight months out," Lee said.
SPORTS
March 11, 2015 | By Mike Sielski, Inquirer Columnist
CLEARWATER, Fla. - This was 10 days before Christmas 2010, and Cliff Lee had ruined the New York Mets' annual holiday party. Students from six elementary schools had gathered on the Citi Field concourse to see David Wright dress up as Santa Claus and hand out presents, and Wright's teammates milled around and patted the kids' heads and signed autographs. But among the players, the season's joyful spirit was cut with dread. The day before, Lee had signed a five-year, $120 million contract with the Phillies, and every player on the Mets' roster knew what was coming in 2011.
SPORTS
March 10, 2015 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - On Thursday, Cliff Lee threw 22 pitches in two innings and reported afterward that all was well with a left elbow that limited him to 13 starts in 2014. "It feels normal," he said. "So far, so good. " On Friday, he felt some discomfort in the same spot in his elbow that irritated him last year. Yesterday, he had an MRI. Tomorrow, he will not make his scheduled start against the Detroit Tigers. "I just don't have any idea where we're going to go from there," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said yesterday morning after announcing the Lee news in the visitors' dugout at Charlotte Sports Park.
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