The Yankees are again upset about comments made by Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg. This time, the Yankees believe Greenberg implied in remarks made to fans in Texas Thursday that he got one over on the storied franchise when he made his second trip to visit superstar pitcher Cliff Lee in Arkansas.
"Chuck's delusional. He's been in the game for a few minutes and yet he thinks he knows what everyone's thinking,'' Yankees president Randy Levine said. "I think he should let Cliff Lee speak for himself. (Greenberg) could really impress us when he keeps the Rangers off of welfare and keeps them from receiving revenue sharing the next three years.''
Levine is referring to the fact the Rangers got revenue sharing money from the bigger clubs the last three years.
Greenberg, speaking at a fanfest in Texas, suggested that he believed the Rangers helped the Phillies sign Lee by keeping him away from the Yankees. Greenberg said Lee was likely headed to the Yankees before the owner's third trip to Arkansas to visit Lee but that his visit put the Rangers ahead of the Yankees.
"We had three different meetings with Cliff and his wife and his agent in Little Rock, (Ark.)," Greenberg reportedly said. "Even though Philadelphia was probably not in, they were always in the back of our mind...I think if we wouldn't have gone to Arkansas that last time, I think he was going to sign with the Yankees. We pried the door open a little bit to give ourselves another opportunity. And ultimately the Phillies were able to take advantage of that opportunity that we created."
Lee eventually signed with the Phillies for $120 million over five years. The Yankees offered $148 million over seven and the Rangers $120 million over six (or with deferred monies, $138 million over six).
Greenberg drew the ire of the Yankees in the postseason when he ripped Yankees fans' behavior during the ALCS in which Texas beat New York, saying "I thought Yankee fans, frankly, were awful. They were either violent or apathetic, neither of which is good. So I thought Yankee fans were by far the worst of any I've seen in the postseason. I thought they were an embarrassment." Greenberg apologized for those remarks, at the request of the commissioner's office.