Cliff Lee in Philadelphia: 'I never wanted to leave ... in the first place'
Cliff Lee has taken center stage in Philadelphia, with his introductory press conference starting at 3 p.m.
Highlights from the live rough transcript:
Lee, whose press conference began two hours after Jayson Werth's in Washington, was asked about his former teammate.
"When he found out I was coming here, he wasn't the happiest person in the world."
Hmmmm. Is it baseball season yet? This is gonna be fun. (Adam Kilgore has more at Nationals Journal.) In any event, Lee was, as you'd expect, thrilled to be back in Philly.
"It feels good to land back here in Philadelphia. ... I never wanted to leave this place in the first place and to get a chance to come back and be part of this staff and this rotation is something that is going to be historic, I believe."
Lee was asked how it feels to make a triumphant return after having been traded.
"I think for me to be here kind of says enough. I never held any grudges for being traded. I understand it's a business. From the first day, I knew it was something special here and didn't know if I'd ever had the chance to come back. ... You get a chance to pitch in this rotation, that's all i needed to see right there. It was kind of a no-brainer for me."
Lee was asked about speculation that an alleged incident involving his wife, Kristen, in New York kept him from signing with the Yankees.
"That was overblown," Lee said. "Nobody came up to her. Nobody poured anything on her. It was way overblown. It was false. It had nothing to do with anything."
Lee said he took him time because "I wanted to make sure I had every option in front of me before I made a decision. The Phillies got involved and it wasn't anything against New York. I wasn't scared to play there. It wasn't any of that."
Ultimately, Lee said he felt the Phillies offered the best chance to win a World Series. "I've been close the last two years and haven't gotten a ring. That's the ultimate goal."
| December 15, 2010; 3:07 PM ET
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