Cliffmas comes early

Cliff Lee stunned the Yankees again. Only this time it wasn’t with a fastball.

Yankees’ top free-agent target agreed to a five-year, $120 million
guaranteed contract with the Phillies late last night. The deal includes
a vesting option for a sixth year. Lee, 32, turned down what was
believed to be a seven-year, $150 million offer from the Yankees and a
six-year offer from the Rangers.

For the first time in a long
time, someone told the Yankees their money is no good here. And for
general manager Brian Cashman, it’s an agonizing replay of what
transpired over the summer when the Bombers came up just short of
landing the former Cy Young Award winner in a trade before the
non-waiver deadline. That misfire came back to bite the Yankees hard in
October, as Lee and the Texas Rangers beat them to advance to their
first World Series. This missed connection could have similar
consequences next October.

Lee’s reported contract would be the
third largest guaranteed for a pitcher in baseball history behind CC
Sabathia and Barry Zito. Money, though, didn’t appear to be the deciding
factor for the Arkansas farm boy, who apparently grew more attached to
his Phillies teammates than anyone realized during his stint with the
team in 2009. The Phillies traded for Lee that summer and he led them to
a World Series appearance, going 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA against the

Philadelphia then dumped Lee just as quickly as they
scooped him up, sending the left-hander to Seattle last winter in a
blockbuster deal to acquire Roy Halladay. The organization spent
countless days considering who the better pitcher was then. Halladay or
Lee. Lee or Halladay. Well, they don’t have to make that choice now —
both are in their rotation. And if that’s not scary enough, Cole Hamels
and Roy Oswalt round out what may end up being the best rotation ever

While the Phillies are the biggest winners this
offseason, the Yankees are just as big of losers. They lost Lee. They
lost Carl Crawford to the Red Sox. And they lost their pull on the open

Cashman is now left to beg a 38-year-old Andy Pettitte to
put off retirement, bolster the bullpen with an injury-prone Kerry Wood
and then search for the city’s best shrink to settle down A.J. Burnett
after a dizzy 10-15 season.

The winter has been brutal for the
Yankees. And considering their top signing is an aging Derek Jeter
coming off the worst season of his major-league career, next summer
could be just as miserable.


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…


Shia LaBeouf disorderly conduct case pushed to September

A judge on Thursday adjourned until September the disorderly conduct and harassment case against actor Shia LaBeouf, who was charged with disturbing a Broadway theater…


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…


Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.