A Paragraph With The Mariners – 64

You know why Cliff Lee’s great? You know why he’s the only guy on this team I’d let defile me in the name of “Contract Extension”? Because the man gives you hope. I mean, look at him. Physically, he’s not that impressive. According to his ESPN bio page, he’s 6-3, 190. That’s not incredibly tall, though I suppose it gives him a bit of an advantage over your regular 5-3 pitcher. Pretty much, he’s just your average guy. And he doesn’t throw all that fast; one time I saw him hit 94 on the radar gun, but most of the time he’s around 91, 92mph. And yeah, he’s got some bendy stuff he mixes in, but he’s by no means Pedro Martinez in his prime. He just locates it down, consistently. If he left his stuff up and out over the plate, he’d be getting belted out of the park like Rowland-Smith was last night. But, that’s just it, aside from a few mph on the ol’ fastball, you could say Lee and Rowland-Smith (and Vargas) are essentially the same pitcher. The only difference being: control. Lee knows what he wants to do and knows where he wants the ball … and then he goes out and he PUTS the ball where he wants it, to fantastic results. He doesn’t have these slip-ups where he’s cruising along and then lets a couple guys on base and then leaves a hanging slider, or tries to come in on a right handed hitter only to see him turn and crank it out of the park. Lee is the epitome of control. And he never lets himself lose it. Also, he’s 31. Barring injury, he could easily control his way through another 10 productive years. Cliff Lee will be a very wealthy man when all is said and done.

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