Nolan Ryan Wants Cliff Lee to Focus on Texas Lifestyle

Ryan concedes Rangers can't compete on money for a Lee contract.

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010  |  Updated 6:31 PM EDT
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Nolan Ryan Wants Cliff Lee to Focus on Texas Lifestyle

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When will people stop acting like New York City is stuck in 1977? 

There are times where the generally high quality of living in our fair city seems like the best kept secret this side of the formula for Coca-Cola. For the biggest city in the world, we're having a hard time getting the word out that from Washington Heights to Bushwick to Astoria to just about everywhere else there's plenty to do, see and enjoy in New York these days without compromising on anything except for square footage.

And, really, what kind of dope needs some McMansion in the sticks when they have everything about New York right outside their front door? 

Nolan Ryan, for one. The president of the Rangers is playing the big bad New York card in his effort to keep Cliff Lee from ditching the wonder that is Arlington, Texas in exchange for pinstripes and an address on River Avenue. He has to pitch that angle because he knows the Yankees have other things in their favor.

"If it's all about money, the Yankees can beat anybody on that. If it's a combination of money and lifestyle, we've got an advantage. I do believe [Lee's wife] Kristen liked the fact she and the kids could go home [to Benton, Arkansas] when we are on the road, be with family, and then come back to Arlington when we're at home, and it's like a 40-minute trip."

That does sound nice. It sounds just as nice to take a private jet to make the same trip. It sounds doubly nice to take a private jet to make the same trip and then spend time in a city overflowing with culture, history, great food, diverse people and shopping, if that's more Mrs. Lee's speed.

So long as your knowledge of New York goes beyond what you saw in one of the "Death Wish" films, it actually seems like the best of both worlds. The fact that he'd be making more money is almost a cherry on top.

Give Ryan credit for one thing, he's certainly going to make Lee look like a villain if he winds up signing with the Yankees. No better way to rile up the home crowd than by painting Lee as a money-grubbing city slicker who didn't share the homey values epitomized by a professional baseball team. Sure, it sounds more like a political stump speech than a reason to make a career decision but that doesn't mean it's ineffective.

No one's arguing that quality of life doesn't matter when making such decisions, but it's more than a little insulting to keep asserting that such things don't exist once you call New York your home.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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