Cliff Lee is the buzzword of the hour as he, like LeBron James in recent days, seems on the virge of switching allegiances and joining a new team. Sure, Lee is a baseball pitcher who starts for the Seattle Mariners, while James excels on the basketball court and just signed with the Miami Heat, but they’ve have one thing big in common. Both Lebron James and Cliff Lee are dads and husbands, which means that their decisions to switch to new jobs in new cities affect not just themselves, but an entire family.
Lee has two kids, son Jax and daughter Maci, both with his wife, Kristen. They’ve quickly learned that there’s no stability in baseball: Lee started his career in 2000 with the Montreal Expos. In 2002 he was traded to the Cleveland Indians, in 2009 he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, and later that year the Phillies traded him to the Mariners. For a family in this situation, there are two choices: follow the dad where he goes, or, given that he’s on the road so much anyway, set up permanent camp somewhere (for the Lee’s, it’s Cliff’s hometown of Benton, Ark.), and see him on the off seasons.
Neither is ideal. Then again, a Major League salary affords a family plenty of comforts that would otherwise be out of reach. Not to mention that a father who is following, and achieving, his dreams isn’t a bad role model.
Word right now has it that Cliff Lee is being traded to the New York Yankees, but the deal isn’t quite done.