Was son’s health a factor in the Cliff Lee decision?

From Off the Bench

Most of the speculation this morning over Cliff Lee’s surprise move to the Phillies is centering on his wife; Kristen apparently hates New York (getting spit on didn’t help), and loves Philadelphia. But until today on Colin Cowherd’s ESPN radio show, I hadn’t heard anyone mention another potentially huge factor. From a commenter over at The 700 Level:

Just heard on Colin Cowherd’s show that Cliff Lee’s son is in remission for leukemia and that his decision was going to be based off of more than money. He also mentioned that Philadelphia has the #1 childrens’ hospital in the country which may have played a major role in his decision. To me this guy epitomizes everything that Philadelphia is: humble, hard-working, focused on his family, not all about the money. Here’s a toast to you Clifton, may you get a few rings during your second time here.

That’s not far-fetched. Lee’s son, Jaxson, was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia at the age of four months, and was given a 30 percent chance to live. But today he’s in remission, active and healthy. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the most renowned pediatric care institutions in the nation; in its latest rankings, U.S. News & World Report ranked it in the top three in the nation in nine of 10 categories, including No. 2 among best cancer hospitals.

However, Jaxson is now reported to be cancer-free; receiving follow-up care once a year at the Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock. In November, Lee and his wife made a $1 million donation to the hospital, which will fund an endowed chair in pediatric hematology/oncology.

So regardless of the exact reasons, can we just say that Cliff Lee is still getting paid, and he’s a class act, and leave it at that? It’s true what the Beatles said, you know. Money can’t buy me love.


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