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Lee downplays Stadium fans' rudeness to his wife

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cliff Lee speaks to

Texas Rangers starting pitcher Cliff Lee speaks to reporters at AT&T Park in San Francisco, California. (Oct. 26, 2010) Credit: Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO - Cliff Lee chalked it up to just a few fans behaving badly, and said it wasn't something that will weigh on his mind this winter.

The prized free agent's wife was quoted in USA Today Tuesday describing some of the boorish behavior she and other family members of Rangers' players endured from some in the Yankee Stadium crowd during the ALCS.

"The fans did not do good things in my heart,'' Kristen Lee told the paper.

"When people are staring at you, and saying horrible things, it's hard not to take it personal."

Her husband, however, did not.

"I brush that off as fans being fans," Lee said Tuesday at a news conference to discuss tonight's World Series Game 1 matchup against Giants ace Tim Lincecum. "You can't control 50,000 people and what they're going to do. There were some people that were spitting off the balcony on the family section and things like that, and that's kind of weak, but what can you do?

"Some people get a little alcohol in them and act inappropriate . . . It's just two or three or four people acting like fools [out of] 50,000. You can't group them all together."

So would what occurred in any way impact the decision on where Lee, expected to be pursued most ardently by the Yankees and Rangers, signs in the offseason?

"No, I don't know the guy who did it," said Lee, who might land a deal in the range of $150 million. "It could be anyone. Who knows? Who cares?"

He paused and smiled.

"They're at home right now."

Lee is enjoying another magnificent postseason. Including his Game 3 masterpiece against the Yankees, when he struck out 13 in eight shutout innings, he's 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA. In eight postseason starts spanning the last two years, Lee is 7-0 with a 1.26 ERA.

Lee has a fan in Lincecum, who brings his own impressive numbers into tonight's game. The National League Cy Young winner in 2008 and 2009 is 2-1 with a 1.93 ERA this postseason.

"He works in and out on both sides of the plate, which allows him a lot of freeze strike threes, guys looking," Lincecum said. "When you're able to throw strikes on both sides of the plate, you're going to have a lot of success. Hopefully, we can pick out a pitch and do something with it."

Lee, in turn, admires Lincecum, who with a lithe 5-11, 170-pound frame and an unconventional delivery produces a mid-to-high 90s fastball. "The way he does it, no one else does it that way," Lee said. "I like that. I like when unorthodox works."

Lee was alternately blunt and entertaining before the Rangers' workout, especially when discussing his manager, Ron Washington, and whether he had wanted to face his former team, the Phillies.

"When you've got a team like this, you'd have a hard time screwing that up," he said with a smile, though at the same time praising Washington's ability to keep the clubhouse loose.

Lee nearly pitched the Phillies to a championship last year and went back and forth on whether he'd wanted to face them.

"When a team gets rid of you, you kind of like seeing them lose a little bit," said Lee, dealt to the Mariners last December on the same day the Phillies acquired Roy Halladay from the Blue Jays.

"When a team gets rid of you, it's funny how you have a knack for stepping up a little more when you face them. I was in between. I pulled for those guys individually, but I didn't mind seeing them get beat, either, just because they got rid of me. That is what it is."


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