In the mostly quiet Rangers' clubhouse after their Game 5 loss here, Cliff Lee was peppered with questions mostly about two topics -- the cutter that got too much of the plate that Edgar Renteria launched for a three-run homer and, more significant for Yankees fans, his impending free agency.
The Yankees and Rangers are likely to be his most zealous suitors and he, smartly, offered both fans bases hope.
“I like this team, this was a very fun team to play on,” Lee said. “It was a very talented group of guys. I expect this team to do some really good things next year. I don’t know if I’m going to be a part of it or not, to be honest with you. I would love to be but there’s so many things that can happen. You never know. I know I enjoyed it from Day 1 until now. It was a very fun ride.”
Lee talked about this season of "firsts" for the Rangers franchise being something to "build on" for next season.
"We’re going to use this as motivation and come in next year and try to do better," he said.
But, again, at the same time, he made clear that statement shouldn't be taken for anything more than it was.
"I want to be on a winning team," he said. "I want to be on a team that’s, if not this team, like this team. This is the most fun I’ve had, playing the game with those guys. it’s been a good ride. I’ve enjoyed every single second."
Beyond that, he wasn't interesting in delving too much into what will go into his recruitment.
"I’m not thinking too much about the business decisions right now to be honest with you," Lee said. "I’m more thinking about how much fun it was with these guys, how much I enjoyed it and looking forward to getting home with my family and relaxing. That stuff’s going to take care of itself later."