December 14 was an amazing day for the Philadelphia Phillies. The rest of the baseball world experienced electric shock like the one you would feel if you touched a "hot" 220v wire. The Phillies signed Cliff Lee, a Cy Young award winner to a guranteed contract for five years worth 120 million. The New York Yankees offered the post season standout 150 million. Lee's choice was based on the following: being happy is better than more money.
Lee was the most sought after free agent in the 2010 off season. The Lefty from Arkansas was pursued by American League champions, the Texas Rangers. The World Series hungry New York Yankees were in the race until the very end. Unexpectedly, a sleeper team came into the picture, the Phillies, who had the 32 year-old for half a season in 2009.
As articles burst through the web, it's pretty clear Lee was happy during his first stint in Philly. For him, the Phillies clubhouse was a lot of fun for that three month span. It was the most fun he had in his entire career as a major league pitcher. This was why he was upset when he was traded to the Seattle Mariners. Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino traded texts with Lee throughout the previous season. He (Lee) remarked at how wished he were still a Phillie.
Lee had many options in terms of teams willing to sign him and for a lot more money than the Phils signed him for. Learning from the veteran lefty, happiness is more important than money. People can learn from Lee's decision. He didn't say it either, he proved it (statistics courtesy of the Huffington Post).