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Heat no factor for Lee in free agency

Heat no factor for Lee in free agency

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ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Cliff Lee seemed irritated that there are suggestions that he would be reluctant to re-sign with the Rangers because of the prospect of pitching in extreme heat.

"That's an assumption," Lee said. "Somebody is assuming that. I haven't thought anything about that. I want to play on a good team. I could care less if it's 100 degrees or 50 degrees. Weather is something you can't control."

Rangers president Nolan Ryan and manager Ron Washington both said the heat in Texas should not be an issue for any player.

"I'm a believer in that you use it to your advantage," Ryan said.

"I never concern myself with the heat," Washington said. "Nolan put it succinctly: it's mind over matter. You've got to play in it. It's no big deal."

The Rangers are still playing this week in some of the highest temperatures of the summer. Lee started on Wednesday when it was 99 degrees at game time. They also have a day game on Sunday, and the forecast calls for a high of 104 degrees.

"You've got to be mentally tough to play this game, and to deal with the conditions, you've got to be mentally tough," Washington said. "Champions don't use conditions as excuses. We're not champions yet, but we certainly want to be successful."

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