What does this say about Derrek Lee?
Reports are that Lee is exercising all of his no-trade rights, and refuses to be traded to a contender. Texas is one specific place that wants him, that will not get him.
Remember 2001, when seemingly all we needed to get over the hump was a power-hitting first baseman, and we completed a trade for Fred McGriff, who was hitting a lot of empty homers down in Tampa Bay when they were truly miserable? Except he had a no-trade clause, and he wasn't coming. That was his home, he had gone there to 'semi-retire', make some coin and play around a little, and he wanted NOTHING to do with a pennant race.
Finally, after over 20 days of wrangling, McGriff finally did come here, whereupon he went through the motions for the last month of 2001 and the entire 2002 season. He did hit 30 homers in 2002, but really did little else to contribute. He did not lead, he did not go full out, and he was shown the door the next year.
At the time, the denizens of The Uncouth Sloth and the Cubs Coven Yahoo! group (big shout to Brett Kuntz aka whatever moniker he was using at the time, probably something like Joe Pepitone's Towel) had invented a nifty little catch-all slogan that we used, constantly, in a short-hand attempt to explain away the 2001 late-season fizzle and the 2002 abortion that led to the end of the Smooth Baylor Era:
McStiff Eats Ass
Obviously, the man did not want to come here; did not want to play under pressure; did not want to stick his neck out. Why Andy MacPhail continued to pursue this guy after his initial refusal is beyond me? Eric Karros came in 2003 as part of the Turd Hundley bailout, and with half the talent but three times the guts, helped carry the Cubs to the closest they have come since the War to a World Series.
Now, Fred McGriff was a talented man, a good man, a calm, rational man. He was looked up to by his peers. He was a family man, and a role model to not only MLB fans, but the young guys coming up through the ranks. Sounds a lot like Mr. Derrek Lee, and not just because they are both tall Black first basemen.
They are decent men who should be idolized for their decency and professionalism. But please do not EVER confuse that for LEADERSHIP!! Lee is frequently cited as the Leader of the Cubs. Oh, really? Do you see Derrek Lee holding someone accountable for their actions on or off the field? Do you really see him get into Theriot's face for getting picked off base for the umpteenth time, or jumping down Baker's neck for not laying down a crucial bunt, or anything like that?
Nah, just like McStiff, Lee wants to come in, put in his time, and go home. He could care less about competing, about winning.
Ergo, if McStiff ate ass, then Lee Eats Ass.