Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Please quit freaking out about Derrek Lee

You know what I dislike the most about the crosstown series? It’s like there’s a full moon out there, and they’re handing out free crazy on every street corner. Everything’s overblown, everything’s overreacted to. It’s exhausting and pointless. I’m ready to be done with it.

Take this, for instance. I’ll be honest – Derrek Lee had a bad game today. It was not his finest effort. And it hurt the team. But now people are talking about moving Lee down in the lineup, benching him or even getting rid of him in the offseason.

This line of thinking is to wrong what crack is to cocaine. This is wrong chemically distilled into its most purest and lethal form. This is nonsense on stilts which are then placed upon other stilts. This is weapons-grade wrong, wrong so powerful and deadly that it is illegal to export it to other countries without a Federal permit.

Let’s take a look at the facts, shall we?

There are 26 major league first basemen qualified for the batting title. Derrek Lee is ninth among them in OPS. A short list of first basemen having a worse season than Derrek Lee (not a complete listing):

  • Mark Teixeira
  • Miguel Cabrera
  • Joey Votto
  • Paul Konerko
  • Ryan Howard

Let’s add in designated hitters. Lee falls… all the way to 11 of 32! Oh my stars and garters, that’s a whole two spots! The world is ending!

Or let’s ignore position altogether. Out of 173 qualified hitters, Lee is 40th. Or let’s look at fielding – and Lee is one of the best at his position in baseball.

Did you know he (and Soriano) lead the team in home runs? True story!

Or maybe he’s in a slump, you’re thinking. Check the splits. Past two weeks: .341/.453/.477. Yeah, sure sound like he’s in a slump to me.

On the season, Lee is hitting .290/.354/.502. His career line is .282/.367/.502. This is absolute silly season. Unless you think that career .265/.323/.449 hitter Daryle Ward is suddenly the answer to all of our questions, this is pointless.

Or maybe you think that we should bench one of the top ten first basemen in baseball so that Micah Hoffpauir can get an audition. Please, try and make that argument. I’m begging you here – try and tell me with a straight face that Hoffpauir is better than Derrek Lee. I could use the laugh.

Derrek Lee

It's definitely the double plays he hits into. Talk about rally killers.
He seems to have the old "Sammy Sosa Disease" of swinging at pitches down at his ankles. The number 3 hitter and way to many double play hits will definitely piss off the fans. I know, because I'm one of them. Isn't he on pace to break the MLB record for hitting into DP's?

I agree that the comment

I agree that the comment about getting rid of Lee was probably the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. His glove alone is worth keeping here, and we all know he is more than that. Its kind of an iffy situation. My comment about switching Lee and Ramirez in the lineup, I believe, might help. But again you dont want to mess with a players comfort and confidence. Hell, look what happens to Soriano...

The problem that I have with

The problem that I have with Derrek is that yes while He puts up the pretty numbers (.290/25/90) He hits into way to many DP's, and we have a much better clutch hitter in Aramis Ramirez that should hit third. I wouldnt mind DLEE in our order hitting 5th for the next 5 years, I think he is avery good hitter with a good glove. As far as getting rid of him, hey if you can upgrade with a lefty hitting superstar why the hell not. Our problem as cubs fans is we fall in love with our players who have one or two nice seasons. We are kidding ourselves if we think Lee is in the same league as Feilder/Howard/Gonzales/Pujols/Berkman and that Teixera isnt as good as him now and wont be better later.
But for now all I would like is to switch DLEE and ARAM so that they could lead us to the promise land.

Fielder? Are you kidding me?

Fielder? Are you kidding me? You can have that fat bastard. I would NEVER want him on my team.

The grass is always greener...

I would love to see Chicago's reaction to having Ryan Howard, particularly in April and May. He'd be run out of town faster than LaTroy Hawkins. And if you think people freak out about Soriano's strikeouts and struggles, whoo-boy. Not to mention that he's defensively worthless.

Really, I think the only upgrades you're going to find on Lee as a first baseman are Pujols and Texiera...maybe Adrian Gonzalez, especially once you get him away from Petco, though I don't know how good he is defensively.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award