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.