Goatriders of the Apocalypse

That old gag, part 2

Well Kurt sense your in love with DLee lets see what he does over the next 20 games and then we can decide where he should be
-mdonnellyacn1


I really need to create a "that old gag" tag.  Anyway...

This talk about 20 games got me thinking. Let's say that over the next 20 games, Derrek Lee has 80 at bats and goes 10 for 80. That's a .125 AVG - and guess what? Where he'd be is STILL in the starting lineup as the starting first baseman! You know why? He's making 8 figures a year with an absolute no-trade clause playing for a winning franchise in a city he likes -- and he has a track record of success. Whether he go 20 for 80 or 5 for 80, Derrek Lee will be in the starting lineup all year long. But speaking of 20 games, let's take a look at a couple of lines...


Player 1: 60 AB, 16 H, 8 2B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, .267 AVG, .302 OBP, .702 OPS
Player 2: 80 AB, 16 H, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, .188 AVG, .239 OBP, .568 OPS
Player 3: 70 AB, 16 H, 2 HR, 11 RBI, .229 AVG, .325 OBP, .739 OPS
Player 4: 75 AB, 15 H, 2 HR, 5 RBI, .200 AVG, .228 OBP, .535 OPS

Not exactly the numbers of champions, eh? These guys had between 60 and 80 at bats, none of them managed better than 16 hits, none displayed -- based on the numbers, anyway -- the ability to hit at the Major League level. If only there had been a Micah Hoffpauir to step in and replace them all.

Problem is, all of those guys started the seasons with those lines and do you know how they finished up? Player 1 wound up batting .299 with 33 HR, 70 RBI, and a .897 OPS. That was Alfonso Soriano, 2007 edition.

Player 2 finished the year with a .280 AVG, 29 HR, 75 RBI, and an OPS of .876. Again, that was Alfonso Soriano, 2008 edition.

Player 3 ended the year with a .278 AVG, 31 HR, 92 RBI, and an OPS of .860. That was the 2004 line of Derrek Lee.

The only guy to not have an epic year is Player 4, but we can't really hold it against Ryne Sandberg. It was his rookie season after all. He still managed a .271 AVG, 7 HR, 54 RBI, and 32 steals. But it's nice to know that mdonnellyacn1 would have cut the string on Ryno after 20 games, thus preventing Cub fans from enjoying the career of the finest second baseman to ever wear a Cubs uniform.

The moral of the story is actually two or threefold. First, Cub fans are fickle. Secondly, passing down arbitrary edicts about how a player has to look productive after X days is ridiculous and counter-productive. A baseball season is six months in length. Over the span of six months, there will always be periods of time in which a Ted Williams plays like a Neifi Perez, and vice versa. Third, we have become conditioned to be reactionary. We can't let something develop - we need resolution and we need it now! Kosuke Fukudome went 0 for 4! He very well might be a total bust, but nobody - no expert, no pundit, no brilliant baseball mind - knows how well he'll do after one 0 for 4 performance. (However I can predict this ... he will have many more 0 for 4 performances this year. Book it. Done.) I guarantee you that the first time the Cubs have a 5 game losing streak, there will be idiots out there wailing doom and gloom, calling it a lost season, giving up on the team.

It's all thoughtless reaction. I guess the only satisfaction I can take is that no matter how poorly Lee starts the season - and before 2005 he was a notorious slow-starter - he will still be starting all year long. And whether he bats .300 and cranks 25+ homeruns, or he bats .265 and hits a meager 15, the Cubs will still be good, even if the overthinkers disagree.

Update to say... That Old Gag tag created

hahaha that was pretty funny

hahaha that was pretty funny actually your excatly right we will start DLEE even if he bats 220 the rest of the season ok maybe 20 games is a little to short because we OVER-PAID him which goes to show u that baseball hassed to fill egoes and contracts and did i say anything about hoffpuair switching him no i said where he should be and thats down in the lineup!

Overpaid, really?

A base salary of $13M is actually a pretty reasonable dollar figure for a 1B such as D-Lee. He didn't try to break the bank when he resigned, and I think a whole lot could and should be said for guys like he and Aramis who sign for less to remain a Cub. Each could have likely received much larger contracts had they hit the open market. You want to label Derrek Lee as overpaid when he played on the same roster as Jason Marquis? I would like to know in what respect Derrek Lee could possibly be overpaid? He isn't the highest paid player on the team or even for his position around baseball. Should he bat lower in the order? Probably, but who knows, I think he could batter higher in the order as well. Soriano-Lee-Bradley-Ramirez is a potent 1-4 punch & Soto batting 5th wouldn't be bad either.

O yea and another thing we

O yea and another thing we were a great team last year and were did that bring us.....not to mention we were one of the best teams for 3/4's of the season we broke down towards the end and were not no were close to being hot enough going into the post-season.....So inconclusion I hope I am totally wrong about DLee but if hes not doing good why wouldn't we want to try somebody else there and see how are team does ultimatley making are team Better!!

Funny thing is you and I

Funny thing is you and I already know that we agree - Lee should bat 6th.

But regardless of that, md, I really don't know if I can follow your line of logic. The Cubs were a good team last year, but got routed in the playoffs, therefore they should replace Derrek Lee if he doesn't produce at some arbitrary level?

The Cubs got routed in the playoffs last year because it's a crapshoot. They just as easily could have won the whole she-bang and the guy you are anxious to label as a scapegoat killed the Dodgers last October. Meanwhile, the guy we call Clutchy McClutchinson (A-Ram) has pretty much batted 0 for his last 2 playoff serieses ... but how come nobody wants to be rid of him?

I suppose I don't really care if you decide to label Lee as your whipping boy, because like I say - no matter what, he's Lou's starter. So good luck with that one.

Also

Lee hit .500 in the playoffs. He's not the one how should be replaced, based on playoff performance,

Amen

Amen my brother!!! D-Lee is easily in the top 10 first-basemen in baseball today, meaning that if the Cubs were to cut him loose 20+ teams would be ready to pounce because he is that good. Defensively at firstbase I can't think of another player I would rather have; D-Lee is huge providing a nice target to throw to, he is incredibly athletic and has good range, and he digs balls out of the dirt on bad throws with the best of em' saving errors inning after inning. Offensively, D-Lee might not be what cubs fans want him to be, but he's still a professional hitter and a tough out. Lee grinds out at bats, works the count, and he makes the opposing pitcher work driving up pitch counts. He's an awesome hitter to have in the lineup, but he just may not be a #3 hitter given the personnel on this team - I would personally like to see him in either the 2nd or 5th spot in the order. And finally, as a person D-Lee is a good guy for any community. Chicago is lucky to have him, and he likes being a cub, so it seems like a pretty good match.

I'm not going to sit here and pound Hoffpauir into the ground or anything, but he simply is not on the same level as D-Lee at this point. Hoff has shown that he is a quality hitter, but I am not convinced that upon playing a full season some of his weaknesses may not become a little more exposed. I view Hoff much the same as I do Samardzija right now, where both are extremely talented insurance policies and each can contribute tomorrow if needed. Hoff extends the offense that much further and makes the team that much deeper, and he provides a very valuable presence for the team as a DH during Interleague play.

The bottom line is that the cubs are lucky to have 2 good firstbasemen in a game where some teams are still looking for their first decent one. Its a testament to how deep the cubs really are when a bench player such as Hoff could likely be the starting 1B for numerous teams around the league; such as the Mariners, Nationals, Giants, Royals or Angels & he could fit in as a DH for many AL teams as well. Oh yeah, and after 20 games D-Lee should be standing somewhere near 1B for about 9 innings at a time and getting a solid 4 AB's a game. In the meantime, Hoff should be ready to hit when he gets called upon & he should be working to hone his defensive skills that much more in the OF in order to enhance his value/versatility to the team.

Again who ever said i wanted

Again who ever said i wanted to get rid of him i think his numbers would go up batting sixth less pressure not to mention why didn"t fontonot get the nod in the playoffs CUZ Fukudome's contract thats why!

So wait, let me get this

So wait, let me get this straight. Fontenot didn't get the nod in the Playoffs because of Fukudome's contract...... Hmm I'm not sure if I'm seeing the connection with those two things, it seems more like a which one of these is not like the other sort of game

Well, you certainly implied

Well, you certainly implied it. In the post you responded to, I had written the following:

Tonight's game is a series of stories that can actually be told from the perspective of two types. The first type is the following - and was inspired by the newly improved GROTA Shout Box. "Did you see how Derrek Lee went 0 for 4? Micah Hoffpauir went 1 for 1 with an RBI. Just sayin'."

In other words, I had directly written about how people were already comparing Hoff to Lee with the intent of wanting one to replace the other. Your response was "Well Kurt sense your in love with DLee lets see what he does over the next 20 games and then we can decide where he should be and fukudome should still start but start in the 8th we dont need him getting his swing back in the 2 hole!"

Since nobody had said anything about Lee in the batting order, but I had directly mentioned that people were already starting to suggest he be benched in favor of Hoffpauir, I think it's pretty clear that YOU were the one who said you wanted to get rid of him. Maybe that's not what you meant, but it's what you said.

I think you miss the larger

I think you miss the larger issue: its not whether DLee or Hoff should start at first, its where DLee should hit in the order. Obviously DLee will be the starting first baseman as long as we are paying him 13 mil. The first 20 games is completely irrelevant, you have to look at what he does over the course of a whole season. Bringing up four random examples of guys who started slow only to have good seasons is non-important (Note: you could bring in just as many examples of 'good' players who started slow and had miserable seasons).

The issue is why we still treat DLee as our 3 hitter. His past two years he has proven that he isn't the player he was before he broke his wrist. He can still hit .300 with 20 homers but your 3 hitter is supposed to be your best overall hitter and right now I don't think anyone believes that about Lee.

A better lineup:

Theriot
Fontenot
Soriano
Bradley
Ramirez
Lee
Soto
Fuku/ Johnson

Your best on base guys first and second. You best overall hitter in Soriano third. Bradley to mash overall at 4 and set the table for Ramirez again. Lee at 6. Soto to clean everything up at 7. Fuku and the Pithcher to not kill rallies at the end of the order.

I don't think you'll find an

I don't think you'll find an article written by me on this website in the past few years in which I state that Lee should be a #3 hitter. It's been a while since I posted my concept of the "ideal lineup," but in it Lee batted 6th.

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