My Take on Derrek Lee

April 23, 2006

The injury to D Lee is not what the Cubs were hoping for. Derrek is going to be out for awhile. He broke two bones in his wrist during the collision. I don’t think this is worst case scenario though. Worst case would be he’s out for the season. Derrek will be in a cast for a minimum of six weeks and then will probably have at least 4 weeks of rehab. This gets him back before the All-Star Break. To me, this is good news.

There is no doubt that Derrek Lee is a huge part of this Cubs team. But this team does not rely on just one person. Let’s not look back at last season. Let’s look back a couple of seasons ago and realize remember that when the Cubs made the playoffs it was because everyone contributed. It’s a huge blow to lose his bat and his leadership. But it’s only temporary. “Everything is temp-o-rary” to quote my favorite movie, Moonstruck. This is a long season. The Cubs have plenty of other players that are capable of big offense – Jacques Jones, Aramis Ramirez, Matt Murton. And let’s not forget Todd Walker’s consistent .300+ batting average.

On the defensive side, everyone is going to have to step up a bit. You could shop for a first baseman for years and never find another D Lee. Walker, Mabry and Restovich will have to channel their inner Hoover to suck up every ball that comes towards first and the rest of the infields will have to try and be more accurate with their throws. Pitchers will have to keep things close.

Two losses after the injury doesn’t bode well, and maybe it was because everyone was shook up from the news. And maybe it was a guy having a bad outing and another guy not being able to get that last out. Maybe it stuff that happens all the time in baseball. Let’s not forget that the Cards came to Wrigley Field and got swept. It makes sense to me that the Cards were going to be strong at home. It would have been easy for this Cubs team to get swept, but they didn’t. The Cubs are still ahead 4 – 2 against the Cards and they’ll see each other 19 times this year.

This team needs to stay in it. They are capable, even without D Lee. And when D Lee comes back, they’ll be that much stronger. And D Lee will be rested and able to really push through the second half of the season.


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