Friday, August 20, 2010

Braves vs. Cubs: Derrek Lee’s long awaited return to Wrigley

When he takes the field this afternoon, it will have been almost 40 hours since it was announced that Derrek Lee had been traded.

Yes…it has really been that long. It seems like only yesterday that the Cubs held a press conference announcing the trade. So much has happened since then. To the Cubs credit, they have only lost once since Lee was traded. But the addition of Lee to the Braves has vaulted them as well, they’ve only lost once since the trade was approved as well.

The Cubs have had some lapses, during this stretch…mainly in the seventh inning yesterday.

But back to the point of my post today…

Look, Cubs fans. I’ve been very critical of you during this season. I know it’s been a long time, and you may have forgotten about Derrek Lee, but, Cubs fans, when (and if) Derrek Lee steps on that field today for his first at-bat, you better cheer louder than you have at any point during this season (which shouldn’t be too difficult, there hasn’t been much to cheer about).

I know I’ve been very critical of Derrek Lee here and am very happy he’s not on the team anymore, but this guy was one of the best first basemen in this team’s history. He was a class act and dedicated a significant amount of time to different charitable organizations. He beat the crap out of Chris Young and almost put Carlos Zambrano out of our misery. He put together the second best season (2005) of any Cubs player during the 2000’s (next to Sosa’s 2001 season). He worked hard, and even though he was fearful of the Wrigley Field brick wall near the visitor’s dugout (who wouldn’t be?), he made Mark Grace look like Adam Dunn.

Derrek Lee was the face of the franchise after Sammy Sosa left. Now this team is faceless.

So cheer your asses off this weekend when Derrek Lee comes to bat. I intend to.